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Introducing the teams behind the Danish selection - Part 2

08 January 2012 at 00:00 CET

You will remember that a couple of days ago we released the details of all the artists and songwriters taking part in the 2011 edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, which takes place on the 21st of January in Aalborg. We then went a bit deeper, looking into the teams behind songs 1 to 5 of the 10 entries

Now that you have acquainted yourselves with songs 1-5, why not sit back and take a look at the talented teams responsible for songs 6-10. 

Song 6 - Baby Love Me

Artist: Philip Halloun & Emilia

Music & Lyrics: Philip Halloun & Emilia

Finnish Emilia has played the classical piano for 12 years and has written and composed songs since she was a child. She has moved through virtually all genres – right from trance to schlager and she has performed a lot in her home country with the band Kaksio, which means two-bedroom flat. In 2004 the band released their debut album, which Emilia wrote the music for, and in 2010 she released her first solo album under the pseudonym Jo Angel. It is not the first time Emilia has participated a Eurovision Song Contest related capacity. The Finnish songbird has previously participated in the Finnish national selection as a backing singer. 

Philip Halloun is a multi-disciplined musician, singer and rapper and has moved through just as many genres as Emilia. For example, he has toured around Israel and the West Bank with an Israeli wedding orchestra and played in a Danish rock band, which recorded the soundtrack for the film Møgunger. Moreover he composes music for both his own and other peoples’ projects. Most recently he has written music for Søs Fenger’s and Sys Bjerre’s albums. 

And what happens when two incredibly colourful musicians meet and write music together? A genuine love song with a strong melody, which according to the two musicians has winning potential.

“It is fun competing with something so abstract and unique as a piece of music. It actually doesn’t make sense that there is just one winner. But no matter what, Denmark will have a good song in Azerbaijan. That is what we want to contribute to”, say Philip Halloun and Emilia who besides writing the music and text also are going perform their song on stage at Gigantium in Aalborg. Here they promise a minimalistic show with two pianos on stage.

Song 7 - Forever I B Young

Artist: Suriya

Music & Lyrics: Suriyatim Hoffmann, Thomas Hoffmann & Jakob Winge

As half of the duo S.O.A.P, Heidi Sørensen has toured all over the world and sold nearly two million albums. Today she is ready as a soloist under the pseudonym Suriay with a completely different type of music than the soap bubble pop she had hits with 10 years ago.

“I said yes to a Wildcard from DR because I sense that there is a want to do things differently and to try something new at Melodi Grand Prix. It is amazing to be able to present my own music to so many TV viewers”, says Suriya who has taken her artist name from her birth name, Suriyatim.

Suriya was brought up in Næstved as the daughter of a Danish farther and Malaysian mother. Together with her little sister Saseline she formed S.O.A.P in 1997 with Remee as the songwriter and producer. They had their big break on hit lists and radio stations with Stand By You and This Is How We Party from the debut album Not Like other Girls (1998) and S.O.A.P. Is In The Air from the follow up album Miracle (2000). S.O.A.P was one of Denmark’s biggest ever music exports with Top 10 hits in Sweden, Norway, France and Australia and they toured as the warm up act for the American group Backstreet Boys and the Australian group Savage Garden. 

In 2002 her and Saseline went their own ways and whilst her little sister became a TV-presenter, Suriya took a break from being in the spotlight. She trained as a tattooist and learnt to write and produce music. Her first solo single was My Desire from 2008, which was followed up by Louis Bagin 2011.

Suriya wrote the Grand Prix song Forever I B Young with her ex Husband Thomas Hoffmann, who is a rapper and is himself on the way with the single Postboned, and Jacob Winge who has had hits with dance music and today produces and remixes songs in the electronic genre dubstep.

“Suirya is brilliant at both rapping and singing, and we are taking her sound and combining it with dubstep, which is a genre that is on its way up from the underground to the mainstream”, explains Jakob Winge who is looking forward to continuing his cooperation with Suriya.  

“We hope that many people will think that it is cool. But there are probably also some that won’t like it when they hear Forever I B Young. It is either or – there is no in-between”, says Suriya. 

Song 8 - Universe

Artist: Karen Viuff

Music & Lyrics: Lise Cabble, Boe Larsen & Simon Borch

It was on YouTube that the writers behind Universe first noticed Karen Viuff and her duo Karen & Oliver. Now the just 17-year-old music talent will for the first time stand alone on the big stage at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix

“I am not used to there being a spotlight on me and there are many expectations for me both from the songwriters and from my parents, so it will be exciting to see if I can live up to them. But I am willing to take up the challenge and do my best”, she says.

Karen, who was brought up on a farm north of Århus and calls herself a “proper country girl”, has been singing since she was five to six years old. At Mellerup school she studied music full time and started her duo with her friend Oliver who she now goes to high school with.  Karen & Oliver have amongst other things played their acoustic jazz-pop at Vibstock Festival in Viborg, at Skanseparken in Århus, Konsekvens Festival and the music café Von Hatten in Randers.

“I am really passionate about music so Melodi Grand Prix is a huge opportunity to be heard and try something new. I think that Grand Prix is really huge. I have been watching since I was really small and sat and watched it together with my parents”, says Karen Viuff.

Lise Cabble has sent in no less than 11 songs to Dansk Melodi Grand Prix and has taken part for nine years. In 1995 she and Mette Mathiesen wrote the winning song Fra Mols til Skagen which achieved a respectable fifth place at the Eurovision Song Contest. Her latest song New Tomorrowdid the same, which she wrote with Jakob Glæsner last year. The song was performed by the band A Friend In London.

“It was fantastic to experience the huge show in Düsseldorf last year and we were really pleased with the fifth place”, tells Lise, who first became noticed on the Danish music scene in the band Miss B. Haven. In addition to her many Grand Prix songs, Lise has sent a large number of songs to Danish artists. Most recently she has collaborated on Sanne Salomonsen’s new album and worked together with A Friend in London in connection with their new album.

Boe Larsen qualified as a pianist at Vestjysk Musikkonservatorium in Esbjerg and works as a producer and songwriter at his recording studio MillFactory in Copenhagen. He has produced and mixed for amongst others Hanne Boel, Søren Sko, Søs Fenger and Winnie Who and wrote songs for amongst others Sanne Salomonsen and Celina Ree. Boe Larsen took part in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2007 where together with Mads Haugaard, he wrote the song Fly which was performed by Annika Askman.

Simon Borck has no previous experience in the Melodi Grand Prix context. However, he has sent in songs to amongst others Martin from X Factor, Infernal, Sko & Torp and A Friend In London. Moreover Simon Borch works as a film editor and was responsible for the editing of Søren Fauli’s DR series Deroute.

Song 9 - Should've Known Better

Artist: Soluna Samay

Music & Lyrics: Remee, Chief 1 & Isam B

Soluna Samay’s story belongs in a more special category. Her parents are from Switzerland and Germany but Soluna spent her childhood in Guatemala and her youth on Bornholm. She has however estimated that she has lived a third of her live on the world’s roads in her parents’ campervan. Every summer the family travelled away from home – first from Guatemala and later from Bornholm – In order to play in small and large towns all over the world. 

And Soluna is not late in contributing with her own musicality. She learnt to play both the base guitar and drums and she was not more than five years old when she for the first time sat behind a drum kit and beat life into Hank Williams’ Jambalaya. Then it is maybe not so weird that Soluna today describes herself as a genuine street musician. Also, if you are lucky, you can experience her at Amagertorv in Copenhagen, where she often plays.

In 2010, the 21-year-old Soluna exchanged the country roads for the study of music for a while. It resulted in that she in the autumn of 2011 released her first album Sing Out Loud, where amongst others the song Two Seconds Ago was played on radio P4 a lot. The song gave her a place in radio P3s Carrier Hall of Fame. 

“Since I was 5 years old I have played on the streets of the world. Now I am really looking forward to standing on the big stage and singing into the living rooms of Denmark”, says Soluna.

With Remee, Chief 1 and Isam B, a few very experienced composers are making a visit to Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Remee has written and co-produced more than 60 hits all over the world and sold over 25 million albums. In addition to an especially varied carrier in Denmark, Remee has written and produced for and worked with artists like Robyn, Blue, Private, Kashmir and many more. Moreover, he has delivered hits to the sound tracks of a wealth of American blockbuster films, including Ice Age 2, Bridget Jones Diary 2, Ratatouille and Madagascar. It was also Remee that wrote and coproduced Hvor små vi er in aid of the victims of the tsunami in 2004. The single went platinum 13 times and raised over 3 million kroner for the victims of the natural catastrophe. In addition, Danes know Remee from X Factor where he sat behind the judges’ table for three seasons from 2008 to 2010. In the first edition of the TV show, he led the then 15-year-old Martin to victory.

Chief 1 is first and foremost known from Denmark’s first rap group, Rockers by Choice, but as a producer and songwriter he has sold over 1 million albums in Denmark and has worked together with names such as Kim Larsen, Outlandish, Niklas, Christina Groth and Ace of Bace. Chief one has participated in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix two times before and has each time given the competition a twist – first with the song Stemmen I mit liv performed by Kølig Kaj who won in 1997. He therefore became the competition’s first ever rapper in Denmark, which led to a number of hate mails from Grand Prix fans who didn’t want change. In 2008 he composed the song La’ mig være – a mixture of pop, punk and rock that was performed by the Faroese band The Dreams who later on went on to have huge success. They were at number 1 in the charts for 6 weeks on DR’s Boogie list, toured in Germany and other countries and are now working with Linkin Park’s manager.

Many will know Isam B as a third of the rap-group Outlandish. A group with loads of hits like Look Into My Eyes, I Only Ask of God, Aicha and Guantanamo, which all received a lot of attention in Europe. Some believe that Outlandish has created new standards for what can be blended together. Their albums contain a nice mix of hip pop, pop, rap, samples and choirs. As a whole the mixture of genres has been a trademark for Isam B. In 2004, Outlandish made a successful interpretation of the old song Man binder os på mund og hånd and in 2007 Isam B made the solo album Institution which amongst other things contained his lovely interpretation of H.C. Andersen’s I Danmark er jeg født.

“It is a fun and different experience to provide Melodi Grand Prix with something new and fresh. Being especially invited means you can do what you want. With this song we are trying to move Melodi Grand Prix to new heights with a big and beautiful pop song and a different show. The song we have written is definitely not typical of DMGP, it is just a cool song that touches something deep inside us”, says Chief 1, who met Remee for the first time in 1992 when Remee took part in the competition to become the year’s rapper. Chief 1 was a judge at the competition and was quick to invite the talented Remee to join the band Sound of Seduction who later went on to release three albums and amongst other things had a huge hit with the song Welcome To My World before they split up in 1996. It is the first time since Sound of Seduction that Remee and Chief 1 have worked together.

Song 10 - Venter

Artist: Christian Brøns & Patrik Isaksson

Music & Lyrics: Christian Brøns, Patrik Isaksson & Rune Braager

Christian Brøns and Patrik Isaksson first met each other over ten years ago when they recorded the song Tilbage hvor vi var. The duet was a huge hit in Denmark and went straight in as “the week’s unavoidable song” on radio P3. Now the two Nordic singer-songwriters are ready to partner up again - both as songwriters and on stage at the Gigantium Arena, with the love song, Venter.

Already as a teenager Christian Brøns wanted have something to have something to do with music, and when he learnt to play the guitar and founded the rock band OCTAN at Helsinge High School, things seriously started to move. The band gave various concerts at schools in northern Sjælland and toured at after-ski events in Val Thorens. In 2001 he had a breakthrough on the Danish music scene with his debut album Du kan gøre hvad du vil, which contained the duet with Patrik Isaksson. The album sold more than 100,000 copies and Christian received the P3 award for the year’s Danish hit as well as two Danish Music Awards for “the year’s new name” and “the year’s best pop album”. Ever since his debut Christian has toured all over Denmark, releasing a further three albums: Velkommen til begyndelsen (2002), Turist (2006) and more recently, Det løser sig (2010). And now a new album is on its way, which is to be released at the end of January.

Swede, Patrik Isaksson is known in Denmark especially for the duet Tilbage hvor vi var, which he recorded with Christians Brøns as well as his own hit single Aldrig mer. But his musical career goes way beyond that. Patrik Isaksson released his debut album in 1999 entitled När verkligheten tränger sig på, and he has since released a further five albums: Tilbaks på ruta 1 (2001), Vi som aldrig landat (2004), Patrik Isaksson (2006), En snäll mans bekännelser (2008) and most recently No. 6 (2011). Patrik Isaksson is not completely unused to Melodi Grand Prix. He has twice taken part in the Swedish edition of the competition – Melodifestivalen – in 2006 with the song Faller du så faller jag, which came third at the semi-final stage. In 2008 he took part with Under mitt tunna skinn, which achieved fifth place.

“It will be a huge experience to be part of this big show. It’s been years since Patrik and I last created something together, but it has been a pleasure to write with both him and Rune Braager. We are really looking forward to performing the song. It’s going to be a party and we are after the tickets to Azerbaijan”, says Christian Brøns.

Christian and Patrik have written Venter together with Rune Braager. Rune is an experienced songwriter/producer with hundreds of rock and pop songs under his belt. Recently he has worked with Sanne Solomonsen on her new album, Tiden Brænder