lördag 27 november 2010

Danny Saucedo loves to dance and to do Melodifestivalen on his own

Danny has temporary left his friends in E.M.D to go solo in Melodifestivalen 2011. In 2006 he participated in Swedish Idol and was appointed the “7th sexiest man in Sweden”. 2007 he did success together with his Idol-friends in the group E.M.D with a cover of ”All for Love”. 2008 he represented Sweden in Eurovision Dance Contest and the same year he ended four in Swedish “Let’s Dance”. He has been number one on the top charts in Russia, Japan and Poland with the song ”If Only You". In 2009 E.M.D became third in Melodifestivalen with ”Baby Goodbye”. This is the short biography version of Daniel Gabriel Alessandro Saucedo Grzechowski. It’s indeed an impressive record for a guy who is only 24 years.

Du kan hitta en denna artikel på svenska på Poplight 

Danny, you participate in the first semi final. How does it feel?
- It feels great. I’m excited. Many new faces and some old ones. I just want to get started now.

How come that you decided to participate in Melodifestivalen again?
- I always wanted to do it by myself. Last time was two years ago with my group E.M.D and we ended up third in the final. E.M.D works fine nowadays and we are a well known group in Sweden. I want to know if I can do Melodifestivalen on my own and if it works as good as with E.M.D.

So E.M.D still alive?
- More alive than ever. We are releasing a new album on the 3rd of December. We are also doing the official movie theme song for ”Narnia”, which has its premiere during Christmas. And after Melodifestivalen we will be touring so it’s a busy schedule.

Tell us something about your song?
- It’s called “In the Club” and by the name people may guess that it’s a club-song. It’s a R’n’B dance-pop song. I want people to dance to it. It’s like a club-anthem.

Is it a typical song for you?
- It will be. It’s a bit of a new style. I have added some urban beats and vibes. My soul stuff have always been a kind of a European dance style and now I’m taking on some urban stuff. I have always been listening to R’n’B and hip-hop and now I have started to collaborate with hip-hop producers to create a new picture which is a combination of my style and theirs.

If you present yourself to our readers – what do you want to tell them?
- I’m a Swedish blonde dude. My mother is from Bolivia and my father from Poland but as you see I look very Swedish. I sing and dance. I love to dance – that’s the best thing to do on this planet! If I didn’t have a voice I would probably be a dancer. I love when people get together, dance and have fun and I believe that this feeling can be heard in my music as well.

What is your relationship to Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest?
- I have done Melodifestivalen once before in 2009 and every year I’m watching the show and enjoying the music. I like to get a glimpse of the participating countries and their songs. It very good the watch Eurovision because you get an idea of what is happening on the music scene in the European countries.

Thanks a lot Danny and good luck in Melodifestivalen and your coming E.M.D projects.

E.M.D is equal to Erik Segerstedt, Mattias Andréasson and Danny Saucedo.
Their new album is called “Rewind”.

onsdag 24 november 2010

Interview with Melodifestivalen artist Pernilla Andersson

Pernilla Andersson is competing in the first semifinal with her own composition “Desperados”. It's her first attempt in Melodifestivalen but that doesn’t mean she is a newcomer in the music-business. She is a singer, pianist, guitarist and composer. Since 1999 she has released seven albums of which the latest one Ö (= Island) came out this autumn.
Pernilla Andersson tävlar i semifinal 1 med sin egen låt ”Desperados”. Det är Pernillas debut i Melodifestivalsammanhang men hon är ingalunda någon nykomling i musikbranschen. Sedan 1999 har hon utkommit med sju album, varav den senast, med titeln ”Ö”, utkom nu i höst. Förutom kompositör och sångerska kan hon också lägga till pianist och gitarrist på sitt visitkort.

You are an experienced musician but a debutant in Melodifestivalen. How does it feel?
- It’s a bit mind-blowing and I'm still trying to get it into my head but I think it will be a great experience. 
Du är en mycket erfaren musiker men debutant I Melodifestivalssammanhang – hur känns det?
- Jag har fortfarande inte riktigt greppat det och försöker få det in i mitt huvud. Men jag är övertygad om att det kommer att bli en fantastisk upplevelse och erfarenhet.

How come that you decided to participate in Melodifestivalen?
- This year my latest album went very well on the Swedish charts and I did a big tour around Sweden, which was sold out. When this opportunity came up I thought it might be a good possibility to play one of my songs for an audience of three million people. My entry “Desperados” was supposed to be on my album but I didn’t have time to finalize it time. The song ended up being a really good one and with Melodifestivalen I found the purpose for it. In many ways it's a perfect timing for me to take part in the contest.
Hur kom det sig att du bestämde dig för att delta i Melodifestivalen?
- Mitt senaste album har gått väldigt bra på de svenska topplistorna plus att jag har turnerat för utsåld hus runtom i Sverige. När denhär möjligheten dök upp så tänkte jag att det är en enorm chans att låta tre miljoner människor får höra en av mina låtar. ”Desperados” var tänkt att ingå i mitt senaste album men jag hann inte få den klar i tid. När den väl blev klar så var det en toppenlåt men utan en given plats. Med Melodifestivalen fick den ett sammanhang och ett syfte. Det är bra timing helt enkelt att vara med i tävlingen just nu.

What kind of song is “Desperados”?
- I call is “spaghetti-western”. It’s a kind of singer-songwriter, pop-style song with some country elements, as well as guitars with tremulous and string arrangements which associate to a Clint Eastwood movie. If I may say it myself - it’s a good pop-song and I’m very proud of it!
Vilken slags låt är “Desperados”?
Jag kallar stilen för ‘spagetti-western”. Det är en singer-songwriter poplåt med lite country influenser, gitarrtremolos och stråkarrangemang med association till en Clint Eastwood film. En bra låt som jag är väldigt stolt över.

Can you tell us something about your background?
- My parents are jazz musicians so I grew up with music. At the age of 15 I started to support myself by touring with various artists as piano player. I have released seven albums in Sweden and now I mainly tour with my own band. I also write music for other artists.
Berätta lite om din bakgrund?
- Mina föräldrar är jazzmusiker så jag har växt upp med musik. Från 15 år har jag försörjt mig själv i och med att jag började turnera som pianist med olika artister. Jag har gett ut 7 album i Sverige och nuförtiden turnerar jag mest med mitt eget band. Jag skriver också musik till andra.

 Have your music been released abroad?
- I have been working both in Belgium and The Netherlands as a songwriter. One of my songs sold gold in Belgium with a singer called Eva de Roovere. It gives the music another dimension when you write for others and it’s something I like very much.
Hur är det med din karriär utanför Sverige?
- Jag har arbetat i Belgien och Holland som låtskrivare. En av mina låtar har salt guld I Belgien med en artist som heter Eva de Roovere. Musiken får en annan dimension när man skriver för andra.

What is your relationship to Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest?
- I do not have a very strong relationship but I remember when ABBA won. ‘Remember’ is maybe not the correct expression as I was too little by that time but it influenced me as I’m a huge ABBA-fan. I also have a great memory from 1983 when Carola won Melodifestivalen with “Främling”. The last couple of years I have been following the contest as I have friends who have participated, like Salem Al Fakir last year. I loved his song and he is a great artist. I’m so convinced that he would have won the whole contest. So in other words – I do not have a very close relationship – but I’m getting one now!
Vilken relation har du till Melodifestivalen och Eurovision Song Contest?
- Jag kan inte påstå att jag har en jättestark relation men jag minns när ABBA vann. ’Minns’ kanske är fel ord eftersom jag var för liten men det påverkade mig ändå eftersom jag är en stort ABBA-fan. Jag minns också när Carola vann med ”Främling”. De senaste åren har jag följt tävlingen eftersom jag haft vänner som deltagit. Till exempel Salem Al Fakir som jag tycker borde ha vunnit hela tävlingen. En fantastisk låt med en fantastisk artist. Med andra ord har jag inte haft en nära relation till tävlingen men jag kommer att få det nu!

We wish you the best of luck in semi-final 1.
Learn more about Pernilla: www.pernillaandersson.com

måndag 22 november 2010

Melodifestivalen 2011 - a mix of artists and genres

 Today I attended the press conference where SVT presented the artists in semi final 1 and 2. Without having a clue about the songs (they are not allowed to be played until the event kicks off in February) it seems to be a cocktail of known, unknown, young and older artists, English and Swedish language and a dictionary in music genres. Very often the participation is connected to an album release. Melodifestivalen is the best PR you can get for your new album.

Christer Björkman, the producer of Melodifestivalen, said he was happy with the mix. He looked a bit tired - maybe it was because of spending the last week in Minsk with Junior Eurovision Song Contest. And if you heard that Sweden will arrange the contest next year it is only a rumour without any essence.   

I had the possibility to interview some of the participants. Among them was Elisabeth Andreassen who is very close to a world record in this context. Her CV includes five times Melodifestivalen, five times Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix and four times in Eurovision where she won 1985 with Bobbysocks and "La de swinge".

 Another wellknown artist in Sanna Nielsen. She celebrates 15 years as an artist and this is her sixth attempt in Melodifestivalen. Keep in mind that Sanna is only 26 years so Elisabeth Andreassen might lose her record one day to Sanna.

All the interview will be published here but already on Wednesday you can listen to Sanna and Elisabeth on www.radiointernational.com or www.oikotimes.tv.

Here are the entries in alphabetic order - the running order has not yet been decided. Next Monday the semi final 3 and 4 will be presented.

Semi final 1, Luleå, 5th March 2011

 Pernilla Andersson: "Desperados"
Danny: "In the Club" 
Swingfly: "Me And My Drum"
Le Kid: "Oh My God"
Jonas Matsson: "On My Own"
Rasmus Viberg: "Social Butterfly"
Jenny Silver: "Something In Your Eyes"
Dilba: "Try Again"

Semi final 2, Gothenburg, 12 March 2011:

Anniela: "Elektrisk"
Babsan: "Ge mig en spanjor"
Sanna Nielsen: "I'm In Love"
Christian Walz: "Like Suicide"
Loreen: "My Heart Is Refusing Me"
The Moniker: "Oh My God!"
Brolle: "Seven Days And Seven Night"
Elisabeth Andreassen: "Vaken i en dröm"

Photos: Lilian

söndag 21 november 2010

Eurovision news from Armenia and Azerbaijan

Armenian Vladimir Arzumanyan won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk on Saturday night. 14 countries participated. Sweden's Josefine Ridel came 11th. The contest is suffering from little interest among the European countries and this might be the "last breath". It seems very unsure if Armenia will arrange a follow up for next year. The status must improve in order to reach something similar to ESC. 14 participating countries out of a potential of 40-something makes the contest too weak. Personally I have to say that there is not much of an interest from my side in this contest. That goes for all kinds of children related contests. Let them grow up first!

Here is the final results:
1. Armenia - Vladimir Arzumanyan - Mama - 120 points
2. Russia - Liza Drozd & Sasha Lazin - Boy And Girl - 119 points
3. Serbia - Sonja Skoric - Carobna Noc / Magical Night - 113 points
4. Georgia - Mariam Kakhelishvili - Mari Dari - 109 points
5. Belarus - Daniil Kozlov - Muzyki Svet - 85 points
6. Lithuania - Bartas - Oki-doki - 67 points
7. Belgium - Jill & Lauren - Get Up! - 61 points
8. Moldova - Stefan Roscovan - Ali Baba - 54 points
9. The Netherlands - Anna & Senna - My Family - 52 points
10. Latvia - Sarlote & Sea Stones - Viva La Dance - 51 points
11.Sweden - Josefine Ridell - Allt Jag Vill Ha - 48 points
12. FYR Macedonia - Anja Veterova - Eooo, Eooo - 38 points
13. Malta - Nicole - Knock Knock!….Boom! Boom! - 35 points
14. Ukraine - Yuliya Gurska - Mii Litak - 28 points

Since Azerbaijan made their debut in Eurovision Song Contest 2008 they have been rather successful. 8th, 3rd and 5th in the final. That is not a bad result during yhree years. Now Azerbaijan kicked of their national contest in order to find the candidate for Düsseldorf. They aim is to win. The concept this year is to find a winning song via seven semi finals. I assume that the Swedish impact from 2009 and 2010 will be reduced dramatically.
In the first semi-final Chingiz Mustafayev became the winner and he will compeate with in the final on the 31 December.

Source & photos: EBU, www.junioreurovision.tv, www.oikotimes.com

onsdag 17 november 2010

Latest news about Melodifestivalen 2011

The first semi-final in Melodifestivalen kicks off at 5th of February. The hype has already been going on for a while. Swedish TV wants to keep up the interest and focus during the whole year, if possible.

Today's announcement was about the hosts. Marie Serneholt and Rickard Olsson are the duo who will guide you during sex weeks. It's a kind a family affair for Marie as her partner Måns Zelmerlöw was one of the hosts last year. Marie participated in the contest 2009 with a song called "Disconnet me" which didn't qualify for the final. She started her career in the teenager ABBA-cover-band A-TEENS. During 2010 she had one of the main roles in the musical Grease. Rickard Olsson is a well known media person and in 2003 he hosted the second chance round in Melodifestivalen.

The rumour of today is that Eric "Manboy" Saade, the showering boy from last year, will participate also this year. This is not yet confirmed by SVT but I suppose it will be soon.

The final starting field will be presented during press confereces during the two next coming Mondays.

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place this weekend in Minsk, Belarus. Sweden is back in the contest and is represented by Josefine Ridell. In total 14 countries take part:
Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine.

Source/photos: SVT, Oikotimes, Poplight, Lilian

söndag 14 november 2010

Elin Bloms IDOL-saga tog slut i fredags

De som har lite koll på IDOL har säkert nåtts av informationen om finlandssvenska Elin åkte ut ur tävlingen i fredags. Det hjälpte inte att hon hade ett stort stöd från Terjärvbor som tagit sig till Luleå för hennes skull. Mer info om resultat och sypunkter hittar ni på Poplight.

Det kan alltid diskuteras om det var rätt eller fel artister som gick vidare. Personligen låter jag bli att tycka något eftersom jag inte har lyssnat tillräckligt på de medverkande. Däremot kan man fundera över vem som röstar. Genom åren har killarna haft en bättre position som torde grunda sig på att unga tjejer är en ytterst aktiv röstningsgrupp. Är killen dessutom söt så spelar sånginsatsen mindre roll.

Om det nu kan vara någon tröst för Elin så är det ingen fördel att vinna tävlingen. Tvärtom är det artisterna som åkt ut som gjort störst succé. Amanda Jensen, Darin, Måns Zelmerlöw, Ola Svensson, Danny Saucedo med flera. Det är knappt man kommer ihåg vinnarnamn som Daniel Lindström, Marie Picasso, Markus Fagervall och Kevin Borg.

Foto: TV4, Poplight

Helena Paparizou - big in Greece

Since Helena Paparizou won Eurovision Song Contest 2005 she has mainly focused on her career in Greece and it has been very successful. Her latest award is platinum for the album "Giro Apo To Oneiro" released 2010. Today Helena is one of the absolute top-artists in Greece.
Sedan Helena Paparizou vann Eurovision Song Contest 2005 har hon i första hand satsat på en karriär i Grekland. Framgångarna har inte uteblivit. Den senaste utmärkelsen kom förra veckan när hon tilldelades platinum för sitt album "Giro Apo To Oneiro" från 2010. Det är bara att konstatera att Helena Paparizou tillhör toppskiket bland de grekiska artisterna.  

"Giro Apo To Oneiro" (= Around the dreams) is Paparizou's forth studio album in Greek. Her previous album from 2008 "Vrisko To Logo Na Zo" was also a success and sold platinum. Unfortunately none of them has been released in Sweden. The plan was to make an English version of "Vrisko To Logo Na Zo" but the sudden death of her father changed her focus. 
CD albumet "Giro Apo To Oneiro" (= Around the dreams) är Paparizou's fjärde studioalbum på grekiska. Även hennes förra album från 2008 "Vrisko To Logo Na Zo" har sålt platinum. Tanken var att detta album skulle utkomma i en engelsk version men så har inte skett och orsaken sägs hennes faders bortgång. Båda albumen har delvis spelats in i Sverige. 

Source/photos: www.oikotimes.com, MAD TV

tisdag 9 november 2010

Melodifestivalen 2011: Web wild card winners and comments by Christer Björkman

The web wild cards for Melodifestivalen 2011 was selected on Monday night. "Better or Worse" with Julia Alvgard and "On my Own" with Jonas Matsson were the lucky winners.
Melodifestivalens webbjokrar utsågs i måndags och de två lyckliga vinnarna blev Julia Alvgard med "Better or Worse" och Jonas Matsson med "On my Own". 

It was the second year for the web selection and this year it was live broadcasted. After the show I got a few words with the producer Christer Björkman and according to him SVT will continue to develop the concept.
Det var andra året i rad som tävlingen ordnades och denna gång blev det också ett direktsänt TV-program. Jag fick några kommentarer från Christer Björkman och han siar om att konceptet ska fortsätta växa och utvecklas.

Christer - what do you think about the results?
- The audience made an excellent choice. Both songs are very good.

How do you find the selection this year compared to last year?
-  Big difference. First of all we had a many more voters, over 800.000. Secondly the quality of the songs was higher.

Will you continue with the concept next year?
- The process with the wild card selection is a concept that we will continue to improve. We want to create a platform for new artists and give them a possibility to be seen and heard and hopefully they get a contact with producers and record labels. Tonight I have seen that many publishers and record companies are present. Obviously the expectations are high and I really hope that all five get a contract in one way or another.

What chances do you think the songs have in Melodifestivalen?
- I think they may work really well.

The overall standard and performances were acceptable. The TV-production was a budget version compared to Melodifestivalen but despite that I think SVT made a good decision when they decided to broadcast the show. According to Christer Björkman it was a possibility to test the artists and see how they act on stage.
Överlag var programmet helt acceptabelt även om det var en budgetproduktion. Jag tycker det var helt rätt av SVT att sända live och enligt Christer Björkman var det också ett bra tillfälle att se hur artisterna agerar på scen. 

Photos: www.poplight.se, Lilian, SVT

söndag 7 november 2010

Elisabeth Andreassen confirmed for Melodifestivalen

Swedish-Norwegian Elisabeth Andreassen is a well established 'grande dame' in connection with Eurovision and schlager. Elisabeth has participated several times in Melodifestivalen and the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix. Now it's time again as she in confirmed for Melodifestivalen 2011, according to the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

1985 she won the Eurovision Song Contest together with Hanne Krogh for Norway. They worked together as the duo Bobbysocks and their song "La de swinge" has become a classic tune in its genre.

Last time Elisabeth participated in Melodifestivalen was 2002 together with Lotta Engberg and Kikki Danielsson, They ended third with their song "Vem é dé du vill ha?".

Up til now 15 artists are now confirmed for Melodifestivalen and on Monday night we will have two more from the web wild card competition. I will be there to report for Oikotimes and Poplight and of course you can also read a review here on my blog.

 Source/photos: Expressen, NRK, SVT, www.bettan.no

lördag 6 november 2010

Idol and Melodifestivalen - Sweden is busy with sms-votings

It's a busy time for music lovers. Besides interesting concerts every week (tonight Friday I have missed Gotan Project) we can follow several competitions on TV and the web. Friday is the Swedish Idol and I have to admit that I haven't been too keen on following it until now. From innumerable artists the contest is down to seven with decent quality.

För mer information om IDOL på svenska - kolla in POPLIGHT

Same goes for the Melodifestivalen web wild card. From several hundreds of song down to five. The final will be held on Monday night at the show-restaurant Golden Hits.

As originating from Finland I'm happy that Elin Blom is still on for one more week in the Idols. After all - she is from my homevillage.

I'm sorry for Geir Rönning who was voted out from Idol. Despite his Norwegian backround he lives in Finland with his family and I met him for the first time at the Eurovision in Kiev 2005. Unfortunately he didn't make it "throuh the grapevine". He did a fab performance of the Marvin Gaye classic ("I heard it through the grapevine") but the sms-people didn't like it.

Back to Melodifestivalen - here are the five songs that qualified for the final on Monday (in starting order):

1. Tusen nätter                
Composer: Daniel Wollbratt
Artist: Billy         

2. Better or Worse             
Composers: Manne Hjelm, Ola Holstad, Joar Lenz
Artist: Julia Alvgard

3. I Wanna Be With You   
Composers: Dennis Andersson & Anton Dahlrot
Artist: Anton & Dejo

4. Don´t Stop                  
Composer: Sargon Jakob
Artist: Engla

5. On My Own                    
Composers: Peter Autio, Sari Autio Olsson
Artist: Jonas Matsson

Listen to them HERE.
PS: On Saturdays Swedes can continue to sms-vote in DANSBANSKAMPEN!

Source: SVT, TV4

onsdag 3 november 2010

Webbjokertävlingen närmar sig slutet

Folkets röst gör sig hörd i Melodifestivalen och i år kommer två bidrag att representeras av en icke etablerad artist. Just nu pågår slutspurten och på fredag finns fem låtar kvar av ursprungliga 424. På måndag ska dessa fem tävla i direktsänt program från Golden Hits.

Är du intresserad av att följa jokrarnas tankar och funderingar så bloggar de nu på http://www.poplight.se/.

tisdag 2 november 2010

Joan Armatrading and Stockholm in autumn-dress

Rock, pop, fusion, blues, jazz, singer-song-writer. All these genres are combined in one and that is Joan Armatrading. Great concert yesterday at Debaser in Stockholm. She is the singer, guitar player and composer who never recorded any covers, despite she started her career already 1972.

Rock, pop, fusion, blues, jazz, singer-song-writer. Alla dessa genres förenas i Joan Armatrading. Jättebra konsert igår på Debaser i Stockholm. Hon är sångerskan, gitarristen och kompositören som aldrig spelat in en cover trots att hon började sin karriär 1972.

Joan's latest album was released earlier this year.
Joans senaste CD kom ut tidigare i år. 



Heavy rain and wind is on its way but just a few days ago Stockholm was a beauty in a colorful, shiny autumn-dress. 
Kraftigt regn och hård vind är på väg in över stan men för endast några dagar sedan var Stockholm en färgstark, solig skönhet i höstdräkt.

Even the mannequins enjoyed the nice weather, meanwhile me and my New York friends visited the Zorn exhibition at Waldemarsudde. 
Till och med skyltdockorna hos Stockholms Stadsmission verkade njuta av det fina vädret medan jag och mina New York vänner besökte Zorn-utställningen på Waldemarsudde.

Photos: http://www.joanarmatrading.com/, Lilian