Hello Eurovision fans. With each passing day the National Finals period is coming to end.
Tonight the fifth and last semi-finals of the Norwegian National Final MGP will take place.
On Monday, the twelfth and last finalist will be determined with the Wild Card.On February 20th, there will be a grand final in the Norwegian National Final.
Let’s briefly get to know Rein Alexander, one of the 4 candidates and one of the direct finalists before the last semi-finals of the MGP.
01)RIVER: «Coming Home»
RIVER is a pop/country band from Skien and consists of Thomas Heiland (29) and Lennart Karlsen (50) . Thomas and Lennart are in fact father-in-law and son-in-law, and together they are ready for the big MGP stage!
Both of them have long careers in music as artists, studio musicians and songwriters. For ten years, Thomas has been half of the Norwegian pop phenomenon Cir.Cuz and has worked with, among others, John De Son, Morgan Sulele, Katastrofe, Sandra Lyng, Jahn Teigen, Ole Evenrud and Carina Dahl.
Lennart has been a musician all his life and is a well-experienced instrumentalist in gospel, country and church music. He has made several albums, but also written for others. Gradually, he has also moved into the pop segment and has, in addition to the above-mentioned artists, also worked with Monika Nordli and Steinar Albrigtsen.
RIVER has collaborated with many artists such as Alexander Pavelic, Erik Smaaland, Kristoffer Tømmerbakke, Magnus Clausen, Tommy La Verdi and Vanessa Campagna. The latter is an artist and songwriter from Nashville with a number 1 hit on Billboard and an Academy Award.
You can listen to RIVER’s song “Coming Home” by clicking on the Spotify link below.
Lyrics and music: Thomas Heiland, Lennart Karlsen, Magnus Claussen, Simen Meland Handeland and Tommy La Vardi
02)TuVeia: «Bli med meg på gar’n»
TuVeia is a rap group consisting of Roar Galaaen Bredalslien (28), Kristian Galaaen Bredalslien (28) and Bendik Johnsen (25) who live in Dalsbygda in inland Norway – “five fields south of Norwegian ski athlete Therese Johaug” as they say to describe where they are from. The group released their first song, “TuVeia” in 2013. This is how they describe themself in writing (this is originally written in a unique dialect way, but impossible to translate):
“We like to compose and have our own poets’ association, and it was during a not very interesting class at school that we came up with the idea of making a song out of a poem we had written. That’s how it all started. We compose and sing in our own dialect, and mainly focus on humor in our songs”
“Bli med meg på gar’n” (Translates “join my at the farm”) by Tuveia is a firework in farmers overalls. It might be safe to say this fun and surreal MGP song is what you get get when you throw a traditional fiddle, three “farmers” who write hip-hop and an EDM producer in the stove and turn it on. Be ready for autotuned cow sounds, harmonica and a unique Norwegian dialect. TuVeia wants to give the farmers a voice with this song, and to show the world what is going on at a farm in Dalsbygda.
You can listen to TuVeia’s song “Bli med meg på gar’n” by clicking on the Spotify link below.
Lyrics and music: Kristian Galaaen Bredalslien, Roar Galaaen Bredalslien, Bendik Johnsen, Torgeir Ryssevik, Carl-Henrik Wahl, Jonas Holteberg Jensen, Sindre Timberlid Jenssen og Sarah A. V. Johnston
03)Ane.Fin: «Walking In My Sleep»
Ane Caroline Finstad (29) with the stage name Ane.Fin grew up in Horten but has lived in Oslo for more than ten years. After several years in a choir and as an event singer and songwriter, she found a new strength in communicating through her own music in her 20s. She began her career writing and publishing music in Norwegian, before resigning from a manager position, selling her apartment to finance her music and investing everything in attending the music school Limpi at Lillehammer.
By coming together with fellow students, mentors from all over the world and students mostly based in the USA, she gained self-confidence to express herself in English. Although Ane may be unknown to many, she has several releases behind her, most recently in the fall of 2020 with the song “Hurts”. For the past year, her focus has only been on songwriting and releases, such as the podcast “Ane.Fin & Folk”. Ane is passionate about mental health, and mental health in the music industry is the theme of the podcast.
Ane.Fin is one of many Norwegian artists who also have a past as a participant in MGPjr. In 2006, she participated with the song “Trodde det var deg”.
Ane wrote her MGP song together with a team that met each other at MGP’s songwriting camp last year. One of them is KIIM (Kim Rune Hagen) who himself participates as an artist in this year’s MGP.
You can listen to Ane.Fin”s song “Walking In My Sleep” by clicking on the Spotify link below.
Lyrics and music: Ane Caroline Finstad (Ane.Fin), Niklas Rosström, Espen Andreas Fjeld, Kim Rune Hagen and Vebjørn Jernberg
04)IMERIKA: «I Can’t Escape»
Songwriter and session vocalist Erika Dahlen (24) from Orkdal in Trøndelag participates in MGP for the first time, but she does so with quite the debut: She is a songwriter on two of this year’s songs, as songwriter for Kaja Rode with the song “Feel Again” who is directly qualified for the final and “I Can’t Escape” which she will perform herself in this semi-final.
Erika has a background from the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, also known as the Paul McCartney School. From there, it has been a little adventure. Erika has matured as an artist and songwriter, and in 2021 she will release more music under the stage name IMERIKA.
Erika Dahlen wants to shed light on difficult and taboo topics through her music, and “I Can’t Escape” is about the difficulty of moving on after a break-up and the struggles of finding a foothold in a new everyday life. Erika has written the song together with none other than Benjamin Stevens Adams, known from the British-Norwegian boy band A1 together with Christian Ingebrigtsen and Mark Read. Adams writes and produces for and with other artists in Norway, Great Britain and the USA.
You can listen to Imerika”s song “I Can’t Escape” by clicking on the Spotify link below.
Lyrics and music: Erika Dahlen (IMERIKA), Bjørn Olav Edvardsen, Morten Franck and Ben Adams
A reminder: This week’s pre-qualified artist showcasing:
Rein Alexander: «Eyes Wide Open»
Singing and music were central to Rein Alexander’s (49) upbringing. Already as a member of the choir “Sølvguttene”, singing took him around all of Norway and the world. Today he is a schooled and self-taught, experienced communicator and interpreter of many musical genres.
Norway, USA, Iceland, London, Italy and Sweden are places he has called home, both as a student and a professional. He has received awards at schools such as the Royal Academy of Music and The Reykjavik Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts. In 2003, the Norwegian people voted him to victory in the NRK show “Kjempesjansen”.
Rein Alexander has held a large number of concerts and tours for large audiences. He has also played roles such as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables”, Anatoly in “Chess”, Terje Vigen, Caston in “Beauty and the Beast”, Shere Kahn in “The Jungle Book”, Anton Fugger in “Which witch” and more.
In 2020, Rein participated in the semi-finals during MGP, where he took the Norwegian people by storm with the song “One last time”” and thus advanced to the grand final in Trondheim.
You can listen to Rein Alexander’s song “Eyes Wide Open” by clicking on the Spotify link below.
Melody: Rein Alexander Korshamn, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Kjetil Mørland
Who is your favorite in this semifinal? We will be glad if you share your comments with us:))