Germany: Singers and songwriters gather for ‘Unser Lied’ songwriting camp


Late last month, the six finalists were confirmed for Unser Lied für Lissabon. Now the six singer singers are working with a selection of top songwriters to compose the six competing songs for Germany’s national final. And there are some familiar names among the invited writers.

In December, Xavier Darcy, Ivy Quainoo, Ryk, Michael Schulte, Natia Todua and voXXclub were confirmed as the six competing acts for Germany’s national selection. They don’t have songs yet, but by Friday they should be well on their way to choosing their entries.

From Wednesday to Friday, a three-day songwriting camp is being held in Berlin. The aim is for the gathered creatives to write a selection of songs for each of the competing artists. Many of the singers are also experienced songwriters and will be able to join in with the writing.

Fourteen songwriters have been invited to the camp and there are some names familiar to Eurovision fans.

Axel Ehnström is a Finnish songwriter, better known in Eurovision circles as Paradise Oskar. He represented his country at Eurovision 2011 with “Da Da Dam”, but has since established himself as a successful European songwriter.

Thomas Stengaard is a Danish songwriter with a Eurovision win to his name. He was one of the co-writers behind Emmelie de Forest’s “Only Teardrops” in 2013. He has also written for a number of high-profile German acts.

Ali Zuckowski is a German songwriter and is also a Eurovision winner. He was part of the team behind Conchita Wurst’s 2014 winner “Rise Like a Phoenix”. As a songwriter and producer, he has worked with leading Geman artists.

The camp also involves songwriters from both Germany and the rest of the world. The line-up includes American songwriter Billy Austin, Swiss songwriter Ricardo “Richy” Bettiol, Canadian songwriter Martin Gallop, Dutch songwriter Loren Nine Geerts. Also at the camp will be German songwriters Alex FreundNisse IngwersenNina MüllerJaro OmarRainer Rütsch and Joe Walter, as well as electro-pop duo Poems for Jamiro, producers and songwriters Josh & Janik (Quarterhead)

After the songs have been written for each act, they will be assessed based on how well they suit each singer and the potential for staging. Then each singer will end up with what is intended to be the best song for them, which will be their entry for the national final of Unser Lied für Lissabon on 22 February.

The 2018 system is a radical departure from Germany’s national final format in 2017. Last year all five finalists performed their version of only two songs. This format was criticised by fans, who felt that neither of the songs were good choices.

What do you think? Is the songwriting camp a good idea? What sort of song would you like to hear Germany present in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!