On Saturday, it became Denmark’s song for Eurovision 2018. But now it has emerged that “Higher Ground” was originally submitted to Sweden’s Melodifestivalen — and rejected!
Rasmussen “Higher Ground”
According to a message posted on YouTube by Joakim Jarny, “Higher Ground” was submitted to Melodifestivalen 2018 with up-and-coming singer Dennis Bengtsson on vocals. However, the track was passed over by the Swedes and the team behind the song decided to try their luck elsewhere.
They turned to neighbouring Denmark, and entered the song into Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Due to DMGP rules, the song needed to be performed by a Dane, so Dennis was dropped and replaced by Rasmussen.
Joakim doesn’t seem best pleased with the result, insisting that Dennis was a better fit for the Viking-style number. Nonetheless, he offers Rasmussen his “congratz”
The message accompanies an instrumental demo of the track. Apparently, another version was initially uploaded but was pulled due to legal issues.
Joakim concludes by saying that he hopes to see Dennis at next year’s Melfest. He says nothing on his hopes for “Higher Ground” at Eurovision.
The song was written by Niclas Arn and Karl Eurén. Joakim Jarny appears to be part of Dennis Bengtsson’s management team.
Joakim Jarny statement on “Higher Ground”
Sorry guy´s . Had to remove the song.There was some angry people who threatened me with a high level of compensation. All i wanted was show you you how great Dennis is as a singer.
I came to the producers with the arrangement with Dennis as the Viking. How we could build it around him. They started to work with the backgrund and lyrics and after 2 weeks we did put Dennis in the Studio.
He had 1 hours to learn the lyrics and melody. Then Niclas and Karl made a quick recording. Sweden probably did not like it, but Denmark did.
We got this song for the new Swedish artist Dennis Bengtsson for Melodifesivalen 2018. Since Melodifestivalen said no thanks to the song, we did send it to the Danish Grand Prix. The song was admitted but unfortunately there had to be a Danish artist who performed the song. It became the Danish artist Rasmussen who performed the song. Yesterday the 10/2 did Rasmussen won Grand Prix in Denmark.
We are happy for that but i think that the song did fit Dennis a bit better. Congratz Denmark and Rasmussen.
But here you get the song with Dennis song. Just a demo though.
Keep an eye on next year, we hope Dennis will take a spot in the Melodifestivalen 2019.
Dennis Bengtsson “Higher Ground” (Demo)
Melodifestivalen is often considered the pinnacle of national finals. However, being rejected by the show’s organisers isn’t always necessarily a bad thing.
Back in 2010, Chanée & N’Evergreen famously won DMGP with “In A Moment Like This”, another Melfest reject. The song ultimately placed fourth at Eurovision while the actual Melodifestivalen winner “This Is My Life” failed to qualify.