After a successful Eurovision campaign that saw Sanna Nielsen cruise into the Top 3, SVT already have 2015 in their sights and have announced the procedures for Melodifestivalen 2015. As we reported last week, producers have drawn their battle plan and are going big on girl power. Twenty percent of submissions in 2014 featured at least one female songwriter and there will be efforts to improve upon this in 2015 with a 50% target. We’re all about the ladies, but do you think producers should try to manipulate the gender balance?
We already know that Swedish women can write music. And it’s difficult to argue that they are in any way oppressed in liberal Sweden. Ace Wilder’s runner-up entry ‘Busy Doin’ Nothin’ boasted an all-female songwriting team and ladies also lent their talents to a number of other songs in this year’s #melfest including Helena Paparizou’s ‘Survivor’.
This fits into a broader diversity campaign. As a second part of his plans, Christer Bjorkman, Melodifestivalen 2015 executive producer, has emphasised the need for diversity in styles, genres and languages at the competition. There will also be two categories of competition. Undiscovered songwriters can put songs forward for a public competition while established songwriters can field entries for the regular competition.
A third change this year is that the winner of Sventskoppen Nasta – a competition organised by Swedish radio – will automatically qualify for a slot in one of 2015’s semifinals. Submissions will open from the 1st of September and close on the 16th September. No word yet on whether they’ll give women a boost here too…
So where do you stand on the gender divide? Should other countries follow Sweden’s lead?