Tomorrow is a big, big day: SVT will start revealing the artists that will take part in Melodifestivalen 2015. But you already know that, because 24/11 and 25/11 are surely marked in your calendar (preferably with a glitter pen), aren’t they?
As excitement rises, the Swedish tabloids are all spreading rumors about the big stars / new bands / “X-factor” and “The Voice” participants who are expected to take a part is Sweden’s greatest music party this year. Tomorrow, however, there will be no place for rumors as SVT will make its secret list public. All of us will be screaming with joy when the names of our favorite past artists are read out loud. So much so that we might forget that this list includes some relatively anonymous artists, who don’t seem so worthy of attention as when they have a (say) Carola-comeback to rival with.
But don’t you under-estimate these “nobodies”! Though seemingly uninteresting at first, these acts can turn out to be your favorites through Melodifestivalen season. How do we know? Because it has happened before! So in order to refresh your memory, here’s a list of artists that nobody knew when they first entered the fascinating world of Melodifestivalen. We’ve only listed 8, but obviously there could be 80….
Last year on 15 February, we were all watching the third heat of Melodifestivalen, waiting eagerly for Shirley Clamp’s comeback performance. We weren’t expecting anything special from entry no.7. But then the air was filled with the catchy “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”, frantic choreography, and a girl wearing a crop top singing: “Don’t wanna work work work, I wanna make money while I sleep”. We googled her, only to find a few phrases saying she had a few singles in the past. They didn’t even mention her age, and for all we knew she was 16 or 17. One year later, after she placed second only 2 points behind Sanna Nielsen, we all know everything there is to know about Ace Wilder. We watch Ace-TV, we listen non-stop to her new single Riot and we pray she’ll try her luck again in Melodifestivalen again someday.
Sarah Dawn Finer
Seems like this super-talented singer / actress / comedian and presenter has been a part of Melodifestivalen for ages, but 7 years ago you didn’t even know her name. Though she sang backing vocals for many famous artists like Agnetha Fältskog and Martin Stenmarck, and even recorded some duets, she was quite anonymous in her early 20’s. But when she turned 25, it has all changed: her participation in Melodifestivalen 2007 with “I remember love” made her an instant favorite in the contest, and a well-known name in every Swedish household. Since 2007, Sarah has done so many great things: Participated in Melodifestivalen 2009, released 6 successful albums, become one of the best Melodifestivalen presenters ever, played in various movies and theater plays, gone on numerous tours, and occasionally turned into Lynda Woodruff just for our entertainment. What else can we say? If anyone of the debutantes of Melodifestivalen 2015 manage to achieve even half of that in 7 years, he’ll be the luckiest person ever!
Anton was some sort of a wonder child. Discovered at the age of 14, he has worked as a dancer and choreographer since then. Even though he participated at Melodifestivalen as a dancer for Danny Saucedo, Andreas Lundstedt and Velvet, he wasn’t really famous (unless you count the fans who had a crush on that unknown cute dancer at the back). His participation in Melodifestivalen 2013 with “Begging” brought him from the back of the stage to the very front, and into the center of everyone’s attention.
Many people, including Linda herself, were sad and disappointed when she didn’t make it to the final last year. But that doesn’t mean she needs to give up, because that was a small obstacle in a very long Melodifestivalen career. Linda has been with us since 2005, when she debuted in Melodifestivalen with Alla Flickor – a typical Linda Bengtzing song (we would only understand that later on) with its bouncy schlager beat and cute story-like lyrics about the girl who’s the only one who didn’t fall for the town’s Casanova. Many think that Linda became famous through the Swedish talent contest Fame Factory, but she actually took part in both shows roughly at the same time. Anyway, Melodifestivalen is where she chose to build her career, having participated in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2014! Many fans admit they’d love to see her keep coming back to Melodifestivalen every third year till the end of time.
The beautiful girls of Timoteij formed their band in 2008 when they were still schoolgirls and studied together at the music and production program in their high school. It was not until 2010 that they rose to fame by participating at Melodifestivalen with “Kom”. Next came “Stormande hav” in 2012, and everyone who’s a sucker for ethnic pop couldn’t help loving them to bits. Timoteij are only at the start of their Melodifestivalen career, but they already have numerous fans among the Melodifestival lovers. A comeback in the very close future would surely make many people very happy.
Just like Sarah Dawn Finer, Shirley Clamp started as a backing singer and even performed on the Eurovision stage when she sang vocals for Antique in 2001. In contrast to most artists on this list, Shirley didn’t have a sudden breakthrough. Her debut at Melodifestivalen 2003 wasn’t an instant success: her song “Mr. Memory” didn’t even make it to Andra Chansen. In 2004, however, her song “Min kärlek” won her the title of Queen of Melodifestivalen, and it’s in the top 10 Melodifestivalen songs for many fans till this very day. Shirley participated 6 times in Melodifestivalen, and the interesting thing about her is that even though she didn’t always make it to the final and sometimes even ended last (in 2009 with “Med hjärtat fyllt av ljus”), she manages to maintain her schlager-queen status and is adored by her many schlager-thirsty fans!
Kempe wasn’t exactly a nobody before Melodifestivalen: He was a promising young opera singer who took part in musicals like Chess and Les Misérables and even had a successful single on the Swedish charts – “Vincero” in 2002. We as Melodifestivalen addicts, however, knew nothing about him back then. And little did we know what an asset he would become for the Melodifestivalen world! Frederik tried to penetrate the Melodifestivalen market as a solo artist, in 2004 with “Finally”, a song he meant to be inspired by his favorite compositor Benny Andersson from ABBA. The song only reached the second chance, but it seems like Fredrik’s first trial was all about experimenting, because from then on he learned the secret formula and became the successor of Thomas G:son. Fredrik has actually won Melodifestivalen four times, with songs he wrote for Charlotte Perrelli, Eric Saade, Malena Ernman and Sanna Nielsen. We are not even going to try and count the total number of his Melodifestivalen creations, we’ll be exhausted when we finish!
This list ends with Loreen, who is probably the artist that should be more thankful to Melodifestivalen than anyone else. She was actually already famous back in 2004, after participating in the Swedish talent reality show “Idol” and was quite successful there, but disappeared from the music scene right after. In 2011, however, she decided to give her solo music career a second chance, and participated in Melodifestivalen with “My heart is refusing me,” which made an impact that prepared the way for Euphoria to become one of the biggest success stories of Melodifestivalen and Eurovision ever!
Tomorrow is the day we find out about this year’s hopefuls. Are you excited about that? We’re crossing our fingers for some sensational names, but we’re also curious about the newbies!