He was a promising teenage footballer until a train accident left him with third degree burns on 70% of his body. Following that life-changing event, Axel Schylström turned to music and worked as a motivational speaker. He came to public attention in 2015 when he appeared on Idol, ultimately finishing in fourth place and putting out his first single “The Champion”.
Now he’s taking on a new challenge: Melodifestivalen 2017. Between last-minute rehearsals for his up tempo track “När ingen ser“, Axel caught up with wiwibloggs to talk about his song and what he does when no one is watching…
Axel Schylström: “När ingen ser” snippet
You were on Idol in 2015. What did that experience mean for you and your career?
A lot. If it weren’t for Idol, I would still have been sitting in my living room with my guitar for fun and doing something else. So I would say it started off my career and helped me get into the business.
You’re singing in Swedish. Does it make it more personal for you when you’re performing?
Exactly. I think lyrics are a big part of music, and I chose to write them in Swedish to make them more personal and real.
Do you think it’s harder for acts singing in Swedish at Melodifestivalen?
Well, looking at statistics it has been harder for Swedish acts lately. But this year I really don’t expect anything. Going to the finals would be a big dream, the Eurovision also, but Melodifestivalen is a chance for me to reach out to all of Sweden with my own song instead of Idol covers.
You’ve said your song is about what people do when no one’s watching. What do you get up to when nobody’s watching?
I would say I bring my ugliest dance moves and I try my highest notes singing. Also probably talking to myself with weird voices.
How does Melodifestivalen compare to Idol?
It’s something entirely else. Idol is a competition for amateurs looking to become artists. Melodifestivalen is for real artists, and I would say the whole thing is bigger, and it’s harder to impress.
Lastly, can you tell us something about how you will stage the song?
There will be dancers and I too will dance. That’s all I can say.
Axel performs fifth at Deltävling 4 of Melodifestivalen on Saturday night.