The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues our journey listening to and reviewing the acts who will be competing in the grand final of Melodifestivalen 2017. Next up is soulman Nano with his song “Hold On”. Did we maintain a firm grip? Read on to find out!

Nano – “Hold On”

Watch the performance on YouTube

About Nano

Melfest newcomer R&B singer Nano Omar overcame a tough childhood and discovered a love of music. Last year he released the autobiographical single “Perfect Melody”.

Wiwi Jury reviews “Hold On”:

Tobias: Wow! Moments like this is what I love about Melodifestivalen — when an unknown artist just blows you away and surprises the whole audience and also beats a former Eurovision winner (hello, Charlotte!). This song is not a what you typically would describe as a “Melodifestivalen song” and I think that’s why I like it so much. You don’t have to be a Melfest or Eurovision fan to enjoy listening to it and that’s why I think this song has a potential to do well. But is Melodifestivalen the right platform for Nano or is the song more of a radio hit? I really do believe that this can be the biggest surprise of this year and, yes, I see winner potential in this song.

Score: 9/10

Antranig: There are a lot of things wrong with “Hold On”. Nano lacks the passion and the ability to hit some of the higher notes and the chorus falls flat on its face. He’s swallowed up on stage and rather than conveying his interesting personal story, he’s paralysed by it. “Hold On” has also been compared to a number of songs and as a whole, it feels very unoriginal. This is very overrated.

Score: 1/10

William: His personal journey — from former prisoner to rising R&B star — is stirring. Listening to the song in that light gives this extra power and deserves special mention. The swell leading into the chorus carries weight but feels light, and when the drum and bass lets rip I can feel tingle on the horizon. And while Nano creates a mood on first listen, this ultimately feels a bit too familiar and the choir, which works so well in the studio version, feels a bit forced live. All in all a great debut, if not a winning one.

Score: 7.5/10

Chris: The opening bars of “Hold On” are so epic that it somewhat masks the issue of the rest of the song. In particular, I find the chorus to fall flat — perhaps because of Nano’s performance. I don’t sense the passion from him to match the gospel sound and choir. Instead, it makes it all seem a bit pretentious, I suppose. I’m not asking for Whoopi Goldberg, just don’t be the Reverend Mother.

Score: 6.5/10

Deban: Dark, breathy and meaningful, this is pop with depth! Nano’s voice takes you on a journey, as the song weaves through jungle, gospel, drum and bass. “Hold On” tries, but not too hard — Nano cooks it just right.

Score: 7/10

Forrest: Who could have guessed that combining Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” and Europe’s “The Final Countdown” would result in such a compelling anthem? The moodiness of the verses and the wall-of-sound effect from the chorus make for an arresting contrast. Just as the track feels in danger of getting repetitive, the bridge swoops in and lifts the song up for its brilliant crescendo. While the song itself is emotive and soulful, Nano could improve it even more by bringing some of that soul to his performance. Overall, “Hold On” gives off some strong dark horse vibes and could very well challenge for the Melfest title.

Score: 8.5/10

Robyn: I love it when Melfest magic happens. Nano isn’t the most charismatic performer, so the staging wisely isn’t all about him. It lets the song come to the forefront, with Nano’s rich and expressive voice doing the work. There’s a bit of gospel, some drum ‘n’ bass, a pop drop, and it all works. By the time Nano ventures down to the audience during the middle eight, the whole performance has become a joyous, rapturous experience.

Score: 7.5/10

Luis: Well, this is one to watch. “Hold On” proves that if a song has quality, it doesn’t need to be the most original thing ever. Nano’s entry hits you from the first moment, and it makes you want more of it. He lacks charisma, that’s true, but his voice and the clever camera angles compensate. The gospel choir is on point, and they harmonise perfectly with Nano. I could live without the dancer, though. There was a mere flaw, in the second chorus, when the “Hold On” was a bit out of tune. But well, it’s nothing he cannot solve by March.

Score: 8/10

Our jury for Melodifestivalen 2017 contains 28 jurors, but we only have room for eight reviews. The remaining scores are listed below.

Angus: 5/10

Anthony: 7.5/10

Antony: 7/10

Bernardo: 8/10

Dayana: 8.5/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Erdi: 7.5/10

Jason: 5.5/10

Jordi: 8/10

Josh: 7.5/10

Jovana: 9/10

Mikhail: 5.5/10

Natalie: 8/10

Patrick: 7.5/10

Rezo: 8/10

Ron: 8/10

Sami: 8/10

Sinan: 7.5/10

Steinunn: 8.5/10

Zakaria: 4.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.4/10

See our list of Melodifestivalen 2017 rankings here

Read more Melodifestivalen news here

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cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

I will never get what people love about this… I hate it.

Richard
Guest
Richard

on a first listen I can see why he’s so well favoured. There’s something lacking, but it’s still a good song and head and shoulders above almost everything selected so far. This would be a good choice for Sweden.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Is it just me, or does he remind anyone else of Linus Svenning?

Karl
Guest
Karl

This performance is a total mess. His voice isn’t great in the chorus/refrain and the way he looks lazy and just stands there on stage with that crazy fast chorus makes me anxious. He looks so awkward up there. #TeamAnyoneButNano

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Looks like Antranig started a conversation he didn’t intend to start, eh? A ref would have flagged him for a low blow in this case. He might as well have given Nano a 0 if he didn’t think this song belonged in the MF final.

Soy
Guest

And the winner of the overreaction award goes to..

Antranig! Congratulations for the unreasonable action of giving this song a 1!

Akmens
Guest
Akmens

Wow. The Sigma instrumental doesn’t even ruin the song.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

This is a very good song. It’s not my favourite, but the first impression was good.
However, I don’t think he’ll do well at Eurovision.

Alex
Guest
Alex

It’s not a bad song at all, and I think it has a good shot at a top 10 placing if it were to be sent to Eurovision, but it’s not my favorite (but it is in my top 5). Though it can be quite enjoyable, I never really liked songs with a mostly instrumental only chorus, as it takes away from the climax, which is the whole point of having a chorus. His voice is good for the song too, but I noticed that he had trouble with the “Hold on!” when singing live. But that’s not a huge… Read more »

Eren
Guest
Eren

The song is not bad at all but it lacks some continuation in chorus i think , espesically when he screams. If we look to the point form vocals he cant be even in the first 6 in final. Also he lacks charisma and show is very boring / not proper to appeal esc audience . I dont want him to win when there are many other great options like Mariette/Wiktoria/Jon/Loreen

Griffin
Guest
Griffin

Antranig i want hear your song please, if you can wrote a 10/10 one

Melescg
Guest
Melescg

Well, Nano has obviously a very good voice and his song is really good, but i don’t know if the swedish people are going to vote for him, even thow it is really possible since they seem to like him. So far, i think that in the final it’s going to be him vs wiktoria for the 1st place, even thow his staging is not the best for a competition like melodifestivalen or eurovision.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I know ratings are a personal matter, but it might be a good idea to set some guidance notes. For example – 0-2 points for voice, 0-2 points for lyrics, 0-2 points for melody, 0-2 points for originality and 0-2 points for impact. That way, all aspects would be taken into account, with only one (impact) being 100% subjective. I mean, I also use more subjective parameters to rate a song, but maybe this way a JURY would be less likely to very from 0 to 10 for a same song. Music is very hard to objectivly rate, but honestly,… Read more »

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

A 1? Seriously? That was unexpected.
Does any Melfest song deserve a 1?

A top five song but probably not a top three for me.

Iberian
Guest
Iberian

How I hate this song. Can’t stand Nano. And the breakbeat is so dated, it seemed catchy in the 1990ies… But it seems the masses like this. So well, it seems he’ll win Melodi, congrats, but I can’t stand this song, sorry.

Tomas Patrick Davitt
Guest
Tomas Patrick Davitt

I agree with some others here that giving it a 1 is a bit extreme – especially as its a full 3.5 points lower than anyone else’s rating. I think its important to be able to objectively appreciate a song from a genre that isn’t to your taste. for example I don’t like blues but I can appreciate that Owe’s song is a decent blues song, so I would not give it a low mark simply because I don’t like blues.

Music is the key
Guest
Music is the key

I think the song is excellent. Usually I dont pay attention to such things, but I noticed in this case the great staging as well. Strong modern song, with a hint of gospel / soul music. I hope this is the song we will hear in the winning reprise at the end of MF 🙂

Pant7
Guest
Pant7

If he wins it’s only because his story not because he is the best choice, so it’s unfair.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

This song is nice but lacks originality and he struggles in the high notes. There are better entries in the competition.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Giving a 1 to this song should be a crime..

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

I’m all for prison stories, Orange Is The New Black is one of my favorite series. But this musical story does not get to me at all. It’s a serious case of ‘seen/done/heard-it-all-before’. I’d be very disappointed if this went instead of Ace/Loreen/Wiktoria.

Tom Kostovski
Guest
Tom Kostovski

It’s aiit! Not my favourite but it’s not rubbish!

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

Good message or not, the mixing of genres here put me off. I stopped around the 2 minute mark, and that was 1 minute longer than needed.

Sara
Guest
Sara

As far as I know, the song is a personal story, so can’t be said that he has no emotion, maybe he is shy. It can be good for Eurovision if is promoted right. Like Jamala who said in every interview that ”1944 is a personal story” until completion.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Wiwibloggs please note: For me, the app is now refusing to load the ordinary text comments (like this one). I can only see the BeePost box now at the bottom of each page via the app. 🙁 Technical bugs?

Nano’s song might be intended as deep and meaningful, but it’s spoiled by a tacky instrumental chorus backing track. I see good intentions, but bad execution. Sorry.

Harry Jensen
Guest
Harry Jensen

I love this song. Drum and bass songs have fared well at Eurovision i.e.: Hungary 2014 and Malta 2016. BUT….this doesn’t belong at Eurovision. It gives me the same chills as Euphoria in 2012, but seeing it not so well at Eurovision would kill me, and the guy who gave it a 1 has a fair point…for what it’s worth he can’t actually hit most of the notes, and there are singers doing a lot more vocal work in their songs (mariette, Jon henrik)

Crispycookie
Guest
Crispycookie

How can you give a song like this a 1/10 ?? That’s impossible ? Even if you do not like the song you do have to admit there is quality here

#Finalen
Guest
#Finalen

The song has a good message. Nano has a nice voice, but is bit out of the tune here and there. I also didn’t see any passion or emotion on him. He also lacks of charisma. He has potential, but needs more experience. I really like the verses and bridge, but chorus felt flat. It’s bit disappointing. I hope they won’t choose him, this year. There are better songs and better singers involved. Like Mariette, Robin, or Jon Henrik & Aninia