For weeks the Melfest rumour mill has been churning out suspected artists for Melodifestivalen 2018. But now Sweden’s SVT has finally separated fact from fiction by confirming the 28 acts who have made it to Europe’s glitziest and sexiest national selection. The line-up includes some of Sweden’s hottest artists, Melfest legends, as well as newcomers. Let’s take a look.
SVT revealed the artists and their song titles in a press conference today. We won’t hear the songs until the rehearsal week of each semi-final in February.
Schlagermaster general Christer Björkman has promised a mix of styles, from humour to edgy tracks to big pop hits.
Semi-final 1: Karlstad – 3 February
Renaida – “All the Feels”
Renaida Braun was a contestant on last year’s series of Swedish Idol, where she placed sixth. The 20-year-old singer will be making her Melodifestivalen debut.
Songwriters: Laurell Barker, Jon Hällgren, Peter Barringer, Lukas Hällgren
Benjamin Ingrosso – “Dance You Off”
Benjamin made his Mello debut earlier this year with the Timberlake-alike song “Good Lovin'”, which placed fifth. Back in 2006, he won Lilla Melodifestivalen with “Hej, Sofia!”.
Songwriters: Benjamin Ingrosso, MAG, Louis Schoorl, K Nita
Edward Blom – “Livet på en pinne” (“Life on a stick”)
Edward is television personality known for his love of food. He released his Christmas (food) single “Nu Lagar Vi Julen” and had the viral hit “När Man Festar Festar Man”.
Songwriters: Edward Blom, Thomas G:son, Stefan Brunzell, Kent Olsson
John Lundvik – “My Turn”
John Lundvik’s best-known work is “When You Tell the World You’re Mine”, for the 2010 Swedish royal wedding. He also wrote Anton Ewald’s Melfest entry “Natural”.
Songwriters: Anna-Klara Folin, John Lundvik, Jonas Thander
Kikki Danielsson – “Osby Tennessee”
Schlager queen Kikki has twice represented Sweden at Eurovision in the 1980s. This will mark Kikki’s tenth appearance at Melodifestivalen.
Songwriters: Sulo Karlsson, Kikki Danielsson
Sigrid Bernson – “Patrick Swayze”
Sigrid is best known as one of the professional dancers on the Swedish series Let’s Dance. Earlier this year she released her debut single, “This Summer”.
Songwriters: Andrej Kamnik, Josefin Glenmark, Peg Parnevik, Sigrid Bernson
Kamferdrops – “Solen lever kvar hos dig” (“The sun is still alive with you”)
Kamferdrops is known for her dreamy, electronic versions of schlager classics. Earlier this year she had a hit with Kikki Danielsson’s 1999 song “Jag trodde änglarna fanns”.
Songwriters: Herbert Trus, Danne Attlerud, Martin Klaman, Krstoffer Tømmerbakke, Erik Smaaland, Kamferdrops
Semi-final 2: Gothenburg – 10 February
Ida Redig – “Allting som vi sa” (“Everything that we said”)
Singer-songwriter Ida Redig has performed in both an acoustic, folky style, and more recently in a stronger synthpop style, as heard on her single “Shout”.
Songwriters: Yvonne Dahlbom, Jesper Welander, Ida Redig
Jonas Gardell – “Det finns en väg” (“There is a road”)
Jonas is a comedian, novelist and even wrote a comedy film about Melodifestivalen. He’s been long sought after for Melfest and will finally make his debut.
Songwriters: Calle Kindbom, Jonas Gardell, Mats Tärnfors
Margaret – “In My Cabana”
Margaret is the Polish singer who placed second in the Polish national final in 2016 with her killer hit song “Cool Me Down”. She was rumoured to be part of Melfest 2017, but makes her Swedish debut in 2018.
Songwriters: Anderz Wrethov, Linnea Deb, Arash Labaf, Robert Uhlman
Liamoo – “Last Breath”
Singer and rapper Liam Cacatian Thomassen — who performs as Liamoo — was the winner of Swedish Idol 2016. His debut single “Playing with Fire” reached No.6.
Songwriters: Liam Cacatian Thomassen, Morten Thorhauge, Peter Bjørnskov, Lene Dissing
Samir & Viktor – “Shuffla”
This is the third time at Melfest for Samir Badran and Viktor Frisk. They made their Melfest debut in 2015 with “Groupie”, and followed up in 2016 with “Bada nakna”.
Songwriters: Andreas ”Stone” Johansson, Denniz Jamm, Costa Leon, Samir Badran, Viktor Frisk
Mimi Werner – “Songburning”
Mimi Werner is a country singer who made her Melfest debut in 2016 with “Ain’t No Good”.
Songwriters: Göran Werner, Mimi Werner, Niki Niki, Carl Varga, Johan Åsgärde, Oliver Lundström
Stiko Per Larsson – “Titta vi flyger” (“Look, we’re flying”)
Earlier in the year, acoustic singer-songwriter Stiko won the radio song competition P4 Nästa. He was also the judges’ pick for the Melfest wildcard.
Songwriters: Stiko Per Larsson, Emil Rotsjö
Semi-final 3: Malmö – 17 February
Martin Almgren – “A Bitter Lullaby”
Martin won the 2015 series of Swedish Idol and is known for his rich soulful voice. He has since released a number of singles, including the uplifting “Unbreakable”.
Songwriters: Josefin Glenmark, Märta Grauers
Dotter – “Cry”
Johanna “Dotter” Jansson is a singer-songwriter. She made her Melfest debut in 2017 as one of the songwriters behind Mariette’s entry “A Million Years”.
Songwriters: Linnea Deb, Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Johanna ”Dotter” Jansson
Moncho – “Cuba Libre”
Ramón “Moncho” Monserrat is a rapper and vocalist from Uppsala. He has previously been involved with the hip-hop and reggae group LöstFolk.
Songwriters: Jimmy Jansson, David Strääf, Markus Videsäter, Axel Schylström, Moncho
Méndez – “Everyday”
The Chilean-born DJ has competed twice at Melodifestivalen. In 2002, he placed second with “Adrenaline”, and in 2003 he reached Andra Chansen with “Carnaval”.
Songwriters: Leopoldo Mendez, Jimmy Jansson, Palle Hammarlund
Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän – “Min dröm” (“My dream”)
Kalle is a successful Swedish folk musician, who competed at Melfest in 2010 with “Underbart”. Kalle returns to Melfest 2018 after being rumoured for 2017.
Songwriters: Thomas G:son, Alexzandra Wickman
Jessica Andersson – “Party Voice”
Jessica is a six-time Melodifestivalen veteran. In 2003 she performed at Eurovision as part of Fame, who placed fifth in Riga with “Give Me Your Love”.
Songwriters: Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Niklas Carson Mattsson, Jessica Andersson
Barbi Escobar – “Stark”
Barbi Escobar is an R&B singer. She makes her Melodifestivalen debut.
Songwriters: Barbi Escobar, Costa Leon, Andreas ”Stone” Johansson
Semi-final 4: Örnsköldsvik – 24 February
Felicia Olsson – “Break That Chain”
Felicia Olsson competed in Melfest 2013 with “Make Me No 1”. It was eliminated in its semi-final.
Songwriters: Bobby Ljunggren, Kristian Lagerström, Henrik Wikström, Joy Deb
Felix Sandman – “Every Single Day”
Felix was one-third of the boyband FO&O. Felix is using Melodifestivalen to launch his solo career. FO&O placed 11th at Melodifestivalen 2017 with “Gotta Thing About You”.
Songwriters: Noah Conrad, Tony Ferrari, Parker James, Jake Torry, Felix Sandman
Mariette – “For You”
This is Mariette’s third Melfest appearance. In 2015, she placed third at Melfest with “Don’t Stop Believing” and earlier this year she placed fourth with “A Million Years”.
Songwriters: Jörgen Elofsson
Rolandz – “Fuldans” (“Ugly dance”)
Rolandz is a parody dansband fronted by the popular comedian Robert Gustafsson. Rolandz came to fame in 2008 through the talent show Dansbandskampen.
Songwriters: Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Robert Gustafsson, Regina Hedman
Emmi Christensen – “Icarus”
Emmi is best known as a musical theatre performer. She has recently starred as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End.
Songwriters: Thomas G:son, Christian Schneider, Andreas Hedlund, Sara Biglert
Elias Abbas – “Mitt paradis” (“My paradise”)
Upcoming singer Elias Abbas is only 15, but he will turn 16 in December. Elias released his debut single “Min Queen” earlier this year.
Songwriters: Anderz Wrethov, Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah, Sami Rekik
Olivia – “Never Learn”
Olivia Eliasson came to fame with a YouTube cover of Anton Ewald’s “Begging”. Earlier this year she released her debut single “Do You”.
Songwriters: Anton Ewald, Jonas Wallin, Trond Smeplass
What do you think of the Melodifestivalen 2018 lineup? Can one of these artists give Sweden its seventh victory? Share your thoughts below!
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Honestly, it’s good to have some fresh faces in the mix, especially since they will be joined by some veterans.
That being said, the amount of novelty entries in MF may not be ideal, but let’s wait until 3 February to find out whether these songs will be Sean Bannan-like (aka so annoyingly good it’s enjoyable, I’m looking at you Samir and Viktor)…
DOTTER Y E S
If she pulls out anything like “Dive” or “Evolution” she could really be someone to watch out for if the juries do their job.
Depending on how her song sounds, if Mariette can’t win this time around, I don’t think she’ll ever win. 🙁
With the exception of maybe a couple of others (Benjamin, Mimi), I’m in agreement with Charles, that this roster doesn’t exactly light a fire in my belly, compared to the last 4. It remains to be seen if the tracks they put forth change my mind.
that one kid was born in 2001? oh my god, i feel old…
Based on this I say Liam, Dotter , Mariette & Benjamin to win. It would be nice with a woman, it’s been male artists 3 years in a ro now.
Dare I predict 5fth place at max for Dotter’s stuff? This is far away from what Sweden votes for. She’ll get some recognition though.
May try this final for first time if it won’t mess up with something better diversed.
By knowing all the names I can already say im going to give Edward Bloom, Samir & Viktor and Liamoo 5 appvotes in the heats regardless of their song. I hope Liamoo will win but he probably wont.
Fangirls like you who vote for the artists instead of the songs should be BANNED from voting.
Pardon, *singers. Those three can’t even be considered artists.
I vote for the best acts (artist+song), but I already know I will enjoy those 3. I just find Edward and Samir & Viktor hilarious. Liam is probably too good for Melodifestivalen in reality and if he just has an ok song he is our best chance of winning Eurovision this year.
I’m praying to Jesus Christ for your taste.
I’ve been following Dotter’s work for a while now and I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED!!
In think Mariette, Margaret or Benjamin Ingrosso will win. But I hope Mariette will make it.
I think Mariette being in the last semi-final is a good sign that the producers expect her to do well this year!
Mariette is pure public vote and commercial success repellent. Considering she has a flop generic songwriter and that she’s recycling her formula, I don’t expect her to go beyond her past results.
Kamferdrops is Norwegian, Margaret is Polish, probably the most interesting acts tjis year…
There a lot of contestants I don’t know, but I hope there’s someone I like among them. I hate schlager and it’s crappy songs, I also don’t like they bringing a lot of old “stars”, whose moment passed years ago.
About Margaret, I don’t know… maybe she has a banger, but as long as she can’t sing, she’s going to make a fool of herself, standing in that stage and singing out of tune like in the Polish NF.
Additionally, judging by the artist and the description provided, I would say SF2 and 4 seem to be the hardest.
and its crappy songs*
The reason they bring back “old stars” is to appeal to older demographics, who likely don’t want to watch a show full of 20 year olds who only appeal to teenage girls.
Honestly, I’m mad at Margaret that she isn’t trying in Poland. Previously she said that she doesn’t want to do Eurovision and now when there is an opportunity, she’s doing it for Sweden… So sad for us (Poles) that she doesn’t want to represent us.
Why would she? She had a winning entry in 2016, yet wasn’t selected. And on top of that she was ridiculed in the comments of every Polish article written about her.
In fact, I hope In My Cabana is as good as people say and she ends up winning. As a Swedish entry she’ll have a guaranteed place in the Top 5 in the Eurovision finale, too 😉
Plus, Eurovision stans know her, she’s already a fan favorite at this point.
But don’t worry we still have Rafal Brzozowski 🙂
Ypu think the line up is weak, if you don’t know all the artists and haven’t even heard their songs?
The names we know are weak, the new ones can always surprise us.
As a Polish person I’m sad Margaret is not trying out for Poland again, but as a Cool Me Down enthusiast I am thinking: Good for her, I hope she does well.
Poland did not appreciate what they had with her.
They did have a song with winning potential, yes, but it turned out she was unable to sing (and going to ESC would have been an embarrassment on a large scale). A singer who manages to kill such a great song surely isn’t someone you’d want to pick again. I don’t know who wrote her song this year – but even if she did it herself, she would have been wise to find someone else to sing it.
last year’s participants were much better… maybe i’ll be proven wrong who knows lol. i still was really hoping for sabina ddumba 🙁
Don’t think the like up is as strong as previous years. Even Björkman himself basically said so after the reveals: The focus this year is on the entertainmnent value rather than on the hit factor value.
So don’t hope for much. Though even in weak years you can find gold.
So nice to see Sigrid Bernson in the line up! She is the next rising star out of Sweden.
I have just listened to Dotter’s songs “Evolution” and “Dive” and…. I AM LOVING THEM 😀 If her MF song is anything like these two, I would root for her definitely.
Happy to see Kamferdrops and Ida Redig competing ^_^
And Mariette… She is adorable, but her songs are cheesy imo :/
OMG YASS! I just have found her! “My flower” is also stunning!
I am listening to it right now. It’s stunning, indeed ^_^
I will miss Wiktoria! ??
Also, i want to know who opens and close each semifinal. Do we know a dateabout when that will be disclosed? This year they presented Olivia last, like if she was the big plate, but… she is a “who”, right?
great, ty Robin
My only fear, now that im thinking about it, is that due there is just a bunch of “returners” and a lot of “newbies”, the final spots will be for the former, and maybe some newbies deserve more credit, but they will be oversadowed by those known people.
A lot of new faces, so it is time more than ever to have an open mind and lets give a good welcome to these new people into the melodifestivalen family. From the exeurovision participants, both Kiki and Jessica seem a bit old and “career lost” to me at the present moment. i used to like Jessica a lot, but yeah, now i feel it is a bit late for her. And what about Kiki… she barely can move… So i discart both. And from returning candidates, my fav would be Mariette, i think she deserves to win ont her… Read more »
Not many familiar faces this year!
I’m glad Mariette is trying, because I love her and I want to see her at Eurovision! However, the song has to be good.
A girl I know who works in the selection for Melfest told me the lineup is “not as good as 2017, but will still deliver”. I’m perched for surprises! 🙂
Also, I’m very disappointed to see there’s no Wiktoria! 🙁
I’ve heard that artists cannot participate for a third year in a row.
Oh!!! Didn’t know that ! Thanks for the info…
There is no rule that says people can’t compete three years in a row…it’s just a SVT preference it seems. The Melfest bosses have even been quoted saying as much. The 3 year thing is just a coincidence.
Having the same artist back three years in a row is just very tedious for the audience. People want fresh faces.
Dotter will probably end up being my favorite (hopefully). I love her other songs, but the fact G:son cowrote it is scaring me. Margaret’s great and all but she honestly has no business competing her, she isn’t Swedish, and don’t start hurling all those nationalist comments because if she actually had a desire to be Swedish and lived here then that would be different — but she doesn’t, she’s Polish and her career is mostly in Poland.
Robyn, while I understand your comment I really think it does not relate to anything D has said. Krista has had a career in both Finland and Sweden for a while now. Moreover, Krista is from a region in Finland where the spoken language is Swedish. Margaret does not have a career in Sweden. Margaret does not speak Swedish. Margaret is really only “famous” in Poland.
Exactly, Krista is an ethnic Swede. Swedish is her native language, she just happened to be born and raised in Finland. If you know anything about Nordic history you’d understand the Swedish community in Finland and why it’s there. Margaret has no connection to Sweden besides working with Swedish songwriters (which almost every artist has done).
And also, no, the fact that previous entrants have been British/American/Estonian/etc does not make this any better, they were all out of place. If she wins it’d be very odd to have a Polish singer be representing Sweden.
The fact she has no career in Sweden means nothing. Melfest can act as a launchpad, she may very well have one afterwards. She’s hardly unique in that respect.
Have you heard Evolution from her? Cause that’s written by him and Dotter herself. Which sounds great I think.
@D: Christer Björkman would very much disagree with you. He thinks she definitely has business / a career in Sweden. In fact, he tells us directly in this interview that he picked her because she “has made a name for herself” in Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbDa_f0Vlc8
Kinda bummed Wiktoria didn’t return! Oh well, she better return with a kick-ass song and finally gets to represent Sweden, since she deserved to win both times she participated ?
Also, stealing this from the Wiwi rumors video but Olivia has the potential to be this year’s Wiktoria ’16 in terms of a young unknown who could make a run at the win. Was hoping to get her in semi 3 but I’m excited she’s in it at all. Last called! ha
“Songwriters: Anton Ewald” she already flopped.
He’s signed to the same manager…probably unavoidable. I’m not that concerned. I like her previous work especially her first original single.
Overall, the lineup is…uninteresting I’d say? I don’t know, it just looks weak. Most of the Swedish-language songs seem to be joke entries, and the known names like Benny Ingrosso and Mariette have only had bland songs in the past. I’ll confide in one of the newcomers.
I can already tell Malgosia’s song will sound like Despacito from the title.
Do you mean Margaret or Moncho?
Finally, the pointless articles about rumored acts for Melfest are over! As you can see, except Mariete all the rumors were just speculations made up by people with no life or… too much time to invest in nonsense things…. Besides that, I don’t understand the hype about Margaret, if she was accepted that means she can compete…. What’s the big deal? I don’t see her doing so well, anyway. On Polish selection in 2016 she came 2nd because her performance was rather weak and not convincing like the studio version of “Cool me Down”. She may have improved her live… Read more »
Can you guys imagine the salt if margaret would win the whole thing for sweden thus year?
She would be finished in Poland. I know our mentality. Good luck elsewhere.
A little unset there aren’t more recognizable faces.
Also, why is even one in Sweden blonde?
I wish Samir and Viktor would win it – Bass nanka was an absolute tune!! Sadly Sweden take it too seriously!!
I thought only those with Swedish citizenship or in a group with Swedish people coukd compete.
Krista is from Swedish speaking Finland so she has a Swedish connection.
I don’t understand how Margaret can go from saying she’ll not try at eurovision again and can’t even win Poland selection to competing in the hardest selection for eurovision.
Strange mix up of singers as they’re very few acts that I know off.
I have a feeling SVT just wanted variety this year and wasn’t selecting potential winners.
The citizenship rule only applies for composers. Not for artists. MF is after all a contest for songwriters.
Melfest has long had a tradition of having contestants from other nationalities and cultures represented although most never win–most however live in Sweden. The most successful has probably been Elisabeth Andreassen who was born in Sweden to Norwegian parents and lives in Norway but has appeared several times on both national finals and has won both. Other foreign born contestants include Etzia (American-born to Caribbean parents), Swingfly (American), Katrina (British), Panetoz (African), Behrang Miri (iranian), DJ Mendez (Chile), Simone Moreno (Brazil), Getty Domein (Congo), Baccara (Spain)….the list goes on and on…in fact, I smell a fun Wiwibloggs article coming on… Read more »
Plus to add to that concoction.
Sweden’s representing artist at Eurovision – Frans. His father is Nigerian-British, moved to London at a young age and has British citizenship ergo, Sweden was represented in 2016 by a Swedish-British singer. Because Frans is half-British.
Oh and I also believe Margaret is signed to a Swedish record label so… that might answer some people’s speculations?
Cannot believe that Margaret is participating in this. Nice to see a return from Mimi Werner.
Congrats, Melfest, you’ve actually produced a lineup of mostly new acts. I’ve been complaining about how boring it was getting with the same singers. Even if this year turns out subpar, at least they tried to get new singers.
How many of these singers are not Swedish citizens? I’m angry that anyone ever thought Margaret should be representing Poland, when she just go in another country just like that. Poland doesn’t forgive those things. Margaret will not win Mello and Poland will treat her like they now treat refugees.
What’s wrong with them not being Swedish citizens? This is a music competition and the most important part is the music, not where the artists are originally from!
Krista is an ethnic Swede though, that’s much different than someone who is just Finnish and Finnish-speaking.
Tone Damili is Norwegian. Katrina Leskanich is American/British. Kerli is Estonian. They’ve also entered Melfest in the past.
And Baccara from Spain.
“There is a way” is a better translation for Jonas Gardell’s song title btw.
Why is Margaret there if she said she is not interested in esc anymore, and now, from Poland to Sweden…? How?
What do you mean how? The ppl who wrote Cool Me Down for her were Swedish, the song was a big hit in Sweden, and she’s done a ton of concerts in Sweden.
I think she’s there mostly to launch her career in Sweden, first and foremost. I believe her when she says she’s not really interested in the ESC.
I’d like to see how Polish people would react on her representing Sweden. Water certainly wouldn’t cool the reactions down, that all I’ve got to say.
I’m coming from the states and stopping in Sweden for the Malmo semi and it easily appears to be the worst (or at least slowest) of the four semis….help me get excited people?
Lol that deltävling is a bummer, Martin Almgren is probably the most exciting artist there
Actually, I think Dotter has TONS of potential. Her songs “Evolution” and “Dive” are fantastic. If this one turns out just as good, then I am definitely convinced she could easily be a victory contender.
Yeah Dotter sounds like she’s the “chosen one” of this semi and I like what I’ve heard so far. Also, at least Jessica and Mendez may be fun? I’m sure I’ll have a blast…just bums me out to not get one of the big buzz names or even a promising newcomer like Olivia.
Actually, I think Dotter has TONS of potential. Her songs “Evolution” and “Dive” are fantastic. If this one turns out just as good, then I am definitely convinced she could easily be a victory contender.
I’m telling you, Liam (Liamoo) is going to win this!
I agree with you
From what I could see, only three acts are potentially interesting: Olivia, John Lundrik and Ida Reding. All the rest seems the same old standard products… But we all have to wait for the actual songs…
Damn that patrick Swayze girl got some real inspiration from belarus 2014 XD
Anyways i’m very excited with many of the things in here and it seems like a diverse mixture!
I’ve been waiting for Liamoo to compete. I hope he has a killer song!!
Margaret’s song is written by Arash and Linnea Deb, sounds like a cool me down summer smash hit! 🙂
Damn that patrick swayze girl got some real inspiration from belarus 2014 xD
Well we all know who’s gonna be top 2…Mariette and Benjamin off.
Although I hoped to see Alcazar compete, I’m actually excited to see all these new faces!
Btw im in class right now and as typical swedes, they are all complaining about the artists lol
Liamoo or Dotter will win , remember my words !!
margaretmargaretmargaretmargaret!!!! time to shine gurlll
If she has learn how to song and develop some charisma, maybe she can be a finalist…