He’s the Eurovision veteran known for his stirring voice and classy songwriting. And now Kjetil Mørland — the artist we all know and love as Mørland — is making another run at Melodi Grand Prix glory. Last time he sang with Debrah Scarlett. But this time he’ll hit the stage solo with the Norwegian-language song “En Livredd Mann”. Literally that means “A Terrified Man”, but it’s also akin to “Scared to Death”. The English version has been released as “If Music Could Save You”.
The track is at once classic but contemporary. It tugs on heartstrings but steers clear of melodrama, and the polished production manages to jolt you to life at just the right moments. Perfectly pitched and brought to life by Mørland’s inviting voice, we are here for this.
And we are also pleased to be the first to share the behind-the-scenes video for Mørland’s official music video. Enjoy!
“En Livredd Mann” behind-the-scenes
For those of us who don’t speak Norwegian, what’s the central message or story of your song?
“En Livredd Mann” is a song about going through really difficult times. We all do at some point in our lives. Maybe something happens that you never imagined would happen to you. You feel helpless, terrified and struggle to see a way out. For my own sake, I lost my mother far too early and I guess it’s really affected me as a person. This isn’t a song about my mum but it’s about the same hopeless notion. After recently having become a parent I think it’s made me more scared. Scared of losing the good we have, scared of losing our Leo and scared he’ll lose me. You become more aware of your own mortality as a parent. But at the same time I’ve also become much more focused on really enjoying every day we have together. And appreciating how extremely lucky we are.
Eurovision fans remember your 2015 entry fondly. It was, of course, in English. Do you approach a song differently when writing in Norwegian or is the process the same for you?
“En Livredd Mann” is actually the first song I’ve written in Norwegian, but I’d say the process was quite similar. The only thing is that Norwegian is a language with more consonants and a lot fewer words, so it’s more of a challenge to find the right words that flow nicely. One thing I do like about it is that it feels a lot more raw and naked.
Your behind-the-scenes video looks very contemporary and almost a little dark/avant-garde. What’s the vibe you were going for?
Yes, well it is a dark song, and the concept around it is therefore also quite dark. As the song was in Norwegian I really wanted to convey the emotions and the lyrics somehow, and contemporary dance is such a universal language that seemed to be very fitting.
Towards the end we see one of the female dancers falling or maybe even being pulled down. What’s the story there?
The song is about an inner struggle. And the lyrics here mean, “He’s holding on as best he can, he’s trying to swim for land”. So it’s really visualising this.
At one point in the video we see you holding a smoke machine. Is it safe to say you’re very hands-on on set? Were you also doing other things like overseeing choreography and costumes or more?
Hahaha, yes you can say that. I direct all my videos and this time I worked closely with the choreographer Amanda Schofield, who is fantastic, making sure the lyrics came through. The clothes were a result of a day trip to Brighton with my wife!
How long did the video planning and filming take?
We started planning the video at the start of December and shot it in a day in mid January. The shoot took about 9 hours and was an amazing day of great teamwork. The dancers did really well adapting to the format and you can really see the emotion on their faces. Scott Write and his team did an amazing job shooting it. I also worked with him on my “Skin” video, and last year’s “Who We Are” video by Rebecca. He’s very talented.
Finally, could the music video inspire potential MGP or Eurovision staging?
Well, I’m glad we did the music video, because I learned a lot from it about what works with the song and what doesn’t. I’m really excited about the stage performance now. Most of the idea for it is set already so it’s now just a matter of getting the lights and shortlist right. What it will be, you’re gonna have to wait and see 😉
Thanks to Mørland for the chat and good luck! You can watch him competing in the final of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix on Saturday, March 2.