Ever since their win at Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix, they’ve been riding a wave of love. And, in one of the most impressive feats of this Eurovision season, KEiiNO rode that wave to #2 on the Spotify Global Viral chart for three days with “Spirit in the Sky”. It’s a massive achievement and hopefully a harbinger of what’s to come.
On April 4 the three-piece group — that’s Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan and Fred Buljo — will publish their official music video for their Eurovision 2019 song. And today we’re thrilled to be the first to share KEiiNO’s behind-the-scenes video for the making of the “Spirit in the Sky” music video.
The video shows Alexandra in her dressing room and slipping into some animal headgear before slaying her vocals in atmospheric lighting. We caught up with Tom to find out what it’s all about.
Alexandra’s animal ears are kind of adorable. Will each of you be unleashing your spirit animal? Does this relate to your individual KEiiNO emblems?
Yes, well spotted! The video has three parallel universes, and in one of them we are playing our individual spirit animals. It was a dream come true for me, as I always wanted to play the wolf as portrayed in the Romanian/ Soviet musical-movie “Mama”/ the Rock and Roll wolf I was a fan of as a kid.
We’re loving the purple and green light scenarios. Are you portraying the full spectrum of the Northern Lights?
There will be Northern Lights, though as the video is a studio production, it will be portrayed in a more abstract form.
View this post on Instagram
Lets talk about lyrics. «Spirit in the Sky» is a story about brave men and women that have fought, and are fighting, for the right to be RESPECTED and LOVED for the person you are. It hasn’t always been easy to be the «different one» in a society/community/group. Maybe you look different, sound differently, or just feel different to the majority. But the thing is; we are all unique, even though some of us are easier to spot in a crowd. And no one has the right to claim one person is more worth than another person. But why are we talking about spirits and northern lights in our song? Well, according to pre-Christian Sami religion, the people had helping spirits. These could be in the shape of an animal, called Sáivu-loddi or Sáivu-sarvvát. So we wrote a story set in Sápmi many years ago, where a person is calling upon hers/his helping spirit for extra strength in a difficult situation. For the cover, we had the talented illustrator @yuliusgi draw spirit-animals to represent us. Now if you were a spirit-animal, what would you be? #nrkmgp #mgp #eurovision #spiritinthesky #spirits
How long were you guys filming?
It was a 14-hour long day on set! As we’re still a DIY-band on a budget, we had to make the most of the day we could afford. But we had an amazing team of young talented filmmakers and stylists, costumes from NRK and other helping hands, and I’m pretty sure the result will be smashing.
Your director mentions that he took inspiration partly from the film Frozen. What’s the basic story of the video?
Our director, Martin Sofiendal, wanted to visually support the development in the lyrics and the mood in the song, so in one of the universes we transform from frozen to very much alive. There is also a parallel story about a person feeling out of place. But it’s Eurovision, so we added quite a bit of fun, over-the-top elements as well. As with our song, we’re trying to mix and match genres. It worked well in “Spirit in the Sky” as a track, but if it will work as a video or fail miserably we won’t know before we see a final cut. In either case, we had a lot of fun shooting it!”
You hit #2 on the Spotify Global Viral charts, which is a huge achievement. What was your reaction to that?
That was such a great surprise to see that people are picking up on the song from out of nowhere. But it’s a great sign for sure, and it gives us an energy boost we’ll bring along on our pre-party tour.
You were a special guest at the Wiwi Jam in Lisbon and were spotted all over the city during Eurovision. Did you go as a fan? Or were you working?
I was at the finals in Oslo 2010 and Malmö in 2013 as well, though I didn’t take part the same way as in Lisbon. It was definitely both as a fan and to make friends in the Eurovision bubble.
Are you loving the behind the scenes clip? How do you think “Spirit in the Sky” will do at ESC? Let us know down below!