Foreign songwriters – that is, composers or producers creating entries for countries other than their own – have an increasingly important presence at the Eurovision Song Contest.

At the 2001 contest, not one single entry was written with the involvement of foreign songwriters. This year, however, seventeen songs have been written with help from abroad, depleting the figure of 100% home-grown entries to just 56%. This is happening because broadcasters are more frequently resorting to established international songwriters to produce their entries, and countries such as the UK, Germany and Switzerland are promoting songwriting camps, where creatives from Europe and beyond come together to conjure up potential entries for their national finals.

We’re going to take a look at which countries have opted for a non-native composition at Eurovision 2019 and, after discussing the pros and cons around the topic of foreign songwriters, we’ll ask you to tell us whether you think “That’s How You Write A Song” or if that’s “When the Music Dies”.

The statistics

Locally composed

Locally produced songs still reign supreme in 2019, with 24 entries (56%) being written and produced exclusively on home soil. The countries that kept it local are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Most of these countries are consistent in giving us locally produced entries, although Georgia, Poland and Spain have a rich history in using foreign songwriters in their entries.

Locally and foreign composed

The second most popular choice was a partnership between local and foreign songwriters, representing 11 entries (29%). Countries that opted for this were: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and UK.

However, it is worth commenting that artists are sometimes added to the songwriting credits in an attempt to add credibility to the composition, as very well could be the case with some of these entries (some of which would otherwise be solely foreign-produced). Here we find usual international co-operators Azerbaijan, Russia and UK, but also some more surprising countries such as Estonia, Germany, Greece and Switzerland.

Another surprise to see in this list may be the Netherlands’ singer-songwriter Duncan Lawrence – although in 2019, as well as 2013 and 2015, the Dutch entry was written in cooperation with a Swede. In fact, 6 of these 11 songs are written with the involvement of specifically Swedish songwriters.

Foreign composed

And finally, 6 entries (15%)  were created entirely outside of their borders. These countries are Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Moldova, San Marino and Lithuania. All these countries have been known, at least in recent years, to opt for an external production. In this list, Swedish songwriters are involved in the entries of Cyprus, Malta and Moldova.

In addition, three countries are being represented by artists that, in fact, hail from other nations: Estonia’s secret Swede, Victor Crone, and San Marino’s Turkish delight, Serhat, and Greek-Georgian songstress Tamta, who is repesenting Cyprus. Aditionally, Romania’s Ester Peony and Greece’s Katerine Duska are both Canadian, although they are both of descent of their respective countries.

So what’s the impact of foreign songwriters at Eurovision, and are they changing the contest for the better?

The impact

Diversity

Some would say that having international songwriting teams brings more diversity to the contest. As Europeans continue to spread themselves around the continent and the world becomes more globalised, it seems a natural development, and a more realistic representation of modern-day Europe.

Others would argue this has the opposite effect. Instead of showcasing the unique music industries and songwriting abilities of 41 countries, we’re seeing a blend of several countries’ combined efforts. For example, if we add these stats together, we discover that nine entries (22%) have been created either partially or wholly by Swedes. What’s more, countries such as Russia, Azerbaijan and Cyprus have even been known recruit fully Swedish teams of backing vocalists, dancers and stage directors – sometimes making their entries a purely Swedish product, feat. a foreign singer. Surely one country producing a quarter of all entries is not diversity?

With some countries, we almost never have the opportunity to see an authentic national product. For example, despite Ireland having the highest number of Eurovision-winning songwriters, and the UK possessing the biggest and most successful music industry in the whole of Europe, both countries have only sent songs produced exclusively by Irish or UK nationals on three occasions since 2009. And then there’s Azerbaijan, who has only even used a songwriter from within their borders on three occasions. But then again, if it’s a good song, it’s a good song…

Resultado de imagen de eurovision fans

Powerhouses

As we previously mentioned, some countries – specifically, Sweden – have much higher representation at Eurovision nowadays. But this does not just apply to countries, but to specific songwriters as well. For example, the pan-European songwriting team, Symphonix International, have penned seven entries in the past three editions, including this year’s Maltese and Azerbaijani entries. Another common songwriting group are the so called ‘Dream Team’, headed by Russian-Bulgarian Philipp Kirkorov and Greece’s Dimitris Kontopoulos. Kirkorov has been involved in seven entries for four different countries, whilst Kontopoulos has penned nine entries for five different countries over the years.

And it’s not just songwriting groups, but individual songwriters themselves: iconic Swede Thomas G:son has produced 12 songs for six different countries, and German veteran Ralph Siegel has written no less than 23 Eurovision entries for five different countries. In 2019, British-Canadian songstress Laurell Barker has co-written the entries for Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

One could argue that the power of a few individuals has radicalised the contest into more of a showcase of a few specific songwriters’ talent, rather than a celebration of each country’s music scene. However, this moves us onto our next question – does using a foreign composer mean a higher quality end product?

Song quality

The obvious reason that a broadcaster would select a foreign composer to write their song – or why it would end up winning a national selection – is simply because it’s better. Whilst songwriting talent is something objective, it cannot be denied that songwriters from the likes of Sweden are internationally renowned and annually produce scores of international hits; Azerbaijani songwriters do not. Broadcasters may be thinking “why settle for something mediocre when you could send something outstanding?” – which seems a fair enough thought.

One way we could try to measure the supposed ‘quality’ of foreign-composed songs would be to analyse their performance on the Eurovision scoreboard. In 2018, five of the top 10 were written with the help of foreign songwriters. However, if we look at the previous year, just one foreign-composed entry made the top 10. This year, the average ranking in the odds (as of 27/03) for entries composed with foreign input is 19.7, whilst for those sending entirely national products it is slightly lower, at 21.9. Concerning the ultimate prize, a third of this decade’s Eurovision winners (2010, 2011, 2014) were written with help from foreign composers, and in one case (2011) the song was written exclusively by non-nationals.

The difference in trends from year to year implies that there is no correlation between ‘quality’ and the involvement of foreign songwriters – they appear to produce neither ‘better’ nor ‘worse’ songs.

In the case of aforementioned Eurovision songwriting veterans, the story is varied. For example, Philipp Kirkorov continues his top 10 streak to this day. On the other hand, the golden era for Thomas G:son, Dmitris Kontopoulos and Ralph Siegel appears to be coming to an end – Kontopoulos’ most recent attempt with Azerbaijan last year failed to make the final, as is the case with 5/6 of Siegel’s attempts since the 2004 introduction the semi-final. In some cases, the use of renowned Eurovision songwriters could be keeping the contest in the past, and in fact producing more dated, ‘lower quality’ entries.

Resultado de imagen de Фили́пп Кирко́ров

Genericness

And yes, that is a word. In addition to diversity of nationalities, it is also important to have diversity of music in order to have an entertaining show. How ‘generic’ a song is is something even harder to measure than its quality, although if we were to name countries that are really “bringing something new” to the contest, those that stand out would most likely be Iceland, Portugal, Australia, Slovenia, Norway, Poland and Malta. Of these, all but Malta were produced without foreign involvement. Similarly, if we were to name seven countries that are doing the opposite, we would probably first think of Lithuania, Moldova, Cyprus, Croatia, Estonia, UK and Switzerland – all of which were created with foreign involvement.

However, being ‘generic’ is not necessarily a bad thing – Switzerland is currently sitting at third place in the odds to win Eurovision 2019. Many songs that could be labelled as generic or cliché are those loved the most, as well as those that go on to be the most successful both at and long after Eurovision – just look at the success of “Fuego”.

Another element that can set a song aside from the rest is its language. Whilst some love to hear a variety of languages at Eurovision, others prefer to hear songs in English so that the lyrics are accessible to all and Europe can understand the intended message. In this case, a foreign-produced song is more likely to be in English: just two of the 13 entries that contain a language other than English in 2019 were written with foreign songwriters (Croatia and Denmark).

Resultado de imagen de eleni fuego

Poll: Are there too many foreign-composed songs at Eurovision?

 

What do you think? Do you see any differences between locally and foreign produced songs? Do foreign songwriters benefit or harm the contest? Let us know in the comments below!

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Metalvision Song Contest
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Metalvision Song Contest

Eurovision is a simple game. 41 countries sing into a microphone for 3 minutes each, and at the end, the Swedes always win.

Lisianthus
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Lisianthus

It doesn’t really matter to me, especially a country like San Marino that only has 33 thousand inhabitants can’t be blamed for getting artist and composers from other countries. I do prefer it when the artist is part of the songwriter team, but the songwriting team doesn’t have to be entirely ‘non-foreign’ to me.

Another country that gets represented by an artist from another country is Cyprus. Tamta was born in Georgia and lives in Greece.

Cesar's salad
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Cesar's salad

There is too much Sweden involved in Eurovision. Too much G:son, too much Kempe, too much Björkman, too much Sasha Jean Baptiste. Eurovision show feels generic and by the book. Look and feel like yesterday’s köttbullar

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

I have nothing against countries using writers from other countries in principle, my problem is with the fact that it seems like those foreign writers seem to come from a very short list of musicians from a very specific part of Europe, which sometimes make a lot of songs sounding too similar, and ultimately makes the lineup monotonous and non-diverse.
I actually think that the last three winners (Ukraine, Portugal and Israel) benefited from it, as they managed to stand out against the abundance of formulaic Swedish pop.

Grecofan
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Grecofan

Ok of cource im not concerned about small countries such as cyprus or san marino of course…but its really irritating that all these years Russia is participating with a greek composer (or swedish), a greek choreografe, a greek backing vocalist.Ok this has worked in the past but can’t they find a russian composer or a russian choreografer…i meean in a country with 150 million people i am sure that there are plenty of talented russian people to get involved.And its such a shame that russia doesn’t send any songs in their language…the same applies to azerbaijan!

Jonas J
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Jonas J

Definitely! It’s not like the good old days – when the songs were “homemade” and came along to the final with some patriotic-emotional punch!

Nikko
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Nikko

I rather prefer that the singer/band is from the country. I hope we will see again a Cypriot act for Cyprus, a Sammarinese/Italian act for San Marino or a Belarusian artist for Belarus

Joe
Guest
Joe

I mean, I’m pretty sure Belarus is sending a native. San Marino would probably love to send one of their own if it weren’t for the budget.

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

Yes Zena is Belarusian but Alekseev was Ukrainian f.ex.
And I know San Marino has not a big budget but I prefer at least an Italian artist to represent them. A Turkish man or a Maltese woman have nothing in common with SM

James
Guest
James

Malta was once invaded by its surrounding Mediterranean neighbors including Italy so they have a shared history alongside San Marino.

Milkyy
Guest
Milkyy

Miko?aj Trybulec who co-wrote Friend of a Friend is Polish, so Czech song wasn’t only locally composed.

INAMOO
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INAMOO

This article should be pinned forever in this website. Very timely and relevant issue.

Miguel
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Miguel

I say yes. I am not very bothered by it, but as a portuguese i would rather be represented by a portuguese than a foreigner. Just as an example, if MARUV was next years representative of Portugal i would find that very weird… and i am imagining if she would win, then… the winner would be Portugal or Ukraine?? Its weird… Of course i understand that in the case of countries with a small musical industry (San Marino) it makes sense to have help from the outside and it doesnt bother me at all. The consequence of this is that… Read more »

Meliris
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Meliris

Yes there are too many. I would prefer that the artist is at least somewhat involved in the songwriting, this will increase the authenticity of the song, the artists will connect with the stuff they’re singing. It is also bad that some songwriters are involved with multiple countries at same time, leading to half-assed mediocre songs( not naming names). I think there should be a limit for them, one country per year, so they would put their best composition forward for that country only. My top ten consists for 80% out of homegrown products and 20% with some foreign help.

La Signora
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La Signora

I’m so proud that my country completely composed the song locally. I think that every country should compose the song locally, if all the songs are made in sweden it has no sense I watch Eurovision

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

it is indifferent. the problem is when nobody (songwriters, performers, stage director, even the singer) is from the country @cyprus – then it’s pointless. i feel like very few countries (italy, hungary, portugal, spain, serbia except for 2015-7) have found their own personality at the eurovision.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Israel too. I don’t think they’ve ever gone for serious foreign involvement in their entries. Almost always a home product.

Jérémy PEREIRA
Guest
Jérémy PEREIRA

What an interesting article. I said Yes, but in fact, what is the most problematic for me is what I called the “professional” of Eurovision such Kirkirov, Siegel for composition, Sasha Jean-Baptiste for staging and at a lower level the increase of returning artist on last years. This is not helping for originality of each edition. I start to be really bored of it. For some countries, the aim if to propose the most eurovisionesque entry and performance leading to efficient songs and performance but not specifically on the boundary. This is not a coincidence if the countries specialist of… Read more »

voix
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voix

Please write an article about the terrible change on the announcement of televoting this year. They said they will present the points based on the jury score, not from the lowest to the highest score…. So it will be like country x 120 points then country x 14 points…. wtf seriously, people will be so confused….

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

That sounds exciting actually. That means we really won’t know who won until around the last two sets. People are smart enough to understand a score board. There are like 43 commentators who will explain every tiny bit of the voting in your native language…

voix
Guest
voix

so you are telling me that you can understand how the public have voted when the results are announced randomly? you know, the old days, the scoreboard wasnt moving and the songs were on the screen in order of appearance. Not great tv.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

This is quite different from the old days though. Im sure they’ll have some kind of overview of the televoting points to overcome that. I mean back in the days people watching on the night wouldn’t even know how well they did in the televoting if they didn’t crack a countries top 10, which was combined with the jury points.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Answer: No.
Still wishing for the contest without countries.

voix
Guest
voix

Stop daydreaming

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

I have so much sympathy for your opinion, but this is not any longer the world we live in 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Correction: It is still one world, of many worlds. Countries only exist because people say they do.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

It’s really sad to see that people are voting you down for this.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Pfft. People vote me down for pretty much anything nowadays. Practically all I have to do is walk into a room and there are complaints, because I walked into a room.

NickC
Guest
NickC

I am a libertarian. Let countries do what suits for them.

bop-whop-a-lu bop
Guest
bop-whop-a-lu bop

In Cyprus entry there is noone cypriot! All from Sweden lol

Una
Guest
Una

The singer is Georgian and Greek, 12 points from Sweden to Cyprus!

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

I voted Yes. … On the one hand, when some countries try to bring something ethnic, native or distant from the mainstream, it doesn’t seem to have a good reception by either the juries or the televote. One example is last year’s Iriao or maybe this year’s Tulia with their traditional “white voice”. On the other hand, it’s reasonable that entries with foreign help follow this years’ music trends. Something that often bothers me -and that may be out of topic- is when artists try to be like famous stars. Don’t they realize we realize? We’ve seen plenty of David… Read more »

Una
Guest
Una

Something else that bothers me is that there are names in Eurovision that we already know and they are not the artists. For example, I had never heard of Ester Peony or Paenda or Luca or Tamta before this season but I’ve already known the names of creative directors or composers.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I’ll say yes but not as a matter of fact. Not against foreign songwriters but there are too many in that the foreign-composed songs (in most cases), are simply not very good. Certain songwriters (you know who they are) mass produce the same low-level entries across multiple countries who don’t seem to know any better.
At least locally-written songs would guarantee 41 (this year) different songwriters and that would definitely be a good thing.

Loin dici
Guest

Depends. For countries as small as San Marino, no doubt international inteference is needed. For countries like Cyprus or Malta, we’ve seen some good entries by the locals but a refinement and help abroad would work well. But for countries with industries as big as UK or Russia, having the same composers doibg songs for you or a Swedish involvement all over is plain dull. As for Azerbaijan… just do an innovation, for goodness sake. Even their neighbours Armenia and Georgia are shamelessly doing songs composed on home nowadays.

Gio
Guest
Gio

To be honest I prefer Swedish songs over what Georgia have sent the last three years.

Kouri
Guest
Kouri

Personally, i believe that when a country is a represented in an international song contest is allowed to select which people are going to do it …On the other hand , i find it ok that there is a some sort of an involvement from abroad but it is extremely sad that many are optioning for an 100 % foreign team . There are many talented people in countries like Cyprus that need a chance that an event like Eurovision gives to show what they are able for .

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

Really interesting article. It’s a pleasure to read it 🙂

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

The thing with foreign produced/composed songs is that they can be beneficial to countries that need a bit of help (for instance the smaller countries that need that bit of foreign input to bring things to life) on the flipside they can show an unwillingness to produce quality and outsourcing the role of composition and potentially production to a foreign nation that may or may not be competing in the competition. For instance, my home country the United Kingdom has ZERO respect for the competition and frequently enlists foreign help to get a song that is somewhat polished, now with… Read more »

James
Guest
James

As far as I know, the British Songwriters’s Association are involved in the selection of songs so they send their list of candidates for the BBC to approve. Leona Lewis was involved in 2016, so that was a big get at the time. This year, “Freaks” was the only song made by an all-UK team.

BTW: Should John Lundvik still be considered British, having been born and partially raised in London before he moved to Sweden?

Luke
Guest
Luke

Serbia was co-composed and produced by a Macedonian (Darko Dimitrov)

Mina
Guest
Mina

Darko Dimitrov composes and produces all balkan songs: Dimitrov factory.

Colin
Guest
Colin

He is the producer, but Nevena is credited as the sole composer and lyricist.

Elsa
Guest
Elsa

The songs with foreign help are all crap

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

It’s irrelevant because diversity is the issue not the nationality of the contributors. If Lazarev always works with his Swedish backing singers, why would he ditch them for Eurovision? The real problem is that some sort of industry seems to have emerged, where a limited number of providers are indiscriminately offering their services all over the place. If one composer writes three songs in the same year, diversity is obviously weakened, but if figures like Kirkorov or Siegel or some Swedish producer dominate what their countries send to Eurovision for decades, that’s not diversity, either. The problem can’t be solved… Read more »

Alaska
Guest
Alaska

Totally agree with you. I hate industrial monopolies of any kind. Having Sacha Jean Baptiste signing 3 or 4 stagings every year for different countries (to give just an example) has become ridiculous. There are TONS of amazing artistic directors all around Europe to choose from…

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Exactly. And what would we gain if the “Jean Baptiste Group” from now on only did choreographies for Sweden? That would also be a monoculture, especially if she did half the stagings for Melodifestivalen as well. I’m not saying she’s not good at what she does, but I don’t want to see five of her stage shows in a row. Monopolies and professional nepotism always, always kill creativity, it makes absolutely no difference if we’re dealing with them on a national or an international level. The only thing you can do is limit the involvement of one person in one… Read more »

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

Dr. Frankenstein’s lab! Hahah, good one!

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’d love Jon Baptiste to do something for Eurovision. Maybe give San Marino some New Orleans flair. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

yes, there are too many. It makes the contest meaningless in some cases…

Raoul
Guest
Raoul

Great piece. Thanks for the in-depth look!

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Dont the composers in Azerbajdjan get mad for NEVER getting a chance? I mean i dont think they are that bad.

Sasko
Guest
Sasko

Their Head of Delegation has said that the local composers are not interested in the contest so only a few composers submit songs and those ones are not good enough compared to foreign songs.

Loin dici
Guest

That’s a problem–why are they not interested? I’m afraid the concern is not really the composer’s lack of interest, but how the delegation tried to do their internal selection–which is having a singer selecting some available song choices. Sometimes it’s a good thing to have things mixed up, like inviting local composers only for a year, or to invite composers/singers to songwriting camps, like Germany, or to invite Isa Melikov to compose with his local friends. There’re a lot of ways but the Azeri delegation seems unwilling to mix it up.

Una
Guest
Una

Yes, there are too many foreign composed songs out there. So many names that come up all over again throughout the years. I understand that some are established names, talented composers, professionals, trustworthy and probably easy to work with. TBH I think that there is a sort of “cheapness” factor for this mass-production of songs by the same composers. Country to country, year to year. More quantity, less the value paradoxically despite the potential quality of the songs. I think that Eurovision is in some aspects a sort of club of the big boys and girls. Enter the other part… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

”Mass composers” are mostly a hit or miss. Sometimes I get genuinely surprised that the same composer is behind XY masterpiece and XY crap.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Let’s take Malta as an example. I love Chameleon. It makes me happy, I like the vibes etc. If you would make a rule (or at least complain) about not being composed on home turf, I couldn’t listen to this song and that would be sad for me. Ofc I would also like to hear Maltese (example: I love “Hafi Paci Kuluri” by The Travellers), but at the end for me it’s about “does the song makes me feel good or not?” and all other factors are 2nd class…

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

For small countries yes they may want some external help but for big countries like Russia with a large music industry it’s shameful to send years after years the same english pop when they have so many good song writers and modern russian songs.

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

As long as the songs are good, idc about who wrote it unless I’m making Eurovision crackfics.

Elsa
Guest
Elsa

Problem is that they are not

Vlad
Guest
Vlad

Symphonix had two songs that didn’t qualify in 2017 and this is not mentioned in the article.

Berti
Guest
Berti

Hey Wiwi: In “locally composed” this year, you forgot Belgium.

Koen
Guest
Koen

That was exactly what i thought when i scrolled throught the article to find Belgium. 🙂

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Thank you very much wiwibloggs for this insighful article. We want more of those. I am from team “yes”, we have too many. I could go down the nostalgia road, but that is not the issue (and would be misleading because we have had this sort of “cooperation” from a distance past – Ralph Siegel, for example). I actually think that this phenomenon waters down the quality of the ESC, because quality for me does not mean “radio-friendly” songs (whatever that means) but uniqueness and diversity and we are getting less and less of it. I am not against cooperation… Read more »

Fran
Guest
Fran

Serhat wrote his own song in 5 minutes. Case closed.

Pasadena
Guest
Pasadena

The thing with Euphoria is that Loreen put her touch to the production. The original version supposedly sounded very different. Danny was first offered to perform the song before he chose to compete with Amazing. Commenting on the choice, Danny said something like ‘I don’t regret choosing Amazing, because when I heard the original version of Euphoria it sounded like a different song’.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I think countries should actually encoursge this. Eurovision is about bringing countries together, even in this way. There’s no reason to have a 100% local production. Eurovision is not about being better than the other countries by showcasing their own musical talents. I would be worried about this if it happened too much and too many times (like 100% foreign-produced songs for all countries in each and every year), but I actually think the opposite: there are too FEW foreign-produced songs. But honestly it’s all up to what each broadcaster wants to prove: either that they can succeed by themselves… Read more »

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Besides Portugal Conan Osiris, who wrote and composed entirely (music + lyrics) their song ?

EurovisionBenny_AUT
Guest
EurovisionBenny_AUT

Conan composed, wrote and produced the song completely on his own. Finland, Slovenia, Iceland, Latvia and Austria are the only countries this season where their representatives are fully responsible for their songs other than Portugal – at least as far as I know!

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

May the whole and full Universe hear you!!!

Bella
Guest
Bella

There’s obviously nothing wrong with “partial help”, what I don’t like is when it’s fully foreign-composed. Cyprus last year sent a Greek singer with a song and staging both done by Swedes, and Azerbaijan has a long history of sending Melfest rejects… I mean, if you have nothing to offer, just don’t participate and stay home. Culture is universal, I’m sure tons of artists in all countries would die to represent their countries at Eurovision. They may not all be winners, but why not give them a chance? And don’t even get me started on the language: some countries are… Read more »

Bella
Guest
Bella

This is how you end up with a big lack of diversity, even though Europe is super diverse. I also think this is why “ethnic” songs are usually successful at Eurovision: people get so tired of hearing Swedish schlagger from all countries that they’re craving for some more authentic sounds.

La Signora
Guest
La Signora

You got the point

Colin
Guest
Colin

The main thing is that the songs are good. I love to see authenticity and creativity. Thing is, those things are often associated with national team of writing, but, of course, there are exceptions.

When rating songs, I have an aspect of ”creativity” in mind. I find it a broader term than ”originality”. A song can have moderate level of originality and still be very creative with the topic or style they’ve picked. Of course, a creative song still needs a fair share of originality, but it doesn’t need to be absolutely unique in every aspect.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

In my book, “Chameleon” is an example of what you mentioned. It’s not original, because they take inspiration from a lot of current trends. But it’s very creative, by the smart way they put all the pieces together.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Yes, I’d say Chameleon, Storm, Spirit in the Sky and La venda could all fit that description. These songs can also be among my favorite ones if done right. Creativity is much more than always being unique in style or message.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Great article! I voted yes, I think there are too many. Though I believe the real issue is that the way the foreign composers are brought to help some countries is far from organic. We keep seeing the same songwriters being hired over and over. Usually, they’re invited to join because they’re successful in the contest or involved with international hits, but not because they share an artistic affinity with the selected artist. Which usually leads to generic impersonal entries. I can understand why small countries do that, they have smaller industries. In other cases, it sounds even a little… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

By the way, I checked my top 20 and 16 of them were locally composed (it seems Belgium is missing from the list in the article) and only one is 100% foreign (Malta). I haven’t stopped to think about that before reading this piece.

Colin
Guest
Colin

My (current) top 20 have 14 locally composed songs, 5 local/foreign collaborations and only one foreign composition (20th spot, though, and still debating over it).

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

And to show I’m not radical about it, the number 1 of the list so far is a local/foreign collaboration! Though if we take what Duncan said in interviews (that he sent the song to Ilse and she asked if he wanted to do Eurovision), probably the Swedish support came to polish it. I guess this would be the best use for “international production teams”. Bring them to refine it, not to create.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Malta is not in your Top 20. Somebody needs to spend on a mouthwash , lol. Just kidding
I do really like the song.

Ron
Guest
Ron

This is one of the best written articles on one of the least covered, yet very important topic. I think EBU should extend the rule from (JESC – or similar to JESC) in that at least one song writer from the country presenting the song must be involved so Eurovision can actually remain diverse.

EurovisionBenny_AUT
Guest
EurovisionBenny_AUT

Great idea!

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I think there are better ways to stimulate diversity under broadcasters than banning foreign composers. This could mean that micro states like san marino and andorra or even moldova wouldn’t be able to participate anymore.

Ron
Guest
Ron

I didn’t suggest to ban foreign composers, but if a broadcaster retains a foreign composer, those foreign composers must work with a local artist from that country or involve them. It not only will benefit the contest but will also be a good way of training local artists and providing them grounds for growth. Just some food for thought.

GazilionPT
Guest
GazilionPT

If such a rule existed, some would just lie and credit a native co-author that actually did nothing… (Some already do, as the articles mention.)
The problem is not that the authors are foreign. The problem is *why* broadcasters hire foreign authors. If it was for “lack o manpower” (like in San Marino or Malta), that would be 100% OK for me. But that’s not the reason: rather, broadcasters want “a sure bet” (and often fail at that) and we end up getting “more of the same”.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

That’s not a bad idea actually, but then wouldn’t there be a loophole where the singer could be credited as a “local songwriter” just to get around hiring a foreign team, regardless of their actual songwriting abilities?

Rom
Guest

I care about the quality of songs and how well it is produced and how it translates to the ears. I could care less if a song is being produced by foreign groups, hell Quedate Conmigo is one of my all time favorites and a Swede produced it. If a country decided to use a foreign production team, let them, it adds a competitive nature to the contest. As said last year, it is the singer and country that is remembered for winning, not the song writers or producers.

Marc
Guest
Marc

It’s the Eurovision SONG contest so the songwriters really matter.

A passerby
Guest
A passerby

So the winning countries are remembered for winning without even putting a single drop of sweat into creative process? Wow. Artists should just participate with their name without any flag, it would be fairer.

A passerby
Guest
A passerby

What is the point if a song ‘participates’ under a certain country’s flag, but was completely written and produced abroad (or if the singers themselves are not even citizens of the country they represent)? It makes no sense. Every country should put a certain effort into the creative process, not just he money, or it simply makes no sense.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I think it depends per country. Russia for example with it’s population of 180 million and big music scene could very well produce a good local eurovision song, but for a small country struggling with declining interest because of bad previous results like Macedonia. it can be quite a challenge to find a qualitative entry. In that case i don’t think it’s a bad thing when they approach a foreign composer or well known balkan ballad writer to write song for them. It’s only after Portugal won in 2017 that the quality of their national final started rising again.

Marc
Guest
Marc

I give more credit when a country is represented by its own local talent.
Eurovision should be really about identity and culture.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Most countries have their own flourishing music scene. So no use for foreign composers / producers. Using foreign composers is actually an “insult” to their own domestic ones. ESC takes the wrong direction if this continue I think

EurovisionBenny_AUT
Guest
EurovisionBenny_AUT

I am so grateful for this post! As somebody of you might know, national songwriters at Eurovision are a very big deal for me. In my opinion, it boosts the creativity and diversity! An Eurovision Song Contest where only songs written by local songwriters were permitted would be very interesting.