John Lundvik will represent Sweden at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his song “Too Late For Love”. It is a soulful mid-tempo pop track with a passionate gospel accompaniment.
Swedish broadcaster SVT selected John through its annual Melodifestivalen contest. Over the course of a six-week nationwide arena tour, 28 songs were whittled down to 12. In a final held in the 50 to 60,000 capacity Friends arena, “Too Late For Love” came out on top, sweeping both the jury and public votes.
As we count down to Israel, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about John Lundvik. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
1. He started out as a sprinter
Back in the day, John was a competitive runner, winning a total of eight gold Swedish-national medals. But singing was always his dream. Thus, he gave up on athletics and pursued a music career instead.
2. “Too Late For Love” almost wasn’t submitted for Melfest
During our interview in Stockholm, John talked about the Melodifestivalen 2019 submission process. And there was another song that he sent to his label — “Bigger Than Us”! His label advised him to go uptempo, rather than sending yet another ballad to the contest. Of course, “Bigger Than Us” found its way to Eurovision too, more on that below.
3. He has one of Sweden’s biggest songwriters on his team
Melodifestivalen is always packed with high-profile songwriters. And John Lundvik’s entry is no exception. One of the composers is Anderz Wrethov. He’s worked on many of your favourite Eurovision and national final songs, including all three of Margaret’s Eurovision attempts (“Cool Me Down”, “In My Cabana” and “Tempo”). His biggest ESC hit is Eleni Foureira’s “Fuego”.
4. He’s the first artist to receive 12 points from all of the international juries at Melodifestivalen
While previous victors Loreen and Måns Zelmerlöw had impressive Melfest figures, neither can match John. In fact, he’s the first artist in Melodifestivalen history to receive the maximum amount of twelve points from all (eight) international juries. Although, Måns did score nine sets of 12 from a panel of 11 in 2015… but let’s let John have his moment.
5. He will be the first Eurovision act to compete against his own song
As y’all know, John’s “Bigger Than Us” ended up in the UK’s You Decide selection. Michael Rice took the win, and now John has two songs in Tel Aviv. This is the first time ever that a competing Eurovision singer has writing credits for two songs in the same year. Could John’s biggest competition be himself?
6. His song entered the Spotify Global charts.
Swedish fans love Melodifestivalen and the competing entries regularly scale the heights of the Swedish charts. Not only did John Lundvik’s “Too Late For Love” top the national charts, he also made it on to the Global Top 200 list on 10 March. He becomes the second act from this year’s Eurovision field (after Italy’s Mahmood) to enter the top 200 daily most streamed songs.
7. His first Melfest appearance came in 2014
While John made his debut as a singer with “My Turn” in 2018, he actually made his first Melodifestivalen appearance several years earlier. In 2014, he was the sole songwriter on Anton Ewald’s “Natural”. While the entry qualified directly from its semi, it bombed in the final and finished last with both the juries and public. He did significantly better on his two subsequent attempts — third in 2018 and first in 2019.
It's cool to look back and watch John Lundvik's first appearance in #Melfest – The year was 2014, the song was Anton Ewald's "Natural"?
(I was there as well, haha?)#Eurovision #DareToDream #ESC2019 #Sweden #JohnLundvik #Melodifestivalen @JohnLundvik pic.twitter.com/uZZrCGdTYu
— Ron K. (wiwibloggs) (@Ronkesc) March 30, 2019
8. He’s written for royalty
John’s big break came in 2010 when he co-wrote the song “When You Tell the World You’re Mine”. It was commissioned especially for the wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling. The track featured prominently during the ceremony, although John didn’t get to perform it himself. Instead, the honours went to Agnes and Björn Skifs.
9. He’s also written for the Olympics and Hollywood
John’s been an in-demand songwriter ever since. In 2016, he wrote and performed “All About The Games”, Sweden’s anthem for the Rio Olympic games. He’s also written for both the big and small screens, composing music for the Swedish movie Easy Money and the hit US TV show Empire.
10. He’s fully booked out
No matter the outcome in Tel Aviv, John’s summer schedule is already full. He will visit the length and breadth of Sweden as part of the Diggiloo tour, which also features the likes of Mariette and David Lindgren. And we should expect new music too! Shortly before Melodifestivalen 2019, John was in Bangkok for a songwriting camp. And he’s also been spending a lot of time with the team behind “Too Late For Love” — Andreas “Stone” Johansson and Anderz Wrethov. Who knows what else they have lined up for us?
We can’t wait to see what John Lundvik has in store for us next month. Do you think Sweden is a contender to win the contest again? Or is it too late for you to fall in love with the song? Let us know in the comments below.