National final season is well underway. Today, on the eve of semi-final one of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix 2020, the first two of six pre-qualified entries have been released. KEiiNO’s “Monument” and TIX’s “Ut Av Mørket” both dropped just after midnight local time on Friday 15 January.
The two acts will receive their live premieres during the first semi-final of MGP 2021 on Saturday 16 January. Unlike the four semi-finalists, however, KEiiNO and Tix won’t need to compete for a place in the final. They will showcase their tracks as guaranteed finalists.
KEiiNO “Monument” (Melodi Grand Prix 2021)
KEiiNO — that’s Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan and Tom Hugo — won the 2019 edition of MGP with “Spirit In The Sky”. At Eurovision, their dance-pop Sami joik fusion song proved popular with fans, winning the televote and placing sixth overall with 331 points. Since then, KEiiNO have released 14 new songs, amassing a whopping 60 million streams worldwide.
Songwriters: Tom Hugo Hermansen, Alexander Nyborg Olsson, Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan og Rüdiger Schramm
In an interview with wiwibloggs, the trio spoke about the meaning of “Monument”:
“‘Monument’ is about the most important moments and people in a lifecycle. The song honours those who enrich other people’s lives without receiving medals or having streets named after them.”
“Monument” is described as a more adult version of “Spirit In The Sky”, with less euro-schlager influence. “We’re not mad if people prefer ‘Spirit’ over ‘Monument’. But it didn’t make sense for us to do it all over again,” Fred says. “We’ve grown both as a band and songwriters, and we feel “Monument” represents the group in a better way.”
TIX “Ut av mørket” (Melodi Grand Prix 2021)
TIX – also known as Andreas Haukeland – hails from Bærum, Norway. TIX’s first album “Dømt og Berømt” spent over 70 weeks on the Norwegian album chart. In May 2020, he had 11 songs in the Norwegian top 200 chart, including “Karantene”, “Skål” and “Kaller På Deg”.
Songwriters: Andreas Haukeland
In his first press release, TIX told NRK that he wants to share music with people via MGP:
“It has been a different year, and my life is about making music for the people. What better place than MGP?”
Andreas named himself TIX after his experience growing up with Tourette’s syndrome, taking ownership of his “ticks” and using the name to create his character. He is well known for his signature look: a headband, large rounded sunglasses and a fur coat.
He is also known internationally for his songwriting successes. TIX is one of the songwriters behind Ava Max’s hit “Sweet But Psycho”, which topped charts all over the world.
Melodi Grand Prix 2021: Semi-Final One
In addition to the two pre-qualified finalists, four more acts will compete in semi-final. They are:
- Beady Belle – “Playing with Fire”
- Jorn – “Faith Bloody Faith”
- Blåsemafian feat. Hazel – “Let Loose”
- Stina Talling – “Elevate”
We are yet to learn the names of the remaining semi-finalists from heats two, three, four and five. However, we do know the remaining pre-qualified finalists. They are:
- Rein Alexander – “Eyes Wide Open”
- Atle Pettersen – “World on Fire”
- Kaja Rode – “Feel Again”
- Stavangerkameratene – “Barndomsgater”
They will be joined by the winners of each semi-final. The remaining pre-qualified finalists’ entries will be revealed one by one every Friday before the semi-finals.
What do you think of “Monument” and “Ut av mørket”? Are they deserving pre-qualifiers? Let us know in the comments below.