KEiiNO - Tix Melodi Grand Prix 2021

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. 

 Follow all of our Norway Eurovision 2021 news.

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Alex
Alex
8 months ago

Keiino’s song is anthemic! I’hope they have a strong performance prepared.

_Peyton22
_Peyton22
8 months ago

Mark my words, Monument will come to life on stage.

Honesty
Honesty
7 months ago
Reply to  _Peyton22

It didn’t xD

Polliu
Polliu
8 months ago

A hot mess indeed. They think they put everything in one song and people will think it’s EUROVISION winner. Hell no. Jury will bury this again.

dmg
dmg
7 months ago
Reply to  Polliu

LOL of 26 songs a jury selected Monument and 5 other songs as a pre-qualified song for the MGP final

Tugay Turgay
Tugay Turgay
8 months ago

Keiino Monument is more heart warming and belong to the stage kind of song, spirit in the sky was rather more like a poem, poem style songs don’t really do much for winner, e.g. azerbaijan 2015, armenia 2010 and many more, hard to understand and audience and all eurovision viewers pay attention something that is easy to understand and rock the stage in meaningful way both in terms of music and lyrics, but trying to sing poem style song nope sorry, it’s seems that keiino and it’s deligation have taken into account this factor and this time they pick something… Read more »

Marc
Marc
8 months ago

I liked it better after a second listen but it’s not anything new or original. It doesn’t scream ‘winner’. I’m sure it will have more impact live but it does not give me goosebumps or a big smile or any lasting connection that you should get from an ESC winner.

John
John
8 months ago

Monument is currently on Itunes in both Norway (no 1), Denmark, Sweden and UK. Interesting! Great song, wouldn´t mind it winning MGP!

tylos
tylos
8 months ago

I love Keiino, but Monument is a bit underwhelming. Agree with some other comments that the hook is lacking. Tom is underutilised and the joiking feels detached.
They’ve moved on from Spirit in the Sky but other tracks from them like Praying or Would I Lie have left a much bigger impact.

Chr
Chr
8 months ago

Idk if it’s only me but I listened to this song twice and I don’t remember a single line of it. I was not a fan of ‘Spirit in the sky’, but have to admit this is way better than that song. Also, I think it was way too soon for them to come back and Norway has a lot of different singers that they can offer so, at this point I would go for someone else. But who knows, maybe this will grow on me and we already know that KEiiNO are capable of winning the televoting.

Héctor
Héctor
8 months ago

“Spirit in the Sky” sounds better I don’t even like tbh. But, yeah, I’ve prepared myself for Keiino winning a being overrated for the rest of the season.

Katy_Cro
Katy_Cro
8 months ago

To me, Monument is “fine” and for a Keiino song that means, it could have all the potential in the world. So far, none of their songs really got me in the studio version. I cannot exactly put my finger on it, but there is something about their voices that just gets lost, when put on tape. I think that is especially true for Fred. Somehow his joik and rap sound a lot weaker to me on record, while when he is performing it live on stage he has this strong and almost a bit rough sound in there. Judging… Read more »

euroboy
euroboy
8 months ago

OMG this sounds epic on the first listening. With a great staging and singing it can definitely leave a good impression and possibly win it all.

Ana
Ana
8 months ago

Spirit In The Sky was a cheezy hot mess, and this one is even more so. So.. Progress?

Sale
Sale
8 months ago

I am sorry, but imo Monument is a hot mess. It tries to be anthemic and powerful, to please the public and general viewers, and on the other hand it has some music elements for example the violin, which feel out of place in an upbeat pop dance song, and it feels like those elements are just there to please the juries, and the one think most of all that bugs me is that the song itself doesn’t have a HOOK! All and all imo Spirit in the sky was a much better song which was instanly memorable and this… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

There isn’t just one way to write and produce a song. A “hook” is not mandatory for the success of a song. The audience needs to remember it in order to vote for it and in ESC this is where visuals and staging and the artists’ performance come in to enhance the message. Funny you mention the violin, ESC channel on YT has a video on Norway in ESC and they talk about how the violin brought victory to Norway with Nocturne and Fairy tale. They failed tho to include KEiiNO winning the public vote in 2019. They should redo… Read more »

Sale
Sale
8 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

You mention the audience needs to remember it in order to vote. Well that’s the problem for me I listened to the song 2 times and I can’t remember it’s melody at all. How it comes of visually on the stage it’s another story so far it’s forgetable to me. And the violin that you mentioned that gave them victories that is true, but in a song like this it does seem a little bit out of place.

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

For the record, I was referring to ESC songs, specifically, but not to one song in particular. However, speaking of the potential of Monument in ESC, I think it was obviously written with ESC on mind and it’s a song for people to *see*. That’s how I see it, really, and I absolutely love it. I also love the violin because there is no symphony without violins! I do wonder tho, what if Alexander Rybak has a cameo?

Bandido
Bandido
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

Sale, You’re absolute right! As a composion or song Spirit in the Sky was better! Monument is too calculating, seems to be cut/pasted from different songs incl. Euphoria and hear even Darude ‘Feel the beat’ at some point.

Joe
Joe
8 months ago

As a norwegian i am 100% sure tix will win just because the huge status he has in norway. Im sorry everybody. I Don’t like him myself, but i think he will win.

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

His song is excellent.

Marc
Marc
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I like the Tix entry- it’s better than Keino!

ABC
ABC
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Couldn’t agree more – Tix’ song is a thumb down!

Regina Phalange
Regina Phalange
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Didn’t Tone Damli have big status as well though?

dmg
dmg
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Tix fans will not watch MGP. LOL

Honesty
Honesty
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

As you said! 😀

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

I know the song by heart, almost. I have the silly theory that Tom’s voice is actually out there but it’s not obvious where. I also think that the interspersed joik could be a hook so to speak. I can’t wait to watch the performance.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
8 months ago

Why do I feel like Monument is going to be the overhyped entry of the year that doesn’t win its national final…

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

I so wanted Keiino to win ESC 2019. And now it bugs me that out of 6 songs released for Norway , it’s already not leading for me.

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago

I like it enough to listen again, but don’t love it…yet.

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Monument, that is.

Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I’ve listened to it the second time and I liked it more than the first time. I think it will be a grower for me. I am totally torn because *I love KEiiNO* with all my heart. But I am not in love with “Monument”. Yet 🙂 No pun intended!!

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

I also remember that you are not in favour of returning performers, so you are probably very conflicted right now…

Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes I am not in favour of returning artists or composers. But I do *love* KEiiNO so I am making an exception. Dino Merlin would be another one. I also love Nina from Croatia. Not conflicted though. I prefer to celebrate Eurovision and people I like.
To add: I don’t like returning artists and composers was mainly for the big show, not the national selections.

Last edited 8 months ago by Una
ABC
ABC
8 months ago

12!

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

I could see “Monument” on the ESC stage while I was listening to it, it has the potential for an epic staging. If the stage in R’dam is as spectacular as we’ve been told, and KEiiNO don’t face face problems during the jury show as they did in Tel Aviv, they will probably make a great impact on people and also get a great result. I didn’t know what to expect the other time but I was floored with amazement and joy when I watched their performance. I’m confident they can only do better than what they did in Tel… Read more »

Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

William made a reaction video to “Monument”. Fred provided him with the translation of the words in Sami.

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

Yes indeed! Very good lyrics!

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

I was reading the translated lyrics while listening to the song and Fred rapping that everything we hear is the echo of yesterday gave me goosebumps. Still not sold on the “Thunder and gloria”, but I like all the rest of it (I’m fine with the “minor symphony” now) and love Fred’s participations.

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Minor symphony, like a symphony in a minor key – meaning a great life, but with sadness. Not a small symphony, like I stupidly thought on first listen. The thunder lyrics are the same – good times, bad times, they’ve lived through it all.

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I understand it differently, “minor symphony” as an idea of something that’s meaningful and complex but small compared to existence. “Like a shadow whisper in the night”. It’s a beautiful way to see it and it fits the meaning of the lyrics. The “thunder and gloria” probably has the intention you mentioned, but “gloria” is quite a strong word, so I would need to know what exactly they wanted to say with thunder. Maybe mythology explains it. For now, it sounds like an odd pair of words to me. Though if my whole problem is just with a single word,… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I had exactly the same understanding for “minor symphony” as you LOL!

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

We’re all right, lyrics can mean whatever the listener wants them to. 🙂

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Like I’ve read an artist (maybe it was even an Eurovision one) saying once: the moment the song is out, the listeners will find it new meanings. We had a great example last year, “Fai rumore” was a song about a broken relationship that became an anthem of the social isolation times.

Last edited 8 months ago by Sabrina
Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Super interesting!

Stephanie
Stephanie
8 months ago

I made myself a promise, I will only listen to the songs who actually will represent their country at eurovision. Maybe I will miss a few good songs, maybe I won’t..

Honesty
Honesty
7 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

You can listen afterwards, honey.

Alex
Alex
8 months ago

I love the song, it has the typical Keiino arrangement/pattern but I am not sure if it can win in the national final. It will do well nevertheless.

If it goes to ESC, i think it won’t do as good in televoting as they did with Spirit for obvious reasons. It also has to do with the competition. But juries will appreciate them this time.

Chris
Chris
8 months ago

Monument was a disappointment for me….it isn’t BAD, but they hyped it up as this modern uptempo pop song that would show growth from Spirit in the Sky, and it isn’t that. It falls flat in comparison because – as others have said – it isn’t as catchy, it doesn’t have a hook. The lyrics are….questionable. Without the europop/schlager element, you’re sort of just left with this kind of dated song. I wasn’t expecting to prefer Tix over Monument, but there ya go. His song is a sort of love note to 90s pop ballads which is enjoyable, not what… Read more »

Lolek
Lolek
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Although I don’t dislike Monument (I really enjoy it), I do agree with you that it seems to lack a hook. Those parts where you’d really expect the song to take off just don’t. Still, it is a very strong song.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Monument is not dated song lmao

Edu
Edu
8 months ago

Monument is a masterpiece! Different from Spirit in the sky. Love how music changes in different parts.
This is is top 10 material for sure, and why not winning Eurovision!?
Would be amazing!
Go Keiino, fingers crossed in Buenos aires 🙂

Nudiecrudi
Nudiecrudi
8 months ago

Monuments isn’t that monumental at all.
Very similar to the Spirit but a bad copy of it.
The structure of the song is the same. Don’t feel any improvement or research to show to us a different angle.
This song seems the B side or the minor sister of Spirit, and we have had enough Spirit.
On the other hand TIX offers a very mainstream song in Norwegian, but this fact is the only positive thing.
Seems a bit bland.
But these are only firs impressions.

dmg
dmg
7 months ago
Reply to  Nudiecrudi

Are you kidding me, the melody structure is not the same in this to songs. LOL.

Grft
Grft
8 months ago

As much as I like Monument, the lyrics are??? They put every random word they were thinking about lol

Kim
Kim
8 months ago

Monument: Love love love it!! However I don’t think it would be a winner at ESC. It’ll do high in Televote but still not convinced the juries will go for it.

Adam
Adam
8 months ago

On First listen it has elements of “Rasmussen – Higher Ground”, “Ira Losco – Walk on Water” & “Loreen – Eurphoria”

Love it! SITS is legendary, but this has something cinematic about it!

Salem
Salem
8 months ago

Monument would be the perfect Eurovision song if it had a hook. And by that I mean a chorus that you can sing along to after just one listen. I cross my fingers they adjust it!

Last edited 8 months ago by Salem
Colin
Colin
8 months ago

Monument really is – monumental! I had zero doubts that Keiino would go big. If they win MGP, it’s not a question on whether they’ll qualify, but how high they’ll go in the finals. 😉

TIX’s song is also really nice and it’s refreshing to hear more songs in Norwegian. I hope the lyrics are good too.

It will likely be long before one of the Nordics picks a song in their national language, but it’s always nice to have that option (Monument has parts in Sami, so there’s that).

Last edited 8 months ago by Colin
Kalla
Kalla
8 months ago

I really got that happy goosebump, teary feeling listening to keiino, they had a lot to live up to, and they have delivered! Really trying not to over listen, 4 months till will be hopefully be seeing them live on stage! Does the rap parts remind anyone else of igranka the Moldovan entry 2013 hehe?

Michaela Radová
Michaela Radová
8 months ago
Reply to  Kalla

Haven´t thought of Igranka (legendary!) but you´re absolutely right! imho its a mashup of a lots of the best elements of the best esc songs =)

Kalla
Kalla
8 months ago

It really is, was definitely my guilty pleasure of 2013 and the most memorable for me!

Una
Una
8 months ago

I adore KEiiNO like no other act ever in the history of my Eurovision!! I like “Monument” but I ****loved**** “Spirit in the Sky”. I still love it and my heart swells when I watch their live performance in Tel Aviv. I am ready to be surprised with the live performence in Oslo. “Ut av moerket” – it’s a love song!! I like it!! Songs in other languages than English are too few in Eurovision. But they are a lovely a gift for sure!! It is my favourite of MGP so far – I like it more than “Faith Bloody… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Una
Tom
Tom
8 months ago

Monument is awesome. I definitely see Keiino on the top this year!

Kosey
Kosey
8 months ago

Wow, first time I have gotten shivers in this season – KEiiNO, you have done it again! So epic, so melancholic, so mystical – I can imagine this looking fantastic on stage – well done! Someone is going to have go very far to beat you now!

And TIX, what a surprisingly nice addition as well – maybe I am in a good mood but I’m feeling your entry too.

Well, Norway, it looks like we might have a contest on our hands!!

Arild Esnali
Arild Esnali
8 months ago

The eurovision-tramp in me has woken up again! Monument is not a typical eurovision song and I like it way more than spirit in sky. And I liked that song. Did not know what to expect when I started listening and now Monument is on repeat x10. Flawless and on point vocals. Mystical nordic whipsering. Perhaps you not immediately will jump totha dancefloor, more rather listening. Well done, Keiino.

mandarinaitsme
mandarinaitsme
8 months ago

Monument made me cry from the 1st listen. Thank you Keiino!

John
8 months ago

Love love love Monument.

Jago
Jago
8 months ago

Keiino’s is a very good song. Not sure if it will repeat the impact of Spirit.
Ut av Mørket is very good! I would love Norway sending a song in norwegian!!

Lollipop ESC
Lollipop ESC
8 months ago

No doubt KEIINO offers us a bop here. In some way the song reminds me on “Volcano Man” from the Eurovision movie. It is high class “Euro Pop”. In my opinion that song has not the same sing along chorus hook as “Spirit in the Sky” had. Could this song score with the audience = Yes. Could that song get many points by the ESC juries = I don’t think so. Overall it is a very good and catchy song and not a “Spirit In The Sky Part 2”. Well done Keiino.

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago

Monument sounds it could lend itself to really good staging. I wonder if the low jury score KEiiNO attracted was in part due to relatively underwhelming staging? Like if they had more stuff on stage I feel they would’ve finished 15th-16th on the jury count and made the top 5 ahead of Sweden

oscillate
oscillate
8 months ago

I actually prefer Monument than Spirit in the Sky. My only concern with the song is that it seems like it peaks at least 3x within 3 mins, which can be anti climactic.

Mil
Mil
8 months ago

Vol-can-ic protec-tor maaannn #2

Last edited 8 months ago by Mil
MartyMcCU
MartyMcCU
8 months ago

This is a good track and if it was one of their songs in their their album I wouldn’t mind to listen to . Fans of the group will add it to their play list and enjoy it as it is . As for a Eurovision entry if chosen it will not go anywhere , the instant hook appeal is lost completely. Neither the juries or the public will give a high score to this . Spirit in the sky was all more pop and dancy and had an instant appeal that is why the public voted for it .… Read more »

Teddi
Teddi
8 months ago

Keiino brings Keiino! This is just as expected!! Love it! Euro Pop BOP!

finnished
finnished
8 months ago

I always failed to like Spirit in the sky. Monument is not my cup of tea either but I think it is still somewhat better (than sitk) so perhaps they have improved chances with the juries, should the make it to Eurovision.

Robert
Robert
8 months ago

Monument lacks the impact the Spirit definitely has.. Besides for me it’s too soon to see Keiino back in Eurovision.. Haven’t missed them as I’ve played Spirit in my car so often, even more than Arcade and I’m Dutch haha

Kris
Kris
8 months ago

With monument , I definitely find it more vocally versatile than Spirit in the sky . And Fred’s abilities are well used .

However , the song completely lacks a memorable hook. I don’t think it gains enough jury points as much as televote points the song will loose for lacking a hook.

But it’s a certain qualifier , yes .

But Kudos to Keiino for bringing a different side of them .

I liked TIX’s song , especially the first two minutes. The key change was not needed.

Dogseuro
Dogseuro
8 months ago
Reply to  Kris

I think monument will do better than spirit in the sky (not cause I like it more but… I like it more lmao) I doubt it would win televote but top 5 I could feel very confident about and I feel like it could be a way more jury friendly song…

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Dogseuro

It’s possible ,but like you said “it’s doubtful it will win the televote “

Jake
Jake
8 months ago

I am shocked by the effusive compliments that Monument is getting. I fell in love with Spirit in the Sky at first listen and this left me slightly cold. I think SITS was such an earworm and while I appreciate the instrumentation and the voices in Monument, it really lacks a hook. It just feels epic and anthemic but I couldn’t even remember or singalong to the chorus. I’m sure if Rybak easily scored another victory with that horrible write-a-song silliness then the country’s love for Keiino can see them to another victory. I just wonder if the producer of… Read more »

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Jake

Exactly my concern. Absolutely lacks a hook and they have a dedicated space for a hook and instead say * something harmony ” .They build up to it and then leave us cold

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Kris

Lol , I meant ” something symphony “But it illustrates my point. Lacks the sing along hook

Ari
Ari
8 months ago

I said it about Finland earlier today, and I think I can say it again: we don’t really need to hear the rest. Barring a masterpiece from Rein or a knockout performance from Stina, I think KEiiNO has locked up the MGP win here and now. This is a knockout song whose televoting potential could devastate the competition at Eurovision. As opposed to “Spirit in the Sky”, this one could prove to be a jury darling as well, as it’s much more mature and well-conceived than the former. My one very minor gripe with this song is the drum patterning… Read more »

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
8 months ago
Reply to  Ari

You do realize that there are a lot more than half the songs left and half the artists haven’t even been announced. The mgp hod said that there would be four potential winners, likely keiino being the only one we’ve heard so far.

yom124
yom124
8 months ago
Reply to  Ari

This is not a televote guarantee at all. Spirit in the Sky did so well because of its fun crazy nature, not its production value as the juries reflected. The same people voting for spirit in the sky will not vote for this, especially if dadi has a banger and if little big do indeed return. Sure this could 100% score much better with the juries especially if they give it a cohesive professional staging this time. And if they angle said staging right they could target a different televoting audience and still do well, but I feel its a… Read more »

Joca
Joca
8 months ago

Monument is so beautiful I’m literally crying and I wish you guys all the best

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
8 months ago

These aren’t like, super outstanding nor do they scream “winner” or anything, but I like them both on first listen so I guess that’s a good thing.