Next up on our journey is the land of oil, fjords and the birthplace of skiiing. It’s Norway!!!
Norway first took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960 and will take part for the 56th time this year. They have the dubious honours of finishing last and failing to score any points more times than any other country in the contest’s history. Fortunately for them, they have also won three times, in 1985 with “La det swinge” by Bobbysocks, in 1995 with “Nocturne” by Secret Garden and in 2009 with “Fairytale” by Alexander Rybak, the latter holding the record for the highest winning total and biggest winning margin under the old voting system. Last year, Norway failed to qualify for the final for the first time since 2011, as Agnete finished 13th in the semi-final with “Icebreaker”.
The Norwegian broadcaster, Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK), organised Melodi Grand Prix for the 55th time in order to select Norway’s entry. Ten songs from ten different genres were chosen to participate. In the first round of voting, ten international juries and the public chose four gold finalists. In the gold final, public voting alone decided the winner. With 36.14% of the vote in the gold final, JOWST feat. Aleksander Walmann won the Norwegian ticket to Kyiv.
Joachim With Steen, commonly known as JOWST, is a Norwegian producer. He was born on June 26th 1989 in Trondheim in central Norway. At the age of 15, he developed an interest in punk rock and songwriting. After finishing his studies in sound and music production in the Noroff Institute in Oslo, he returned to the institute as a teacher. He joined Red Line Studio in 2011 as a sound engineer and began creating his own music.
Aleksander Walmann Åsgården, known simply as Aleksander Walmann, is a Norwegian singer. He was born on January 12 1986 in Porsgrunn in southern Norway. His first foray into the music industry came in 2012, when he took part in the first season of The Voice – Norges beste stemme. He made it to the final.
Their entry for Kyiv, “Grab the Moment”, was written by Jonas McDonnell and composed by JOWST.
To be honest, I didn’t like this song at all when I first heard it. I thought it was a bit bland. But it has grown on me since then. It sounds modern and has enough grit to make it sound edgy. The only problem I can see with this song is the pre-recorded vocals. All vocals have to be live on the night, so I don’t know if they can find a solution without sounding cheap. We could see Norway heading back to the final once more!
What Could Have Been
In my opinion, Melodi Grand Prix was quite sub par in terms of songs this year. The only song that stood out for me was Elin and the Woods with “First Step in Faith (Oadjebasvuhtii)” (Safety). The combination of Sámi culture and modern sounds make for something special. It would have been the first Eurovision entry in a Sámi language and to be honest, we all need some Arctic realness in our lives.
Lykke til Norge!
Is JOWST making your grab the moment or grab the remote? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, NRK, YouTube)