We’ve covered all of the other four Nordic countries in “Possible Artists” so far, and today it is the turn of Norway; who currently hold the record for both the highest ever points scored and also the most last-placed entries. So, will 2014 bring them another Alexander Rybak or another Tooji? Only time will tell… but before then, I can at least highlight a couple of Norwegian artists who I believe would be worthy contenders for the contest next year!
Okay, so the picture does *slightly* give away the culmination of this post, but before we venture into the woods, I’d like to put forward two more serious, respectable and insanely talented Norwegian acts who I’d love to see in Copenhagen.
First of all, I’d turn to the Idol 2003 and X Factor 2009 alumni Gabrielle Leithaug, who has enjoyed the adoration of an ever-growing fanbase in Norway since the release of this; her insanely catchy 2011 #1 hit “Ring Meg”:
How about that, ey? From a first listen, this is the kind of incessantly happy, chart-ready modern sound that I think the contest always needs. The lyrics, although in Norwegian, pretty much transcend any linguistic barriers, and therefore the wide appeal is achieved whilst being able to retain the authenticity of national language, and avoid a dodgy English translation. The last time Norway sent anything in Norwegian was back in 2006, and although numerous NF entries have attempted to revive its presence at Eurovision (including the sublime Helene Bøksle, whose music I ADORE), their previous seven entries have steered clear of Norwegian altogether *sigh*
If they sent a song like “Ring Meg”, the strength of the melody and arrangement would doubtless make up for any animosity caused by the language. It’s summery as anything, and I can picture it being performed in an almost Flor-De-Lis style, colours and lights everywhere, really attention-grabbing and laid-back. Of course, her style is not limited to this by any means. Whilst the majority of her work so far has been rooted in the electropop genre, she has also produced acoustic gems such as “Ingenting“, bassy club bangers like “Bordet” (if you have decent speakers, play this one LOUD, it is freaking epic.) and even full-on dubstep monsters like “Inn I Deg“. She’s set to be releasing her second album (I believe) before the end of the year, and the lead single from it was released in March. Have a listen to “Regn Fra Bla Himmel”:
No denying here, that’s different. New, exciting, ingenious. A pretty stripped-back electronic production and a clever use of backing vocals give it more of an edge than your average downtempo electro jam… and then, of course, we get more of a focus on Gabrielle’s voice, which quite frankly is magnificent.
Time to reference my sister once more (as I did with Denmark) just to say that, out of all the various foreign artists I have been listening to recently, she specifically mentioned Gabrielle’s voice as one she would voluntarily listen to, saying it was really unique and interesting. As a general rule, she ain’t a fan of anything that’s not in English… so in winning her over, Gabrielle is proving already that she could be a force to reckon with on the Eurovision stage! And think about it: ex-talent show participant, phenomenal first-album success, household name in the home country… surely she will want to build on that with this second album, right? Would she see Eurovision as a potential stepping stone, as Margaret Berger did? We can only hope!!
Supposing she doesn’t, I have the perfect alternative, in the form of the male-female duo Ask Embla.
Now, you’re probably more familiar with these guys than you think you are. Ina and Arnthor are as much a songwriting outfit as a musical duo, and they are actually the writers of the international smash-hit single “Impossible” recorded in 2009 by Shontelle, and later by X Factor UK winner James Arthur (don’t believe me? Check out their original demo) Aside from that, they have written for The Saturdays, Britney Spears, The Wanted and Leona Lewis to name but a few – a pretty formidable background, right? They are best known in Norway for their debut single “Father’s Eyes” which has been a pretty much constant presence over there for the best part of a year. However, in suggesting them for Eurovision, I would single out this amazing track as the sort of thing I would hope them to send:
“I Fell In Love”, the second single from their AMAZING #1 album “Northern Light” (reviews here, here and here, would definitely recommend listening to it) is one hell of a tune isn’t it!? On the one hand, it is an up-to-date synth-fest, which will get everyone on their feet and singing along, but at the same time, the melody is euphoric, and the dialogue effect to the lyrics is a really interesting touch. I doubt Ask Embla would be interested in a Eurovision campaign, as they have already subtly exceeded the kind of stardom and reputation that the contest offers, however it would be my dream to see them in Copenhagen next May, as I just think Norway could pose a really serious threat to the title with one of their songs. Ida’s voice is flawless, Arnthor’s production is magical, the combined effect is nothing short of amazing, and more people need to discover this duo, fact.
Normally, I’d terminate a possible artists article at this point. I’ve given you two of Norway’s finest, and I’m about to give you the views of Europe, right?
Dog goes woof. Cat goes meow. Bird goes tweet and mouse goes squeak. Cow goes moo, frog goes croak, and the elephant goes toot. Ducks say quaaaack. And fish go blub. And the seal goes ow ow ow. But there’s one sound that no-one knows…
What does the fox say?
This song was uploaded to YouTube on September 3rd. The earliest point for songs to be eligible for Eurovision is September 1st. You can see where I’m going with this one, can’t you. So. Technically, comedy duo Ylvis *could* take “The Fox”, which has been the latest international viral video hit for the last few weeks, to next year’s Eurovision.
Just imagine it. The song already has a monster following. It’s infamous. It’s ridiculous. It’s genius. What kind of effect would such a high-profile song have on Eurovision? Walking the contest? Snubbed as a joke entry? Who knows… it’s worth a try though, right?
And after all that… feel free to have a listen to these other Norwegian artists we would both recommend!
Gunn-Bente E. Pedersen from Norway: I would love to see Ylvis. They are funny and they can sing.
Sylwek Fularczyk from Poland: If Norway send The Fox… Eurovision 2015 Oslo again xD
David Palsson from Iceland: I think this is just one wonder hit!!!! like Gangnam Style or Harlem Shake, it will be hard to make something better 🙂
Svana Lístí Agnarsdóttir from Iceland: Gabrielle would be a fantastic singer for Norway! She’s just… fabulous and she’d easily do well in Copenhagen
Well… as expected, it’s Ylvis who have generated the most discussion from this article. Of course, I love “The Fox” and it would be interesting to see how something like that would perform at Eurovision, but I am still holding out hope that someone from NRK will read this, and approach either Gabrielle or Ask Embla before it’s too late!!