Fredrik Kempe: His Top 20 Melodifestivalen Compositions

Fredrik Kempe: His Top 20 Melodifestivalen Compositions

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Later this month the latest series of Swedish Idol kicks off. It’s got an all new judging panel, and one face on there who will already be very familiar to many Scandipop readers is that of Fredrik Kempe. Full time hit maker and part time singer, what he’s MOST famous for however, is his astonishingly large contribution to the last ten years of Melodifestivalen. He’s not just penned an impressive number of Melodifestivalen entries for other artists, but he’s consistantly taken the majority of them to the final, and gone and won the contest four times too.

A number of the songs he’s written are undoubtedly some of the modern day classics of the schlager and Swedish pop genres. And he’s pretty adept at knocking out an almighty ballad too. With this in mind, and to mark the occasion of him joining the Swedish Idol judging panel on August 22nd (and here’s the trailer), we’ve compiled the Top 20 greatest Fredrik Kempe Melodifestivalen compositions. The man is an absolute legend of Scandinavian pop music. And we should all salute him for his services to schlager.

Here’s the accompanying Spotify playlist.

And here’s the countdown;

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20: Linda Pritchard – Alive
Spectacularly large ballad delivered equally spectacularly by THAT voice. What would be even better than this though, were if Linda P’s recording of that other big Fredrik Kempe Melodifestivalen ballad – Peter Jöback’s ‘Hollow’ – were finally released. Make it happen, Freddan…
(Fredrik Kempe, Oscar Görres)

19: Regina Lund – Rainbow Star
The music of Blondie’s ‘Atomic’ set to a ludicrous motivational anthem, with the camp factor cranked up to a ten. Love it.
(Fredrik Kempe, Bobby Ljunggren, Regina Lund)

18: Oscar Zia – Yes We Can
A respectable pastiche of Cheiron’s late 90s boyband sound. We’re living for the day that this style comes back into fashion, and hoping that Kempe was just a few years ahead of his time on this one.
(Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Hamed Pirouzpanah)

17: Samir & Viktor – Bada Nakna
Kempe took Samir & Viktor’s basic pop stylings and turned them into a schlager version of a football chant. And it worked phenomenally.
(Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Anderz Wrethov)

16: Kristin Amparo – I See You
A stark ballad that goes galactic and climactic. Tailor made for the Melodifestivalen final, until that pesky Hasse charmed his way in over it.
(Fredrik Kempe, Kristin Amparo, David Kreuger)

15: Anton Ewald – Begging
With Anton Ewald’s debut, Kempe proved once again that he’s the go-to man for a pop career launch on the Melodifestivalen stage.
(Fredrik Kempe, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad)

14: Janet Leon – Heartstrings
Leave it to Kempe to provide the big pop diva moment of an otherwise BARREN contest in 2013.
(Fredrik Kempe, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad)

13: Daniel Mitsogiannis – Pame
A hugely underrated schlager gem from 2008. Of course it can’t have helped that ‘Pame’ found itself in the same heat as another Kempe schlager classic – ‘Hero’ by Charlotte Perrelli. But more on that one later…
(Fredrik Kempe, Henrik Wikström)

12: Eric Saade – Manboy
A quite frankly AWFUL song title that will now follow Saade around for the rest of his career, but Christ what a tune.
(Fredrik Kempe, Peter Boström)

11: Eric Saade – Sting
There’s so much going on in this song that it’s a real testament to Kempe that he not only made it sound in any way coherent, but that he managed to make it even better than ‘Manboy’.
(Fredrik Kempe, Sam Arash Fahmi, Hamed Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger)

10: Malena Ernman – La Voix
Less than ten years later and we’re not sure if this song would even get voted into the final, never mind win the whole contest. It’s a truly astonishing three minutes of music, but we still believe that it’s absolutely brilliant(ly bonkers). And a worthy winner to what is rightly regarded as the strongest Melodifestivalen year of all time.
(Fredrik Kempe, Malena Ernman)

09: Sanna Nielsen – Undo
When this won the contest in 2014, there was a lot of talk around it being because people felt it was merely Sanna’s time. But let’s not allow anything to detract from the fact that ‘Undo’ is just a sensational ballad banger, plain and simple. And going on to finish in 3rd place at the Eurovision Song Contest a few months later proved it.
(Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Hamed Pirouzpanah)

08: Måns Zelmerlöw – Hope & Glory
Let’s be real – this was for all intents and purposes an inferior version of Kempe’s previous MZW MF entry mixed with an inferior version of Kempe’s MF winner from the previous year. But it’s still a solid 9.5 out of 10, so go figure.
(Fredrik Kempe, Måns Zelmerlöw, Henrik Wikström)

07: Charlotte Perrelli – The Girl
I was the gi-ir-irl, I got lost *BOOM*, *KEY CHANGE*” is one of the greatest few seconds of both music AND television of all time, anywhere, ever. Let’s not dwell on the fact that its failure to progress from its heat was one of the most spectacular artist falls from grace ever witnessed in Sweden. It still hurts.
(Fredrik Kempe, Alexander Jonsson)

06: Sanna Nielsen – Vågar Du, Vågar Jag
Sanna has since gone on to say that she actually doesn’t like this song anymore, and we kind of hate her for that tbh. There we are – a song so amazing, that it exposes a personality flaw within the nicest, most pleasant woman in Sweden.
(Fredrik Kempe, Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström)

05: Måns Zelmerlöw – Cara Mia
Before Saade, Ewald, Svenning, Zia, and erm….Youngblood ever got a look-in, Fredrik Kempe used ‘Cara Mia’ as the showcase for the perfect popstar launch on the Melodifestivalen stage. Ten years later and Måns Zelmerlöw is one of the biggest pop artists ever to come from Sweden. And this song is still one of the best things he’s ever done.
(Fredrik Kempe, Henrik Wikström)

04: Alcazar – Blame It On The Disco
With this, their fifth attempt, Alcazar came closer than ever to representing Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest. Hands up if you want them to reunite with Kempe for the song that finally does it for them.
(Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Hamed Pirouzpanah)

03: Sarah Dawn Finer – Moving On
Genuinely one of the best ballads that’s ever been made – in or outside the contest. Since this, SDF has gone on to become a massive star of both TV and music. Her most recent sounds have been quite far away from schlager balladry, but we live in hope that she will collaborate with Kempe one more time and knock out another ballad of this size and scale.
(Fredrik Kempe, Sarah Dawn Finer)

02: Eric Saade – Popular
A Melodifestivalen winner which went on to finish third at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Boney M and Lili och Susie were arguably called upon for riff references, but it was Kempe and Saade who knocked this song into the pop stratosphere, and broke the mold for the male Scandipopstar song template. ‘Popular’ is still an exhilarating and exciting listen today. We’d know, as we tend to give it a spin at least once a week, over half a decade later.
(Fredrik Kempe)

01: Charlotte Perrelli – Hero
A flawless and faultless example of the perfect composition of a schlager song. And within it, Fredrik Kempe and Bobby Ljunggren also managed to craft the ultimate key change. What a moment, and what a song.
(Fredrik Kempe, Bobby Ljunggren)

 

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