At Monday’s Melodifestivalen press conference, one of the artists we were most excited about talking to, was one of the artists whose participation we’re most looking forward to too – Dilba!
We haven’t written about her on before (aside from on the day that her participation in Melodifestivalen was confirmed by SVT of course!), simply because it’s been so long since she’s released any music. And we suspect that most of our non Swedish readers won’t have the faintest idea who she is either. Not just because she was never big outside of Sweden, but also because her past musical output is a world away from what we usually write about on here, and thus a world away from what a lot of you might perhaps be interested in. Plus, despite the fact that she’s been releasing music since 1996 (next year she celebrates 15 years as an artist), she’s never once graced the Melodifestivalen stage – this will be her first time.
So why are we so excited about her participation in particular?
Well, what we have here is an artist who has experienced huge success in Sweden as a singer/songwriter type of act. Her 100% self penned debut album sold over 100,000 copies in Sweden, which is a lot for Sweden. And each of the three later albums afterwards all sold Gold status, with her picking up numerous awards, including a Swedish Grammy, on the way. And here she is, 39 years old, and launching a comeback – as a commercial dance artist! WE LOVE THAT IDEA! She’s had massive hits doing totally the opposite, with some of her older songs still being synched to commercials in Sweden, as they’re so well loved. She’s a ‘serious’ and ‘credible’ artist (although after meeting her, we’re sure she’d scoff at those terms just as much as we detest them!). And every single she’s ever released in that usual style of hers, has gone top 10 in Sweden. So it’s not like she needed to change direction. But now she’s decided that she wants to step onto the dancefloor finally. And not just any dancefloor either – the high-camp, ultra-glam, super-showy Melodifestivalen stage! It’s difficult to compare it to anything, but can you imagine if Madonna had made a career out of releasing nothing but ‘Ray Of Light’ style albums (minus the title track!), and then, as a 40 year old, having never shown any sort of love for pop or commercial dance, come out with ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’?! Wouldn’t you just DIE with excitement?! We sure as hell would.
And that leads us to the song – ‘Try Again’. By all accounts, including Dilba’s own, it’s an upbeat, positive club track. Big on the basslines. But still very pop. It’s been composed by Niklas Pettersson and Linda Sonnvik – one of our favourite songwriting teams in recent years. Niklas Pettersson’s productions are our exact favourite type of dance/pop (Daisy’s ‘Everytime’ in particular, picking up two scandipop awards earlier this year!), and Linda Sonnvik’s lyrics and melodies are always super fun and super catchy, but with a subtle touch of sophistication to bring them up to the next level. Their music, on the Melodifestivalen stage, fronted by Dilba……..we just get the feeling that it’s going to be something quite immense.
And we were also pleased to learn on Monday morning that Dilba’s dabble with dance is going to go beyond Melodifestivalen too. She told us that she’s doing this properly. A full album of new club tunage will be released after the contest, and a brand new remix of her biggest hit to date, ‘I’m Sorry’, will be released next month – sort of as a gentle introduction to the new Dilba, the dancefloor Dilba!
Here’s the rest of our chat;
scandipop: Dilba, Melodifestivalen really seems like a world away from what you’ve done before.
scandipop: So what made you decide to finally do it now? And what are you expecting from it?
Dilba: Actually, once you know me a bit better, you know that I can do pretty much any crazy thing! I did Let’s Dance before, and that’s a big world away from what people expected of me. And I play professional poker too, which is also not what people expect me to do also. So I like doing things like that, surprising myself.
scandipop: A challenge for yourself perhaps.
Dilba: A challenge, yes! Do something that you wouldn’t normally get yourself to do.
scandipop: It keeps it fresh yeah. Cos I guess it can get stale very easily otherwise.
Dilba: Yes, ha ha!
scandipop: So you’ll be competing at Melodifestivalen with ‘Try Again’, which will be in the first heat in the first week of February. But will we be hearing any more music from you before then?
Dilba: Yes, there will be one single released before ‘Try Again’.
scandipop: Ooh, and what’s that going to be?!
Dilba: It’s a new version of an older song of mine, ‘I’m Sorry’. A club version.
scandipop: Cool! And you’ve been working on an album too. Do you think you’ll be ready to release that right after Melodifestivalen in March? Or will you wait a little while longer?
Dilba: No no, that’ll be released straight after Melodifestivalen.
scandipop: And what kind of sound is it gonna have?
Dilba: It’s gonna be more clubby this time!
Dilba: YAAAAYYYY! Ha ha ha! For when you go out and you want to dance. Ha ha!
scandipop: And for your performance of ‘Try Again’ at Melodifestivalen, I’m sure you’ve already had meetings to discuss what the staging is gonne be like. Can you let us in on………….
Dilba: Reveal something?!
Dilba: It’s going to be something very special. We are having discussions about that, and there are a lot of really brilliant ideas. We just have to pick and choose. It’ll be a hard one.
scandipop: It’ll be hard to stay within the budget I hope!
Dilba: Oh ha ha ha! Forget the budget! Ha ha! It’s way beyond already, ha ha!
scandipop: Exciting! Well thank you very much for your time Dilba.
Dilba: Thank you very much.