Last week, we mentioned that we were recruiting two guest bloggers in the run up to Melodifestivalen 2011. One of the artists competing (Le Kid), and also one of the songwriters competing too (Linda Sonnvik). And Linda also manages another of the artists competing. So altogether it leads to a close insider’s view of what’s going on in and around Melodifestivalen 2011 – which we think is going to be really interesting. And a little bit exciting too!

Now for the first of those blogs.

Meet Linda Sonnvik!

Linda has composed ‘Try Again’ for the contest, which will be performed by Dilba. And Linda also manages Dilba too, alongside a roster of other artists. From next week, Linda will be blogging about all of the plans and preperations that are going into Dilba’s Melodifestivalen performance, and also the release of her single and album afterwards. But tonight you can read a little introduction from Linda about her thoughts on Melodifestivalen, how the song came to be submitted and accepted, and how she plans on enjoying every minute of the next few months!

THE ROAD TO MELODIFESTIVALEN 2011

Abba were my first love, I sung their songs in pretend English even before I
could speak. When I was 6 years old, Carola won Melodifestivalen with
”Främling”. I forced my parents to let me perform it every time they had
friends over, and I dressed up and put a tiara on my head. Sometimes I did
the Bucks Fizz-trick, doing that dance move removing my skirt wearing
shiny shorts under it. In 1989 I was at my first Melodifestival, I loved
the atmosphere in the Globe Arena. This year, when Anna Bergendal was
presented the winner, I sent one single text message from inside the arena
to a friend of mine. “Melodifestivalen is ready for you.” The friend
thought I was joking and texted me back “haha”. The friend was Dilba Demirbag.

I actually don’t think you can compete in music. For me it’s more about
the joy, the show and it being one big party. I have actually never
focused on submitting songs to Melodifestivalen. It has happened a couple
of times, that’s it. I’m not the type of writer who sits down and think
“this song shall be 3 minutes and fit into Melodifestivalen”.

Working mode

So without schlager festivities in mind, I wrote this pop/dance song
called “Try Again” together with the talented Niklas Pettersson. It was great, we played around a lot with different sounds and ideas and the main idea was to make it feel positive; lyric wise but also the vibe of the song
should be uplifting. We tried different singers for the song, there were
numerous labels and managements interested so we knew we were on to
something good. During this time Dilba and I were discussing starting to
work together and she asked me if I was interested in representing her
through my management. Hell yeah I was, and now I proudly am. She is one of my biggest inspirations as a songwriter, and I’m infatuated with her one of a kind voice. I’m not just saying this as a manager, I seriously am a fan. I have all her records and in my teens I went to numerous concerts and copied her look (damn, I hope she doesn’t lose that Kurd temper now that I reveal she’s older than me). Also she’s a brilliant business woman, being one of the Swedes who find new exciting ways to reach out with her music through new media, Internet and campaigns. So I find myself exploring new ways to work and am learning a lot. We make a good team and make sure to have real fun along the way.

I knew Dilba had a passion for dance music and that she’s a brave person and artist, but I had no idea she would ever think of singing something else than her characteristic and so loved sound. Why change such a winning concept? So when I played her “Try Again” I had no hidden agenda. We were just sitting in her sofa with a glass of wine (ok, maybe more than one..) and she asked what I was up to in my writing, next I played her the song “Try Again”. She fell in love with it and thought maybe she should try to record it. I got very excited (the teen inside me went “Aaaadyftsfxx!!”) and said yes …I have never booked a studio faster, haha. And the result. Wow. I and Niklas felt how the last piece of the puzzle felt right into place. The song got a crossover-vibe with her amazing vocals. Shortly I booked another studio, Niklas (who lives in Gothenburg) came up to Stockholm and Dilba recorded the proper vocals.

Dilba recording the vocals for“Try Again” in Solna, spring 2010

We decided to make it a single and Dilba felt ready to make a new album,
presenting this new side of herself. The date to submit songs for
Melodifestivalen was getting close and I suddenly felt it would be the
perfect place to present the song. I knew we were releasing the song any
way so I wasn’t afraid to get the song rejected, we just went along and
submitted it. One early morning very shortly after, my cell rang and I had
Christer Björkman on the line. One second I was asleep the other I was
almost in “Mello”. I tried reaching the songbird but she didn’t pick up
the phone. Later that day Dilba finally phoned me, not yet knowing I had
received the call from Christer. She was thrilled to surprise me that she had
agreed to compete and since she knew I love “mello” she also knew I would get silly happy – so she thought Christer stole her thunder, haha.

So here we are. Me, Niklas and Dilba. Everyone experienced in the industry
but all three in this forum for the very first time. We’ll be in the first
heat, in Luleå on February 5th. And we can’t wait. And with neither Niklas
or Dilba being much of “mello geeks” I am going all in, soaking up every
little detail. And the inner teen will go bananas when Dilba enters that
stage.

Luleå, we are ready!

Yes, I love this festive party. People are coming together in the darkest
time of year to enjoy new music and to let loose. In between Christmas and
Midsummer, Swedes celebrate Melodifestivalen! So I’m not trying to act
cool about it just because I already work in the music industry. That if
anything would be totally uncool, to hold everything in. Loving this music forum doesn’t make me less professional about it, rather the other way around. I have a song in Melodifestivalen 2011 and I am managing the fab artist performing it, so to hell with the “Jantelag” and back on with that tiara from my childhood!

Love, joy & glitter confetti
/Linda
x

My everyday blog: http://finest.se/sonnvik
Contact: Linda@soworks.com

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