This week next month it’s time. The opening week of Melodifestivalen 2017. Just over a month ago we got the big reveal as to who will be taking part in this year’s Melodifestivalen, with what songs, and written by whom. Melodifestivalen season begins, and the journey to the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine gets underway. Though with it being Sweden, Melodifestivalen is about SO much more than at. So we don’t just have 28 artists competing to win, we have 28 acts who have got new music to share with us, and want to showcase it via the biggest platform in Sweden. So step forward some of the most popular artists that the country has to offer, plus the most promising fresh new talent that’s been waiting in the wings.
Here are the 28 artists and songs competing in Melodifestivalen 2017, what they look like, and what we know about them so far;
Heat 1: Göteborg (Feb 4th)
Adrijana – Amare
(Martin Tjärnberg, Adrijana Krasniqi)
19 year old hip-hop artist Adrijana makes her debut in Melodifestivalen with ‘Amare’. She describes it as a love song, and says that the only reason she entered it into Melodifestivalen, was because the song is such an obvious hit to her. Welcome Adrijana!
Boris René – Her Kiss
(Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren)
Boris returns with a song written for him by the same two chaps who penned his song last year, ‘Put Your Love On Me’. That sent him to the final via Andra Chansen, and was a huge Spotify hit. So it’s not a surprise to see him back. It would also be no surprise whatsoever to us if he found himself in the Top 4 of this heat, too.
Nano – Hold On
(Nano Omar, Gino Yonan, Ayak, Carl Rydén, Christoffer Belaieff, Rikard de Bruin, David Francis Jackson)
This chap broke through in a big way in 2015 with the song ‘Lion’, and went on to have an even bigger hit last year with ‘Perfect Melody’. So it’s a bit of a coup that SVT have got him into Melodifestivalen so soon. He’s riding a wave of radio and streaming success, so while he won’t be as well known to MF viewers as most others in this heat, he’s not to be counted out.
Charlotte Perrelli – Mitt Liv
(Charlotte Perrelli, Lars Hägglund)
The schlager legend is back. But not as you know her, unfortunately. Despite promising us early last year during a Melodifestivalen interval act that “här står jag, ensam kvar“, she’s in fact turned her back on the schlager that she made such a show of saving less than a year ago. ‘Mitt Liv’ is a ballad which she wrote herself along with the guy behind Sara Varga’s ‘Spring För Livet’. She describes it as stripped back, and that she’s not here to win – but merely to promote her new album. We’re expecting a rethread of the horribly misjudged single that she released at the end of last year (you can search it out yourself, it’s not making these pages – ever). And while we respect her for doing her own thing on her own terms, we’ll be looking elsewhere in this heat for our tunes, thanks.
Dinah Nah – One More Night
(Thomas G:son, Jimmy Jansson, Dinah Nah, Dr Alban)
This is more like it. Queenah Nah joins forces with the same guys who were behind ‘Make Me…La La La’, a finalist back in 2015. Thomas G:son is on board this time around as well though. So we’re expecting a banger that’s as big as last time, but even better. We’re delighted to see her competing again. She knows her audience.
De Vet Du – Road Trip
(Johan Gunterberg, Christopher Martland)
An impossibly handsome comedy act of four chaps, who have managed to amass tens of millions of Spotify streams of their singles, hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their YouTube channel, and even two actual full length albums. We’re expecting Mange Makers meets Samir & Viktor meets actually quite quality dance beats. And the biggest threat to our favourite names in this heat.
Ace Wilder – Wild Child
(Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Ace Wilder)
This one has a flawless record at Melodifestivalen, thus far never finishing outside of the Top 3 in the final, the two times she’s competed. And she’s also never failed to bring with her an absolute banger for the ages. This time she teams up with the two gents who were behind Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’. And so on paper, with all that considered, we have no reason to believe that she won’t find herself in the upper echelons of the final leaderboard once more. We just hope that the Swedish voting public won’t be fatigued by the undeniable fact that a really obvious internationally successful popstar, isn’t yet an internationally successful popstar. And therefore something’s amiss. Still, she says she’s back so soon because she actually sent this song in to compete at Melodifestivalen 2016. So to be given the chance to take part with it now, she couldn’t turn it down. Give her one more shot guys. This could be her year…
Heat 2: Malmö (Feb 11th)
Mariette – A Million Years
(Thomas G:son, Johanna Jansson, Peter Boström, Mariette Hansson, Jenny Hansson)
After finishing third in 2015 with the spectacular ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, Mariette is a welcome prospect to see returning to the contest. She’s kept her head above water with the songs she’s released since then – in terms of quality anyway, rather than commercial success. So we’d be very surprised to see her return with anything less than a solid eight out of ten. And like Ace in Heat 1, she’s bringing with her the almighty pairing of G:Son and Boström.
Benjamin Ingrosso – Good Loovin’
(Benjamin Ingrosso, Louis Schoorl, Matt Pardon)
One of our favourite new artists of the last twelve months (as with most of the acts in the line-up, use the search bar on the top-right of the page to see what they’ve done before), Benjamin has been consistent in releasing big tune after big tune. It’s heartening that he’s here given that he really doesn’t need to be. And so we reckon he’ll be an obvious finalist. No – that’s not a spelling mistake in the song title unfortunately….
Dismissed – Hearts Align
(Ola Salo, Peter Kvint)
One of the most exciting songwriting teams in the contest this year – the former frontman of The Ark teams up with the gent who co-wrote most of Darin’s last album. And together they contribute a song to a relatively new rock band, who are already gaining notoriety for their memorable live shows, and striking visuals. Live shows…..visuals….they’re in the right place.
Roger Pontare – Himmel och Hav
(Thomas G:son, Alexzandra Wickman)
The Melodifestivalen 2000 winner returns to the contest with a song that he is describing as an ethnic hymn with a symphonic arrangement – akin to a film’s theme music. An interesting hybrid for a contest like this, but it’s cool to see him compete again.
Lisa Ajax – I Don’t Give A
(Ola Svensson, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Anton Hård af Segerstad)
Popstar Ola teams up with the writing team behind MZW’s ‘Heroes’, plus Lisa’s own Melodifestivalen entry from last year ‘My Heart Wants Me Dead’. Lisa Ajax is a dead cert for the final, and we’d even say that SVT might well be lining her up for a potential win. Look at what’s around her in this heat – they want her in that final. At November’s press conference Lisa confirmed that her song is catchy af, and just as strong as its predecessor last year.
Etzia – Up
(Johnny Sanchez, Hanif Sabzevari, Simon Gribbe, Erica Haylett)
This lady has been around since the start of the decade, as a dancehall and reggae artist. And she’s confirmed that ‘Up’ will be in the same vein, if a little more pop.
Allyawan – Vart Haru Varit
(Masse Salazar, Samuel Nazari)
Most known recently from the TV4 programme Lyckliga Gatan, though Allyawan has been releasing down-tempo hip-hop music in Swedish for most of the decade. He’s co-written his song with one of the most iconic names on the Swedish hip-hop scene – Masse Salazar. And both will surely be calling upon their armies of followers to vote. If said followers are going to be watching Melodifestivalen, that is….
Heat 3: Växjö (Feb 18th)
Owe Thörnqvist – Boogieman Blues
Aged 87, he’s the oldest Melodifestivalen contestant of all time. With a self penned track, he’s unlikely to steer away from the retro troubadour blues that he’s synonymous with. And we’re therefore probably unlikely to really get behind him. But many will.
Bella & Filippa – Crucified
(Peter Hägerås, Mats Frisell, Jakob Stadell, Filippa Frisell, Isabella Snihs)
Their debut single ‘Missing Rose’ was released last month, and so we can only really look to that for clues as to how ‘Crucified’ might sound. But they’re pretty obvious clues. Bella & Filippa are a country-pop duo through and through. The debut single is strong. And so their entry could be a contender for surprise of the night.
The Fooo Conspiracy – Gotta Thing
(Robert ”Mutt” Lange, Tony Nilsson)
The frontrunners of the contest, and the big favourites to win. Their fanbase alone is enough to give these chaps a victory (the same fanbase has already resulted in them winning three MTV EMA Awards, most recently beating Zara Larsson in votes). And that coupled with the fact that their song is written by the man behind Shania Twain’s biggest hits? They’re gonna need to do something monumentally awful on the night for them to fuck this up. But then have you seen them perform? Flaw-less.
Jasmine Kara – Gravity
(Anderz Wrethov, Jasmine Kara)
Jasmine got given a massive promotional push a few years back, to disappointing commercial results. And it’s been diminishing returns ever since, with a string of independent releases over the past 12 months going by largely unnoticed. Still, it’s about time she got given a place at Melodifestivalen. And with Anderz Wrethov by her side as a composer (he was behind three MF finalists this year, by SaRaha, Samir & Viktor, and David Lindgren), we have high hopes.
Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
(David Kreuger, Hamed ”K-One” Pirouzpanah, Robin Stjernberg)
Another very welcome return in 2017 from the 2016 contest. This time he’s armed with a song that’s composed by the guy who won Melodifestivalen in 2013, and two guys who wrote the song that won Melodifestivalen in 2014. Despite their win with ‘Undo’ though, Kreuger and K-One are more well known for their big produced belters. And that, coupled with Robin Bengtsson’s most recent single, give us the hunch that he’s going up-tempo for 2017.
Anton Hagman – Kiss You Goodbye
(Christian Fast, Tim Schou, Henrik Nordenback)
We’ve championed this guy on here a lot over the last few years – first as a member of the duo JA, then the trio Lines & Colours, and then finally with his own solo endeavors via YouTube covers. So we’re pleased to see him finally launch his solo career properly – and on the Melodifestivalen stage too. He’s got Tim Schou on board as a songwriter – the frontman of Danish Eurovision entrants A Friend in London. Tim has never really moved away from anthemic guitar pop since then, so we reckon Anton (who plays guitar himself) will be latching onto that sound well.
Krista Siegfrids – Snurra Min Jord
(Krista Siegfrids, Gustaf Svenungsson, Magnus Wallin, Gabriel Alares)
You might be surprised to see Krista back because of the poor performance of ‘Faller’ in last year’s contest. But don’t forget that outside of Melodifestivalen she’s a proper awesome popstar who is more than capable of delivering the tunes one after the other. And so we imagine she’s delved into her repertoire and presented SVT with an even better song than last time around. The big hint is seeing Gabriel Alares as a songwriter – the gent who brought us Robin Bengtsson’s ‘Constellation Prize’ this year, and who was behind the Russian Eurovision entry that almost stopped the Swedish win in 2015. Krista has confirmed that this song is a CLUB anthem.
Heat 4: Skellefteå (Feb 25th)
Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down
(Justin Forrest, Jonas Wallin, Lauren Dyson)
The contest’s sweetheart of 2016 is an obvious choice to return once again in 2017. The lackluster success (undeservedly so) of her follow-up single proves that she’s by no means a guaranteed finalist, but we’d be very surprised if she didn’t make the final either DIREKT or via Andra Chansen. The girl gives good performance.
Les Gordons – Bound To Fall
(Jonatan Renström, Albert Björliden, Andreas Persson, Carl Ragnemyr, David Runebjörk, Jimmy Jansson)
These chaps won a competition to be in this line-up, and let’s face it – that never ends well. The sound they’ve been peddling thus far is psychedelic, retro rock. So they’re not just making up the numbers, they’re also fulfilling a genre quota too. The sole ray of light here (to our biased eyes, of course) is the inclusion of Jimmy Jansson as a songwriter. He’s awesome.
Sara Varga & Juha Mulari – Du Får Inte ändra På Mig
(Sara Varga, Lars Hägglund)
Does anyone else get the feeling that this song (or at the very least, this artist) has been on the reserve list for Melodifestivalen ever since 2012? Yeah – we do too. Lovely lady, and we actually even warmed slightly to 2011’s finalist ‘Spring För Livet’ in the end. But she’s not really for us, in the grand scheme of this contest. And the Andra Chansen bloodbath of 2011 is just too raw still, with her being the poster girl for everything that went wrong. Sorry Sara.
Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia – En Värld Full Av Strider
(Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Sara Biglert, Christian Schneider, Andreas Hedlund)
Really – you already know what this is gonna sound like. The best we can hope for out of this situation is some more pec-tastic topless shots being released around his participation. Sorry to objectify an artist like that, but if you’re gonna insist on sounding like that, you gotta be prepared for people to reach for other positive things to say about you.
Axel Schylström – När Ingen Ser
(Behshad Ashnai, Axel Schylström, David Strääf)
A graduate from 2015’s Idol series, his first release since then has been the Christmas single ‘Mer Jul’ – an inventive update of a Christmas classic. So we’re in unknown territory in terms of what kind of artist he is. He’s described this as something of a torch song anthem. And he’s already got good form with the voting public.
Alice – Running With Lions
(Anderz Wrethov, Andreas ”Stone” Johansson, Denniz Jamm, Alice Svensson)
The runner-up of Idol 2008 hadn’t actually released anything since 2010 – until last month when she released ‘Woman’ (which was good but we didn’t feature on here, as they restricted its release to Sweden). Based on recent form, she’s dabbling in synth balladry now. Though on ‘Running With Lions’ she’s got Anderz Wrethov (behind Margaret’s ‘Cool Me Down’) and Andreas Johansson (behind a LOT of K-Pop) on co-writing duties. We think we’re gonna like this one.
Loreen – Statements
(Anton Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Loreen)
Sweden’s Eurovision winner in 2012 teams up with the writers behind Sweden’s Eurovision winner in 2015. Gothenburg 2018, perhaps? Well she’s certainly the biggest competition to The Fooo Conspiracy in THIS contest. But we get the feeling she’s only really here to promote her next album (the one she’s been working on and overthinking to the point of artistic and commercial ruin since 2013). And that’s fine. ‘Cos Christ knows she needed to do SOMETHING to get people to care about her once more. We reckon she’ll be happiest with a second place scenario. All the spoils of the re-gained goodwill, without having to trudge to Eurovision once more. It had better be all systems go post-contest though. Or we’re all gonna lose faith and interest in her once again. Forever this time.