Eurovision season is upon us, and has kicked off with quite a considerable bang up in Sweden today, with the annual unveiling of the artists of Melodifestivalen.
28 artists with 28 songs, penned by 78 songwriters. Amongst the artists, we have only 9 of them making their Melodifestivalen debut, with 19 of them having competed in the contest before – 14 having already made the final, and 3 having gone and won the whole thing.
We won’t get to hear the songs until the days leading up to the first heat on the first Saturday of February. But for now, you can get acquainted with all 28 artists, take stock of their past form, and ponder on what we might be able to expect from them in two months’ time.
The 28 entries competing in Melodifestivalen 2020;
Heat 1: Linköping, February 1
Ballerina – Malou Prytz
Songwriters: Thomas G:son, Peter Boström, Jimmy Jansson
After debuting in Melodifestivalen 2019 and going DIREKT til finalen, it’s little surprise to see Malou invited back in 2020 to showcase what she can do once more. We’d imagine her main aim is improving on the last-place finish she achieved last time. But given that she followed’up Meodifestivalen with one of our fave EPs of the year, we don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to see her move up the leaderboard next time. Especially not with that trio of songwriters behind her! The song is described as modern arena-pop, which sound nicely large.
Boys With Emotions – Felix Sandman
Songwriters: Tony Ferrari, Parker James, Peter Thomas, Philip Bentley, Nicki Adamsson, Felix Sandman
The last time he competed in Melodifestivalen 2018, he practically tied in first place with the winner, given all that him and his song ‘Every Single Day’ went on to achieve afterwards. He released a brilliant debut album later that year, and this year, he’s gone on to release music with a more mature sound, and one that most definitely has its eye on being heard outside of Sweden. We’re actually quite surprised to see him in the line-up today, given how little he really ‘needs’ the competition right now. But, he’s here, and he’s already the clear favourite to win, on name alone.
Inga Problem – OVÖ
Songwriters: Nicholas Frandsen, Lukas Nathanson, Jean-Willy Akofely, Nickie Osenius Kouakou
OVÖ (Om Vi Överlever, so If We Survive, in English) is made up of two already-established artists, Finess and Ivory. They got together in 2017 and describe their sound as a mix of pop and afrobeats. One of their biggest hits to date has been a song called ‘Zara Larsson‘. Maybe after Feb/March, Zara will finally get around to releasing ‘OVÖ’.
Move – The Mamas
Songwriters: Melanie Wehbe, Patrik Jean, Herman Gardarfve
These ladies pretty much stole the show of Melodifestivalen 2019 when they backed eventual winner John Lundvik’s ‘Too Late For Love’. Common sense prevailed and they’ve been invited back to compete again, and this time on their own. The song has been described as something that’s gonna make Sweden wanna get up and DANCE. Having lived there for three years, we can’t quite imagine the Swedes partaking in an action that could be seen as so socially awkward, but we CAN see them getting behind this trio in a much more muted sense – by looking down at their phones and giving them all their votes. There’s a lot of national pride behind these ladies, and rightly so.
Moves – Suzi P
Songwriters: Joy Deb, Suzi Pancekov, Aniela Eklund, Malou Ruotsalainen, Chanel Tukia, Kenny Silverdique
16-year-old Suzi P broke through this year with the million-streaming hit ‘Shunon‘. 2019 is also the year that Swedish hip-hop has well and truly taken over the Spotify Top 50 as by far and away the most popular genre in the country. And so in both senses, it’s a big coup for SVT to have snagged Suzi for next year. She describes the song as a pop-style track that touches upon her love for music and dance.
Sluta Aldrig gå – Sonja Aldén
Songwriters: Bobby Ljunggren, David Lindgren Zacharias, Sonja Aldén
One of our favourite schlager balladeers has been far too quite of late for our liking, though last year she did gift us with the truly beautiful ‘Vi Har Varit Här Förut‘. It’s fair to say that we can well imagine what her comeback song to Melodifestivalen is going to sound like, but we can also well imagine that she won’t have come back unless the song was 100% ballad-banger. She’s already compared it to her biggest hit to date – ‘För Att Du Finns’.
Take A Chance – Robin Bengtsson
Songwriters: Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Frederik Reichhardt, Marcus Winther-John
The man who went and won the whole thing in 2017, before giving Sweden a respectable 5th-place finish at the Eurovision Song Contest. The streaming figures of his follow-up songs haven’t quite reached the dizzying heights of his two Melodifestivalen entries, however, so it’s not all too surprising to see him back, even if it is so soon. But it’s a pleasant surprise, nonetheless.
Heat 2: Göteborg, February 8
Alla Mina Sorger – Linda Bengtzing
Songwriters: Yvonne Dahlbom, Jesper Welander, Adam Jönsson, Linda Bengtzing
It’s an absolute delight to see Schlager Queen Linda Bengtzing back in her spiritual home on the Melodifestivalen stage, for a seventh time. Now let’s just hope we can see her back to those glory days of the results of those first four entries she had, rather than the outcome of the latter two that she’d probably rather forget. She’s apparently done with experimenting, and has come back with a balls-to-the-wall schlager anthem for the ages. Suddenly everything feels right in the world again.
Bulletproof – Dotter
Songwriters: Dino Medanhodzic, Johanna Jansson (Dotter), Erik Dahlqvist
Here to right the wrong of her result in Melodifestivalen 2o18, Dotter is back for a second go as an artist in her own right (she’s twice made the final as a songwriter for other artists). We’re feeling pretty positive about her this time around, not least because she’s recently released one of the best songs of her career – the stunning ‘I Do‘.
Kingdom Come – Anna Bergendahl
Songwriters: Bobby Ljunggren, Thomas G:son, Erik Bernholm, Anna Bergendahl
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Anna in the line-up today. Given how this year’s Melodifestivalen restored her image to national treasure once more, surely the only way is down. Unless, UNLESS, ‘Kingdom Come’ is an even more kick-ass song that ‘Ashes To Ashes’? We cannot quite compute just how incredible it must be, in that case. She’s described the song as even more pop-friendly than its predecessor, with a touch of both Americana and country.
Miraklernas Tid – Thorsten Flinck
Songwriters: Thomas G:son
Urgh. Had we not suffered enough in 2012? He’s back again, but hopefully Sweden’s enthusiasm towards him, quite frankly, is not. Three minutes is a long time to watch someone mumble their way through a song while looking like they’d rather be literally anywhere else in the world right now.
Nobody – Klara Hammarström
Songwriters: Erik Smaaland, Palle Hammarlund, Klara Hammarström
The writing was on the wall for a Melodifestivalen debut for Klara once she released ‘You Should Know Me Better‘ a few months back – a song that sounds like it would have won Melodifestivalen, albeit ten years ago. ‘Nobody’, meanwhile, has been described as more up-tempo and with a large production. She enters the stage already quite familiar to many Swedish TV viewers – she’s part of a popular Swedish reality TV show along with the rest of her family. She’s basically Klara Kardashian.
Talking in My Sleep – Paul Rey
Songwriters: Paul Rey, Lukas Hällgren, Alexander Standal Pavelich
He’s been releasing a steady run of top-quality singles since his debut in 2015, our personal fave of which has been ‘What Good Is Love‘. We’d be surprised to hear him veer away from his trademark sound and style of well-crafted soul-pop. And we’d be surprised if Sweden didn’t lap it up.
Vamos Amigos – Mendez feat. Alvaro Estrella
Songwriters: Palle Hammarlund, Jimmy Jansson, Jakke Erixson, Leo Mendez
If this is anything even close to the quality of his 2018 finalist, ‘Everyday’, then we’re all in for quite the ride. Although truth be told, everything he’s released since then, really hasn’t been. This time around he’s bringing along Alvaro Estrella, who has yet to put his name to a dud track, despite what the result of his Melodifestivalen debut in 2014, ‘Bedroom’, might suggest. Going by the title of this song alone, we’re building our hopes up for an all-encompassing crowd-pleaser. They’ve described it as a song that picks things up where ‘Everyday’ left off.
Heat 3: Luleå, February 15
Crying Rivers – Faith Kakembo
Songwriters: Jörgen Elofsson, Liz Rodrigues
Faith describes her music as a mix of soul, gospel and jazz, and earlier in the year released her debut single ‘Through Fire and Rain‘. A glance at the songwriting credits for ‘Crying Rivers’ would suggest that she is absolutely not here to fuck around.
Late – Amanda Aasa
Songwriters: Amanda Aasa, Siri Jansson, Erik Grahn, Alex Shield
Amanda took part in the P4 Nästa talent contest earlier in 2019 and was awarded with a slot at Melodifestivalen 2020, as is customary for one of the finalists every year. We all know how that usually ends up, but we’ll be keeping an open mind for Amanda – her past form suggests that she’ll be bringing something fresh to the contest.
Livet Börjar Nu – Albin Johnsén
Songwriters: Robin Stjernberg, Albin Johnsén, Gino Yonan
Albin has recently made a comeback with a more electropop style to his music, and to our ears, he’s sounding better than ever. If he brings to the table something as good as this, we’ll be very happy indeed.
Piga & Dräng – Drängarna
Songwriters: Anders Wigelius, Robert Norberg, Jimmy Jansson
Drängarna scored their first hit back in 1995, though 25 years later, and they’re still putting out singles and albums at a fan-satisfying rate. Their style of music is best described as folky-dansband with tongue firmly in cheek. How successful they are in their heat will probably depend on how many beers the older Swedes will have knocked back by that point in the evening. This could be dangerous.
Shout It Out – Mariette
Songwriters: Thomas G:son, Cassandra Ströberg, Alex Shield, Mariette Hansson
Her fourth appearance at Melodifestivalen, and she’ll be wanting it to be her fourth time finishing in the top five at the final. And we have few doubts she’ll achieve that. Though in truth, it’s been so long since she released any music, that we really have no idea what to expect.
Vem E Som Oss – Anis Don Demina
Songwriters: Anderz Wrethov, Johanna Elkesdotter Wrethov, Anis Don Demina, Robin Svensk
Anis made his Melodifestivalen debut playing saxophone behind Samir & Viktor, when the duo made the final with ‘Shuffla’ in 2018. This year, he was a featured artist with Zeana on the banger that is ‘Mina Bränder, which went on to big streaming success on Spotify. And now he’s back to go it alone, and backed by an Anderz Wrethov song, meaning business. His most recent release is ‘Postcard‘, a collaboration with Eric Saade.
Winners – Mohombi
Songwriters: Jimmy Jansson, Mohombi, Palle Hammarlund
A surprise entry into Melodifestivalen 2019, Mohombi ended up finishing 5th in the final with ‘Hello’, going on to score one of the biggest streaming hits of the contest. So it’s natural he’s come back a year later for some more of that, thank you very much. And with a song title like that, we’d say he might well be aiming for even greater things time time around. He’s promised us that with ‘Winners’, he’s taking things up-tempo.
Heat 4: Malmö, February 22
Brave – Hanna Ferm
Songwriters: David Kjellstrand, Jimmy Jansson, Laurell Barker
The vocals on this girl were one of the big highlights of Melodifestivalen 2019, when she performed the absolute hell out of ‘Hold You’ with Liamoo, finishing a respectable third. As expected, given Liamoo got his solo shot in 2018, Hanna is back in 2020 for a stab at Melodifestivalen on her own. And we imagine that of all the artists that the top-tier writers would have submitted their best songs to, it’s Hanna that will have had her pick of the crop. We fully expect ‘Brave’ to bang.
Carpool Karaoke – Nanne Grönvall
Songwriters: Nanne Grönvall, Peter Grönvall
The triumphant return of the legend that is Nanne Grönvall. We say triumphant before we even know her result, ‘cos that’s how much of a legend she is. The Melodifestivalen stage just hasn’t been the same since she last vacated it in 2007. And after the fast-paced schlager ridiculousness that has been promised with ‘Carpool Karaoke’ (?!?!), we doubt the Melodifestivalen stage will ever be the same again. She has described the song as pop, rock, and ultimately very feel-good.
Molnljus – William Stridh
Songwriters: Markus Lidén, Christian Holmström, David Kreuger, William Stridh
William shot to fame in the 2018 series of Swedish Idol, finishing 5th. ‘Molnljus’ will serve as his debut single, so there’s not a lot we yet know about him or his sound. Though with David Kreuger on board as a songwriter, we’d say things are already boding quite well for him.
Om Du Tror Att Jag Saknar Dig – Jakob Karlberg
Songwriters: Nanne Grönvall, Isak Hallén, Henrik Moreborg, Jakob Karlberg
Jakob is most well-known in Sweden for his massive summer single of 2015, ‘Fan Va Bra’. He’d been relatively quite for a while, but he’s back with a brand-new record deal and, we’d expect, some top-notch new tunes to show off. And what better way than on the highest rated TV show of the year, every year.
Surface – Ellen Benediktson & Simon Peyron
Songwriters: Paul Rey, Laurell Barker, Anderz Wrethov, Sebastian von Koenigsegg, Ellen Benediktson
Two artists who each competed in Melodifestivalen 2014 – Ellen on her own with ‘Songbird’, which made the final, and Simon as part of his band Outrigger – are now back to the contest again, together. Quite what they’ll be sounding like, is anyone’s guess, given that the three Melodifestivalen appearances they’ve contributed to so far have resulted in metal, acoustic, and what could only be described as electro-musical-theatre!
Troubled Waters – Victor Crone
Songwriters: Dino Medanhodzic, Benjamin Jennebo, Victor Crone
Earlier this year, Swedish Victor represented Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Storm’, which went on to become a big radio hit in Sweden. Getting a taste of which side his bread is buttered on, it makes sense that he’s come back to do the whole Eurovision thing again, but this time, more confortably, for his native land.
We Are One – Frida Öhrn
Songwriters: Frida Öhrn, Hampus Eurenius, Nicklas Eklund
Frida was first seen in Melodifestivalen back in 2004 as a part of the trio LaRoxx, finishing 5th in their semi final. She was then a member of the group Oh Laura, scoring an international hit in 2007 with ‘Release Me’. And then she joined the trio Cookies ’N’ Beans, taking part in the 2009 Melodifestivalen, finishing 5th in their semi final, and again in 2013, making it to Andra Chansen. She’s released her own music outside of the contest, but it’s been quite a while since she’s put out any songs. As such, she’ll be entering Melodifestivalen as a bit of a wild card, in terms of knowing what to expect.