Two months earlier than we were expecting, SVT have announced the first wildcard that will participate in Melodifestivalen 2009. And it’s Markoolio! And so it brings us to write the first of our 32 forthcoming ‘Melodifestivalen Files’ – profiles of all the competitors taking part in the 2009 competition.
Markoolio (real name Marko – he’s a comedian, see?!!!) is probably best known to Schlager fans outside of Scandinavia for his mighty hit ‘Varsta Schlagern’, which in English means…Mighty Hit! The song is a duet with Melodifestivalen modern day royalty Linda Bengtzing and is a parody of the schlager genre. It’s actually quite clever (English lyrics posted below), name checking each element of the tried and tested formula of making a schlager song, while at the same time, managing to be a really cracking little catchy tune! The song was submitted for Melodifestivalen 2007 but rejected. That didn’t stop it becoming one of the biggest hits of the year though, when it was released that summer. The video was notable for its piss take of Melodifestivalen; an over zealous wind machine, unintentional costume changes, and a green room which saw Markoolio dressed up as Thomas G:Son, Carola, and BWO. He also recorded a Finnish version (he was born in Finland and grew up in Sweden)
He gained some more international glare this summer when he released a World Cup song for Sweden, ‘Sverige, det bästa på vår jord’. The song went to number one in Sweden, and even got a brief play on Radio One in the UK! However, despite being known for his novelty hits, Markoolio has actually released seven albums since 1998, only two of them not reaching platinum certification in Sweden. He’s also had nine of his singles reach number one over there. And as well as being a popular comedian, he’s also a television presenter (both prime time and childrens television), has dabbled in acting, and owns a nightclub!
His entry to Melodifestivalen 2009, is called ’Kärlekssång från mig’. Quite promisingly, the track was written by himself and two of the co-writers on ‘Varsta Schlagern’, Patrik Henzel and Karl Euren. It’s described as a ballad with a twist though, so heaven knows what to expect. Either way, it’s not going to be a boring three minutes when he’s on stage. And his popularity should mean that he goes ‘direkt til finale’. We’re sure it’ll be a great track in its own right, but we can’t help but long for a co-appearance from Ms Bengtzing!
Oh, and isn’t he quite the looker? In a subtle way, mind.
It starts good, almost interesting
Yeah, yeah, but perhaps a bit familiar
We’re building up for the bridge, my friend
But it’s not coming quite yet
Because we have half a verse left to do
A repetition one is used to do
We’re building up for the bridge again
And here it is, finally!
The excitement is rising for the point of the song
A really catchy chorus!
And there is love and there are winds
There are eyes and they’re sparkling
And lots of other tired old clichés
Which says everything and nothing
And there are stars and they’re on fire
There’s the world and it’s fading
And the title shall sit as a punch in the stomach
Oh what a schlager!
Now it’s getting hard to come up with
Something new to say, but whatever
This is just transport anyway
Which people will forget
Because what’s rewarded with 12 points
Is a really catchy chorus
And if you don’t want to mess up your chances of winning
You’ll steal something from ABBA and see the risk vanishing
So now everyone – hold onto your hats
Here’s the key change at last!