The Eurovision Song Contest has only just finished, yet with a Swedish victory it’s bound to be an 11 month journey with lots of news from the host country, and participating countries.
Before we kick off with new preselections and new entries, let’s look at back this year’s contest while we find out the results of the separated juries and televoting and any latest news of confirmed countries. Later in the year our ‘Eurovision – Those Who Didn’t Make it’ section will re-appear alongside our countdown.
25 year old Tooji won back in February the national final of Melodi Grand Prix, the Norwegian preselection for Eurovision Song Contest. GloPop caught up with the singer to talk about Eurovision, preparations for Baku, the future and the charity he supports.
Hi Tooji, thank you so much for allowing us to ask you a few questions before heading to Baku. First of all how are you? Congratulations on winning Melodi Grand Prix and representing Norway at Eurovision this year. Has the feeling of representing Norway at Eurovision in a few weeks time, fully sank in yet?
”Hi and thank you! I’m doing fine, it’s a crazy busy time since winning the Norwegian final. It is one my proudest and greatest achievements and an indescribable honor to represent my country in such a great event as Eurovision. I’m very excited about the upcoming competition, but I don’t think that the reality of it all will truly sink in until I’m actually IN Baku and ON the stage having my first dress rehearsal.”
You’re not a stranger to the Norwegian people are you? Can you tell us a bit more about yourself before you took part in Melodi Grand Prix?
” I started modelling when I was about 17-18 years old, I did a few small modelling gigs back then before I auditioned for MTV and got the job as a TV host there. I also have been focusing on my studies and I’m now working in the children’s welfare system here in Norway. At the same time I’m working with my music, so it’s a bit busy! But the Melodi Grand Prix was actually my big stage debut as an artist! ”
It’s said that Norwegians are very passionate about Eurovision. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being completely crazy about Eurovision, how passionate are you about Eurovision?
”After I entered the competition personally, I’m definitely a 15! haha! But prior to this year, the Eurovision event wasn’t really a great priority for me, I would say maybe a 4?”
So, what made you decide to take part in Melodi Grand Prix and how did you come across ‘Stay’?
”I’ve been working with my music for a while, meaning writing songs and producing them for quite some time before entering the Melodi Grand Prix. It was actually my manager who encouraged me to enter MGP, she said to me “If you’re going to make a debut musically, why not go for it BIG?” And so I did!”
Did you co-write ”Stay”? Or was it specially written for you?
”I co-wrote the song with the two of the greatest producers in Sweden, Figge and Peter Boström. The main idea and theme came from me, I had the chorus and a visual of it in my head, before taking it to Figge and Peter. From there on out it was a close collaboration with them that resulted in “Stay””
The producers of ‘Stay’ are also behind Sweden’s entry this year ‘Euphoria’ by Loreen. What do you think of her song, and do you have any other favourites this year?
”I absolutely adore Loreen and I met her during the Swedish final! She is a really cool girl, I love her song and her voice. Out of the other entries that I’ve heard, she’s definitely my biggest favourite. And of course Cyprus with Ivi Adamou and her song La La Love!”
If you had to describe ”Stay” in three words, which words do you choose.
”I will describe Stay with passion, joy and love.”
Why these three words?
”The song represents for me these three things. It’s about releasing yourself to whatever it is that moves you – whether it is music, emotions or your own passion. I feel a lot of joy when I’m performing the song and hopefully also to the listeners. Stay is a song that speaks of love for your passion!”
Have you been promoting the song outside of Norway? How’s the reception been by the audiences?
”There’s been an overwhelming response to the song internationally. There are Facebook groups and fan pages popping up everywhere and I receive messages every single day from fans from across the world. It’s insane and makes me so happy!”
Do you check on fan forums to see what people say about your song and the other entries? Or are you trying to stay away from media at the moment?
” I prefer not to read too much into the media, partly because everyone is entitled to their personal opinions, whether it’s good or bad, and partly because I think one of the most important things is to keep focused and grounded, and never forget that the main reason I chose to get into this industry is for the music and not for the hype of it.”
You’re about two weeks away from the actual semi final, so you are very busy with rehearsing. Can you give us a short insight of what an intensive day of rehearsal means for you?
”It’s a busy time right now, with all kinds of different rehearsals going on. Anything from dance rehearsal, band rehearsal, to vocal coaching, to styling, interviewing, photo shoots and/or just a “normal” work out. Every single day varies depending on the day –and along with everything on going for the preparation for the Eurovision Contest, I still have my day job!”
Next month in Baku, you’ll be battling it out with 17 other countries for ten places in the final. Do you consider yourself as a competitive person? And who do you consider to be your main rival for the evening?
”I’m very much a competitive person, but in a good and mainly healthy way. I think any form of competition is good for any soul. I have to admit that my main rival would be Loreen from Sweden.”
Will you be making any changes to the performance which we saw during the national final?
”You just have to wait and see. So far the performance is to remain a bit of a surprise.”
Do you have any rituals before you go on stage? Or do you do something to control the nerves?
” I usually take a few minutes before going on stage to meditate in order to stay centered and focused- and to give thanks to the universe for guiding me where I am today. My breathing exercises help me calm the nerves and redirect them to the oncoming performance.”
The preview video for your entry is the live performance from the final. Are there any plans to record a video clip for ‘Stay’?
”We are working on it as we speak, and I hope it will be ready before arriving in Baku.”
Let’s assume on May 26, you are crowned the winner of Eurovision 2012. If the choice was yours which city should host the next Eurovision Song Contest in Norway. And why?
”I would have to say Oslo. I love Oslo as I grew up here, and think it represents a great, booming side to Norway that Europe and the rest of the world should see!”
Great choice, Tooji! Now what can we expect for the rest of 2012 from you any plans? Recording an album?
”I’m working on my album right now, it’s quite diverse and represents me on several levels as an artist and I’m very excited about it!”
We also noticed on Facebook, that you are the face of Redd Barna (Save the Children) campaign in Norway. Can you tell us a bit more about the organisation and what they do?
”Redd Barna is an organization focused on children’s rights around the world. We act as a voice for under privileged children all over the world and work towards fighting for their basic human rights. It’s a cause I’m extremely passionate about, to be able to represent children and make their voices heard with authorities and Governments worldwide.”
And last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to our readers and Tooji-fans?
”First of all, I would like to thank all of my fans and flames for all the love and support. I am so greatful and appreciate everything you’ve done for me! So, I’ll see you all in Baku! Let’s rock Eurovision 2012!!!!”
Thank you so much Tooji. We wish you all the best in your preparations and rehearsals for Baku. Have an amazing time!!
Tooji is representing Norway in the second semi final of this years Eurovision Song Contest on May 24. See the video for his entry below
(Special thanks to Tooji, Silje Marie Lien & NRK for the interview and photos)
Eurovision fans all over the United Kingdom, gathered in London this sunday, as it was THE place to be for another huge Eurovision treat. For the fifth year, the London Eurovision Party, saw entrants of this years Eurovision Contest performing, joined by two surprise acts; Slovenian entrant Omar Naber, who represented his country in 2005 and last year’s Kati Wolf, representing Hungary in Dusseldorf. And what an amazing event it was.
The event, which was sold out and took place in Soho’s shadow Lounge celebrated the annual Eurovision in witty style full of atmosphere. Paddy O’Connell, former Semi final commentator on BBC3, and Nicki French, UK representative in 2001, were once again the dynamic presenters of the show. Full of humour, joy and engagement it has to be said that these two go so well together and have such a great personality that no one could do the presenting job better. BBC, if you hear this, these two are your hosts if Eurovision returns to the UK. Highlights from Nicki, were the several dress changes (Beat that Marie N) and her performance which included a Eurovision medley and her own entry ‘don’t Play that Song Again’ which the crowd went wild for . Paddy of course was himself, and proved to be the ‘joker’ throughout the whole evening.
Despite the overall Eurovision year being one of many ballads, we’re so happy to see that the organizers brought a varied line up of artists making the whole event a string of highlights. Opening the show was 2005 participant Omar Naber, who treated the audience with three songs, including his entry ‘Stop’, followed by fellow country-woman Eva Boto, representing the country this year with ‘Verjamen’. The girl is only 16 years old but proved to be an immense belter and almost tore the house down. Filipa Sousa, the Portuguese entrant got the crowd going completely treating us with her entry ‘Vida Minha’ and won over the crowd completely with her rendition of ‘Conquistador’ and the UK entry in 2009 ‘My Time’. Performing as well, were The Hungarian band Compact Disco, singing their entry ”Sound of our Hearts’ followed by one of their new tracks. In the crowd supporting them was last years representative Kati Wolf, who would later on, be on stage herself to perform her Eurovision entry, leaving with a message to everybody never to give up on your dreams.
The second half of the show saw birthday girl, and gorgeous looking Anggun, the French representative, singing her song followed by Valentina Monetta, the San Marino representative singing the initial and new version of her entry, and a jazzy ‘bebop’ song, which was really good. Azerbaijani representative and this years host Sabina Babayeva was present too and last but definately not least, Macedonian Kaliopi, closed the show with an amazing rendition of her song ‘Crno I Belo’, which she later on performed again in English behind a piano. Absolutely breathtaking.
Each of this years representatives was also treated to a suprise and received a pop icon figure on a poster, made by Minipop Icons. There were prizes handed out to people in the crowd, the birthday cake for Anggun, and so much more.
As a first time visitor to a Eurovision event, being on my own, and not sure whether to fit in, the whole experience has been breathtaking and a ‘Must Go Event’ for next year. Eurovision is like family and that’s how the whole London Eurovision Party has worked so well. Never in my life did I go to an event where the whole room was filled with people singing along every single song performed and played during the afterparty. It was Absolutely Fabuluous and an event which is definately not too miss next year!
We’ve also had the opportunity to interview a few of the representatives of this years contest so keep an eye on the website for those.
Does this picture look familiar? Too many it must. With the introduction of the Voice, talent shows have been giving a new dimension and the battle rounds proved to be very interesting. So we thought here at GloPop, to do something similar and present to you once a week two tracks, preferrably new ones, to battle it out against eachother and see who wins.
To start off the battle we thought we’d go easy on you… and choose one song, but performed by two different people. In your right corner: Eric Saade, 3rd in last years Eurovision Song Contest. In the left corner: Helena Paparizou, 2005 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. The song: Popular! Two versions, but only one can win! And you decide!!!
This poll is now closed. You can find the results here
Last Saturday, the Swedish public were invited for the final heat of Swedish Eurovision hopefuls in Malmo. Lisa Miskovsky and Danny ended up being the two finalists for the final in two weeks time while Lotta Engberg & Christer Sjögren and Dynazty were given the opportunity to retry for the final two tickets this week. Shock for many Eurovision fans as, double MF winner Charlotte Perrelli failed to qualify with her Abba-inspired ‘The Girl’.
And now the battle begins, because this Saturday the 8 acts who were granted a ticket to the ‘Andra Chansen’ round, will take the stage again and battle it out for two tickets, joining the other 8 finalists in order to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest. How will it work. 4 Duels will be taking place at a first stage, where two songs will compete against eachother. The winners of each duel will then again compete until two acts remain.
In order to warm you up a little bit, over the past few days we will present you the 8 acts including their videos. The duels we have made up here are not the actual duels taking place. During this week, the duels will be announced…
Duel 1: Sean Banan – ”sean den första banan” versus Andreas Johnson ”Love Light”
Up for some fun? Then Sean Banan is definately up your street. It’s a comedy entry, spiced up with the usual schlager ingredients and although it gives the impression from the very first notes that this is gonna be the worst ever, we soon saw the comical note of it all and have to admit that this is quite good and very well thought through. It brings the schlager to a whole new level and despite the naughty manner , Sean is so cute and a character who definately could bring a special atmosphere to the Eurovision contest. Yes the song is in Swedish, and we don’t understand a word of what he says but it is pure fun.
If you’re up for a perhaps a bit more of a traditional Eurovision song with a lot of ‘la la la’ then Melodfestivalen veteran Andreas Johnson might be more your thing. The man has taken part so many times in the national round, that we’ll nearly need someone elses hands to count the attempts on. It’s a bit of a mash of different feel good songs but well performed by the singer. It’s cheerful, easy to sing along, in English and pleasurable.The big disadvantage we feel with Andreas Johnson is the many returns with similar sounding types of songs, which doesn’t come across as very innovative, and could well lead to a ‘Oh it’s him again’ and a early exit.
If this was an actual duel, and we were to predit we would announce Sean Banan to the second phase, simply for the fun factor and genious song, over the talented singer who keeps coming back with a similar sounding song (sorry Andreas)
''Going Crazy'' - Dizzee Rascal & Robbie Williams
''Walks Like Rihanna'' - The Wanted
''I Love It'' - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
''Gentleman'' - The Saturdays
''Come & Get It'' by Selena Gomez
''Cinderella'' - Diana Vickers
Year chart 2012
These are GloPop Music's most listened tracks of 2012.
1 Florence + The Machine - Spectrum
2 Woodkid - Run Boy Run
3 Lana Del Rey - National Anthem
4 Solange - Losing You
5 Nina Zilli - L'Amore E Femmina (Out Of Love) (Italy '12)
6 Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen
7 Loreen - Euphoria (Sweden '12)
8 Adele - Skyfall
9 PSY - Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
10 Ivi Adamou - La La Love (Cyprus '12)
11 GuGabriel - Salvation
12 Christophe Willem - Starlite
13 Bright Light Bright Light - Waiting For The Feeling
14 Girls Aloud - Something New
15 Paloma Faith - Never Tear Us Apart
16 Calvin Harris ft Ne-Yo - Let's Go
17 David Guetta ft Sia - She Wolf (Falling Into Pieces)
18 Alphabeat - Vacation
19 Passion Pit - Take A Walk
20 George Michael - White Light
21 Azealia Banks - 212 ft Lazy Jay
22 Matt Corby - Brother
23 Sam Sparro - I Wish I Never Met You
24 Rebeca Ferguson - Glitter & Gold
25 Elton John vs Pnau - Good Morning To The Night
26 Scissor Sisters - Let's Have A Kiki
27 Voltaire Twins - Solaris
28 Marina & The Diamonds - Power & Control
29 Muse - Survival
30 Will Young - Losing Myself
31 Saint Lou Lou - Maybe You
32 Coldplay - Princess of China ft Rihanna
33 Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans
34 Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill 2012
35 The Wanted - I Found You
36 Stooshe - Black Heart
37 Aiden Grimshaw - Curtain Call
38 Alphabeat - Love Sea
39 Gaitana - Be My Guest (Ukraine '12)
40 Caravan Palace - Rock It For Me
41 Roman Lob - Standing Still (Germany '12)
42 Afro-Dite - The Boy Can Dance
43 Rita Ora - R.I.P ft Tinie Tempah
44 Justin Bieber - Beauty & A Beat ft Nicki Minaj
45 Misha B - Do You Think Of Me 125
46 Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What doesn't Kill You)
47 Katy Perry - Wide Awake
48 Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments
49 terminal - Don't Worry My Love
50 Labrinth - Beneath Your Beautiful ft Emeli Sande
51 Madonna - Girl Gone Wild
52 Elton John vs Pnau - Sad
53 Nicki Minaj - Pound The Alarm
54 Gotye & Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know
55 Kylie Minogue - Flower
56 Rihanna - Where Have You Been
57 Swedish House Mafia - Greyhound
58 One Direction - Little Things
59 Tulisa - Young
60 Archeo - The Payback
61 Christina Aguilera - Your Body
62 Avicii - Silhouettes
63 Cover Drive - Explode
64 Beyonce - End Of Time
65 Charlie Simpson - Farmer & His Gun
66 Usher - Climax
67 Chris Brown - Don't Wake Me Up
68 Aiden Grimshaw - Is This Love
69 Lawson - Taking Over Me
70 No Doubt - Settle Down
71 Madeon - Finale
72 Jakwob - Electrify ft Jetta
73 Shawnee Taylor - Colors
74 Playmen ft Riskykidd, Courtney & Elena - All The Time
75 Lana Del Rey - Ride
76 Celeste Buckingham - Run Run Run
77 Alex Clare - Too Close
78 SHM ft Knife Party - Antidote
79 Lil'Wayne - Mirrors Ft Bruno Mars
80 Pastora Soler - Quedate Conmigo/Stay with Me
81 Scissor Sisters - Only the Horses
82 Delta Goodrem - Dancing With A Broken Heart
83 FEM ft Cover Drive - Turn Up the Love
84 J.Lo ft Pit Bull - Dance Again
85 Jodie Harsh ft Mel C - Set Me Free
86 Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven
87 Tom Dice - Out At Sea
88 Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces
89 Usher - Scream
90 Burns - Lies
91 Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again
92 Gossip - Perfect World
93 Jess Mills - For My Sins
94 Dune - Shoestring
95 The Script - Hall of Fame Ft Will.i.AM
96 Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry Child
97 terminal - Together We Are One
98 Little Mix - DNA
99 Icona Pop - I Love It
100 Yasmin - Light Up The World
Album Review: ‘Heaven (Deluxe Edition)’ by Rebecca Ferguson