I came back home to Sweden this past Saturday but I left for Karlstad only three days after I arrived. I’m currently reunited with Jenevia in Karlstad as Melodifestivalen 2018 has started! We are here to do press coverage and this is my first post about the contestants in semifinal 1. I have lots of new photos from the set here in Karlstad but while I'm editing those, here's pictures of the contestants from the press conference back in December in Stockholm. In this post, I will tell you about which acts are in semfinal one and some of my thoughts about their song as I've heard them during the listening session earlier this week. I'm not very good at commentary, so I will just give some thoughts about each song/entry of the vibe and what heard. Nothing fancy but I will try my best.
Let's get this post started!
The opening act of this year’s season is Sigrid Bernsson with the song "Patrick Swayze". I think this song is Sigrid’s best one so far. Personally, it’s not something for me. It’s an uptempo song and I guess I can understand that it might fit for the "arena vibe" but I wish it would be something more to it. That it would drop and pop a lot more than it does. But that’s just my opinion. If you like Sigrid’s earlier releases you will probably like "Patrick Swayze".
John Lundvik is one of the debutants in this year’s season. He is a bit known for the public but most for being a songwriter and this will be his first big appreance. John is one of the best vocalist that has been participated in the contest and he really shows what he got in his song "My turn". Having a ballad in Melfest can be a tricky and you have to be able to emote during the performance which not everyone succeed with but I think that John will pull it off.
Renaida is new-comer and some of you might know her from Swedish Idol. I was shook when I first heard " All the feels", I was not prepared for the song to pop and have the edge it has. Renaida is a good vocalist and she has the attitude to pull of a bop as "All the feels". It has a very good production and it's a lot edgy than a lot of songs are in Melfest and I'm loving it!
Edward Blom's song "Livet på en pinne" is basically about living your life to the fullest. Personally, I don't really enjoy this song. But I can understand the people who will like it. It's a goofy song and easy going. It's a bit different and I think the people that don't like that the young male artists always getting the hype and qualify might vote for this just to have something else in the finals.
Kikki Danielsson's "Osby Tennesse" is a slow country song which is her biography in three minutes. It's not a bad song and I think it can be a bit cozy to listen to the song but it's not something that I will put on play. If you know Swedish I think you can connect to the song more since she has put the focus on the lyrics.
Kamferdrops, "Solen lever kvar hos dig" is a very typical Kamferdrop song and when you listen to the song you can hear her sound in it directly. Which is neccessarily not a bad thing but I would have liked for them to switch it up a bit, have done more to the production like a drop or a change to make a more impact.
The act closing semifinal 1 is Benjamin Ingrosso, which I definitley understand. His song "Dance You Off" is a bop and a lot sexier than his previous releases. We know by now that Benjamin is a very good songwriter and he keep showing it with his music that he release. I love the vibe and groove in "Dance You Off" and with his showmanship, I'm sure we will enjoy watching him perform this on Saturday.
Only based on the studio versions of the songs in semifinal 1, this is my ranking of which I like the most.
7th: Edward Blom - "Livet på en pinne"
6th: Kikki Danielsson - "Osby Tennesse"
5th: Kamferdrops - "Solen lever kvar hos dig"
4th: Sigrid Bernsson - Patrick Swayze"
3th: John Lundvik - "My Turn"
For the 2th and 1th place, it's a tie between: Benjamin Ingrosso "Dance You Off" and Renaida, "All The Feels". Can't choose which one of them is my favorite because I like both of them a lot. I will have to listen to them more to be able to know which I like the most but even if I do so, I might not be able to pick one.
If you want to hear the 30 seconds videos of each songs you can listen through them here:
Melodifestivalen 2018, is just around the corner. While we are waiting for the season to start, I thought about sharing some unseen behind the stage footage of our press work during Melodifestivalen 2017. I will keep this post short to instead let you watch the clip to tell you more. Enjoy!
Melodifestivalen 2018 is just around the corner. Las week in Stockholm, SVT made the announcments of the acts in next year's contest. I was on set to report from the press conference in Jenevia's place. I took the train to Stockholm the night before to be sure I would be in time for the press conference the next morning. Once I came to TV-Huset and I saw all the familiar faces in the media, I could feel that I was back in the Melfest bubble. After a bit of struggle getting the right information and knowing where to put my jacket, we were finally let inside the venue. I've never been at this press conference before, it was a whole new experience and difficult to know what to expect from it. We got settled in by our seats in the audience, we got some information from the studio man before it was time for the press conference to start. For the people that saw the live stream of the press conference you know they played a recap of Melfest 2017, it was so much fun seeing it and made me glad that we did press for that particular year. There was so many great acts and I have so many fun memories from it.
In this post, I will write some few sentences of each act of my first impressions on them being announced to participate in Melfest 2018. I will include photos of every semifinal's lineup, more photos and stories will be shared at another time leading up to the contest. Hope you will enjoy this kind of set up.
First semifinal will be in Karlstad. All the acts got announced in alfabetic order and the running order for the actual show will be announced later on.
First act to be announced was Renaida, I loved her energy when she entered the stage! I didn't recognize her which is not surprised since I haven't paid much attention to Swedish Idol the past couple of years.
Benjamin Ingrosso was one of the rumoured acts and I wasn't sure if it was true since I've heard him talking several times about not planning to do it again this soon. But I'm glad he's back since he has such a great showmanship and delivers great songs. The fact that he is back means that he has a song that he feels a lot to, that he thinks worth coming back in the contest this soon.
Edward Blom was the third to be announced and I don't have any comments about this.
John Lundvik has been an artist and songwriter that I've kept an eye on for a while, he has some very good vocals and I've been waiting for him to be in the contest. John has a good vibe and it feels like he's very eager to show everyone what he got. I'm looking forward to see what he wil bring to the show.
Kikki Danielsson is a well-known artist in the context of Melodifestivalen. Many people are excited that she's back and it has been a bit of commotion about it. She had hurt her leg in a fall but she kept her spirit up during the whole press conference. She has released songs that I can enjoy hearing once in a while but I won't keep my breath in this one.
I wasn't surprised to see Sigrid Bernson getting announced to be one of the acts, I had a feeling that she would been in it. I like her energy but nothing she has released the past year have made me feel like this is something that I don't want to miss out on.
Kamferdrops is an artist from Norway, she have had a lot of success in Sweden and her single "Jag trodde änglarna fanns" have been playing a lot in Sweden the past summer. I'm pretty sure we will get a quite a visual number by her.
This year the second semifinal will be in Göteborg. It's a very competitive semifinal as it seems to be every year for the past couple of years. I must say, this is the semifinal that I'm most excited about and I can't wait to hear and see every one's number.
Ida Redig is an artist that I've heard about numerous of times but her music hasn't been something that have apealed to me.
We have seen Jonas Gardell in the context of Melfest earlier as an interval acts. I don't know what to think about him participating as an entry next year but I guess it could be interesting to see what he will show.
Margaret is an artist from Poland and she has a lot of success with her songs "Cool Me Down" and "What You Do". "Cool Me Down" has been one of the songs that I've played the most the past year. She always delivers bops and I'm looking forward to hear her song since I'm sure it will be another bop from her.
LIAMOO is the winner of Swedish Idol 2016. I first got to know about him through Molly Pettersson Hammar's Snapchat after been posting a lot about him which made me curious to see who this guy is. I ended up looking him up and I liked what I saw. I have really enjoyed his previous songs "Burn", "It ain't Easy" and "Beautiful Silence". He's one of the acts that I'm most excited to see what he will bring to the Melfest stage. I think he can bring something really good.
Samir & Viktor has returned to Melodifestivalen! I'm not surprised over this at all since they have been posting about wanting to come back ever since Melfest 2017. I'm sure these guys will be delivering a great fun performance with lots of energy and good vibes. I'm happy that they are back. - All I want to say is, Welcome back guys!
Another returning act in this semifinal is Mimi Werner. We saw her back in Melfest 2016 and she had a very strong entry, a great song and performance. Only bad thing was that she was in a very competitive semifinal with acts that already had a establish name. I think we can look forward to something similir as good as "Ain't no good".
Stiko Per Larsson is the act that came out as a winner from "Svensktoppen Nästa" to compete in Melfest. I don't know a lot about him but the type of music we can expect from him is more country influenced.
Semifinal 3 will be in Malmö with three returning acts and four debuting acts.
Martin Almgren is another winner from Swedish Idol (2015). I don't know a lot about him but I've heard his song "Can't Hold Me Down" a lot on the radio. I've enjoyed his song "Bricks" as well, not sure what to expect from him or if his type of music will appeal to me. We will have to wait and see.
Dotter is one of the debuting artist this year and she wasn't there for the press conference. I'm actually not familiar to anything that she has done and have only heard her name a few times. It seems like many people are excited about her.
Moncho is another new name and I hadn't heard about him before the press conference. When I look through some of his songs it's more hiphop influenced. Not really what I usually listen to but I've enjoyed what I've heard so far. I'm curious to see what he has in store for us.
Mendez is back! His song Adrenalina and Carnaval have been a big part of my childhood. Adrenalina is one of my favorite songs in Melfest in all time and I'm very excited that Mendez is back. When I talked to him it sounded that he was going to bring a party to the stage and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us!
Kalle Moraues is a well known artist and host in Sweden, we have seen him in the contest before with the song "Underbart". I don't have any major opinions about him other than his previous song was cosy to listen to.
The veteran Jessica Andersson is back. I liked the song she did with "Fame" but her solo entries haven't been something in my taste.
Barbi Escobar was the last act to be announced for Malmö and she's one of the debuting artists. She is very new and I can't find any previous releases as to date. I'm curious on what type of music she does and what kind of artist she is, it will be interesting to see what she has to offer.
4th and last semifinal will be in Örnsköldsvik. As for now, I think this is the semfinal that I least look forward to.
Felicia Olsson has been in the contest before. As I weren't all into the contest in the same way I am nowadays, I didn't recognize her. But when I listened to her last entry "Make Me No 1", it sounds familiar. I don't know what we can expect from her this time but I will keep an eye on her.
Felix Sandman from FO&O is doing his first move as a solo artist. It feels like Felix is quite certain of what type of music he wants to do and are ready to do his own thing. I'm curious to see what his own solo material will be and how different it will be from what we are used to see him in.
Mariette has returned once again! I enjoyed "A Million Years" a lot more than expected. We know she can deliver visuals in her performance and I look forward to see what she will do this time to top it from this year.
Rollandz. I don't know what to say about them. Their type of content/music isn't something that appeal to me at all.
Emmi Christensson isn't someone that I've heard about before, she's an musical artist which is probably the reason why. I don't know much about that scene and I don't really know what we can expect from her.
I'm actually not surprised to see Elias Abbas in the contest. I've seen the label that he's on have been pushing him a lot the past year, special during the summer. I haven't heard his debut single "My Queen" before this post. It's a decent song and it's going to be interesting to see how he will do in Melfest.
Last act to be announced was Olivia Eliasson. Oliva Eliasson is a name that I've heard before mostly because of her covers of Anton Ewald's songs which he guest appereance in of her videos. She has a nice tone in her voice. I'm not sure if she will stick to her sound as her debut single "Do You" or have something different to that.
When it comes to our Melfest content, I'm normally the videographer and photographer but this time it was different. Since Jenevia couldn't fly over to Sweden for the press conference, I offered to help her getting interviews with some of the acts.
Interviewing people is not something that I'm used to do. As a shy person, this was completely out of my comfort zone and I was very nervous over this. It was my first time doing interviews at a press conference and I didn't knew what to expect of it and how I would handle it. I made sure to be myself, keep calm and remind myself to not forget to smile. As the announcement were happening, Jenevia was drafting questions for me to ask as I was photographing the acts when they entered the stage. Jenevia and I were keeping in contact through out the press conference and I did my best to get the content that we wanted.
I'm actually happy about how the interviews turned out. After have been watching some interviews by other reporters, I can tell how different ours are compared to everyone else's. It's nice to see more clearly how being polite, kind and professional makes a difference in how people approach are back to you. It felt like I made a good impression for people to remember me. I mean, people that I've never met before this event said bye to me when they were leaving the building.
I think we were able to get very good content and more out of people compared to other reporters. I got to interview 9 out of 28 acts: Samir & Viktor, Benjamin Ingrosso, John Lundvik, Margaret, Mimi Werner, Barbi Escobar, Felix Sandman, Méndez and Mariette. The fact that several of the acts that I talked to already knew me from before made me more calm and not as nervous. The person that made surprisingly bigger impact than I expected was Méndez. He was much more friendly, warm and happy than expected. Other than that it was just interesting and nice hearing what everyone had to say. Samir & Viktor were as fun as always, it doesn't matter what they do or say, they are funny. If you want to watch the interviews I got, you can do that through the video above.
Attending this press conference was truly a learning experience and I'm very glad that I decided to go. I learned a lot of different things. I learned that I'm more capable than I think, that my personality and approach is unique which is in my advantage. If you have read this far, thank you and kudos to you. I really appreciate it. Leave a comment or a like, or tweet me to let me know that you have read my post. I hope this was in your interest and that you enjoyed reading my thoughts and experiences. There's more to come, stay tuned for more Melfest content and other fun stuff in the future.
Hello! My name is Lizel and I’m a photographer based in Sweden. Photography is one of my passions in life. My blog is mainly about music and the different people I get to meet through my photography. Hope you stick around to read my experiences in life and to follow my journey to become a successful photographer!