Ten artists who dare to dream about representing Norway at Eurovision

NRK reveals which artists will compete in the Norwegian national selection March 2nd.

Collage of MGP Artists 2019
Foto: Julia Marie Naglestad

The Norwegian entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest will once again be selected on the television show Melodi Grand Prix (MGP) which will air on NRK's main channel NRK1 and online at tv.nrk.no on March 2nd. Norwegian viewers will cast their votes via televoting, while an international jury will weigh in on the outcome as well.

The artists competing to represent Norway in Tel Aviv were introduced at a press conference on January 25th in Oslo. The songs were made available for download and streaming immediately afterwards.

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Here is a closer look at the ten artists:

Chris Medina: “We Try”

Lyrics and music: Chris Medina, Jason Gill, Tormod Løkling and Julimar Santos.

Chris Medina had his breakthrough on American Idol in 2010. He released his single “What are Words” shortly thereafter, and watched as the song cracked the Billboard Top 100 list and went platinum in a number of countries. Norway was no exception, and Medina performed at concerts around the country.

The 35-year-old was born and raised in Chicago, but has spent the past few years living in Oslo with his Norwegian girlfriend and their two-year-old daughter. His latest single, “Cut Me,” was released last summer went platinum and was streamed more than 13 million times.

Carina Dahl: «Hold Me Down»

Lyrics and music: Ashley Hicklin, Jeroen Swinnen, Pele Loriano, Laurell Barker and Laura Groeseneken.

Carina Dahl is competing in her third MGP. The 33-year-old Trondheim native performed “Guns and Boys” in 2011 and returned to the contest in 2013 with the song “Sleepwalking.”

Dahl released her debut album Hot Child in 2010 while living in Stockholm. Her most-streamed song is the Norwegian cover of “Despacito,” which she recorded together with fellow MGP 2019 contestant Adrian Jørgensen. Her most recent single was “Waste No Time.”

Besides competing in her third MGP, Dahl has worked as a model and appeared in a variety of Norwegian reality TV shows.

Ingrid Berg Mehus: «Feel»

Lyrics and music: Ingrid Berg Mehus, Bjørnar Hopland og Anthony Modebe

Ingrid Berg Mehus was born and raised in Jessheim just outside of Oslo. The 31-year-old and her husband composed Mehus’ MGP entry together with their friend Anthony Modebe.

Mehus got her first violin when she was seven years old, and started playing in a local traditional music group. She studied music in high school before undergoing classical training at the Barratt Due Institute and further music studies at the University of Oslo.

Mehus soon became Norway’s first-ever nightclub violinist. She played at events all over Norway and abroad and was the supporting act for David Guetta when he played Oslo’s biggest venue in 2010. After taking a break from her music career, Mehus is back on the scene with an MGP song that harkens back to her classical music roots.

Erlend Bratland: «Sing for you»

Lyrics and music: Erlend Bratland, Arvid Solvang og Nils Egil Brandsæter

Erlend Bratland took Norway by storm in 2008 when he won Norway’s Got Talent with his cover of “Lost.” His album True Colors went gold virtually overnight, and the following year he was nominated for a Spelleman award, the Norwegian take on the Grammies.

Bratland returned to the scene in 2015 in a big way when his song “Thunderstruck” earned him second place in MGP. In 2017, he took part in the TV show “Stjernekamp” on NRK, competing against other well-known Norwegian artists. That same year, the 27-year-old released the single “Run” in partnership with the Norwegian Red Cross, donating the proceeds from the song directly to the charity.

KEiiNO: «Spirit in The Sky»

Lyrics and music: Tom Hugo Hermansen, Alex Olsson, Fred Buljo, Henrik Tala, Alexandra Rotan

KEiiNO is the name of a Norwegian-Sami collaboration between artists Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan and Tom Hugo. The collaboration began with Tom Hugo and his husband Alex Olsson composing the outline of a song inspired by struggles for equal rights regardless of ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality. Given their long struggle in pursuit of equal rights, including a Sami songwriter in this emerging project made eminent sense. Buljo jumped at the opportunity and “Spirit in the Sky” was the result. Finnish producer Henrik Tala and Norwegian singer Alexandra Rotan came aboard soon after, making the collaboration complete.

Alexandra Rotan made it to the Final Four of last year’s MGP with the song “You Got Me,” which she performed together with Stella Mwangi. The 22-year-old made it onto Norwegian music fans’ radars with her success in MGP Junior and Norwegian Idol. She has since toured extensively as supporting vocalist for Alan Walker.

Fred Buljo is a 30-year-old native of the northern Norwegian town of Kautokeino. He burst onto the Norwegian scene in 2008 when he competed in “Norway’s Got Talent” with the Sami rap group Dulova Duottar. He has since played numerous live shows all over Scandinavia and Russia and is widely considered one of the Sami music scene’s most talented performers.

Tom Hugo is a seasoned songwriter whose CV includes hit pop songs performed by groups across Asia. MGP fans will remember his previous appearances in 2013 and 2018. The 39-year-old also composed last summer’s official Oslo Pride anthem together with his husband.

Anna-Lisa Kumoji: «Holla»

Lyrics and music: Ashley Hicklin, Jeroen Swinnen og Maria Broberg

Anna-Lisa Kumoji grew up in Asker outside of Oslo. The 28-year-old describes her childhood home as being full of music and life. Her father Kofi Kumoji migrated from Ghana after starting a musical career in his native country. One of Anna-Lisa’s earliest memories is dancing in her father’s arms to the song he named after her.

Anna-Lisa studied music in high school before attending the Baardar Academy in Oslo. After graduating, she pursued a career as a singer, voiceover and musical artist. Among the highlights of her career are parts in «The Book of Mormon» in Copenhagen and «Flashdance» in Oslo. She is the dubbed Norwegian voice of Bulda in Disney’s «Frost» and Plumette in «Beauty and the Beast».

Anna-Lisa is taking a break from the theater stage to participate in MGP as well as to focus on her solo career. She plans to release several singles inspired by the genre she calls “Norwegian soul”.

Mørland: «En livredd mann»

Lyrics and music: Kjetil Mørland

Kjetil Mørland is a Norwegian artist, songwriter and producer. Mørland is originally from Grimstad in southern Norway, but the 38-year-old has lived in the UK for most of his adult life.

With his British band Absent Elk, Mørland has released the singles ‘Sun & Water’ and ‘Emily’ which both got rotation on national British radio.

In 2015 Mørland won MGP with his song ‘A Monster Like Me’, representing Norway together with Debrah Scarlett. They earned a respectable 8th place finish in the international final in Vienna. The song was listed on several national radio stations around Europe and went platinum in Norway.

Mørland also writes and produces for other artists. Last year Rebecca came second in MGP with Mørland’s song “Who We Are”, finishing right behind Alexander Rybak.

Last year Mørland released his debut solo album Make a Sail. “En livredd mann” is his first ever single in Norwegian.

Adrian Jørgensen: «The Bubble»

Lyrics and music: Jonas McDonnell, Aleksander Walmann and Kjetil Mørland
Vocal: Oda Kvingedal Larsen

Adrian Jørgensen is a native of the northern Norwegian village of Bindal. Since he was 16, he has lived a double-life: working as a fisherman and a singer-songwriter, traveling around Norway playing concerts.

Jørgensen’s breakthrough came in 2013 when he was runner-up on The Voice. In 2016, he released the single “Baby It’s Time.”

The 26-year-old is no newcomer to the MGP and Eurovision stage—he performed as a backup singer both for JOWST in Kiev in 2017 and for Aleksander Walmann in last year’s MGP.

Jørgensen’s biggest hit to date is the Norwegian cover version of “Despacito,” for which he teamed up with fellow MGP 2019 contestant Carina Dahl. Also in 2018, he released the single “I’m So Faded.”

D’Sound: «Mr. Unicorn»

Lyrics and music: Kim Ofstad, Jonny Sjo, Mirjam Johanne Omdal and Magnus Martinsen
Copyright Control: Tormod Martinsen

D’Sound have been an important part of the Norwegian pop music industry since the 1990’s. The three original band members released six albums and many hits together, in addition to contributing to other artists’ hits as producers and songwriters. Kim and Jonny produced Madcon’s European hit «Beggin». Kim wrote and produced «Glow», the song that Madcon performed to rave reviews during the intermission at Eurovision in Oslo in 2010.

Mirjam Omdal (27) became the band’s new lead vocalist last year. «It’s just me» became the band’s first single with Mirjam. The song got rotation on Norwegian radio and the band played at venues across Norway.

Hank Von Hell: «Fake It»

Lyrics and music: Hank Von Hell, Andreas Werling, David Johannesson and Eric Bäckman.

Legend has it that Hank von Hell was born backstage and never left. Von Hell has spent the past nine years deep in the Dutch mountains where he has spent his days practicing yoga and perfecting his ninja skills. Now he is at last ready to try his hand at punk rock again.

Hank von Hell was the lead singer in the Norwegian rock band Turbonegro from the early 1990’s until 2010. Many would go so far as to call von Hell one of the most legendary figures in contemporary rock music. Since the last time he stood on stage and declared that his performing days were over, fans from all over the world have hoped for a comeback. That comeback is now a reality, and it is happening at this year’s MGP.

Von Hell released his first solo album Egomania last November. His record label says 2019 is slated to be an eventful year for the solo artist: he is planning to play at some of the biggest international music festivals and is headed across the Atlantic to tour the US.

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