Image Credit: RTVE
Benidorm Fest is back for the second year, with a brand new lineup prepared to perform for the chance to represent Spain at Eurovision 2023.
After an incredible 2022 for Spain in Eurovision, with ‘SloMo’ by Chanel bringing the country back to the top 3 for the first time since 1995, all eyes are on them to see which song & artist in Benidorm Fest can continue their success.
Here’s all you need to know about the artists competing in Semi Final 1.
Agoney – ‘Quiero arder’
Agoney Hernández Morales – simply known as just Agoney – is from Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He first appeared on the music scene as a contestant on Operación Triunfo 2017, placing 6th after being eliminated in Gala 12. He released his debut single ‘Quizás’ in 2018, which reached the top of the Spanish iTunes chart. In 2019, he competed in (and won) the 2010’s episode of ‘La mejor canción jamás cantada’ with his rendition of Pastora Soler’s 2012 Eurovision entry ‘Quédate Conmingo’, and came 2nd in the show’s finale. In 2020, Agoeny released his debut album ‘Libertad’, which shot straight to number 1 on the Spanish album charts. He then won ‘Tu cara me suena’ (Spain’s version of Your Face Sounds Familiar) in March 2022, with his follow up single to the show ‘BANGOVER’ going to number one on the iTunes chart in Spain, Chile and Argentina.
In Benidorm Fest, Agoney will present the song ‘Quiero arder’ – an upbeat dance track with some incredible vocals. If his performance at Los elegidos: Benidorm Fest 2023 is anything to go by, we can expect some impressive production and a confident performance from Agoney. You can hear his song below:
Alice Wonder – ‘Yo quisiera’
Alice Wonder (Alicia Climent Barrusio) is a 24 year old singer, songwriter and composer from Madrid. Starting out on Instagram, she created her first EP in 2017 called ‘Take Off’, followed by the album ‘Firekid’ in 2018. She makes what she describes as ‘nostalgic dream rock/pop’, which is heavily reflected in her Benidorm Fest entry this year. Her music is mostly self-written, and explores her own stories and personal experiences in life.
‘Yo quisiera’ starts out almost a-capella, allowing Alice’s vocals to take complete centre stage. Her voice has a delicate rasp, and with an interesting progression throughout it’s impossible to not recognise the talent that goes into carrying such a song. You can hear her entry below:
Aritz Aren – ‘Flamenco’
31 year old dancer Aritz Aren (Aritz Grau Sueira) is from Valencia, and this year marks his debut performance as a singer at Benidorm Fest. He specialises in acrobatic, hip hop and urban dance, and has travelled across the world to teach and choreograph performances for TV. In China, he choreographed for the shows ‘Fame’ and ‘World of Dance’. He started posting dancing and singing videos on TikTok in 2019, growing his following to 1.5 million followers (at the time of writing).
‘Flamenco’ is exactly what the title says – a flamenco song, with a recognisable sound of previous popular Spanish music that has reached into the mainstream. We know Aritz can dance, and we’re likely going to be seeing a lot of choreography at the semi final. His performance at Los elegidos: Benidorm Fest 2023 gave nothing away, with him opting to sing ballads in English over a high energy routine or Spanish language songs, so we wait in anticipation to see if we’ll be as wowed with him as we were with Chanel – who had a similar backstory – on the night. You can hear his song below:
Fusa Nocta – ‘Mi familia’
Fusa Nocta (Miriam Nares) is 28 years old and from Gandia, but is currently based in Madrid. She first became known to the Spanish audience after her participation on The X Factor in 2018, which saw her place 9th. She spoke about her positive experience on the show to NME in 2019:
Before [The X Factor] I was singing for a hobby, trying to do it and then The X Factor was life-changing. It was strange because you don’t really see trap artists on TV and when I came to the auditions, I thought, ‘I’m not going to pass’ But it was really cool because they did respect everything I wanted to do. I didn’t have to change my style.Fusa Nocta, NME
She creates music which is categorised under the umbrella term Urbano, falling mainly into the Latin Hip-Hop sound. She also explores trap and rap in her music.
Her song ‘Mi familia’ is a love letter to her family, and how they told her to have pride in herself – something she wishes they have for her in return. It’s currently a huge favourite, not just to qualify but also potentially win the contest. It’s also one of the most streamed entries this year, with 861k streams (at the time of writing). You can hear her song below:
Megara – ‘Arcadia’
Rock/Electronic band Megara are based in Madrid, consisting of members Xens Saavedra (bassist), Ra Tache (drummer), Tio Rober Bueno (guitarist) and KENZY (vocals). The group have a distinct style – specifically a pink/black colour scheme which has been their brand since 2015, and are female-fronted. Describing their music as “the perfect mixture between the sinister and the cotton candy”, they say they create songs that “mix the darkness with the totally opposite”. They’ve been actively sharing updates on Instagram of their Benidorm Fest journey, and are using their entry as a way to promote and hype up fans ahead of their new upcoming album.
The only rock song in Benidorm Fest this year, ‘Arcadia’ is sure to stand out – especially to lovers of its genre. We haven’t heard a rock entry at all from Spain at the contest, so Megara could be the break through they need to encourage more artists in their genre to begin putting themselves forward to represent the country at Eurovision in the future. You can listen to their song below:
Meler – ‘No nos moverán’
Meler are made up of members Javi, Jonathan and Loren. They’re close friends, and even moved to London together, where they have been working on their music. They told RTVE why they decided to try out for Benidorm Fest 2023:
We said we are going to make a song that can be very European, that can sound throughout Europe and that can be a representative of Spain in Eurovision. So we got together specifically to do that and it seems that it workedMeler, RTVE
With a chorus you can sing along to whether you’re from Spain or not, ‘No nos moverán’ is a great song with lots of moments to get the crowd going. If their performance at Los elegidos: Benidorm Fest 2023 is anything to go by, they know how to hype the audience up, which could really help them stand out on the night. If you like a classic boyband pop sound, this is the song for you. You can hear their entry below:
Sharonne – ‘Aire’
Sharonne, from Sabadell, Catalonia but currently residing in Barcelona, is a 46 year old drag queen, who’ll be known to viewers of Drag Race España as the winner of Season 2. She has been doing drag since the age of 18, after working in a theatre company. Whilst rarely taking part in competitions before Drag Race came along, it seems now she’s ready to once again put herself forward for the crown – this time at Benidorm Fest.
Starting out with a drum beat that’s sure to get your attention, ‘Aire’ builds into a big chorus showing off Sharonne’s impressive vocals.
She spoke about her song to El Periódico.
Aire is a song that makes you react, it does not go unnoticed and awakens certain emotions.Sharonne, El Periódico
You can hear her song below:
Sofía Martín – ‘TUKI’
26 year old Sofía Martín was born in Germany, raised in Alicante, and is half German, half Spanish. Her debut came in 2021, with her single ‘Tóxica’, a song with lots of Latin flare. She describes her music as ‘a mix of contemporary Latin American rhythms, electronic beats, dance and pop’ and she is inspired by singers like Ana Mena and Ava Max. Sofía writes most of her music herself, and is credited as a songwriter on her Benidorm Fest 2023 entry, ‘TUKI’.
‘TUKI’ begins with Sofía’s soft yet captivating vocals, and builds into a big upbeat pop number. A repetitive chorus that keeps the listener hooked adds to its charm, and with a great performance just like we saw at Los elegidos: Benidorm Fest 2023, could Sofía be heading for Liverpool? You can hear her song below.
Twin Melody – ‘Sayonara’
Aitana and Paula Etxeberria – known together as Twin Melody – are 25 year old twins from País Vasco (Basque Country). They started out back in 2015 by uploading videos to YouTube, before moving over to TikTok, where they’ve amassed a huge 18.4 million followers, with the majority of their videos often reaching at least 1 million viewers. Their pinned TikTok’s have 65 million and 43 million views each. They recently collaborated with the former Spanish footballer Iker Casillas in a video using their song for Benidorm Fest, which has now been watched over 1 million times.
They’re entering with ‘Sayonara’, a feel good summer anthem with a great chorus and what looks to be some slick choreography. We know from their TikTok that they can dance, and with the song starting to build up more of a fanbase Twin Melody may peak at the right time. They also include some phrases in French in their lyrics. You can hear their song below.
There we have it! The first 9 songs taking part in Benidorm Fest 2023 this year. Only 4 will qualify, and it all comes down to the 50% jury vote, 25% televote and 25% demoscopic jury. You can watch it live on RTVE Play on Tuesday January 31st 2023.