We’ve reached the halfway point of Melodifestivalen 2023!
The penultimate heat is set to take place this weekend (February 18th 2023) from Lidköping, as another 7 artists gear up to perform for the opportunity to advance to the final.
Last Saturday, Heat 2 saw Maria Sur and Panetoz both advance directly to the final, whilst Theoz and Tennessee Tears will be competing for a second chance in the semi-final.
Here’s all you need to know about the artists and songs in Heat 3!
Paul Rey – ‘Royals’
We start this heat by welcoming back Paul Rey! Returning for his third try, this year he’ll be hoping to bypass the semi final rounds and go directly to the final. On his 2020 debut, his entry ‘Talking In My Sleep’ controversially beat Malou Prytz to a place in the final thanks to the Melodifestivalen voting system favouring the age groups over volume of votes. The song eventually placed a respectable 6th in the final. He returned in 2021 with ‘The Missing Piece’, which beat Frida Green in the semi final (formerly andra chansen), and placed 12th in the final. He’s also written songs for the contest: in 2020 he wrote ‘Surface’ for Ellen Benediktson & Simon Peyron, and in 2022 he wrote ‘I Can’t Get Enough’ for Cazzi Opeia.
Paul Rey was born Pauli Jokela in Lund, and is of Chilean and Finnish descent. He signed to Epic Records back in 2015, which saw him tour alongside Fifth Harmony and Nico & Vinz, and release a single called ‘California Dreamin’ alongside Snoop Dogg; which has 53 million streams to date. So far, he’s released three EPs/albums: ‘Good As Hell’ (2015), ‘Note To Self’ (2018) and ‘Note To Her’ (2021).
This year, Paul will compete with the song ‘Royals’, which he wrote alongside Dino Medanhodzic, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt and LIAMOO. Here’s what he had to say about his entry:
“Royals” is an epic, big song with bubbling energy and a lot of joy – a party for three minutes. I’m so excited to show a new side of myself as an artist.Paul Rey, Mellopedia
You can hear part of Paul’s entry here.
Casanovas – ‘Så kommer känslorna tillbaka’
Casanovas were formed all the way back in 1989 in Vadstena, and are a successful dansband. They achieved first place in the Svenska dansbandsmästerskapen (Swedish Dansband Championships) in 1998, have won 10 Guldklavar Awards and have been nominated for 5 awards at the Grammis (Sweden’s version of the Grammy awards). They’re currently made up of members Henrik Sethsson, Jimmy Lindberg, Simon Bondesson, Stefan Ryding and Victor ‘Harry’ Lindberg.
Henrik wrote the Melodifestivalen 2001 winner ‘Lyssna till ditt hjärta’ (‘Listen To Your Heartbeat’) by Friends, and Jenny Silver’s ‘Something In Your Eyes’ in 2011.
The group now look to take part for the first time in Melodifestivalen with ‘Så kommer känslorna tillbaka’, and this is what Henrik had to say about their entry:
Our contribution is just like Casanovas when we play on stage. It’s fast and […] it’s an uptempo song.Henrik (Casanovas), Mellopedia
You can hear part of Casanovas entry here.
Melanie Wehbe – ‘For The Show’
You may recognise the name Melanie Wehbe – she’s known as the writer behind The Mamas winning 2020 entry ‘Move’, and has also been the writer behind other Melfest songs such as ‘Tears Run Dry’ by Patrik Jean (2021), ‘Victorious’ by Lina Hedlund (2020) and ‘All Of My Life (Where Have You Been)’ by Wiktoria (2023). She also wrote Denmark’s 2019 Eurovision entry ‘Love Is Forever’. However, this time around she’ll be taking to the stage as the lead performer.
Melanie was born Melanie Hayrapetian to a Lebanese mother and Armenian father from Iran. She herself is from Västerås, and creates what can be described as ‘emotional pop’ music. Her songs are all about being true to yourself and allowing yourself to grow as a person, which can be reflected in her previous aforementioned songwriting credits.
It comes as no surprise that Melanie has penned her own song alongside frequent songwriting partners Herman Gardarfve and David Lindgren Zacharias. It’s called ‘For The Show’ and this is what she had to say about it:
“For the Show” is a very personal song. It starts a little cozy and intimate, and then it grows into a really beautiful “confetti bomb”. My number will be intimate and powerful with lots of light.Melanie Wehbe, Mellopedia
You can hear part of Melanie’s entry here.
Nordman – ‘Släpp alla sorger’
Viewers of Melodifestivalen in the 2000s will be sure to recognise Nordman, who competed in 2005 with ‘Ödet var min väg’, coming 9th in the final, and in 2008 with ‘I lågornas sken’, which placed 6th in the final.
The duo consist of Håkan Hemlin and Mats Wester, and formed in 1991 when Mats and Håkan ended up in the same studio on the same day. Mats was looking for a singer to bring to life his folk-pop sound, and Håkan was around to record a demo alongside his band. They’ve been working together ever since, with their greatest success coming in the 1990s, where they sold over a million albums.
‘Släpp alla sorger’ is their third attempt at glory in Melfest, and the song is written by Thomas G:Son and Jimmy Jansson – who have both seen their own fair share of success in the contest with previous entries over the years. Here’s what Nordman had to say about their entry:
“Släpp alla sorger” is a song about moving on. (Håkan)
I hope that people who listen to this will feel hopeful, energized and euphoric. What you look forward to is playing music that says something. (Mats)Nordman, Mellopedia
You can hear part of Nordman’s entry here.
Laurell – ‘Sober’
It wouldn’t be Melodifestivalen or a Eurovision season at all without hearing the name ‘Laurell Barker’ – and now we get to see her step forward as a solo artist for the very first time!
Laurell was born in Canada, but moved to Malmö – where she currently resides with her partner and daughter. She was the recipient of a JUNO Award (Canadian Grammy) in 2018 for Dance Recording Of The Year. She’s written for artists such as Isak Danielsson, Oh My Girl, OH!GG and Claire Richards, but is most well known to Eurovision fans as a prominent writer of entries into national finals and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. Her most successful work for Eurovision was Luca Hänni’s 4th place entry for Switzerland, ‘She Got Me’. In 2019, she was the first female songwriter to have 3 entries into the contest simultaneously- for Switzerland (4th), Germany (25th) and the UK (26th).
She has also written songs that have taken part in the following countries’ national selections: United Kingdom, Switzerland, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Serbia, Croatia and Belgium. For Melodifestivalen, she is probably best known for writing ‘Brave’ for Hanna Ferm, which came 4th in 2020, and Maria Sur’s 2023 entry ‘Never Give Up’.
Laurell will step out solo this year with ‘Sober’. SVT confirmed on Tuesday that the lyrics had to be changed ahead of the show due to product placement. Laurell has said this about her song:
“Sober” is about a big night out with friends, where […] you meet a person who makes you feel more intoxicated than you’ve ever felt in your life. Viewers can expect a very fun party number with a lot of energy.Laurell, Mellopedia
You can hear part of Laurell’s entry here.
Ida-Lova – ‘Låt hela stan se på’
Ida-Lova is just 18 years old and lives with her family in Stockholm. She first became known to audiences in 2017, when at just 13 years old she performed at the Svenska Hjältar-Galan. In June 2022, Ida-Lova released her debut EP, called “Hallå världen kan du stanna?”
Her song this year is a Swedish ballad called ‘Låt hela stan se på’, written by herself, alongside Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Andreas ‘Giri’ Lindbergh. Here’s what she had to say about the song:
It’s a ballad that feels very powerful to me. It is about daring to live. I’ve been watching Melodifestivalen since I was little, and it’s a dream that I’ll be able to stand on stage now!Ida-Lova, Mellopedia
You can hear part of Ida-Lova’s entry here.
Marcus & Martinus – ‘Air’
Marcus & Martinus Gunnarsen are twins from Trofors in Norway. They rose to fame in their homeland at just 10 years of age, after winning MGPjr with the song ‘To dråper vann’, which peaked at #8 on the Norwegian charts. They continued with their music career, returning to the radar of the Norwegian public in 2015 as teen sensations. Their debut album ‘Hei’ went to number 1, featuring the hit singles ‘Elektrisk’ – which charted at #3 in Norway and #8 in Sweden – and ‘Ei Som Deg’. A year later, they started to fully establish their Scandinavian career, getting their first number #1 single in Norway with ‘Girls’, featuring Madcon. In 2016, the duo released their second album – and first album in English ‘Together’, which went to #1 in Norway and Sweden, and to #6 in Finland.
Marcus & Martinus won one of the biggest awards in Norway’s 2017 Spellemannprisen (their version of the Grammys), the ‘Spellemann Of The Year’ award, and followed up this success with their third album ‘Moments’.
In 2022, they won the Masked Singer Sverige, which they then used to kickstart their music releases for that year, ‘When All The Lights Go Out’ and ‘Wicked Game’.
Their song for Melodifestivalen is called ‘Air’, and is written by Marcus & Martinus alongside a successful songwriting team of Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt. This is currently one of the favourites to win, and certainly one to keep an eye on. Here’s what they had to say about their entry:
“Air” is a song that really has everything, it starts calmly but has a fantastic build-up. We are very much looking forward to showing you the song. In order to be allowed to participate in Mellofestivalen, we knew we had to have the right song, so we’ve been waiting a long time now, but finally we feel we’ve found the right one. We have built a completely new team in Stockholm, which we are very pleased with. (Marcus)
Now, we are as much in Stockholm as we are at home, so we are very ready to take part in Melodifestivalen. (Martinus)Marcus & Martinus, Mellopedia
You can hear part of Marcus & Martinus’ entry here.
So there we have it! All of the artists taking part in Heat 3 of Melodifestivalen 2023. With 4 qualifying spots up for grabs, who’ll be heading for the final and semi final, and who’ll be heading home?
Melodifestivalen Heat 3 will take place on SVT live at 7pm GMT // 8pm CET on Saturday February 18th 2023.
Who would you like to see qualify? Let us know in the comments, and follow us on our Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & YouTube for all the latest Eurovision news!
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