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You are currently viewing 🇸🇪 Sneak Peek: Melodifestivalen 2023 Heat 4

Image Credit: SVT // Melodifestivalen // Jane Danielsson

We’ve reached the final heat of Melodifestivalen!

Last week saw Marcus & Martinus and Paul Rey earn the chance to go directly to the final, whilst Melanie Wehbe and Nordman will be competing next week in the semi final for a second chance to qualify.

Marcus & Martinus and Paul Rey after Heat 3 | Credit: SVT // Melodifestivalen // Alma Bengtsson

As we look towards seeing and hearing the final 7 songs left to be released in the competition, here’s all you need to know about the artists in Heat 4!

Kiana – ‘Where Did You Go’

Kiana Blanckert, simply known as Kiana, is one of the youngest contestants to ever take part in Melodifestivalen. Her 16th birthday coincides with Heat 4 on Saturday, so she’ll be hoping for even more of a reason to celebrate. Born in Perth, Australia before moving to Tyresö, she’s been performing for many years, despite her age. As the daughter of a professional dancer, she’s been taking dance classes since the age of 3 and remembers singing on a cruise ship at just 4 years old. In 2016 at age 9, she entered SVT’s Supershowen, and in 2021 she was one of the runners up in Talang 2021 – the second artist in this years Melfest to have taken part in that series of Talang, alongside Rejhan, who competed in Heat 1 with ‘Haunted

Kiana’s song is a pop track called ‘Where Did You Go’ and is written by a successful songwriting team of Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt. Here’s what Kiana has to say about her song:

I would say that my song is very uptempo and has a lot of power in it, and it’s a danceable song, so I hope I get people to start dancing to it.

Kiana, Mellopedia

You can hear part of Kiana’s entry here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

Signe & Hjördis – ‘Edelweiss’

Sisters Signe & Hjördis Bornemark are from Kullabygden in Skåne, and are 16 and 19 years old. They grew up surrounded by music – their father is Dan Bornemark, who himself competed in Melodifestivalen in 1995 with ‘Jag tror på dig’, and their grandmother is Gullan Bornemark, who won a Swedish equivalent of a Grammy award for her song ‘Mina egna favoriter’.

Their song for Melodifestivalen is called ‘Edelweiss’, and is a folk-pop track written by Myra Granberg, Jimmy Jansson and Anderz Wrethov. Here’s what they had to say about their entry:

“Edelweiss” is the name of a flower, but also the name of our song. It’s a very warm, nice and heartfelt song, and you can say it’s very folk-pop. (Signe)

We have been doing music for almost exactly our entire lives. But we’ve never done anything like this before, and we have no idea what to expect.

Signe & Hjördis, Mellopedia

You can hear part of their entry here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

Smash Into Pieces – ‘Six Feet Under’

Smash Into Pieces are a group from Örebro, made up of singer Chris Adam, guitarists Per Bergquist and Benjamin Jennebo, and a drummer known only as “The Apocalypse DJ”, They formed back in 2008, gaining their first record deal in 2013 and had their breakthrough with their album ‘Rise And Shine’ in 2017. They’ve achieved success in both Europe and the USA, and have toured with bands such as Evanescene and Within Temptation. Their music combines rock, pop and electronic, which they call the “SmashSound”.

Their song in Melodifestivalen is called ‘Six Feet Under’, and it’s written by the band alongside Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt and Andreas ‘Giri’ Lindbergh. Here’s what they had to say about their song:

The goal of our entry is to make the TV viewers feel like they are at our live show. (Per)

“Six Feet Under” is for me personally about my absolute worst life crisis, which I went through a few years ago. I really had no faith whatsoever that I could turn my bad mood around. But I was wrong. I took personal responsibility and really worked on myself. With this song, we want to inspire and show that there is a path to change if you are willing to do the work. (Adam)

Smash Into Pieces, Mellopedia

You can hear part of their entry here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

Mariette – ‘One Day’

Mariette marks her 5th attempt at Melodifestivalen this year, and she’ll be hoping to continue her streak of success. In 2020, she became the first artist ever to go directly to the final on all four of her attempts, which has since been matched by Danny Saucedo (DTF – 2009, 2011, 2012, 2021), Eric Saade (DTF – 2010, 2011, 2015, 2021) and Robin Bengtsson (DTF – 2016, 2017, 2020, 2022). She’s joint 4th in the list of “Most Final Appearances” at Melodifestivalen, and joint second with the most direct to the final places. Her previous entries, and their final placements, are as follows:

2015 – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ – 3rd Place
2017 – ‘A Million Years’ – 4th Place
2018 – ‘For You’ – 5th Place
2018 – ‘Shout It Out’ – 10th Place

Mariette Hansson was born in 1983 and raised in Harplinge, outside of Halmstad, though she now resides in Höganäs, Skåne. She previously lived in Stockholm, before returning to the west coast with her wife Isabelle to raise their children Disa and Dante. She became known to Swedish audiences in 2009 when she came 4th on Idol, and made her Melfest debut in 2015.

Mariette’s song for 2023 is called ‘One Day’, written by herself alongside Thomas G:Son and Jimmy Jansson. This is what Mariette had to say about her entry this year:

“One Day” is a big, bouncy, catchy song that’s still down to earth somehow. My wife said she got goosebumps in places she didn’t think possible when she heard the song. My staging for the song will be grand.

Mariette, Mellopedia

You can hear part of Mariette’s entry here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

Emil Henrohn – ‘Mera mera mera’

Emil Henrohn has come a long way from his beginning in music. He’s a musical performer, and after finding himself out of work due to the pandemic, he started a TikTok account – which gained traction for his videos depicting a character called ‘The Mother’. He’s one of the most followed Swedes on the social media platform, with over 500k followers to date. In 2022 he made his breakthrough with the single ‘Jag är mamma’, which currently has over 2 million streams on Spotify. Alongside his TikTok skits, he’s been starting in the stage productions, such as Annie.

Emil was born in 1997 in Åby, just outside of Växjö, and now lives in Södermalm, Stockholm. He started starring in musicals at age 12, beginning in a production of The Sound Of Music.

His song is called ‘Mera mera mera’, which he has penned himself along with Jil Nilsson, Jakob Redtzer and Marlene Strand. Here’s what he has said about his participation this year:

It’s an uptempo hit song. You just want more. […] Melodifestivalen means so much to me that I know almost every entry ever. Almost.

Emil Henrohn, Mellopedia

You can hear part of Emil’s song here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

Axel Schylström – ‘Gorgeous’

Our second returnee in Heat 4 is Axel Schylström, who you’ll most likely recognise from Melodifestivalen 2017. He made his debut in the contest with the song ‘När ingen ser’, which narrowly missed out on a spot in the final to ‘I Don’t Give A’ by Lisa Ajax in the semi final (formerly known as Andra Chansen).

Bengt Axel Schylström was born in 1993 in Nörrkoping, but now resides in Solna, north of Stockholm. In 2012, he was involved in a devastating accident after climbing on to a train, coming into contact with power lines, resulting in a 16,000 volt electric shock. He was just 19 years old, and is one of Sweden’s worst affected burn survivors – with 70% burns on his body, spending about a year in hospital and facing over 50 operations. Thankfully he survived, and pursued with his idea of becoming a musical artist – taking part in Idol in 2015 where he came 4th. Axel published the autobiography ‘BRÄND – En Resa Genom Eld’, which has seen him go on to become a motivational speaker, and feature in publications across the world. He also appeared on ‘Shake My Beauty’ in 2020, where you can hear his story (in English).

Note: This video features some images that some viewers may find distressing. Please watch at your own discretion.

Axel also works as a songwriter, and has written the Melodifestivalen entries ‘Cuba Libra’ by Moncho, which reached Andra Chansen in 2018, as well as THEOZ’s entries ‘Som Du Vill’, which came 7th in the 2022 final, and 2023 entry ‘Mer Av Dig’, which will compete again in the semi final next week.

This year, Axel will enter the song ‘Gorgeous’, which is in English. He has written the song alongside Herman Gardarfve, Malin Halvardsson and Jonas Thander. Here’s what Axel has to say about his song:

“Gorgeous” is a powerful ballad with a very important and strong message. It’s about the importance of being kind to yourself and not looking for faults. Perhaps above all, making friends with your reflection and how you look. This is probably the best lesson I’ve learned from living for a very long time as very scarred and burned – it really doesn’t matter what you look like. What I’m looking forward to the most are these three minutes when everything is at stake.

Axel Schylström, Mellopedia

You can hear part of Axel’s song here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

Loreen – ‘Tattoo’

Here’s the one we’ve all been waiting for…

Loreen is back in Melodifestivalen for the fourth time, 12 years on from her debut in 2011. In both 2011 and 2017, her songs reached Andra Chansen only – ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’ (2011) lost to Sara Varga’sSpring För Livet’, and fan favourite ‘Statements’ (2017) lost controversially to Anton Hagman’sKiss You Goodbye’.

Despite these results, she’s best known as the artist behind ‘Euphoria’. After winning Melodifestivalen 2012 despite tough competition from Danny Saucedo, who presented the song ‘Amazing’ that year, Loreen was the one heading to Baku. Whilst in Azerbaijan, which that year had come under fire for it’s treatment of its citizens in order to host the contest, Loreen was the only artist to meet with local human rights groups, stating at the time that “[…] human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things”. Despite criticism from the Azeri government, she was defended by Swedish diplomats and received praise from fans who appreciated her decision to visit these groups. In the final, she won with a landslide of 372 points, just short of Alexander Rybak’s 2009 entry ‘Fairytale’, which was (at the time) the most successful entry ever with 387 points. She did however find herself breaking other records – receiving 18 sets of 12 points (the highest for any entry in the contests history), and points from 40 of that years 41 countries eligible to vote for Sweden – with Italy being the only country not scoring it a single point. After the contest, ‘Euphoria’ placed at #1 in 16 countries on the Official Charts across Europe, and is certified Gold in Belgium, Italy and the UK, 3X Gold in Germany, Platinum in Finland, Denmark, (sales) and Spain, 2X Platinum in Switzerland and Denmark (streaming), 10X Platinum in Sweden and 11X Platinum in Norway. The song also has a combined streaming total of 206,911,043 on Spotify, and won the annual #ESC250 event from 2012-2021, being overtaken in 2022 by ‘SloMo’ by Chanel. It’s safe to say, Loreen has made her mark on Eurovision.

Lorine Talhaoui was born in 1983, and grew up between Åkersberga and Västerås, now living in Vasastan, Stockholm. She is of Moroccan descent through her parents. After winning Eurovision, her portrait was included in the famous ‘Stockholm Hall Of Fame’ in Årlanda Airport, and she has become part of the Melodifestivalen Hall Of Fame too. She started acting in 2021 alongside continuing to make music, releasing her first songs in Swedish after appearing on the TV show Så Mycket Bättre in 2020.

Her song is called ‘Tattoo’ which is written by a powerhouse Melodifestivalen songwriting team, two of whom were also behind ‘Euphoria’ – Thomas G:Son and Peter Boström, alongside Jimmy Jansson, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt and Moa Carlebecker – also known as Cazzi Opeia, who reached the final herself in 2022 with ‘I Can’t Get Enough’. Here’s what Loreen had to say about ‘Tattoo’;

The song is called “Tattoo”. Your love is carved in me as a tattoo. It has energy and power, a depth. It’s a love song. As usual, I like to talk about love, because there is nothing more important. Above all in these times, it is extremely important that we lift the collective love.

You wonder if there is a new “Euphoria” in the sound. No, this is something else. But – that’s a lot of power, that’s a lot of energy. When I first heard the song I felt in my whole body that something was about to happen, and the last time I felt that was with “Euphoria”, so it will probably shake things up a bit in the system, I think, but it is good. Music should make us feel. Make us wake up.

Winning is not important. The most important thing is that I manage to create something that I can stand for, that conveys what I hope to convey and that you feel something there on the other side. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter – we’re all gonna die.

Loreen, Mellopedia

You can hear part of Loreen’s entry here.

Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson

There we have it! The final preview for the artists in Melodifestivalen 2023. Who will be the final qualifiers from this heat?

Melodifestivalen Heat 3 will take place on SVT live from Malmö at 7pm GMT // 8pm CET on Saturday February 25th 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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