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Photo credit: ORF

She’s been involved in Eurovision and Junior Eurovision since 2018, but now it’s finally time for Kaleen to take centre stage as Austria‘s 2024 Eurovision representative! Last year, Austria placed 15th in the Grand Final with ‘Who the Hell is Edgar?’ by Teya & Salena which continues to be regarded as a fan favourite so they will certainly be hoping to be successful again this year.

Read on to learn more about Kaleen, her career so far and her journey to Eurovision.

Who is Kaleen?

Kaleen is the stage name of 29-year-old Marie-Sophie Kreissl, who was raised in Ried im Traunkreis in Upper Austria. Her grandmother, Hanneliese Kreißl-Wurth, is a well-known composer of folk music so it’s safe to say music was a prominent part of Kaleen’s childhood. However, her early passion was dance; Kaleen began taking ballet lessons at the age of two and had already won her first national championship title by the age of seven.

In 2014, Kaleen’s talent led to her participation in the German version of the TV talent show Got To Dance, where she and her partner reached the final. She has been working as a choreographer for Austrian broadcaster ORF since 2020, including on the show Starmania, which is similar in format to the Idol franchise.

In 2021, Kaleen founded her own label WiFi Records and through this she released her debut single ‘Too Good To Not’ in September that same year. She released a handful of singles before releasing her debut album ‘Stripping Feelings’ in September 2023. Kaleen cites a number of female pop stars as her influences, including Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and Zara Larsson.

Kaleen and Eurovision

Although this will be the first time Kaleen has represented her country at Eurovision, she is no stranger to the contest itself. She has been working with the contest in various positions since 2018, when she served as a dancer, choreographer and also participated in the stand-in rehearsals. One clip where Kaleen stood in for Cyprus‘ repesentative Eleni Foureira during the rehearsals of ‘Fuego’ really shows her capabilities as a singer and dancer. You can watch it below:

Kaleen has also taken an active role in Junior Eurovision since 2021, serving as the creative director for Spain and Bulgaria. She reprised this role for Spain again in 2022 and was also stage director for the entire contest. Her work can also be seen in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, where Kaleen supported Austria, Armenia, Germany and Georgia with their performances.

Kaleen supported Brunette with her performance in last year’s contest
Image Credit: EBU // Chloe Hashemi // Sarah Louise Bennett

With so much Eurovision experience under her belt, it is perhaps no surprise that ORF internally selected her to be their representative. Speaking of her selection, ORF Program Director Stefanie Groiss-Horowitz said:

With Kaleen, we are sending an artist who is versatile – she sings, she dances, she choreographs, and she is an absolute Song Contest insider. We are going to put on a big show in Malmö!’

Stefanie Groiss-Horowitz on Kaleen,

‘We Will Rave’

Kaleen’s Eurovision entry is titled ‘We Will Rave’ and is a techno-inspired dance-pop song. The song was quickly leaked onto social media websites after it was announced as Austria’s Eurovision entry. This is not the first time this has happened, with mysterious social media account Crystal Ball ESC leaking last year’s Austrian entry, ‘Who the Hell is Edgar?’ by Teya & Salena, before the song was due to be released. This led Teya to speak out in support of Kaleen on social media, with her saying:

‘We Will Rave’ will be performed in the first half of the second semi-final on Thursday 9th May. It was written by Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt alongside two other Swedish songwriters. Jimmy is a prominent songwriter in the Swedish national final Melodifestivalen and has contributed to five other Eurovision entries besides ‘We Will Rave’. They are:

  • Cyprus 2021: Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo
  • San Marino 2021: Senhit feat. Flo Rida – Adrenalina
  • Sweden 2021: Tusse – Voices
  • Cyprus 2023: Andrew Lambrou – Break a Broken Heart
  • Sweden 2023: Loreen – Tattoo

Could Kaleen’s extensive experience, paired with a songwriter with an impressive track record (including a Eurovision-winning entry), spell success for her in May? We’ll have to wait to find out! In the meantime, we’ll certainly be wishing her the best of luck.

You can follow Kaleen on social media!

Instagram: @kaleenmusic

YouTube: @kaleenmusic

Twitter/X: @kaleenmusic

You can keep up to date with Phoenix on TwitterInstagramYouTube and TikTok for all the latest Eurovision 2024 news. 

Our podcast, Instead We Made A Pod, is available to stream on all platforms.

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