The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest is underway. In January, participating countries began local competitions to decide who will be representing their country on the world stage. Local competitions will continue through March, with the official Eurovision Song Contest’s two Semi-Finals and Grand Final held in May. In recent years, artists in the Eurovision Song Contests have catapulted to the top of the DSP, TikTok, and Billboard charts.
Rosa Linn, who represented Armenia in the 2022 Eurovision, found herself on numerous viral charts when her competition song “Snap” (Nvak Collective) took off on TikTok. As a partner to Nvak Collective, The Orchard helped capitalize on the momentum and bring Rosa Linn’s song to the masses.
While Eurovision has been a staple event in the European industry for years, the effects on the wider global music industry in recent years is undeniable. If you’re planning to follow along this year, be sure to check out The Orchard distributed acts below competing in their local competitions.
Alice Wonder – “Yo quisiera” (Infarto Producciones)
Singer-songwriter Alice Wonder is in the race to represent Spain in Eurovision with her song “Yo Quisiera.” The song begins intimately with Alice’s vulnerable, breathy vocals and minimal piano accompaniment. About halfway through, the pace shifts with electronic production kicking in and background vocal harmonies filling the space.
On the meaning behind the song, Alice says “‘Yo Quisiera’ is the storm that happens inside of someone who gives up trying to understand the world and just lives in it. It might look like a pessimistic message, but it actually is positive, continuist and leans towards faith even though the incongruity of life.”
Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods – “Where You Are (Sávežan)” (Loudkult)
Swedish artists Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North, and Adam Woods are competing in the Swedish competition, Melodifestivalen, with their song “Where You Are (Sávežan).” The song title, Sávežan, comes from Sami and means ‘my little Sáve.’ Jon Henrik Fjällgren has talked about the difficulty of living away from his daughter, Ella Sáve. While the singers differ through their artistry, they come together to perform a beautiful song in the hopes of representing Sweden in front of the world.
Smash Into Pieces – “Six Feet Under”
Swedish rock group Smash Into Pieces will be competing with their song “Six Feet Under,” written by Chris Adam, Per Bergquist, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Benjamin Jennebo, Andreas “Giri” Lindbergh and Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt. Smash Into Pieces is characterised for the apokalyptic and cinematic image and style of music, much of that coming from the bands masked drummer, leader and mascot The Apocalypse DJ. The band’s vocalist, Chris Adam, says “this song is about the personal worse time in my life, which I went through a few years ago.” With the song, Adam hopes to inspire that there is a way out if you are willing to do the work.
Casanovas – “Så kommer känslorna tillbaka” (Atenzia)
Founded in 1989 by Jimmy Lindberg, Casanovas first took off when they won the Swedish Dansband championship in 1998. Over 40 years later, now the band is taking the Melodifestivalen stage with their song “Så kommer känslorna tillbaka.” Today the band consists of Stefan Ryding, Simon Bondesson, Henrik Sethsson, Jimmy Lindberg and Victor Lindberg.
Ulrikke – “Honestly” (Ulrikke Records)
Over the past few years, Ulrikke has become a household name in Norway. Ulrikke is not new to the Eurovision circust. In 2020, she won Melodi Grand Prix, the Norwegian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, with her power ballad “Attention.” Back for more, Ulrikke will compete once again in the Melodi Grand Prix with her song “Honestly.”
Says Ulrikke, “‘Honestly’ is a deeply personal song describing the feeling and desperation when one is about to lose a very close friendship, in my instance my best friend Christoffer. Once you realize how important one person is to you, you have to fight and do what you can to save that relationship. I really wanted to be there for him, but didn’t know how to best comfort and take care of him. I am sure lots of people are able to put themselves in the same situation, and I’m pretty sure most of us have felt the pain of losing someone close, or almost losing someone.”
JOWST & Byron Williams Jr. – “Freaky For The Weekend” (Skyskraper Music/Indigoboom)
Oslo-based artists JOWST and Byron Williams Jr. are teaming up to take home the Melodi Grand Prix prize with their EDM Pop song “Freaky For The Weekend.” Joakim With Steen (JOWST) was crowded the 2017 Melodi Grand Prix winner with his sog “Grab The Momement.” His song received over 30 million streams, appeared on over 400,000 playlists, and earned the artist over 2 million Spotify monthly listeners. Norwegian fans may already be familiar with Byron Williams Jr. from his appearance on The Voice Norway 2021 season.
Bjørn Olav Edvardsen – “Turn Off My Heart” (Nice Noise Music)
Bjørn Olav Edvardsens will be competing in the Melodi Grand Prix prize with his powerhouse ballad, “Turn Off My Heart.” The heartfelt song is about experiencing self-doubt, anxiety, and the desire to just put everything “on pause.” Bjørn is a former Idol Finalist and MGP songwriter who has collaborated with the likes of Wouter Hardy (Arcade, Duncan Laurence) Ben Adams and Christian Ingebrigtsen (A1) Sissel Kyrkjebø, and Kjetil Mørland.
Stig Van Eijk – “Someday” (Stig van Eijk/Indigoboom)
It’s been 24 years since Stig van Eijk became a breakthrough artist in Norway. In 1999, at just 17 years old, Stig Van Eijk took home first place while representing Norway in the Eurovision final held in Jerusalem. His 1999 winning song “Living My Life Without You,” and subsequent album, went on to earn Gold status and additional recognitions such as “Male Artist of the Year” at the Hitawards. Back again to reclaim his title, Stig Van Eijk will be competing in the 2023 contest with his Reggae song “Someday.” With his song, Stig hopes that people of the world “become more aware of what is happening around us. Both in the world and in close relationships.”
Kate Gulbrandsen – “Tårer i Paradis” (Songborn/Kjetil Mørland)
The world met Kate Gulbrandsen and her unique voice when she represented Norway in the 1987 Eurovision. After placing ninth, Kate recorded and sang the official song for the Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 1988 (“Welcome To Lillehammer”) and also for the Paralympics Games (“Med Gullet I Øyet”). With three studio albums under her belt, Kate is making her Eurovision comeback with the song “Tårer i Paradis” (Tears In Paradise), co-written with Kjetil Mørland.
“’Tårer i Paradis’ is a touching song based on a loved relative who chose to end his life,” says Gulbrandsen. “It’s a song about hope, strength and getting through difficult times in life, knowing that we all will have peace in the end.”
Andrei Dutu – “Statues” (Songborn/Kjetil Mørland)
Romanian singer-songwriter Andrei Dutu will be competing to represent Romania with his song “Statues.” Andrei won over countless hearts as the runner-up in XFACTOR Romania 2021. Now, he’s taking his talent beyond Romania for a chance to compete on the world stage. His competition song “Statues” is an anthem about perseverance and staying focused and driven until they “build statues in our name.”
Søren Torpegaard Lund – “Lige her” (Two Dæne Productions)
Søren Torpegaard Lund is a Danish singer, actor, and dancer competing in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix with the song “Lige Her.” “Lige Her” is Søren’s first single from the well-established artist. In 2021, Søren won a “Reumert Talentpris” (Denmark’s Tony award) and is currently starring in the lead role as Tony in “West Side Story” playing at the Danish Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. The best way to get to learn Søren is perhaps through his own description: ”lyrical, long, straight-backed, dark-haired, simple, complex, feminine and masculine queer small town boy/musical girl with five ear piercings, sometimes wearing a dress, other times wearing pants.”
Sethu – “Cause Perse” (Carosello Records)
Sethu will be competing in the Sanremo Festival with his song “Cause Perse.” “Cause Perse” is Sethu’s new single and upcoming EP title which he announced on Instagram. In December, he participated at the Sanremo Giovani qualifying competition with the song “Sottoterra.” He made it to the finals and was one of the six finalists of the competition, thus gaining access to compete in the Sanremo Festival.
“Cause Perse” is a song dedicated to his relationship with his inseparable twin brother Jiz, with whom he developed his artistic identity. Alongside Jiz, he began making music and taking his first steps in the Ligurian punk/rap scene, later expanding towards further musical horizons.