It’s that time of the year again… Can you believe we are already at the start of the Mello season? The music extravaganza is attracting something like three million Swedes every Saturday for the next six weeks, benched in front of their TVs with the whole family, or putting on fun schlager parties with their friends, or indeed experiencing it live at various arenas around the country. It’s the most ambitious Eurovision qualification of all, and it’s of course bigger than Eurovision itself in Sweden.
To begin with there are four heats with 7 songs in each, with two entries going straight to the final and two others to the Andra Chansen round. The first heat takes place in Linköping on Saturday the 1st of February. The hosting trio this year consists of Lina Hedlund, Linnea Henriksson and David Sundin, and we have pretty high expectations on these three!
The evening will kick of with The Mamas, who won the hearts of the Swedish people in last year’s Melodifestivalen, singing back-up for the winner John Lundvik and taking a great turn representing Sweden in Eurovision. Ash Haynes, Loulou Lamotte and Dinah Yonas Manna promise to bring Dreamgirls vibes and their song is set to make you Move.
Hip hop / rap is currently the biggest genre of popular music in Sweden, and that shows clearly in this first heat, with two entries representing the urban genre. The first of them is young rapper / pop artist Suzi P, who will hopefully be bringing quite a bit of those pop vibes to the Mello stage. The other hip hop act goes by the name of OVÖ (Om vi överlever, ie. If we survive). The duo is made up of Finess and Ivory, who are both solo artists as well. They had their breakthrough singing words of appreciation about Zara Larsson, so what’s not to like?
We are happy to see Malou Prytz returning to Melodifestivalen after last years success, when she took herself straight to the final with her catchy pop tune. We have pretty high hopes on this arena pop banger, especially since she has once again taken staging help from none other than Ace Wilder.
Melodifestivalen winner 2017 Robin Bengtsson is also back this year. That time around he earned a very nice 5th place in Eurovision and he has decided to Take a Chance at winning the crown again.
Another returning artist is Sonja Aldén, who has entered the competition as an artist three times before, plus a couple more times as songwriter. She has always been big on the ballads, so that is what we are getting this year as well.
The first heat’s last spot goes to Felix Sandman, who is a big favorite beforehand not just in this heat but to win the whole Melodifestivalen. He finished second behind his close friend and label-mate Benjamin Ingrosso two years ago, and has been churning out plenty of great tunes after that. Not to mention how he’s made a name for himself in acting as well, especially in the first Swedish original Netflix series Quicksand. Felix will be singing about how boys should be allowed to show their emotions, so that’s a Eurovision-worthy theme for a song right there…
So make sure to tune in on SVT 2 or online at SVT Play at 20:00 CET on Saturday the 1st of February – and be ready to repeat that for many Saturdays to come!
Photos © Nina Uddin