Stig Karlsen “open” to sending Norwegian language song to Eurovision

On the latest episode of The Euro Trip, Norwegian Head of Delegation Stig Karlsen has revealed that he would be happy to send a song in the Norwegian language to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Karlsen has worked as Head of Delegation for Norwegian broadcaster NRK since 2016 and has overseen only English language songs representing Norway since then.

Speaking to The Euro Trip presenter James Rowe, Karlsen said: “Portugal who won [in 2017], Italy this year who won singing in Italian so I don’t think it’s a disadvantage choosing your own language but it’s basically up to the artist and we have a healthy conversation about it. I’m open to sending songs in Norwegian as well.”

Norway was represented by TIX at the 2021 contest after winning Melodi Grand Prix with his song Fallen Angel. The song – originally titled Ut Av Mørket – was originally performed in Norwegian but was later changed to English for the final of the selection show and for Eurovision itself.

Talking about the language change for Fallen Angel, Karlsen said: “We had a discussion about it [with TIX] but the artists want their message to be out there and for everybody to understand it. But at the same time it seems like people from other countries think it’s quite exotic to listen to artists doing their song in their own language.”

Stig Karlsen – who also works as Executive Producer of Melodi Grand Prix – talked to James about the recent overhaul of the show which saw the selection process expanded from one episode in 2019 to six episodes in 2020.

“We are inspired by a lot of things and of course Melodifestivalen is one of them. But I think it’s also cool that I talk to the Swedish guys and I see they get inspired by stuff that we do as well. Trading ideas and being inspired by each other is a good thing.”

On the podcast Karlsen also discussed the songs that have been submitted to NRK with the aim of representing Norway at Eurovision in 2022.

“I think we got about 1000 songs. We have an open window where everybody can send their songs, then the other part of the job for me is going out there to the songwriting camps and calling all the record companies and artists, so I think we collected about 1000 songs. And to be honest, they’re not all great.

“Out of 1000 songs, maybe you have 100 songs that are okay, then we have 20 that are really great.”

Image Credit: Mandy Pettersen / escnorge.no

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