We at OGAE RoW were lucky enough to interview Anton Malmberg Hård, composer of Melodifestivalen 2013 entries “Begging” (Anton Ewald) and “Heaertstrings” (Janet Leon).  These two entries have been considered early favorites to making it to the finals!


OGAE: Hello Anton.  First off, congratulations of having not one, but two songs make it to Melodifestivalen 2013! How does it feel!?

AMH: Of course that’s a fantastic moment, knowing you qualified among about 3000 songs. The quality in Sweden is very high and it’s big business for everyone involved making it to the show. A bottle of champagne is necessary!


OGAE:  How would you describe your songs?

AMH: Well, without giving away to much, both songs are high energy pop songs. One of them is focusing towards beautiful melodies and a lot of dramatic feelings, and the other one is more of a slap-in-the-face kinda song. 


OGAE:  Sounds great!  A lot of the feel of the song will depend also on the artist.  So how did you and your co-writer Fredrik Kempe first meet Anton Ewald and Janet Leon?

AMH: Anton is a great dancer and has been seen all over TV-shows in Sweden, dancing behind our biggest stars. Fredrik Kempe found out he had a fantastic voice and more or less said to his friends at Universal Music: “SIGN THIS GUY NOW!”.


Janet has been collaborating with the great songwriter/producer Jörgen Elofson for a couple of years, and he stumbled upon “Heartstrings”, saying that was the perfect song for presenting her to ESC.


OGAE:  Tell us a bit about how the songs will be performed at Melodifestivalen? What do you hope the audience, both there at the concert and watching the tv, will get out of them?

AMH: Well, Melodifestivalen is all about making a statement, whether it’s a big show or a small intimate scene. I think both our songs will be rather large scenery and high tempo. The hardest part for the artists are to capture the audience at home, but I’m certain they will do great.


OGAE:  A lot of blogs and sites are projecting “Begging” to be a front runner in Melodifestivalen. In addition, both “Begging” and “Heaertstrings” got the coveted first and last positions in one heat! As a songwriter, does that make you nervous or excited?

AMH: I don’t think about that much. The newspapers that writes these articles haven’t even heard the songs, so they just speculating from what people are telling them. We have great songs and great artists, so do the other 30 contestants. 


 OGAE:  What do you believe is the key to winning Eurovision? What made past Swedish winners like Loreen, Charlotte, and Carola stand out?

 AMH: Hard to say. One year we’re all voting for a heartbreaking ballad, the next year for a pop-diva in a tight dress. I think it’s all about being different but still reach out to everyone from 3-80 years old. You have to hit the broad masses with your show.  


 OGAE: Anton, we thank you for your time! And we wish you, Fredrik, Anton, and Janet the best of luck!

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