Germany is switching from the talent show concept used over the past three years back to a more traditional form of picking their song for Malmo. 12 acts will compete next February to become the the next German representative at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden. Broadcaster NDR has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure a diverse and professional group of acts would end up on Stage when the National Final takes place in Hanover, the home town of 2010 winner Lena Meyer-Landrut.
We want to use this opportunity to introduce the 12 acts to you and we wish them the best of luck in February, there can only be one winner.
01. Ben Ivory: The Righteous One
Born in 1982, Ben’s career is just starting to take off. He formed his first band at age 14 and was also the lead singer of rock band ‘Splinter X’. Nowadays, the 30 year old man with the baby face is focusing on his solo career. Ben will release his first solo album “Neon Cathedral” in 2013 which will include his ESC NF entry. Ben’s soft voice combined with 80’s retro pop music will certainly stand out in February when he will fight for the prestigious spot representing his country at the Eurovision Song contest. The musician from Berlin has one other big passion: Fashion! He created his own style inspired by his music so we’re certain that Ben will surprise us with a unique outfit in Hanover.
02. Betty Dittrich: Lalala
Betty was born in 1984 was born not too far from Malmo, the host city of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In her early childhood days, the Swedish born singer started playing multiple instruments and at age 16 began her education to become a professional singer and guitarist. Her band “Shebang” had moderate success in Sweden and Japan but disbanded in 2008. “I haven’t had a chance to discover myself as a songwriter/musician” she remembered. Now Betty is ready to release her first album in 2013 which has a 60s pop touch to it. ‘Lalala’ won in the contest in 1968, can the same song title do it again 45 years later?
03. Blitzkids mvt.: Heart on the line
Some say Blitzkids.mvt is the German answer to Lady Gaga, mostly due to lead singer Nomi who is a big fan of the famous U.S. singer. The other half of the duo is Producer Tommy Peters aka Petone. The band’s name was inspired by a group of young kids from the early 80s who used to hang out at the London dance club “Blitz”. It was a place where you would run into many artists including Boy George. Their first album “Silhouttes” will be released in 2013 but the duo already has had some success in the club charts with songs like “Blinded” and “Water”. In addition, Blitzkids.mvt’s song “Cold” can be heard on the soundtrack for the movie “Chronicle – Wozu bist du faehig?” Their music can be described as loud, electric & dadaistic.
04. Cascada: Glorious
With over 30 million albums sold, Casacada is one of the most successful Dance-Pop Bands worldwide. The trio has been around for 10 years already with their first single “Miracle” released in 2004. The big breakthrough came two years later with the cover version of “Everytime we touch” which not only did incredibly well all across Europe, it even entered the U.S. Top 10 Single charts which is a rare honor for a German act. Then once again, in 2009 Cascada proved to be more than just a one hit wonder when their album & single “Evacuate the Dancefloor” charted all across the globe. So who are the 3 members? They’re Manuel Reuter aka DJ Manian who is also a producer along with band member Yanou (Yann Pfeifer) as well as lead singer is Natalie Horler who is a former “Star Search” reject but joined forces with the two gentlemen and now have a long resume which includes being the opening act for Britney Spears. Now they’re trying to accomplish something different, which is conquering the Eurovision Stage. The question is: Can they be “Glorious”??
05.Finn Martin: Change
Growing up in Berlin, Finn started writing his own songs at age 14. Then three years later his band got picked up by a record label. That didn’t prevent the young man from finishing his education and after graduating, started writing songs for numerous artists. In 2006 he founded the band “Asher Lane” and performed in front of over 1 Million people during the World Cup in Germany. On top of that, he had the privilege of touring with U.S. Superstar Pink as the opening act. Now Finn is going Solo and his romantic acoustic guitar style mixed with electric sounds is described by many as “Folk meets Electro”. Having traveled quite a bit already, the 28 year old singer said “What I love so much about making music is the fact it’s exactly like travelling. It’s all about living in the moment, you can’t do anything but to live here and now”. His next journey takes him to “Unser Star fuer Malmo” where he is going to perform his song “Change”.
06. LaBrass Banda: Nackert
A tuba, an electric bass, a trombone, drums and a trumpet, that’s LaBrass Banda. Brassband is considered the African American version of Marching Bands. While this music almost seems extinct, Stefan Dettl, the head of the band, fell in love with this style during his time in New York and knew that this could also work in Germany. So he started searching for four allies and shortly after, LaBrassBanda was born. The rhythm of their music forces everyone on their feet and dance. The lyrics are in Bavarian and may be hard to understand, even by most Germans but in their case the words don’t really matter too much anyway. The band released three albums to date and already performed over 300 concerts all across Europe. If the five guys manage to win the ticket to Malmo in February, they guarantee a mind blowing performance a la Bavarian.
07. Mobilee: Little Sister
The six musician play Folk-Pop music that not only will only get stuck in your head, it’ll also make you want to dance. Their music is considered “Feel Good” music but who are these people? They are Caroline Wolter, Alexander Schroer, Markus Bucken, Thomas Kennel, Kai Schumacher and Thorsten Schwesinger. The band joined the Swedish Duo Roxette onstage this past summer and also opened for German singer Tim Bendzko. Now Mobilee decided it’s time to start their own tour, which kicked off in November and their debut album was already released this past September. The lead singer’s voice has been compared to Lena Meyer-Landrut, who won the contest in 2010 for Germany, sharing the same easygoing vibe. If they can repeat Lena’s success remains to be seen but the band is ready to be more than just her “Little Sister”
08. Nica & Joe: Elevated
These two singers competed on the X-Factor in 2011 where they placed third. But that was only the beginning of their musical journey. This duo has a very unique sound to them, Nica with a Pop voice and Joe with a very powerful classical tenor voice. Joe was born and raised in Michigan and later studied music in New York at the “Julliard school of music” while Nica grew up in Moscow, Germany and Poland and graduated from the “Conservatorum Maastricht”. They met in 2011 at a concert in Munich and already released two albums. Their song “elevated” was written and composed by David Juergens, Alexander Komlew and Daniel Eisenlor. It seems that these two have a soft spot for Eurovision as they already covered the 2012 winning song “Euphoria” for their most recent album. Is that an Omen? You’ll find out in February.
09. Die Priester feat Mojca Erdmann: Ave Maris Stella
A very unique combination, three real priests (no gimmick) who have been doing Christian pop music since 2011 are joined by professional Soprano Opera singer Mojca Erdmann. From Gregorian Monk vocals to fast Dance Beats, these priests have it all. Some of their songs are in Latin and the rest in German. And apparently that approach is working as their first CD “Spiritus Dei’ was sold over 100.000 times and they also completed a successful church tour. Their most recent album “Rex Gloriae” was just released and 50 Cent for each CD sold will go to charity, a home for orphans in Tanzania. The priests were able to snag Mojca for this project; who performed on almost every Stage in the world and also won several prestigious awards. While we’re still waiting to hear the entries, on thing is almost certain: Their song will be unique and different from anything else in the National Final.
10. Saint Lu: Craving
Razor-sharp voice with lots of emotions, that is Saint Lu. The Soul singer was born in 1984 in a small village somewhere in Austria. The self proclaimed country girl started singing in different school projects: “I was raised on a farm, no neighbors anywhere near. If you really wanted to tell someone something, you’d have to scream really loud”. Saint Lu moved to Austin, Texas for a year as part of the Au-Pairr program and was able to travel across the country where she found lot of inspiration for her music and later moved to New York for several months to write her own songs. Back in Austria, she took part in the TV talent show “Starmania” which opened many doors for her and in 2009 Saint Lu’s debut album was released and the single “Don’t miss your own life” charted. Now she finds herself on stage with music legends such as Jason Mraz and Hennig Wehland. Her next album is scheduled to be released early next year including her song “Craving”.
11. Soehne Mannheims: One Love
This band consists of 14 musicians however only 6 singers are allowed on Stage at Eurovision so who they’ll have to figure out on who is in and who is out which is going to be a difficult task. The band has been around for more than 15 years starting with a handful of friends and kept growing over the years. Their music is a mix of Pop, Rap & Soul. Coming from humble beginnings which included concerts in garages, this group of talented singers had their major breakthrough in 2000 with their debut album “Zion”. While the band’s line-up kept changing, the success remained and they released a total of six albums. Unfortunately the most famous member and co-founder of the formation, Xavier Naidoo will not be in Hanover for the National Final. But with so much talent to choose from, Soehne Mannheims won’t disappoint their fans and Eurovision fanatics in February.
12. Mia Diekow: Lieblingslied
Mia was the last act added to the line-up. Born in 1987, she is mostly known for her dubbing work for several American T.V. Shows as well as video games such as “Star Trek: Knights of the old Republic” Recently the 25 year old talent decided to break out into the singing business and released her debut album titled “Die Logik liegt am Boden” on April 27th, 2012. She is excited about singing in German saying “I love the German language because of its exactness, it’s remarkably precise nature, and it’s direct words”. We wish Mia the best of luck and maybe this will become your “Lieblingslied” (which means ‘Favorite song’).