Danne Attlerud has composed numerous songs that have competed in the Swedish Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest including the 2004 Norwegian entry “High”. Danne is also a co-composer of Kevin Borg’s entry in this year’s Maltese National Selection, “Needing You”. ESC UNITED had the opportunity to interview him to learn more.
ESC UNITED: Hello Danne. You have taken part in many National Selections. Why is it so special or important to write for Melodifestivalen or other Eurovision countries?
Danne: The feeling of being present in a crowded arena to see your song performed for the first time ever such as Melodifestivalen, NRK Melodi Grand Prix, etc., and also knowing that millions of people watch the show on TV. That’s what make the Eurovision Song Contest National Selections so special compared to other parts of the music industry.
ESC UNITED: What is your first memory about Melodifestivalen?
Danne: As a little kid I watched it every year like everybody else did and I thought: One day I hope to be a part of it all. A couple of years ago, I went to the Melodifestivalen Finals, although I had no entry there. I bought my own ticket and sat among the fans/audience. That made a great impact on me. Seeing all these happy people looking like it was the best day of their lives. That night gave me such an inspiration to keep on writing for Melodifestivalen and other ESC countries because I experienced the happiness that the songs, artists and the show brought to people. I thought: These are the people we write for. Certainly a good feeling! I learned a lot that night.
ESC UNITED: You went to Eurovision the first time in 2004 in Istanbul. Tell us about your experience.
Danne: Being in Istanbul as a part of the Eurovision family and everything those days did for me. It was an out-of-this-world experience not only because of the show, but also because of all the interesting people I got to meet and everything that came out of that.
ESC UNITED: In Istanbul, you met ROY VAN DER MERWE, who currently is the president of OGAE REST OF THE WORLD and also a part of ESC UNITED. Tell us a bit about that.
Danne: Yes I met Roy, he was the only South African at Eurovision and he loved our song HIGH, which by the way was sung by KNUT ANDERS SORUM for Norway. Roy explained to us (me, Thomas Thornholm and Lasse Andersson) that he is into covering songs he likes of Eurovision in to Afrikaans, one of the official languages in South Africa and was seeking permission to pitch “High” to some artists for covering. That was the start of my relationship with Roy and the music industry in South Africa. Thanks to Roy, I have made a lot of very interesting contacts in South Africa that up to this day, has resulted in over 50 songs released in South Africa with many of the best artists in the genre. I’m truly grateful for what Roy has done for me, my co writes and our songs.
ESC UNITED: Roy informed us that over 300 Swedish songs have been covered in South Africa and you are among the leading composers with several songs covered there, even the huge hit for MAGNUS CARLSSON, LIVE FOREVER. Name some of the songs you had covered there and also the SA artists who did them.
Danne: Among others, here are some of the songs of which some originally also were performed by Eurovision related artists.
LEE SCOTT – Waiting for the sun, Pop into my heart, Answer my question
GUILLAUME-Sista Andetaget (Jan Johansen-Melodifestivalen), Do you really love me, NEDINE BLOM-Golden star (Elysion Melodifestivalen)
PATRICIA LEWIS-Live Forever (Magnus Carlsson-Melodifestivalen), I can feel love, Never betray you again, Love me or leave me, Until the end of time, Lonely days, Another rainbow,
DAVID FOURIE-Vindarna vander oss (Fame-Melodifestivalen)
NOKIA IS HERE – Under Stjernene (Malin Schavenius- Melodi Grand Prix Norway 2007)
MARLOUISE-Odet var min vag (Nordman-Melodifestivalen
KURT DARREN-On a day like this
NICHOLIS LOUW-Angel (Jaklin Tumanyan ESC Armenia)
RATT – Come back to you,
DEWALD LOUW-Leva lycklig
ROMANZ-Joy to the world
KOBUS MULLER-You, I min drom, Jag vet
DOMINEC-High (Knut Anders Sorum-Melodi Grand Prix Norway/ESC)
and many more
ESC UNITED: Now this year, most of your focus is on MALTA and KEVIN BORG, who qualified to the National Selection with the song “Needing You.” Tell us more about it
Danne: It all started out with an idea to make a really good Eurovision entry for Kevin, since he is a great singer, a very skilled performer and a great guy. The result was “Needing You,” Kevin’s entry for MESC-Malta for Eurovision Song Contest. Presently, Kevin is in Malta preparing for the show and things are really going smooth so far. MESC seems to be very well organized and a welcoming event. So we (Thomas Thornholm, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and myself) really are looking forward to go to Malta next week to support Kevin in every which way we can. The interest for Kevin and the entry “Needing You” is also very high in Sweden. Kevin living and working here of course makes it even more exciting.
ESC UNITED: Danne, thank you so much for your time, and best of luck to you and Kevin and the rest of the songwriters at the Maltese National Selection.
Catch Danne and Kevin’s entry at MESC. “Needing You” will be performed at the semi-final on February 1, 2013.