Our next Melodi Grand Prix interview is with MGP 1987 winner and former Eurovision artist Kate Gulbrandsen who is set to compete this weekend in the first semi-final.
Kate has represented Norway internationally for a number of years outside of Eurovision, including in 1986 when she competed in the Yamaha Song Festival in Tokyo. Following her MGP win, Kate would return to the contest in 1989 with “Nærhet” but failed to make the top 3 and was eliminated. This year will be her third appearance in Melodi Grand Prix.
Welcome to ESCUnited.com Kate and thank you for agreeing to an interview with us! How are you doing today amongst all the rehearsals and press?
Hi. Its lot to do in this days, but i love it and its just fun. Its a lot with interviews and radio and newspapers.
Of course we have to talk about the massive elephant in the room – you’ve decided to return to the Norwegian Eurovision preselection for the first time since 1989. What made you decide to return once again to what you’ve called “the circus”?
Yes its many years ago since I was in Esc. I have thought about it many times to come back, but now I have a good song that fits me very good. I love this circus and the attention around my song and comeback.
If you were going out to karaoke with some of your friends, what would be some of your go-to songs to sing?
Well, I love to sing Flashdance or Jolene.
It seems like after your return to the Norwegian music industry in 2004, your musical style has definitely changed. How would you describe your current musical style and influences?
I have always been singing all my life with different artists and my band. It was a time I liked to sing country songs, but now it is my own songs I compose. Most of the lyrics are in Norwegian. I have given out some albums in country music and pop music.
Our readers will remember your participation in Eurovision 1987 with the song “Mitt liv” in Brussels, where you finished in 9th place. Looking back, what is your favorite memory of being a Eurovision artist?
Yes, the year that I won was in 1987 with Mitt liv. It was amazing to be there on the stage and represent for Norway, It is a great memory and a big circus.
Your song for MGP 2023 was co-written by yourself and former Eurovision artist Kjetil Morland – how did you two come together as a songwriting team and what was the process like to write “Tårer i paradis”?
I knew what Kjetil Mørland had done before and love to hear his songs and voice, so it was great for me to work with him in the process . He lives in Engand, so it was many hours on zoom . He had a beautiful song to me, and we worked together with the lyrics.
My song is about my history -the man I was married with, who I chose not to live anymore. It is some years ago. Even if its sad, the lyrics have a lot of hope and to look forward and have a good life, Maybe i can see him again when the is no tears in heaven.
We haven’t seen a song in Norwegian win Melodi Grand Prix since 2006, and in the last two years the final has been entirely in English. That makes submitting a song in Norwegian a pretty sizable risk! Why do you think songs in Norwegian have struggled at MGP in recent years?
Its not so easy to answer, but I have seen many countries have been singing on their own languages. Look at Måneskin from Italy. I think it is more popular now.
For our readers who want to follow and support you before and after the national final, where can they find you? Any plans or upcoming projects you’d like to promote while we have you?
In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?
It is soooo good to come back and sing in Melodi Grand Prix 2023 , I hope you will like my new song.
Kate Gulbrandsen will compete in the first semi-final of Melodi Grand Prix on Saturday January 14th starting at 19:50 CET. A total of three artists will be selected through a voting process to advance to the Grand Final on February 4th. The winner of the Grand Final will win the right to represent Norway at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in May.