We’re back with another edition of our Eurovision 2023 Interview series, this time featuring Melodi Grand Prix semi-final one contestant Rasmus Thall.
Last night we had the chance to sit down with Rasmus and talk about his participation in Melodi Grand Prix as an artist, his musical inspiration for his song “Tresko”, and about his connection to Eurovision 1963.
Hello there Rasmus, thanks for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to interview with us here at ESCunited.com! How are rehearsals and preparations coming along for the live show?
Hello! And thank you for having me 🙂 Everything is beginning to fall into place! The show is about having fun and enjoying life. The song is an ode to the celebration of life
Now for those who may not be aware, you are the grandson of former MGP contestant Anita Thallaug who competed in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest 60 years ago. How does it feel to now be a part of your family’s legacy with the Melodi Grand Prix?
It’s a special feeling. I feel as if I’m part of something bigger than myself. I’m so grateful that I was chosen to participate. Which is not a given. I have tremendous respect for the cultural legacy which is MGP and ESC. It is the community which makes it what it is.
I also noticed that you used to release music under the name “Undr” but moved your stage name to Rasmus Thall around 2022. Was there a particular reason you decided to make that change?
I wanted a more personable connection to my project. The name Undr is something I saw written with a pen in a public bathroom in London in 2016. And at that time I connected to the randomness of it. “To wonder” and in extension “Be open for wonder in life” was the vibe I wanted to communicate with Undr. And in a way still. Its not a closed project. Its where I can experiment and release music which doesn’t fit with the Norwegian music I make with my name. 🙂
That makes sense! But then I have to ask – using whatever references, artists, or genres you’d like – how would you describe your personal musical style to our readers?
Fun, experimental and homemade 🙂 I’m a huge fan of Daft Punk, Pharrel Williams, film music(Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Thomas Newman etc) and generally music that puts me in a mood. Music is something I use to get through life. It’s a lifestyle. Something that I’ve begun doing is finding videos on youtube where you look through a camera’s POV; For instance walking through rainy New York, A forest path etc. Then I put on my own playlist from Spotify and I just get lost in thought and chill for 10-20 minutes 🙂
What is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I dunno really. I think every reader here has their own unique thing about themselves which differentiate them from others. We’re all stranger than we think and I find joy in that. Someone might really like to paint Warhammer figurines and others might enjoy bird watching. If I were to over share I would say I have a very active imagination. I often see shapes of faces, animals and imaginary creatures in clouds, trees, mountain terrain and so on. I’m guessing a lot of people do that also 🙂
This may be your first year competing as an artist in Melodi Grand Prix, but last year you were the co-writer for Farida’s entry “Dangerous”. And now you’ve co-written your song with her and your brother Robin. What does the songwriting process usually look like for you?
That’s true! Me and Farida are partners in “crime” haha. We’ve been together about 7 years now. 7 magical and tough years. She’s the love of my life and an amazing artist, songwriter and human being. When I write songs it’s almost like meditation for me. It needs to happen fast and it needs to be/feel real. If not – I struggle getting invested in the song.
Your entry is titled “Tresko” and tells the story of an accident your brother experienced back in 2010. What made you decide that this was the story you wanted to tell in your MGP entry, and can you share a bit of the story with us?
Yes. My big brother Robin is my hero. In 2010 a block of ice fell from a town building in Oslo. He went in and out of coma for about 6 months, the doctors told us he wouldn’t survive and we were all at the hospital for weeks waiting. He pulled through. First he was able to blink with his eyes. Then move his thumb. Then he spoke(first word he said was “F***” haha. Understandably.)
He has since then trained everyday getting back on his feet. It’s been 13 years. And now he talks, laughs and lives a fulfilling life. Still he gets tired walking and it’s still a process. But he’s always happy, motivated and hopeful. The way he inspires me everyday is something I want to share. He’s also the one who told me to finish “Tresko” after I showed him a 30 second demo. He instantly connected to the concept as “Tresko ” means wooden shoes/clogs in English. And to him walking feels like wearing wooden shoes. So its an homage to him.
That is a wonderful story, and I’m sure some of our readers can connect to that story as well. And as we think about Melodi Grand Prix we also have to think about Eurovision! Do you consider yourself a big fan of the contest? If so, what are some of your favorite entries?
I am a big fan. I’ve watched every year for as long as I can remember. My favorite entry in recent years is Go_a with SHUM. They were so good. The nerve and authentic vibe they brought to the contest is what makes ESC so special to me.
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?
First I am going to enjoy the Norwegian MGP then I am going to release more music throughout the years and connect with people. Get inspired and try to share the joy of music together
If you want to come visit me on Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube or Facebook. My social media handle is usually @ RasmusThall 🙂
In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?
I would like to thank you for having me and hope you like the song. If you don’t: That’s cool as well. Taste is subjective and that’s what I like about different art/creative expressions. You like it if you like it 😉
Rasmus Thall 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.