Peo Nylén is a music publisher for Scandinavian Songs AB. You may not know his name off-hand but he has been a part numerous Eurovision and National Selection songs in the past twenty years, including Ines “Once in a Lifetime,” Pirates of the Sea “Wolves of the Sea,” and Rollo and King “Never Ever Let You Go.”
This year, Peo is working with artists that have made it to Melodifestivalen 2013 (Sweden), Dziesma 2013 (Latvia), and the Maltese National Selection. ESC UNITED’s Zack had an opportunity to interview him and get the scoop.
ESC UNITED: Hi Peo. You have worked with so many successful Eurovision songs. Would you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Peo: Sure, I have been working in the music industry my whole professional life. I started at STIM, the Swedish performing rights society in the late 80’s, and after that I joined Sweden Music 1989-1991. I had the big pleasure of working with the ABBA-catalogue among other things, and also working for the legendary Stig “Stikkan” Anderson while he was still active. After that, I worked for different publishing companies including peermusic, and I’ve also had my own company Wkd Sound Industries.
ESC UNITED: How did you and your team got involved in Eurovision and the National Selection processes such as Melodifestivalen?
Peo: In Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, I’ve been representing entries since 1992 as a music publisher. And 2013 will be my 18th contest. I’ve never been involved in a local winning Swedish entry though. My best placement was 2nd in the 2003 final. But when representing some other countries in Eurovision, I’ve had for instance the pleasure of experiencing good results. In 2002, we reached 3rd place for Estonia, with Sahlene´s “Runaway.”
ESC UNITED: How about this year?
Peo: For 2013, we’ve simply pitched our writers’ tracks to some other countries. Sometimes the writers themselves are really active. So this year, we now have some songs in Latvia and Malta…and maybe something more coming!
ESC UNITED: To give some background to our readers, what are the Eurovision songs that you represented?
Peo: 1996: Estonia, “Kaelekä Hääl
2000: Estonia, “Once In A Lifetime”
2001: Denmark, “Never Ever Let You Go”
2002: Estonia, “Runaway”
2006: Estonia, “Through My Window”
2008: Latvia, “Wolves of the Sea”
ESC UNITED: Congrats on taking part in Melodifestivalen for the 18th time as well! You will be represented by Anton Ewald “Begging” and Janet Leon “Heaertstrings.” The amount of talent at Melodifestivalen and Eurovision are incredible, and we’ve heard some people say it’s harder to win Melodifestivalen than Eurovision. What do you think?
Peo: To some extent I have to agree, the competition is enormous, and the talent incredible.
ESC UNITED: You also have Sabina Berezina“Upside Down” and Kristīne Šomase “Phoenix Fly” in Dziesma 2013. Can you tell us a bit about how the Latvian submission process may differ from the Swedish submission process or any other submission process? What is the most difficult part, if any, of these processes?
Peo: I wouldn’t say it’s particularly difficult anywhere apart from the fact that the songs must be of top quality. Some countries have quite a complex administrative procedure. Latvia wasn’t that hard in that sense. The biggest difference is the amount of songs submitted. No other country I guess is even close to Sweden’s 2.500-3.500 songs.
ESC UNITED: What is your fondest Eurovision memory?
Peo: That has just got to be when Sahlene delivered an absolutely electrifying performance of “Runaway” in “home town” (even if she is Swedish) in Tallinn 2002. I was seated just by the stage.
ESC UNITED: When will planning for the National Selections and Eurovision 2014 begin?
Peo: We haven’t really started anything, apart from the fact that we’re talking about some new co-writing collaborations internationally.
ESC UNITED: Any final words to tell to fans of the music that you have represented?
Peo: I just hope fans will remember some of them. I know for instance that “Once in a Lifetime” from 2000, performed by Ines, has been regarded as one of the best clearly ABBA-influenced songs in the ESC history.
ESC UNITED: I believe I can say on behalf of our readers that many of these songs will remain well-loved and cherished as the Eurovision Song Contest continues onward! All the best Peo to you and your team of talented songwriters!