EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2010 -  O s l o , N o r w a y.

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PRESS RELEASES (added as available)

SPAIN - NORWAY - CYPRUS - LATVIA - SLOVENIA - ROMANIA - ICELAND

 

   

SPAIN

Daniel Diges

Algo Pequeñito

 

 

With thanks to Lizanne Cardona, Warner Music Spain

 


 

Daniel Diges García (Alcalá de Henares, Madrid – Spain) January 17th, 1981, is our contestant in the Eurovision song contest 2010.

This young Spanish actor and singer, after finishing his Dramatic Arts studies, became known for his role of "Gato", in the teen TV series "Nada es para siempre", broadcasted in Antena 3 TV during 1999 and 2000. After this, he also worked in another successful TV series such as “Hospital Central“, “Aquí no hay quien viva” or “Ana y los siete“. In 2006 he took the leap into theatre acting, taking part in the musical play "Hoy no me puedo levantar" based on the songs of the group Mecano. After this he acted in Queen's musical "We will Rock you" in 2007. In 2008, he took place in the musical "High school musical" playing the role of Troy and ending this same year with the character of Sky in the musical "Mamma Mía!"

 

In 2009 he was awarded with the National Theater Award as Best Musicals Act; a well known cultural Award which is granted anually by the Spanish National Institute for the Scenic Arts and Music.

 

He entered as canditate for representing Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song "Algo Pequeñito" ("Something Tiny"), composed by Jesús Cañadilla and arranged and produced by Alejandro de Pinedo, a waltz that has counted with the collaboration of David Velardo doing the choruses and three dancers whose original staging was inspired in the tale "The Tin Soldier", ending among the ten most voted in the contest web by RTVE, which granted him a place in the Spanish final. This final took place in TVE1, in the Special Program "Destination: Oslo" broadcasted on Febreary 22nd, 2010 and he won both the juries and the audience votes, becoming the drawn up Spanish contestant in the Norwegian capital gala. (show)

 

At the present, Daniel is finishing the recording of his first long play record, for which he has counted on with the prestigious producer and composer Óscar Gómez, winner of five Grammys for his works both in Spain and Latin America, with such artists as: Joan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Bosé, Chayanne, Albert Hammond, Bonnie Tyler, Roberto Carlos, Ana Belén, or Julio Iglesias, among others.

 

Daniel Diges' first record, composed mainly by himself, is forseen to be released next May 2010.

   

NORWAY

Didrik Solli-Tangen

My Heart Is Yours

 

 

With thanks to Anja Nylund Hagen, Head of Press, NRK

Didrik Solli-Tangen was born on a summer day twenty-two years ago outside of Porsgrunn, a town situated a couple of hours south west of Oslo, Norway. He had a typical Norwegian childhood and among his interests were off-road biking, skateboarding and of course, music.

 

At 15 years-old he formed a band with some friends and became a drummer. One day, the lead singer wanted some back-up harmonies, and he turned to Didrik. Didrik had discovered his voice; he started performing in front of classmates and family, and joined the local "high-school musical."

 

His father got Didrik a professional voice coach, Anders Vangen, the best vocal coach in the area. Didrik’s father wanted his son to move in a classical direction, but Didrik adamantly refused; he was heavily inspired by Robbie Williams and his likes. However, his coach slowly introduced him to great operatic singers and it didn`t take long before Didrik learned to hit the high "C".

 

Didrik is currently a full-time student at the highly acclaimed Barratt Due Institute of performing arts in Oslo. Didrik met composer Hanne Sørvaag at the Eurovision pre-selections in Skien, Norway. She hails from Stavanger, Norway, and now lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Together with well-known Swedish tune-smith Fredrik Kempe she wrote Didrik’s entry to the national competition.

 

On February 6th 2010, Didrik won the national finale at Oslo Spektrum, and he feels honoured and proud to represent Norway in the European finals at Fornebu Arena on May 29th with “My Heart Is Yours.”

   

CYPRUS

Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders

Life Looks Better In Spring

 

 

With thanks to Christina Andreou, CyBC

Can’t find someone to sing your song for the Eurovision Song Contest – Google will!

 

It is amazing what you can do over the internet these days and no one knows this better than Cypriot song writers Nasos Lambrianides and Melis Konstantinou.

 

After penning a song called ‘Life Looks Better in Spring’ they decided to enter it in the Cyprus selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. But they had a problem – they didn’t have anyone produce it OR sing it.

 

So, like most people these days who are looking for something – they went online and hit the world-wide-web jackpot! Their surfing led them to Wales in the UK and to music producer Jon Gregory. Jon suggested that the song writers take a look at an online demo of musician Jon Lilygreen. They did, and they were blown away with his natural talent and invited him to sing for Cyprus. It was from there that Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders were born.

 

Jon Lilygreen is 22 year’s old and comes from Wales in the United Kingdom. He is a professional working musician who has been involved with many styles of old and contemporary music. As well singing, Jon composes his own songs and is a very talented guitar player. He is well known in his home town of Newport where he performs acoustic sets at local clubs.

 

At 15, his father bought him his first electric guitar, on which he would practice daily and regularly skipped school to stay home and play. After finishing school, Jon enrolled in ‘Crosskeys College’ to study music performance where he achieved 3 distinctions whilst still making a living as a session vocalist with Gold Disc productions and various function bands.

 

Jon describes himself as “a simple dude” and enjoys hanging out with his friends. Jon says “music takes up a lot of my life, which is the way I like it! I'm a bit of a technology geek, I love my Xbox, my camera, my mp3 player. I don't like sea food...it's a bit freaky for me:( “

 

Jon continues to work as a session musician as well as touring locally with his own solo acoustic material. He likes people to get a ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ from his music. After Eurovision Jon will continue to perform in the local music scene as an acoustic singer / songwriter and hopes to enjoy a musical future.

 

And for those of you wondering why Jon’s guitar is covered in black tape Jon can explain. “I have a Seymour Duncan pickup attached to my acoustic, and I need the tape to hold the jack input in place. And I was bored in a studio in Cardiff with a bunch of black tape at my disposal:)”

 

This year Cyprus has an international line-up with performers from all over Europe – Wales, Scotland, England, Oslo and of course Cyprus.

 

Jonathan (Jon) Gregory is a music producer and drummer from Scotland. Along with his wife Sylvia, he runs a recording studio in Rhondda South Wales.

 

Jon started out playing the trumpet as a child but soon realised his love for Drums. As a drummer Jon used to play in a 60’s cover band called ‘as ten bears’ gigging working men’s clubs and social clubs in south Wales. The band soon started to write their own material and changed the name to ‘City Arabs’. Although they didn’t get the big record deal they had lots of fun.

 

After the band, Jon travelled to the USA and worked as a special needs tour guide. Based in New York he would get $3000, a minibus, a map and two European helpers. He’d be given 12 adults with special needs that wanted a holiday, and his job was to drive across America and have as much fun as possible for 10 days at a time.

 

In 1997 Jon moved to Newcastle to study music production – after graduating with distinctions he set up his recording business Gold Disc Productions. He started making demo recordings for songwriters and the studio has gone from strength to strength. As well as music production Jon and Sylvia now regularly compose music for film and TV most notably the Award winning Norwegian TV series ‘Der Ingen Skulle Tru At Nokon Kunne Bu’.

 

Jon says “Eurovision is a fantastic opportunity and we’re looking forward to making much more music in the future”

 

Sylvia Strand (piano) spent her childhood on a small Island off the west coast of Norway, trying to find someone to harmonise with while sailing around in a small dinghy. Her quest was successful when she moved to Oslo and started a working with Margaret Bjerkvik and Cecilie Jørstad, a collaboration which culminated in the trio being awarded a £7500 song-writing grant. After gaining a degree in Musicology from the University in Oslo, as well as fronting several rock and jazz bands, Sylvia decided to change tack and moved to Wales to study opera at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama gaining a Master with distinction in performance in 2003. Since then she has been working as a freelance musician alongside running a music production studio with her husband Jonathan Gregory.

 

Sylvia’s classical career has seen her tour and perform with the likes of Bryn Terfel, Jose Carreras and Katherine Jenkins as well as appearing as a session singer for several record companies including Chandos and EMI. Her love for contemporary music has led her to work closely with the Guild of Welsh Composers premiering several new works especially commissioned for soprano. Sylvia has also lent her voice to several characters in the new BBC series ‘Zoofactor’ due to air in late 2010 and she was the voice of the 2009 Christmas advert for gaming giant Sega.

 

A seasoned session musician who loves nothing more than being allowed to express herself in the company of other musicians, Sylvia is very exited about the prospect of taking some of her best friends and favourite musicians to Oslo and introduce them to the city where she used to earn a living as a singing waitress on a Viking ship.  

 

Katherine Squire (singer) began her Eurovision journey at the age of 15 when she was asked to perform in a school production of the musical ‘Happy End.’ After travelling through Canada and a stint as a photographer, she completed a classical vocal course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she met her long term friend and fellow band member Sylvia Strand.  Leaving with a Distinction, she embarked on a career as a freelance singer. A lover of many musical styles, her past engagements have included work on the concert platform as well as musical theatre and jazz related performances. Her solo engagements have included solos in Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Vivaldi’s  Gloria for Sir Neville Marriner. Other choral work includes recordings with the BBC Chorus of Wales for the record label Chandos.  Recent television appearances include London ITV’s Popstar to Operastar.

 

Whether it be classical, opera, jazz or pop music, Katherine just has a great passion for live performance and feels most at home on the stage. Recent work has taken her to Mexico, Paris, Canada and now Cyprus! Katherine feels honoured to be representing Cyprus in Oslo.

 

Sean Watts (singer) is 20 years old and lives in Cymer, a small village in the Afan Valley in South Wales. Sean has had a strong passion for singing ever since he can remember – After leaving school (Cymyr Afan Comprehensive) Sean went on to study musical theatre for 3 years at Neath college (port Talbot)

 

Sean has always been a keen performer taking lead roles since the age of 13 including the artful Doger in ‘Oliver’ and Bugsy in ‘Bugsy Malone’ In 2009 Sean won a singing scholarship and was awarded £500 toward furthering his career - he has also achieved grade 8 in both Classical singing and musical theatre.

 

Sean now works full time as a freelance singer in Wales and subsidizes his income by working as a session singer. It was through his work with Jon Gregory and Sylvia Strand that Sean became involved in this years Eurovision entry for Cyprus. Sean can’t wait to represent Cyprus in Oslo this May and promises he’ll give it all he can

 

Charalambos Kallonas (bass) was born in 1984. He comes from Lythrodontas, a village in the Nicosia District of Cyprus. Charalambos was involved with music from a very early age. He has a degree in ‘keyboard playing’ from the Music Academy of Larnaca and he can also play several other musical instruments, such as the piano, the accordion, the guitar and the bass.

 

Life Looks Better in Spring - Music: Nasos Lambrianides and Melis Konstantinou. Lyrics: Nasos Lambrianides.

 

Nasos Lambrianides is from Larnaca in Cyprus and grew up in a musical environment and learnt the piano from a young age.  During his compulsory military service, he served at the Military Band of Cyprus' National Guard. Nasos finished his studies at the University of Manchester in 2000. Since then, he has acquired two postgraduate degrees (an MSc from UMIST and an MBA from the University of Cyprus).

Melis Konstantinou is 26 years old and comes from Nicosia in Cyprus. He has been involved with music for around 12 years. He has been a member of various rock bands and performed in gigs in Cyprus and Greece. Melis is currently a postgraduate student in the United Kingdom.

 

The idea about entering song for the Eurovision had been on Nasos’ mind for a while. The pair met many years ago when Melis was a member of Nasos’ brother’s band. The lyrics for the song were written about 8 years ago when Nasos was studying in Manchester. The music came later.

 

Nasos and Melis say “Life looks better in Spring is a simple ballad, telling the emotions we have all at some point in our lives experienced - the rejection, the betrayal, the loneliness, the end. And the hope...”

 

Cyprus will be performing in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 27th – song number 14

 

Life Looks Better in Spring is NOW released on itunes.

Life Looks Better In Spring (International Mix) - Single by Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders - Downlo

 

   

LATVIA

Aisha

What For?

 

 

With thanks to Aija Medinika, Head of Press, Latvian Television

AISHA – SINGER

 

Once, a six-year old girl was watching TV when she suddenly exclaimed, “Daddy, that lady is singing badly!” Her father listened a while and then added, “Yes, indeed!” Later it appeared, that the lady on TV was Liza Minelli, but the little six-year old girl was Aisha (1986) and her father Alex – the lead singer of the Latvian legendary hard-core group Opus Pro.

 

Growing up along with the music of Guns N’Roses and Metallica, she received the 2nd place award in the competition of Young Latvian vocalists when being only five years old. Furthermore, at the age of 11, she took part in the flautists’ competition, and only one year later she made her debut as a brass band conductor! Moreover, when Aisha was 14 years old, she received an offer to sing in a rock-band; however, she ruined her chances of becoming a rock’n’roll star after playing hooky form the first rehearsal.

 

To the Latvian public Aisha became known after winning the TV reality show Fabrika Musical Theatre. Though the invitation she received from the band Opus Pro to join their tour was no doubt of much greater significance. Later in 2006, in cooperation with Opus Pro her first debut album was recorded. Henceforward, it seems that Aisha has been present practically everywhere, which is why the press calls her – the bomb. She has performed together with such pop-music veterans as Credo and Riga Dom Cathedral boys choir. Moreover, she has hosted TV broadcasts, participated in TV shows and bewitched the whole Latvia as one of the favorites in the super-popular TV show Dancing With the Stars 2. She has also shot in movies, played in theatres, given concerts for soldiers in Afghanistan, been within an ace of winning Eurovision Song Contest National Final and released two highly demanded albums.

 

Aisha has never doubted that her destiny is music. While keeping her dreams and ambitions to herself, she explains, “I am always en route, though the destination never approaches, because I am constantly changing and developing. For instance, lately I have become very fond of blues.” Although she is still only 24, there is no trace of “the little hooligan” – the term she referred to herself during her first interviews. Now she is more likely the ever surprising, changing and developing Aisha whose genuine talent we have not witnessed yet!

 

JANIS LUSENS – COMPOSER

 

Being a composition student in Latvian State Conservatory, Janis Lusens (1959) organized an experimental electronic music ensemble Zodiaks whose first album Disco Alliance (1980) became a hit not only in Latvia, but also in all the Soviet Union reaching a record-high copy edition of 20 million. Along with his activities in the group, in 1985 Janis Lusens introduces himself to theatre music by composing music for the staging of Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s poem “Mom and the Neutron Bomb” in Liepaja Theatre. Henceforward, he has been composing for all the biggest Latvian theatres, writing music for children and successfully performing in the field of academic music.

 

In 2009, Janis Lusens was awarded the Order of Three Stars for merits in Latvian artistic activity – the highest honor that Latvia bestows on people.

 

GUNTARS RACS – POET AND MUSICIAN

 

His first poems were written when Guntars Racs (1965) was only 15 years old. In a year’s time, he had his first publications in the press. Since 1981, he has performed as a drummer and lyricist in various bands. Moreover, he has worked together with the majority of the most reputed Latvian composers, including Maestro Raimonds Pauls, Janis Lusens, Imants Kalnins, Martins Brauns, Uldis Marhilevics, etc. For many years he has been the most employed and played-back Latvian lyricist who has also published collections of poems for adults and for children and written several plays. At the moment Guntars is the only Latvian who has had his third song chosen as the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest Latvian Final.

 

Guntars Racs is actively involved in the music industry, being one of the founders and now a repertoire manager of the Latvian biggest music records company “Microphone Records”.

 

 

 

SLOVENIA

Ansambel Žlindra & Kalamari

Narodnozabavni Rock

 

 

With thanks to Andrej Hofer, Televizija Slovenija

In 1952, Slovenia invented a new music genre and enriched the world's encyclopaedias with a new entry. 

 

Slavko Avsenik on accordion and his brother Vilko, who arranged musical instruments into a quintet and adapted Slavko's melodies, which left an indelible mark on Slovenia with the new sounds of old waltzes combined with polka rhythms. The new genre was named popular folk music (narodnozabavna glasba). And who doesn't know the most often performed instrumental composition in the world, Na Golici?

 

Instrumental quintets with singers were just 10 years later enriched by Lojze Slak with his instrumental trio with the diatonic accordion. Slovene popular folk music presents itself to the international stage with its two music idiosyncrasies, with Avsenik and Slak's version.

 

Slovenia has between 500 and 600 folk-pop groups, performing in Slovenia and abroad and dressed in the so-called "Gorenjska national costume". Gorenjska and its town of Begunje na Gorenjskem are the cradle of Slovene popular folk music.

 

Ansambel Žlindra continues this musical tradition, which was for this occasion aptly fused with the guitar sounds of the group named, Kalamari. 

 

The Slovene representatives for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 harmoniously amalgamate two music genres, as the title of the song states: Popular Folk Rock. The Ansambel Žlindra of course represents the first part of the song, popular folk. Rok Žlindra has performed at different events with his accordion since a young age, but his greatest wish was to have his own musical group. Rok therefore invited their singer Barbara to join him. At a party, he met Rok Modic and through him Nejc Drobnič. Both were singing in a choir. Now, they play guitar and double bass.

Their springboard to success was on a TV-show in 2005, when they finished the competition for young popular folk talents in the runners up spot, and introduced themselves to the Slovene audience.

 

Their debut was followed by numerous festivals and awards. In 2007, they released their first CD with 13 songs entitled "Najlepše je, kadar sva skupaj" (The most precious time is when we are together).

 

At the most renowned festival for popular folk music Slovenska polka in valček 2009 (Slovene polka and waltz 2009) they presented their song Del srca (Part of the heart). The panel of experts awarded the group with the best and the most beautiful festival waltz prize. The Ansambel Žlindra was also the winner by audience participation. With that, they became an absolute winner of the Slovenska polka in valček festival. This year, Ansambel Žlindra entered the EMA 2010 competition as the first ever performers of popular folk music. 

 

The inception of the Kalamari group was in November 1993, when Jože Jež-Pepi, Matjaž Švajgelj and Aleksander Kokošar joined forces for a few performances in one of the Slovene coastal hotels. Due to their professional performance and harmonious trio of voices, which wasn't mastered very well by other groups of this scale, they were immediately noticed by both audiences and experts. They tried their hands with original songs very soon and in 1995 released a CD entitled Dobra vila (Good Fairy). The CD contained a few radio hits aside from the title song, but they gained wider recognition in Slovenia through the release of their second CD entitled "S tabo držim" (I'm on your side). The trio later transformed into a quartet and so even further strengthened their live concerts. Kalamari made their true success with their third CD, when they performed their title song V vetru rdečih zastav (In the wind of red flags) at the Slovenska popevka festival. Kalamari finished the festival as runners up and were awarded with the best lyrics prize. Aside from performing in Slovenia, they have performed in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Since their schedule was extremely busy, some of the group members changed over time.

Pepi and Matjaž invited drummer Rok Tomažinčič and keyboard player Egon Prinčič. They continued to produce their own songs and were regular guests at numerous festivals, usually with great success. Their compositions Kup besed (A pile of words), Zadnja šansa (Last chance) and Preden zaspi (Before she falls asleep) were also awarded. Their seventh CD was released in November 2009. Then they performed at EMA 2010. The combination of the two music genres, convincingly won the competition, as they received almost five times more votes through the tele-voting system than the runners up.

 

   

ROMANIA

Paula Seling & Ovi

Playing With Fire

 

 

With thanks to Mariana Rusen, PR Manager, TVR

Paula Seling is a Romanian singer and composer. She was born on Christmas Day (25 December 1978) in Baia Mare.  She studied piano since she was 6. At the age of 10 she started singing in the school choir and found it to be very enjoyable. It wasn’t long before she turned into a vocalist. Between the age of 11 to 15, Paula grew stronger in her music knowledge by participating into piano contests, festivals and choral music contests. It was her success during this period made her very confident in her talent. From 1994 until 1996, Paula joined a high school band as their keyboard player and played at many different festivals for children and young people, winning several awards. In 1996 she won her first trophy as a solo artist in a national singing contest. Since then, the list of trophies and awards got bigger and bigger:

 

• EUROVISION National selection in 2010

• “Best pop album” at Romanian National Radio Awards in 2010

• First prise at “Mamaia Festival 2009”

• “The Golden Stag” trophy in 2002

• ”Best Female Voice” at Romanian Musical Industry Awards 2002

• ”Best artist in a Video” at MTV Romanian Music Awards 2002

• ”Woman of the year” by “Avantaje” Magazine in 1998

• The Mamaia Trophy in 1997

• Numerous awards in music festivals from Turkey, Malta, Skopje.

 

In 1998 she recorded her first album in Germany, ”ONLY LOVE”. Paula released twelve albums, including three Christmas albums and a compilation. Her latest one, called “CULEG VISE (I PICK UP DREAMS)” / “BELIEVE”, released last year, is a double album with 17 songs, all composed, produced and arranged by her.

 

2002 brought her a very interesting experience. As she sais: “I was a fairy tale character. It was a story about the making of a hit. Tony Hawks, producer, composer, director and writer decided to air  a documentary movie on Discovery Channel, a movie that reveals the audience the recipe for a successful song. „He chose me for his case study in Romania, we recorded a song written by Tony, in his studio in London and then we started promoting it. The whole story took off and we performed it on Gloria Hunniford's show on Channel 5 in London, then in Kashmir club, famous for many British star debuts, where I performed together with my band. The show was broadcast on the internet.”

In 2005 she launches her own recording studio and record label, called "Unicorn Records", along with her husband. She sang in duets with Al Bano, Anita Doth (from 2 UNLIMITED), Tony Hawks and she performed opening acts for Joan Baez (27 June 1997), Chick Corea (9 November 1998), Ricky Martin (2003),Michael Bolton (7 July 2007), Beyonce (26 October 2007).

 

Ovi is a Romanian/Norwegian singer and composer, born in the north of Romania, in a town named Botosani. Early 2009 he released his first solo album "This Gig Almost Got Me Killed", a solid result of hard work with help and influence from experienced professionals from the music business. Ovi's talent was noticed while he was just a kid. In his early years he listened actively to music and he actually discovered his voice "by accident" while imitating everybody from "We Are The World".

When he was only 14 years old Ovi earned his first prize in a national singing contest called "Florile Dragostei" and that was probably all he needed to be sure that it was a musician “he was meant to be”. The following years, he started playing in different bands. First with his father and then with his former music teacher. In the early 90's Ovi was old enough and able to record a demo with a friend, and together they went out to chase the big dream - first stop was Germany. Unfortunately the tour didn't give them the dream start they were hoping for as they illegally tried to cross the border and got caught. Luckily they only had to spend a few hours in prison. When Ovi was 18 years old he travelled with this band to Tokyo, Japan, where they stayed for a year. Ovi describes this as his "music school" period. They practiced every day, sat the standards high while playing at The Hiltons and not least; Ovi got the opportunity to see his biggest heroes play live.

 

After a year in Japan the band dismantled and Ovi got a job offer to play in Norway. He made new friends, found love and have since that become a real Norwegian. Over the years there has also been a number of small musical projects abroad. For instance he made the "Nanu Disco" project in Greenland together with the Danish producer Morten "Starman" Stjernholm. This was Greenland's first dance album and became a huge successes – in Greenland.

 

Despite all experiences and adventures, Ovi describes the past years as the most important period of his life. He has competed in the Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with the song "The Better Side Of Me", and ironically represented Norway in the Romanian "Golden Stag" in 2005. Springtime of 2006 he and his management in Mentor Promotion AS went to Los Angeles with the intention to record the ultimate album. Ovi says it was very educational to work with the famos American producer Preston Glass, he was the producer for Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole. However there was so much misunderstandings and broken promisses with the record company that Ovi and his manager decided to cancel the project in Hollywood. Back in Norway Ovi got back in touch with Simen M. Eriksrud, the producer of Ovi's entry to the Norwegian finals for Eurovision Song Contest and also the producer behind national Norwegian entry "Hold On, Be Strong" sung by Maria Haukaas Storeng two years later. Ovi's debut album was recorded in Livingroom Studios in Oslo with good help from Simen and Espen Berg. He did also receive good help from Simen's girlfriend, D'Sounds songwriter and lead vocalist Simone, who wrote the song "Seven Seconds" for his debut album.

 

In september 2009 Ovi attends again The Golden Stag Festival in Brasov, Romania and this time he wins two prizes – The Golden Stag Bronze Trophy and The Popularity Prize. It`s here at this festival he gets to meet Paula Seling and they initiate a dialog on commencing a project toghter. The rest is Eurovision history!

 

On this album a lot of the inspiration is gained from the 70's big piano and keyboard based singersongwriters such as Billy Joel, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Without a deadline or set rules the album has developed naturally - a process that has taken two years. For Ovi "This Gig Almost Got Me Killed" is the start of something new, and finally he's ready to release his work.

 

   

ICELAND

Hera Björk

Je Ne Sais Pas

 

 

With thanks to Valgeir Magnússon, Piper.Is and www.herabjork.com

Hera Björk was born in Reykjavík on March 29th 1972. Music runs in the family as her mother is a well-known pop singer; Hera Björk herself started performing at a young age – she had already recorded some children’s songs and appeared in television commercials before her twelfth birthday.  She won her first singing competition in 1988 aged just sixteen, and was the second runner-up in the 1991 nationwide College Singing Competition. This led to her being offered roles in various musicals, including The Rocky Horror Show, Evita, Little Shop of Horrors and Kiss Me Kate.

 She participated in the ‘Sirkus Skara Skrípó’ (‘Skari’s Comedy Circus’) variety show in 1996-1997, and joined a number of ephemeral groups, namely Orgill, Sweetý and 17 Vélar, before releasing two acclaimed albums ‘Ilmur af jólum’ (‘The Perfume of Christmas’) in 2000 and her eponymous album‘Hera Björk’ in 2006, which includes an Icelandic language cover version of 2006 Norwegian Eurovision entry ‘Alvedansen’ (‘Dance of The Elves’). She is currently working on her third album, due to be released in 2010 to coincide with the Oslo Eurovision Song Contest.

 

Hera Björk became a household name in Iceland when she co-hosted the variety TV show ‘Stutt í spunann’ (a version of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’) during the winter of 1999-2000. She has been a regular star of various radio and television shows ever since, and is famous for her extraordinary vocal range as well as her seemingly effortless ability to glide from one vocal style to another.

 

Hera Björk began studying vocal techniques at the Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts in 1989 under the tutelage of Rut Magnússon, Bergþór Pálsson, Elín Ósk Óskarsdóttir and Erna Guðmundsdóttir, among others. She relocated to Copenhagen in 2004 to study advanced singing technique at the Complete Vocal Institute (CVI), pioneered by the institute’s founder Cathrine Sadolin. The process is designed to develop technical and artistic skills and solve vocal problems; it restores overworked vocal chords and tackles voice coaching and production. After graduating as a certified CVI teacher she gave masterclasses and delivered courses all over Europe as well as working as a vocal coach for television and stage. She also found time to contribute vocals to Björk’s magnificent, and entirely a cappella 2004 album ‘Medúlla’.

 

Hera Björk competed in the Icelandic Eurovision preselection contest in 2007, and sang backing vocals for the Icelandic Eurovision entries in 2008 and 2009. She also participated in the Danish Eurovision preselection (‘Melodi Grand Prix’) in 2009, finishing in second place with the fan favourite ‘Someday’. Eurovision trivia buffs will be delighted to know that she was also one of the dancers in Selma’s comedy video for her Icelandic Eurovision entry ‘All Out of Luck’ in 1999.