All posts by Cole Van Dais

Singer/songwriter

Guy Sebastian – The Australian Eurovision Entry

Today Guy Sebastian was announced as the Australian Performer for the Wild Card entry of the 60th Anniversary for the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria.

 There was a lot of discussion about who would represent Australia and this morning the speculation ended with the SBS announcement. In the article below I have included a brief history of Guy’s songs that I have loved through his career so far. I’ve included YouTube Clips and I believe that they really show his abilities as an amazing performer (Don’t mind the ads at the start of the clips).

 I remember watching Guy on Television on Australian Idol in 2003. Back then I thought he had an amazing voice. I followed his journey though to the finale and thought he was a very deserving winner with his song “Angels bought me here”. As you can see from the Clip below, other than his great voice, he was sporting a fantastic Afro, aptly named the “fro” that was sort of his trademark for a while.

http://youtu.be/eGaxpwU7dMk

After winning Australian Idol in 2003 he released an album in 2004 with a hit single “Out with My Baby”. I really like this song and believe that it showcases his more RnB ability. Note also he is still sporting his “fro”

http://youtu.be/KCXiT9R0qJs

Between 2004 and 2010, Guy was very active as a performer achieving many awards and really coming into his own as a true success for his career. Over that period he worked with many artists. In 2010 he released another album, featuring the single “Like it like that”. Note “fro” is covered by a beanie.

http://youtu.be/QYz-CjqaOG0

Shortly after this he worked with Jordan Sparks to make the single “the art of Love”, which is a very beautiful song. His hair covered by a hat, but I think the “fro” is on the way out”

http://youtu.be/n75lnqmcQrM

Between 2010 and 2011 Guy worked supported and worked with many amazing talents and was also a Judge on X-Factor in Australia. He also released and album featuring the single “who’s that girl”. This is a little different from his usual songs as it features Eve (who is a US rapper). His hair is also covered by a hat in this clip but I definitely think the “fro” is going.

http://youtu.be/ip2mwfG83KE

In the years between 2011 and 2013 Guy continued to mentor on X-Factor Australia and released another album with another great single called “Don’t worry be happy”. In this clip he looks amazing and is now “fro”-less.

http://youtu.be/Dz_6Y0-Pv38

Also on this album he worked with Lupe Fiasco and created another song called “battle scars”

http://youtu.be/4ka1Lgd3SAI

From then until now, Guy has released another album featuring many great songs. Some of the ones that I think are great are,

 “like a drum”

http://youtu.be/-N6O0xI3A2o

“Come home with me”

http://youtu.be/pPzxHrg6-9Y

“Linger”

http://youtu.be/jk3Oe-2LmLk

These are just a few of the many song that I have really enjoyed from Guy Sebastian over his career so far. As far as him being a contestant in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, I think he’ll do a great job of it. He has had a lot of experience and his musical repertoire covers many genres and styles.

 More Importantly if you look back at the film clips, he has experience with what makes a great Eurovision Song in “Angles bought me here” – his winning song on Australian Idol, there’s a sparks curtain and confetti cannons. Looking at his more recent work “come home with me” with the acrobatic dancers and smoke machines.

 That ticks a lot of boxes for a great Eurovision Song, so I look forward to seeing what song will be chosen for him to sing when its released in the coming weeks.

Marcus Davey

Melodifestivalen 2015 Semi-Final 4 Results

On Saturday, Sweden hosted its last semi-final in Örebro.  In my opinion, it was the best show of the four.  With Måns Zelmerlöw and JTR securing places in the final on the 14th March.

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Midnight Boy – Don’t say no – Eliminated (7th Place)

A popular song writer in his own right, Midnight Boy has produced a typical 80’s gay anthem that wouldn’t be out of place in any retro discotheque.  His performance is very good only noticed one off note. Unfortunately the Swedish public didn’t agree placing it last.

Caroline Wennergren – Black swan – Eliminated (5th Place)

This is Wennergren’s second attempt in Melodifestivalen she qualified previously to the final and finished 5th overall with “A Different Kind of Love.”  I found this song a bit boring actually Wennergren’s raspy voice was the only character I noticed in the performance.

JTR – Building it up – Advances direct to the final

JTR are a Swedish boy band made up of three brothers that actually rose to fame by participating in X Factor Australia.  They finished in 7th place but have subsequently released an album that has charted in both Sweden and Australia.  I honestly didn’t think much of this song and found it to be the most boring of the evening.  The song wasn’t interesting enough and has a fairly weak hook.  I believe popularity and good looks possibly haven’t hurt their result.  I was shocked that the qualified directly for the final.

Hasse Andersson – Guld och gröna skogar (Gold and green forests) – Advances to the second chance

For 35 years, Hasse Andersson has been performing his Swedish country music achieving chart success mostly in the 80’s.  This jolly traditional country number was refreshing and sweet.  The dancers and staging just brought together the sense of spring.  Andersson’s overall performance was fairly solid for the 67 year old and with a catchy hook I easily hummed along to the melody.  It clearly won’t win any awards but still welcome to see and hear some happy, well written music.

Dinah Nah – Make me (La la la) – Advances to the second chance

This is Nah’s first Melodifestivalen entry with the simple but effective staging she has managed a ticket to the second chance.  The song isn’t as strong as Midnight Boy’s but it is repetitive and the dance sequences with the earthquake effects works very well.  Definitely another club style song, “Make Me (La la la)” lacks that super strong chorus that a club track needs.  Still an impressive first outing.

Annika Herlitz – Ett andetag (One breath) – Eliminated (6th Place)

Herlitz is a singer and voiceover actress, most famous for being Elsa in the Swedish version of Disney’s Frozen.  She has perform the Swedish version of “Let it Go”, “Slå Dig Fri” for the film and countless times to the Swedish public.  With such a powerful song, I was expecting a WOW from Herlitz which she delivered a lovely performance but wasn’t quite the diva power of “Let it Go”.  Arguably this was my favourite song of the evening.  It built well and had all of the traditional touches of a classic Swedish Schlager hit.  I think it was missing that overly dramatic big note that these songs are built on.

Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes – Advances direct to the final

This is Zelmerlöw’s third entry to Melodifestivalen, finishing 3rd with “Cara Mia” and 4th with “Hope & Glory.”  He also co-hosted the contest in 2010 which he gained lots more popularity.  This was clearly the favourite to win the semi-final and SVT often put the hot favourite to win the crown in the last place of the 4th semi-final.  Being named Sweden’s sexiest man several years in a row probably doesn’t hurt your chances either.  Honestly the song is OK, it’s growing on me.  The first 30 seconds is dreadful, sounding something like an old fashioned folk singer.  What makes this amazing is the staging and special effects of the performance.  This could well win but I still think that the Semi orphan might walk away with the victory.

Melodifestivalen 2015 Semi-Final 4

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Tonight the fourth semi-final of Sweden in Örebro, Sweden starts at 20:00 CET in on SVT Play.

Watch it here!

For today only! You can also listen to 2:30 second studio snippets here!

Which 2 songs will proceed to the final?  Which 2 songs will have a second chance and which 3 songs will be eliminated?  You decide.

  1. Midnight Boy – Don’t say no
  2. Caroline Wennergren – Black swan
  3. JTR – Building it up
  4. Hasse Andersson – Guld och gröna skogar (Gold and green forests)
  5. Dinah Nah – Make me (La la la)
  6. Annika Herlitz – Ett andetag (One breath)
  7. Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes

 

Melodifestivalen 2015 Semi-Final 3 Results

On Saturday, Sweden selected another two acts to go direct to the final and two to go to the second chance round (Andra Chasen).  Östersund was on fire with arguably the best run of songs so far in the Swedish selection but it was Isa and Jon Henrik Fjällgren that advanced to the Friends Arena for the final on the 14 March 2015.

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Ellen Benediktson – Insomnia – Eliminated (5th Place)

Benediktson was a finalist in last year’s final with “Songbird” placing 7th.  This year’s entry is very different and has a new-look Benediktson performing the number.  With dramatic lighting, fairly good building beat and lots of rubber “Insomnia” should of qualified easily.  The issue is that the song builds but doesn’t really climax at any point.  It is missing that dramatic diva moment that this song needs.  With such stiff competition this song just wasn’t enough to go through.

Kalle Johansson – För din skull – Eliminated (6th Place)

This young male singer doesn’t seem old enough to carry off a number at a national selection.  Johansson seemed awkward on stage and he failed to lift what was a boring performance.  The song was ok but nothing special.  Definitely not something you would remember in five minutes time.

Andreas Weise – Bring Out the Fire – Advances to the second chance

Weise comes across as a bit of an arrogant performer who has scantly clad women all over him.  This former Pop Idol finalist, I believe lacks the charisma that this type of performance really needs.  The song is fairly mediocre but is easily hummable after the first chorus.  Saying that, I needed the recap to remember this one as well.

Andreas Johnson – Living To Die – Eliminated (7th Place)

Arguably the most disappointing song of the evening, Johnson’s sixth attempt at the Melodifestivalen crown was his weakest.  The song starts like it will build into a dramatic rock power ballad but it just falls flat.  Johnson’s performance of the song also left the audience feeling cold.  There was simply no engagement or passion from Johnson, maybe he didn’t like the song himself.

Isa – Don’t Stop – Advances direct to the final

This isn’t Isa’s first attempt at Eurovision in 2010 she tried to represent Sweden in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.  As a co-writer this bubble-gum pop entry is a instantly catchy number.  Reminiscent of early Britney or Christina Aguilera, is also a professional dancer and uses this ability to give this song a boost.  Along with her gold-winged trainers, Isa manages something that most performers dream of achieving a finalist place on her first attempt at the crown.

Kristin Amparo – I See You – Advances to the second chance

This Swedish X Factor participant has in my opinion the best song of the night.  Very much in Adele-like style, Amparo delivers the track the way it should be with real passion.  The staging and production are flawless and creates a truly atmospheric performance.  Her voice is a little shaky in places which is possibly why she doesn’t advance directly to the final but I believe she a real shot at winning a place during the second chance round.  I could easily see this song covered in Afrikaans and many other languages.

Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Jag är fri (Manne Liem Frije) – Advances direct to the final

Grab your tissues!  This performer and song has a story and who doesn’t like a story.  Last year’s winner of Sweden’s Got Talent, Fjällgren won the hearts of Sweden by singing his traditional Joik music for the masses.  The Sami or Laplander people are known for this type of simple style chanting style music.  Adding to the fact that Fjällgren is a Columbian orphan adopted by a Sami family who was bullied as a child because of the colour of his skin is also a reindeer herder which is very typical of the Sami people.  The performance and staging of his song is enchanting and exceedingly difficult not to feel something for this number.  If you pair all this along with the message of his song “I am Free” I believe that we might not of just heard the winner to Melodifestivalen but to the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Melodifestivalen 2015 Semi-final 3

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Tonight the third semi-final of Sweden in Östersund, Sweden starts at 20:00 CET in on SVT Play.

Watch it here!

For today only! You can also listen to 2:30 second studio snippets here!

Which 2 songs will proceed to the final?  Which 2 songs will have a second chance and which 3 songs will be eliminated?  You decide.

  1. Ellen Benediktson Insomnia
  2. Kalle JohanssonFör din skull (For Your Sake)
  3. Andreas WeiseBring out the fire
  4. Andreas Johnson Living to die
  5. IsaDon’t stop
  6. Kristin Amparo I see you
  7. Jon Henrik FjällgrenJag är fri (Manne leam frijje) (I am Free)

 

Melodifestivalen 2015 – Semi-final 2 Results

 

Last night in Malmö, the Swedish public decided on their third and fourth finalists yesterday. Magnus Carlsson and Mariette joined Eric Saade and Jessica Andersson for the final on the 14 March 2015 in Stockholm.  The second semi-final was an exciting glittery evening that kept the momentum going from Gothenburg.

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Linus Svenning – Forever Starts Today – Advances to the second chance

After his second attempt, Linus Svenning has managed to advance to the second chance for second year in a year.  Svenning won his ticket to the final last year during the second chance placing fifth in the final with “Bröder”. Svenning was back with this drum sliding number than was more upbeat than his first attempt.  The song is pretty solid and sounds very familiar which isn’t a bad thing.  Svenning’s vocal was sketchy in places but the overall performance was strong.

Emelie Irewald – Där och då med dig – Eliminated (6th place)

This ballad starts off strong with beautiful staging and a beautiful singer in a gorgeous revealing gown.  Although that’s where the positives stopped.  The song doesn’t go anywhere and stays in a monotone frequency with no build or interest to continue listening.  It was my most disappointing performance of the evening.

Samir & Viktor – Groupie – Advances to the second chance

This novelty song is a play on words of the “selfie” craze which wants listeners to take more “Groupie”s instead.  The performance and staging of this number is actually impressive.  You can tell this duo aren’t natural singers but the young lads are easy on the eye and surly won votes on their style rather than the substance of the song.

Neverstore – If I Was God For One Day – Eliminated (5th place)

This established rock band have several albums under their belt and have entered Melodifestivalen for the first time probably on the back on the popularity of State of Drama.  Their song is fairly similar to State of Drama’s entries and has potential.  The only thing missing was that killer hook or dramatic climax which would of taken the song to the next level.  Neverstore’s performance was positive and this very clean-cut rock band would of progressed with that little extra something.

Marie Bergman & Sanne Salomonsen – Nonetheless – Eliminated (7th place)

This duo on paper look like they could be unstoppable.  Marie Bergman has represented Sweden three times, tying Carola for the most times in Sweden, and Sanne Salomonsen, the Danish superstar, qualified directly to the final with “Higher Ground” in 2005.  The song is a country inspired number very much in the vain of last year’s Netherlands entry “Calm After the Storm”.  The main issue was it lacked the emotion the song needs.  The staging of this number was always going to be difficult but a leather sofa wasn’t the way to leaving the audience fairly cold.

Magnus Carlsson – Möt mig i Gamla stan – Advances direct to the final

This disco laced number feels much more like an Alcazar style dance number than Mangus Carlsson’s previous solo entries.  His third solo attempt and eight attempt including Barbados and Alcazar didn’t disappoint and was absolute schlager.  It was typical Swedish pop with dramatic drum beats and line dancing with an unmissable hip trust.  The staging could of been better just lacked the glitter the rest of the song and performance had but Magnus didn’t disappoint.

Mariette – Don’t Stop Believing – Advances direct to the final

This atmospheric number reminds me of “Europhia” in its styling and staging.  It was the most visually appealing performance of the evening without a doubt.  The song was like a haunting anthem that feels like a classic chart topper.  The mixture of all these positives create a song that easily qualifies for the final.

What do you think of the results?

 

Melodifestivalen 2015 – Semi-final 1 Results

As only one song has won the Melodifestivalen crown coming from the first semi-final since the 2002 format change, Loreen’s Europhia, these songs will need to work very hard to get that Eurovision ticket this year.  These are my thoughts and the results of last night’s show.

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Molly Pettersson Hammar – “I’ll Be Fine” – Eliminated (6th Place)         

Molly’s song starts out promising with a diva in red and a wind machine but her screeching through parts of the song made parts of her performance painful.  A bit of practice could make this song much better.  I imagine it would translate well into Afrikaans.

Daniel Gildenlöw – “Pappa” (Dad) – Eliminated (7th Place)

A sad song about his father but it feels a bit devoid of any emotion and like a bloke wander in from the street and found himself in the middle of the Swedish selection process.

Rickard Söderberg & Elize Ryd – “One By One” – Eliminated (5th Place)

A very typical Eurovision entry with the combination of different music styles, ballad and classical.  The main issue with this entry is that the singers’ voices don’t complement each other.  The girl is flat in several places.

Dolly Style – “Hello Hi” – Advances to second chance

A very saccharin sweet child-like number with three wannabe children presenters that is annoyingly catchy.  You can’t get it out of your head sort of songs.

Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone – “Det rår vi inte för” (We don’t control it) – Advances to second chance

A boy band style singer with a Swedish rapper doesn’t sound like a good idea but it works.  The song needs a stronger chorus to make it stand out more though.

Jessica Andersson – “Can’t Hurt Me Now” – Advances direct to the final

A gorgeous golden gown with a wind machine sets the stage for this lovely ballad.  It’s a lovely song but I feel Jessica needs to sell it with more emotion.  A previous Eurovision participant with the duo “Fame” in 2003 placing 5th, this is Jessica Andersson’s 4th solo attempt and her first directly qualifying song.  Easily translates into Afrikaans.

Eric Saade – “Sting” – Advances direct to the final

A very lavish production number by the white cladded dance machine known as Eric Saade was clearly the favourite of the evening before a single note was sung.  Also a previous Eurovision participant who came 3rd in 2011 with “Popular”, did his fans justice by delivering a very up-to-date number.

What do you think of the results?

Melodifestivalen 2015 Semi-Final 1

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Tonight the first semi-final of Sweden in Gothenburg, Sweden starts at 20:00 CET in on SVT Play.

Watch it here!

You can also listen to 2:30 second studio snippets here!

Which 2 songs will proceed to the final?  Which 2 songs will have a second chance and which 3 songs will be eliminated?  You decide.

Artist     Song (English translation) Writers (Music / lyrics)  
1 Molly Pettersson Hammar “I’ll Be Fine” Molly Pettersson Hammar, Lisa Desmond, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Gavin Jones
2 Daniel Gildenlöw “Pappa” (Dad) Daniel Gildenlöw
3 Rickard Söderberg &
Elize Ryd
“One By One” Elize RydJimmy Jansson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Sharon Vaughn
4 Dolly Style “Hello Hi” Emma Nors, Palle Hammarlund, Jimmy Jansson
5 Behrang Miri feat.
Victor Crone
“Det rår vi inte för” (We don’t control it) Behrang Miri, Albin Johnsén, Måns ZelmerlöwTony Nilsson
6 Jessica Andersson “Can’t Hurt Me Now” Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander
7 Eric Saade “Sting” Arash Fahmi, Fredrik Kempe, Hamed “K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger