Local color highlighted in Malmö’s Eurovision music offering – “Swedish professional Eurovision composers dominate” | News Fin

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden – among other things – helped with the open-mindedness of musical styles, traditional instruments, hard tempos and influences from Korija.

If there’s anything in short supply this year, it’s quiet ballads, says Janne McKella, a visiting researcher from the University of the Arts.

– There are more energetic songs this year, lots of playful and fun songs. Perhaps Karija’s reflection is a bit visible, he reckons.

Mari Pajala, a media researcher from the University of Turku, also estimates that Karija’s popularity may have encouraged experimental genre combinations and fun shows.

Apart from Finland’s Windows95man, comedy was brought to the stage by Joost Klein from Holland, whose techno track Eurobaba was one of the big fan favourites.

– Croatian song also draws a bit of music from the same sources as the Karija, Bajla rating.

Croatian baby lasagna is one of the biggest early favorites. Rim Tim Dagi Tim has been compared to Kääriä not only because of the song and performance style, but also, for example, the puff sleeves and deep squats of the soloist.

Local color and new additions

Last year, Lore Vishu won due to superior council points. Tattoo is the kind of polished pop you’re used to hearing from Sweden.

Based on that, one of Bajla’s observations might surprise you: According to him, the popularity of Swedish-made pop has clearly declined.

– Names of familiar Swedish Eurovision composers are only available from Sweden, Austria and Malta, i.e. very few compared to a few years ago.

Swedish artists’ pop has previously been heard in many country song contests and representative songs. However, according to Pajala, there is now a trend where local artists and music styles are more prominent.

For example, Pajala estimates that the success of Italian menesque in their own language in 2021 may have increased the interest of local music producers in Eurovision in different countries.

– The dominance of Swedish professional Eurovision composers has waned a bit.

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Local production can also be found in the song language. Makela says half of the songs this year are in English and half are mainly in our language.

– Even in the 2000s and early 2010s, almost everyone used English.

Local color can be heard this year in songs from Greece, Norway, Ukraine, Estonia and Armenia. Many of them combine traditional, folk music elements with modern ones. According to Bajala, the fusion of new and traditional musical styles or instruments is a clear trend this year.

For example, Norway’s Gåte and Estonia’s 5Miinust x Puuluup combine traditional instruments with modern music – from Norway you’ll hear key fiddle and heavy rock, from Estonia you’ll hear johiko and rap. The same trend is represented by the Australian Electric Fields, which performs electronic pop music and brings to the stage the didgeridoo and language of Ananguine from Australia.

A unique mix of musical styles is represented by Switzerland, whose representative song Neman the God includes rap and opera influences. It’s also a great beginner option.

According to Mäkelä, pop music, represented by Switzerland, combines different genres, and the number has increased in recent years.

– Many songs have such musical elements that even 10-15 years ago you would have thought it was something avant-garde. But today they have started to become mainstream.

On the other hand, Switzerland also represents the most theatrical expression ever seen at Eurovision, says McCauley.

Hit the top

If last year’s victory was clearly a Finland-Sweden rivalry, now there are significantly more countries at the top.

Apart from Switzerland, Croatia and the Netherlands, Ukraine, one of the most successful countries in modern Eurovision, is also among the best races this year. The country is represented by the duo Aliona and Jerry Hale, Aliona with the song Teresa & Maria.

– In my opinion, Ukraine can never be left to speculation. The song has a strong chorus, and Ukraine also has a lot of talent in creating stage shows, says Bazhala.

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Tanu Muino, who acts as the show’s stage director, also has music videos for global stars Harry Styles, Lil Nas X and Dua Lipa.

Angelina Mango from Italy is also number one with La Noya song.

– It has a slight Latin American influence in the musical style. A catchy song and a catchy young artist. I expect it to be successful, says Bajla.

Macaulay is betting that Norway and France might also do well.

– A traditional French ballad may appeal to a slightly older audience.

In the absence of an obvious early favourite, Bajla feels performance will be the deciding factor this year.

– Who can sing well live and have a well-planned visual movement.

How about Israel?

This year, Israel, the much-talked about nation of the wise, was denied participation because of the war in Gaza. The country is sending Eden Colon and the Powerball Hurricane to the tournament. It was a modified version of October Rain, which was considered a reference to the Hamas offensive and thus more political.

Researchers consider Israel’s place in the final very likely. McCauley reckons the song could have peaked in another situation, but he doesn’t think that will happen now.

– It evokes such strong feelings for and especially against.

How many people may vote based on song — or not vote — and how many based on political reasons?

– It was probably voted by friends of Israel and romantic romantics who didn’t want to see anything political in the song. But it has already become heavily politicized in the past few months, McKella says.

– but many who voted in previous years will switch to voting for France or Belgium, for example.

At that time, Russia sent Polina Gagarina to sing about peace and unity, while occupying the Crimean peninsula and passing the so-called gay law. Gagarina received a lot of votes from both the judges and the audience and took second place.

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– Although the country has been heavily criticized, Bajla says it shows that the success of the Eurovision song doesn’t necessarily reflect badly.

Is Finland scaring conservatives?

Like the bookmakers, both Pajala and McCauley consider Finland’s place in the final relatively certain.

– If Finland didn’t make it to the final, it would be a really big disappointment. Yes, it has attracted attention in that way. It also shared emotions, which is a good sign given this kind of attention economy, says McKella.

In the semi-finals, only the audience decides who is eliminated. What are Windows Man’s chances in the finals, where the jury also influences the outcome?

– There are many songs competing for the same sounds as Holland. But I don’t think it will end up in the last places, says Bajla.

In Finland, Windows95man doesn’t exist until his stage show breaks the bank in the winning race of a new music competition. But how cool is it to joke about the rest of Europe not having pants?

– This may vary slightly from region to region. I could imagine that in Britain, for example, this kind of comedy might go down well, and somewhere else. In that, there is a kind of humor that can cross cultural and linguistic boundaries, Bajla reflects.

McCauley suspects that pantless flirting may alienate more conservative voters in particular. He’s still betting the show has a chance to make the top ten.

According to researchers, Finland currently has a reputation as an original performing country. According to Mahela, the current moment echoes from the 1980s in that sense.

– At the time, Finland had a reputation for hosting eccentric shows like Ricky Sorza’s Reggae OK and Kojo’s Nuku Bommi.

The difference, however, is that this time originality has also resulted in success, McCauley points out.

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