Pratar du svenska? The Swedish domination of Eurovision

Sweden at Eurovision

I’ll start by making clear I adore Sweden and the Swedes. There’s little I enjoy more than a plate of köttbullar. Abba produced classic pop. I can even stomach Carola, despite the whole homosexuality being unnatural and curable through prayer thing. I totally get that Sweden is now one of the main music-producing markets (at least in the west) and that they’re up there with the States and the UK.

But why is it that almost a quarter of the songs taking part in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest have a Swedish hand on the rudder? Ten out of 43 entries. And believe it or not, that’s down on 2016 and 2017. In the last eight years, 67 out of 324 songs were written by at least one Swede.

So who’s behind the songs?

Would any Eurovision be complete without something from Thomas G:Son? He’s had a few songs dotted around national finals this year, but his hit rate seems to be dropping off. Only Malta gave in. For history buffs, G:Son has written or co-written 14 Eurovision songs, 51 Melodifestivalen entries and 33 of his ditties have featured in other national selections.

Symphonix International look set to become the new Ralph Siegel, with two songs in the 2018 line-up. Sebastian Arman co-wrote Cesar Sampson’s song. Joacim Persson and Dag Lundberg are part of the team behind ‘Bones‘.

Azerbaijan love their Swedes – they won with a song from Sandra Bjurman, and that’s who has collaborated with Greek Dimitris Kontopoulous on ‘X my Heart’ this time around.

The Cypriot entry is more Swedish than any other (including the song from Sweden), coming as it does from a four-strong team, all Swedish – even if one of their names sounds a tiny bit Greek.

The Danish entry ‘Higher ground’ has been widely reported as a Melodifestivalen reject, and comes from Swedish writers Niclas Arn and Karl Eurén. Staying in that part of the world, Saara Aalto’s ‘Monsters‘ is co-written by Joy and Linnea Deb – who also wrote the Swedish entries in 2013 and 2015.

John Ballard was born in Scotland, but these days bases himself in Gothenberg – and is probably better known for his work with Ace of Base. This year, he has co-written ‘My lucky day’ for Moldova – along with Russian Philipp Kirkorov.

And on stage?

Only two countries feature Swedish performers. Naturally enough there’s Melodifestivalen winner Benjamin Ingrosso representing his homeland. Poland is also bidding for tolv poäng thanks to Lukas Meijer who shares the stage with Gromee.

How to write a song

Of course, this all goes to prove that those pesky Swedes know how to slay (thanks Wiwi) at Eurovision, and in case you’ve forgotten, once shared this knowledge with the world.

I want to thank Mattias Sollerman at Reddit whose posting inspired and informed this article.

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