It’s time for Norway in less than two hours, so time for another interview. This time, we spoke to the lead singer of a proper dansband. Are they bringing the cheese that some need to Eurovision? Can they bring us to dansband Heaven? It’s Gro Anita Johansen from Contrazt!

escXtra.com: Hey Gro Anita! Thanks for doing this interview! How are you preparing for MGP 2015?
Gro Anita Johansen: First of all I am enjoying this great circus, knowing it is a “once in a lifetime” experience for me and my band. I practice more than ever to be prepared for Oslo Spektrum and a million of TV-viewers.

X: Could you introduce the rest of the band and yourself?
GA: We are five people in our band, four men and me. We come from a place in Norway called Solør, south east in our country. Our music is written by our own song writer, Leif Dybendal, the guitar player in the band. Contrazt has its own identity. During the year, we have about 60-70 concerts, particularly in Norway and Sweden. From time to time we visit other countries.
Leif Dybendal – song writer, guitar, vocal
Gro Anita Johansen – vocal
Hans Olav Trøen – bass
Conny Nordvall – key board
Roar Sagerud – drums

X: Who are your musical idols?
GA: Céline Dion and two Norwegian singers; Sissel Kyrkjebø and Lise Karlsnes. Céline Dions and Sissel Kyrkjebøs voice is incredible, and Lise Karlsnes is an ideal because of her performance on stage.

X: Why did you decide to apply for MGP 2015?
GA: We have a great song that deserves to be known by the Norwegian people, and MGP is just like a fairytale to us. –we couldn’t say no!

X: You joined Contrazt a few years ago. How is it to work with the rest of the band?
GA: We have a great time together, on stage, but as well in the tour bus. We are like a big family. We give it all for this band, and we love playing our music for a great audience.

X: Heaven was released in full a while ago. Did you get many reactions to the song? What were they like?
GA: The reactions are overwhelming. –positive! People in all ages like the song, and it makes you want to dance.

X: What’s the message behind Heaven?
GA: It’s a catchy love song that speaks about hopes and dreams.

X: What’s your favourite place in Norway?
GA: My favourite place in Norway is a city in the west, called Stavanger. I did my studies in that city and practically fell in love with it. I like the sea nearby, an the tight streets in the city area.

X: What’s your favourite thing to eat or drink?
GA: Homemade food, made by my boyfriend or my mom.

X: Are you a Eurovision fan?
GA: I am a huge Eurovision fan. I have watched the show every year since 1985, and made my own favourites. As a child I learned almost all the songs, standing in front of the TV with a home made microphone, together with my sister.

X: What’s your all-time favourite Eurovision song?
GA: Främling. Carola from Sweden.

X: Finally, do you have a message for the readers of escXtra.com?
GA: Enjoy this fabulous circus and vote for the BEST SONG!

escXtra.com would like to thank Gro Anita Johansen for her time and we’d like to wish her and her fellow Contrazt members the best of luck in tonight’s Melodi Grand Prix! Watch their video for their MGP song, Heaven, below!

Media Liaison: One of the founding members at escXtra. I'm the Dutchman who loves every little idiotic Eurovision fact there is. I usually listen to a lot of Eurovision music, but when I'm not, I listen to country music, schlager and pop, but mostly artists like Tina Turner, Emma, Ilse DeLange and Helene Fischer. On escXtra, you can find me doing pretty much anything that needs doing: Interviews, liveblogs or just your daily portion of news!

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