In the run-up to Eurovision, escXtra.com decided it was time to put a spotlight on the people behind the songs: the composers and lyricists. In our fifth interview we spoke to the composer behind the Norwegian entry: Josefin Winther! Read what she had to say below!
escXtra.com: Hey Josefin! Welcome to Eurovision!
Josefin: Thank you for that. It’s been a fantastic experience so far.
X: You’re a singer as well as a songwriter. Would you ever consider entering Eurovision (or MGP) as a singer?
J: Like you say, I am an artist as well as a songwriter. I have been an artist for ten years now, and released an EP, two albums and many singles and played hundreds of shows around Europe. Eurovision has never felt like a natural place to build my own artist career, and I am just extremely happy to be able to be part of it as a songwriter, and to continue my own career in addition to that.
X: What do you prefer and why: being in the spotlights as a singer or being in the shadows as a songwriter?
J: I like to have my cake and eat it too! 🙂 But seriously, like I mentioned earlier, I’m just so happy that I get to do both. I write a lot of music, and some of them are my songs, and some of them are songs, that haven’t found their true home yet. With Carl Espen it was even more special, because I sat down and thought of him while writing it. And to see the song come to life within him, is just the most incredible feeling. I love standing on stage performing my music, and I also love seeing my music find other homes.
X: Your song has been doing incredibly well with fans, polls and bookmakers. Does that put pressure on the result for Copenhagen? What do you expect there?
J: Since the press release late in January the song has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from industry and fans. That means a lot to me, and the last months have just been an amazing ride for both Carl Espen and me. The pressure is already on, so I don’t really like to focus too much on that. I see that the is no living a life of it’s own, and it’s one big job left, and that is for Carl Espen to perform it with the feelings I know he can. If he can do that, I know that the song will be remember for a long time, and that beats everything else for me.
X: How do you feel about entering such a personal song to a competition?
J: It is a very interesting situation competing in music. What we hear the most from fans, is the fact that people feel that this is something genuine. And that they feel that they can relate to the song. That is a quality is think is treasured on a universal level in art, and I am just so proud to have been the person who wrote it. We don’t have a spectacular energetic stage show, or impressive dance moves, and the fact that we are doing well in the competition just because it feel «true», is important to me. It makes it something I am really proud of!
X: How would you describe working with Carl?
J: The collaboration between Carl and I has many dimensions. We are family, and practically grew up together. I remember the first time I heard him sing, when I was 12 years old and I was so proud. He has always looked out for me, and support me in following my dream. It came to a point in August 2013, when I felt it was time he followed his dream. And that’s where it started for me. I wrote the song, and he felt that it was right. From then on it has been a very touching experience standing by his side, seeing him open up to the world, go out on big stages with very little experience, talk about his inner feelings, and say yes to new unknown situations almost everyday. I respect that. I think he is brave. Also, I am deeply touched when I see the song come to life in him, and to see the song mean more and more to him.
X: The message we hear in Silent Storm is quite a personal one, a really personal struggle with how life treats a person. Does that reflect on your life as well as on Carl’s?
J: No, not Silent Storm. I sat down literally meditated over Carl Espen, and how I thought he was feeling. I have my own struggles, but they are not about that. That’s why I’m so glad I have my career and my music, where I express the things that I am battling with.
X: How did you and Carl start working together?
J: I have mentioned parts of it already, but ever since we were teenagers, we have both loved music and to sing. I followed my dream, and established my own career, and have been doing that for the last ten years now. I have always known that Carl Espen carries a lot on his inside, including a very beautiful and unique voice. I have often wished that he would start singing for more people, and really just take the leap. But in the end, I figured he needed the right song to start out with. That’s when I decided to sit down and just do it myself. I didn’t tell him that it was «his»song before I played it to him, but he felt it right away. I then asked if he would like to sing it, and asked if he would like to try to send it to MGP. He said yes immediately, and the rest is history.
X: Eurovision is just a few weeks away. What do you expect from the entire experience?
J: I never expected anything like this. At first I was just so happy to participate with a song I am proud of and that Carl Espen was singing it. That was more than enough for me, and then ever since the artist launch it has just been going in an upwards spiral, and almost every day has been a new surprise. I am extremely happy to be where I am now.
X: Finally, thank you so much for this interview! Do you have a message for the readers of escXtra.com?
J: I would like to thank the readers of escXtra for taking interest in Silent Storm and supporting us. You contribute to this adventure, and I am so thankful for it. Warm greetings and lots of love, from Josefin
We would like to thank Josefin Winther for taking the time to answer our questions. You can watch the Norwegian entry for Copenhagen, Silent Storm, below!