Norway is well underway with their preparations for Eurovision 2015 and getting ready to find Carl Espen’s successor. Vivi Stenberg, musical director for Melodi Grand Prix has revealed that they received 800 songs, which sees an increase of 30% compared to last year. She says to be impressed with the rise and that such a high interest had not been seen since the Rybak effect in 2009.
Without getting into much detail, she says that she has started listening to the songs, which is a task she performs with “great pleasure” even though it is a pretty hectic task.
It appears that there is great diversity in both geography and genre. People from across the country have submitted contributions, and there are many who have chosen to submit songs with Norwegian lyrics. It is fun.
She has also revealed that they have received contributions from songwriters in Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as Australia, where the contest is very popular, and the United States.
In an attempt to explain the rise in the number of entries, Stenberg says that it may be a mix of the allowance, for the first time, of electronic submissions and, most importantly, the respect that Norwegian songwriters are experiencing as a result of participating in MGP. NRK’s attempt to steer the contest in a way that it is all about the song has resulted in songwriters showing a much bigger interest in the contest as a platform that can boost their careers.
Details about the format of MGP, however, were kept secret. Stian Malme, project manager for MGP has said that they have reflected on the positive and negative feedback from this year’s contest and that they are working to provide the audience with the best MGP experience, but that it is too early to reveal what their plans are.