Lisbon 2018

Switzerland holds Eurovision songwriting camp

Further to the recent announcement that Switzerland has started looking for its next entry, a professional Eurovision songwriting camp has taken place to find the song that will hopefully be selected for Lisbon 2018.

The camp was the first of its kind

The special Eurovision songwriting camp was the first of its kind. The Powerplay Studios based in the Maur region of Zurich hosted the event which was also supported by SUISA, the cooperative society for composers, lyricists and publishers of music in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The three-day event was held from the 23rd to 25th August and brought together twenty-five music professionals from Switzerland and across Europe. Singers, musicians, producers and lyricists were asked to team up in groups of three to five people. Each group’s aim was to create three songs in three days.

Music professionals come together

Pele Loriano Productions teamed up with SUISA to help organise the event. Pele Loriano is a composer, producer, and musical director who is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest. He already has Eurovision connections having played the balalaika on stage alongside the 2010 Swiss entrant, Michael von der Heide. Furthermore, he co-wrote an album track Love Me All the Time for Levina who represented Germany in 2017. Pele spoke about the songwriting camp in Swiss national newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (Translated from the original German)
“[The song] should be authentic. We are looking for songs that stand out and not made according to Scheme F. Songs that are radio-compatible and also work outside the ESC.
Pele went on to say that he wants the process to be about the song, not the artist.
I cannot reveal which Swiss musicians are involved at this time. If we have a great song, it is not particularly difficult to find a suitable singer.
The plan is that all eighteen songs produced during the camp are to be submitted into the newly revamped Swiss pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon. Song submissions are now open via Swiss broadcaster SRF ( SRF have set a deadline of 22nd September to submit songs.

Switzerland at Eurovision

Switzerland hosted the first ever Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. The country won that year with Refrain by Lys Assia. Since then, the Swiss have won the contest once in 1988. Last year Switzerland missed out on a place in the final when its entrant Timebelle sang Apollo. The song finished 12th in the second semi-final and only missed out on qualifying by four points.
What do you think of SRF’s new approach? Also, what has been missing from Switzerland’s recent entries?

Matt Baker

As a writer with the Eurovision disposition it was only inevitable that I should find myself merging these two interests. If it wasn't Sonia singing "Better the Devil You Know" that got me hooked on Eurovision, then it was the Gina G banger "Just a Little Bit". The 90's is where it all started for me, who knows where I'll end up!

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