Exclusive: Hanne Sørvaag speaks to ESCflashmalta

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The pre-selections for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest have officially begun now and several fans of the event are venting out their opinions with regards to the songs making it to the finals in their respective nations. One of the most followed pre-selection all around Europe is surely that in Norway being the, Melodi Grand Prix and therefore we have taken the liberty to speak to a well known singer/songwriter who has been within the music business for quite some. I am speaking with regards to Hanne Sørvaag who has just grabbed one of the tickets to the final round finishing in second place at the last semi-final held within the city of Florø.

Your radiant beauty does certainly do wonders about how people speculate about your age yet I am sure that you are still quite young. When did you decide that you wanted to take up a career as a vocal performer or even a composer and was the relationship between them mutual or did you first take up one particular characteristic and then started developing the other one?

I started out as a singer and released two albums in Norway,then the songs I had released started getting recorded by other artists and record-labels and managements asked me for more songs,so I focused on writing for others for a while,and now it’s time for a third album, and the first single is “You’re Like A Melody”.

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I thought that it would be best to start from the basics of it all when some nine years ago you released your first record under a stage name which was not connected to you in any possible way. In fact, the chosen name ‘Paris’ ended up being quite the newcomer releasing an album as well as three singles from within the same collection. What was the real reason with regards to the very peculiar name and how did the record deal come about?

I sent my demo to Sony Music Norway and got a record deal in 2001,I released my first singe as Hanne,but at that time there were several other artists that came out with similar names,so in a hurry we found an artist name (before Paris Hilton made the front-pages) and released the album with that name,I don’t think it was very good either,but the singles worked very well on radio, so I’m happy with the album

Following the release of your two albums, one which bore the name “You Know Me” released in 2002 and the other entitled “Talk of the Town” released back in 2006, you decided that it was high-time to try and write material for other singers and one might say that your decision ended up being quite brilliant going onto write the song “My Destiny” performed as the winners’ single by 2006 American Idol Runner-Up, Katherine McPhee charting at position two on the Billboard Top 200. How did it feel to have been recognised in such a manner and how did this song come about?

To write a song that was performed in the American Idol finals and ended up on Billboard number two exceeded my expectations of what I would accomplish in my music career,and now I feel like the sky’s the limit! My publisher at Universal Music asked for a final song for this particular tv-show,he had a good connection there,we wrote it,and it got accepted!!

With your first songwriting success in the bag, you then went onto work with one of the biggest groups in Germany, No Angels, writing their song for the Eurovision Song Contest entitled “Dissapear” which failed to make an impact on Europe. After this experience, you wrote what is one of my favourite songs ever from Norway, “Brief and Beautiful” sung by Maria Arredondo. Suddenly from a singer/songwriter, the singer part has become dormant with the songwriter taking an active role. How do you manage to interchange between the two qualities and did you ever imagine you would end up being so successful?

I think my success as a songwriter has opened new doors for me as an artist as well,great connections,concerts abroad,warm up gigs for big artists I’ve written for,so for me this combination has been perfect,and no,I never could have imagined that it would go this well,but I hoped it would!!

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In 2009, your songs “Do It Again” performed by Foxy and “Tricky” sung by Velvet Inc made it to the annual Melodi Grand Prix which is the biggest showcase for Norwegian music. Unfortunately, victory was not present with that particular year yet in 2010, you returned with another song entitled “My Heart Is Yours” performed by Didrik Solli-Tangen. This went onto win a landslide victory and a couple of months later, you were celebrating another victory in Georgia with the song “Shine”. You went from never going to the Eurovision Song Contest to representing two countries. How did it feel to be part of both delegations and what is difficult to plan things?

It felt amazing to have two songs in the Eurovision,I sat together with Norway because my heart is Norwegian, and I waved and blew kisses to Georgia when they got votes(which they got a lot!) It was a great experience! It was not very difficult to plan things,only to make time to do all the press and get people together at the same place at the same time. Most of the pressure lies with the artists.

The year 2011 brings about something special though for you because it marks your comeback within the music scene with the song “You’re like a melody” which you have composed and penned along with your friend Martin Hansen. You performed your song this weekend and ended up being chosen as one of the finalists finishing second after Babel Fish, one of the biggest Norwegian bands in the nineties. What could you tell us about your song and how did it feel to have been selecting as a finalist?

It felt amazing!! I was so happy to get to sing my song again that evening and now also in Spektrum,I  am so happy!! The song is about being in love,the feeling is joyful and the beat is uptempo,I am glad I’m singing an happy song because I feel that this competition is about spreading happiness.

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In a couple of weeks time, the Melodi Grand Prix will be over but the sheer experience of it all is just incredible. Many people from Malta are quite happy that you have presented that song into the pre-selection process because they have fallen in love with it quite instantly. Therefore, what I am leading toward here is that, we hope that you will not stop singing once more to write for other singers. What are you plans for the near future?

That is lovely to hear!! 🙂 I am planning the release of my album,a “cover-album” where I sing the songs I’ve written for other artist in my own version,so many of these songs are big hits in various countries, of course the my MGP-song that I also hope will be a hit! 😉

Would you like to send a message to our readers at www.escflashmalta.com?

My song is about the beautiful butterfly-feeling of being in love,and when I sing it I hope you feel it!! 🙂

Source (Image): NRK

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