In recent years, escflashmalta.com has been on the forefront in chatting to artists who would be heading to the Eurovision Song Contest and hopefully representing their country and achieving a positive result. Next up is Carl Espen who will be representing Norway with the song Silent Storm written by Josefin Winther, who happens to be his cousin. He speaks of the opportunity at representing his country in such an international event.
Silent Storm written by Josefin Winther is a true gem, a classic ballad which requires a heartfelt rendition in order to reach the masses. What are you currently doing to ensure that the message of the song comes across during the competition and what do the lyrics mean to you on a personal level?
I know that the most important thing in my performance is to be in touch with my emotions when singing it. It is difficult, but important. There’s no actual way to «rehearse» that part, but I try to connect with my inner feeling every single time I sing it. Also I think it’s important to not forget why I’m doing this, and that my dream is to sing for people. Nothing more, nothing less. The lyrics are very personal to me, and Josefin really hit the nail on it’s head when she wrote it to me. The lyrics express the feelings whirling inside me, that often feel like I have a silent storm inside. It also carries a growing hope, that someday I’ll be calm. The song has grown more and more important to me on a personal level.
Norway has been drawn to compete in the first half of the second semi-final, with the European Broadcasting Union as well as Danmarks Radio allocating slot number #3 for the performance. Have you heard any of the other competing entries and how would you rate the Malta’s chances?
Yes, I have heard many of the other contestants, and I’m so impressed by the level of music and artists. I’m very humbled by the fact that I’m in this competition. I just love the vocal harmonies in Malta’s contribution. Firelight is also close to genres I personally like.
In 2009, it was all about Alexander Rybak and the song Fairytale, garnering a significant lead over the first runner-up to win the Eurovision Song Contest. In the years following that, Norway has only come close to winning once more last year with Margaret Berger finishing in fourth place with her entry I Feed You My Love. What expectations do you have prior to arriving at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark?
I have been an artist for four months now, and I have learned so much. From the day it became official that I was participating in the Norwegian pre-selections, I have received so much positive attention, support, love, fan mail and good reviews, and every day has felt like a new milestone for me. So even to be in the ESC finals is a great honor, and try to focus on preparing as much as I can. I don’t think so much about my chances of winning, etc, but just to focus on really putting my heart and soul into everything I do on stage. My expectations are to meet fantastic people, make new friends, get inspired by all the love for music, and to be blown away by the biggest experience in my life; singing «Silent Storm» for over 100 million people live.
Spotify, a music resource which is vital in the industry, being used to stream songs which are successful at the moment whilst also offering an astonishing back catalogue of albums from all across the world. Your entry, Silent Storm has topped the most listened to track in Norway but has failed to trouble the official music chart. Do you believe that the artist will find it difficult to make an honest career in music with such mechanisms?
To see that my song has been listened to several hundred thousand times, and that it’s the 6th most played song on radios in Norway, is for me just unbelievable. We all know that the industry and the way we listen to music is changing, and I think it has pros and cons. I think the best thing to do as an artist, is to focus on making good and genuine music, and to team up with people who know the industry well, and who are interested in always being one step ahead.
Whenever nerves creep into a performance, that is where the criticism is known to commence and despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews from a local audience during the Melodi Grand Prix, several people on forums pointed out that you were nervous. Will you be alone on stage come May, or will you have someone to share the nerves with moments prior to the performance and whilst on the actual stage?
I think it would have been strange if I hadn’t been nervous, whilst making my debut as an artist life in front of the Norwegian people. I am constantly working to develop as a singer and as an artist, and I know I will be able to sing «Silent Storm» even better when I come to Copenhagen. I will have musicians with me on stage, and will also have my singing teacher for last preparations before entering the stage. It is going to be an unforgettable night for me. I am very much looking forward to it.
Would you like to say anything to the readers of escflashmalta.com?
I would like to send out a warm greeting to the readers of escflashmalta.com, and thank you for the attention and for reading my interview. I am so grateful for all the support and love I receive, and I want you all to know that it means a lot to me. Thank you! All the best, Carl.