A quarter of Eurovision songs penned by Swedes
Swedes are involved in at least eleven of the 42 entries in the semifinals of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The song put forth by the Czech Republic this year has been written by a duo from Stockholm.
When 17-year-old Frans performs his song "If I Were Sorry" for Sweden, in the Eurovision song contest, he is up against other Swedes taking part as well: songwriters competing for Moldova, Cyprus, Russia, Azerbaijan, Malta, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Georgia and even Norway.
Sara Biglert and Christian Schneider from Stockholm have written the Czech entry, "I Stand".
"It is powerful and I am very proud of it. It is perhaps not the biggest thing in the world [to have a song picked for Eurovision], but it is the biggest thing for us, so far," says Christian Schneider.
Since the two of them started submitting songs to the various national selections around Europe in 2013, they have had 10 songs in the running to represent those countries in the big semi-finals. They have been close several times, but this is the first time that their song actually got picked.
They didn't know anything about the singer, Gabriella Guncikova, beforehand, but when they were told she had ageed to sing their song, they looked her up online and were impressed by what they saw and heard.
"She said, 'So, can I have some say in the production and how it is going to be?' And we were like: 'we'll do anything for you'," says Sara Biglert and laughs.
But why don't Biglert and Schneider write for Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selection for Eurovision Song Contest?
"We would love to write for Melodifestivalen, and we really hope that we will some day, and get picked. We have been trying for a couple of years and we sense that we are getting closer every time to nailing a spot, but we'll see," say Sara Biglert.
The fact is that it is very difficult to get a song into Melodifestivalen. This year, nearly 2,500 songs were sent in, out of which a jury selected just 14. Another 14 songs are selected by Swedish Television by special invitation.
This week's programe from Radio Sweden Weekly will focus on Eurovision and the Swedish Music Export. Click on the link below to listen to the full programme.