Melodifestivalen receives 2628 songs
The songs for Melodifestivalen 2014 are in. The submission period closed wednesday and a total of 2628 songs have been received by Swedish national broadcaster SVT. This is very close to last years 2549 songs. This makes Melodifestivalen the only national selection show to receive over 1000 contributions.
“The quality decides”
The selection show hit an all-time high in 2011 with 3832 song submissions and since then, SVT has encouraged everyone to be more selective and only send their best work to the contest. “Just like last year, we have encouraged everybody to be very restrictive and only send the songs they are really passionate about,” said Christer Björkman, Melodifestivalen producer and also show producer for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. “Previously we saw the same songs return year after year without being chosen by our selection jury. But it’s the quality that decides,” he said.
Like previous years, Björkman has worked with the manager Anders Johansson in preparations for Melodifestivalen. Over the summer, they have had meetings with major publishers and labels. “Anders and I have worked together over the summer and have basically scanned the entire market,” said Björkman.
Afraid to copy Loreen
Last year, the positive atmosphere was missing in the preseason of Melodifestivalen, according to Björkman. “The monumental victory of Loreen in Eurovision oppressed the industry. Everyone was trying to avoid copying her to not be blamed of ‘copy and pasting.’ You were stunned yet happy. This also reflected in the viewers. We hit record numbers, but not record involvement.”
Fortunately, this has now been released. “The songs are more original and with flow. It’s going to be very good, so I’m heading confidently into the selection,” he said.
Female quota fraud
Earlier it was reported that SVT had implemented a female quota for the songwriters. At least 20 percent of the final songs must have at least one woman contributing to the song. This is to match the percentage of females in Stim, the Swedish Composers International Music Agency and to make Melodifestivalen a trailblazer.
But the quota has been met with criticism for potential fraud, as it has been suggested that at least one female writer has had her name attached to a song that she was not a part of, to increase its changes of being selected. Björkman is well aware of this. “It’s unfortunate, but we must trust that the contestants understand the rules,” he said.
The jury will cut the 2628 songs down to a mere 15, plus at least one from the public contest. The remaining 16 songs will be specially invited by SVT. The names of the songs and songwriters will be known sometime this fall.