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Tuesday, 07 February 2012 23:02

Exclusive: Timoteij Speak to ESCflashmalta

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One of the main aims of our website is to keep you updated with the latest happenings from all over Europe and one of the most successful ventures prior to the annual Eurovision Song Contest is surely the Swedish national selection known as the Melodifestivalen. In the weeks leading up to the competition along with the aftermath, one clearly noticed an influx of songs which were in contention to represent the nation. Each act in the competition is chosen through a sub-committee at the national broadcaster with the opinion of the songwriter. In recent weeks, we have been in contact with Lionheart Records which is one of the leading music labels in the country and we were told that one of the acts that they are backing for the event are Timoteij, a girl-band who first came to prominence during the 2010 edition with the song ‘Kom’. We will be speaking to them about their upcoming experience in the competition along with their endeavours in the industry up to this point in time.

Back in the year 1991, four ladies, individually known as Cecilia Kallin, Bodil Bergström, Elina Thorsell and Johanna Pettersson were born in different families in the Scandinavian nation of Sweden and nobody would have ever guessed back then that they would join forces to become one of the most popular girl-bands in the region. They bring about a spice of good looks, talent and just plain good music. Your success has been the epitome of several inspiring groups and yet, you are still quite young noting that you are just twenty years old. How did you come about as a group and could you maybe introduce yourself better to the international audience?

When we we're 16 years old the four of us chose to start a music school called Music and Production and we all ended up in the same class. We soon became close friends and sang and performed a lot together. After one and a half year in school two of our teachers asked us if we wanted to start a group and work together with each other and with them. Our answer was easy. We got so happy!

To introduce ourselves a little bit more we can tell you that Cecilia, who is the lead singer and who also plays the guitar, plays volleyball and has been playing in the Swedish girls national team. Bodil, who sings and plays the accordion, is originally a pianist and that's how she started to enjoy music when she was a teenager. Johanna, who is the one that plays the violin, and sings too of course, loves to dance and spends several days a week at the dance studio. Last but not least we have Elina, playing the flute and singing, and she loves to work out and is hard-working at the gym.

The support of 'Lionheart Records' in Sweden is surely one of the points of your principle success but then again your music is also distributed on the Universal Music Label which is somewhat extraordinary for a girl group that has now been around for just more than a year and you have achieved quite a lot thus far especially with Melodifestivalen being your starting point. How did the deal with the recording label actually come into existence and would you have done anything different in the event that you were just starting out in the business or is everything the way you would like it to be?

We like our record label Lionheart very much and are completely satisfied about working with them. We started to work with them during the summer of 2009 and we had talked to and looked at a lot of labels before. We had actually been to Malta to record a music video that we used to get the record companies attention, and obviously it worked!

Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest having been winners on a number of occasions including in 1974 with Abba winning with ‘Waterloo’ launching their careers, in 1984 with the Herreys and their track ‘Diggi-Loo Diggy-Ley’ sweeping to victory, in 1991 with Carola and her track ‘Fångad Av En Stormvind’ just managing to finish ahead and the last win coming in 1999 thanks to Charlotte Perelli with the song ‘Take Me To Your Heaven’. In recent years, though results have dwindled and the nation has just rekindled former fame thanks to Eric Saade whose song ‘Popular’ finished in third place, the best result for Sweden since 2006 when Carola had managed a fifth position with ‘Invincible’. What do you happened over the second part of the noughties and how did Eric manage to turn things around in the brand new decade?

The fact that Eric Saade ended up at third place in 2011's Eurovision Song Contest is a big success! Like you said Sweden hadn't had the greatest results over the past few years but now I think that we're back on track. How Eric managed to get all the way to third place I think is a lot because of his great song, his good looks, his awesome dance routine and performance and also because of his charm. He is one charming man! And he is very talented too. He truly deserved to get a great result!

Back in 2010, the group made their very first headlining appearance through the aforementioned Melodifestivalen with the song ‘Kom’ written by Niclas Arn, Karl Eurén and Gustav Eurén. The first snippet of the song proved to be a success with the people but other than that the song managed to finish in the top position within its semi-final ahead of more famous names such as Darin and Alcazar, the latter of which had been tipped for victory in various years. What could you tell us about the collaboration of the three songwriters on this particular track and do you feel like it managed to convey the emotions that you wanted to get across?

Gustav, Karl and Niclas are three amazing guys who managed to write this big hit song Kom. We just love it and have been doing so since the first time we heard it. It felt absolutely right to release it as our first single since it's happy and filled with emotions and energy. We couldn't have found a better song for the group!

Later on in the year, the regional club of the General Organization of the fans of Eurovision chose you to represent the nation in the second chance competition. This type of online experience is one which promotes the best song in the eyes of the fans that did not manage to win their respective national selection. In fact, not only were you chosen but you eventually managed to garner the victory for Sweden despite having only finished in fifth place during the Melodifestivalen. What do you think of such platforms and would you like to say anything to the people that voted for you in the long term?

When we heard that we won that competition we got so happy! It's an honor to have been voted for and the fact the we won is awesome! We would like to thank everyone who supports and votes for us. You're the reason we can do what we do!

When the initial list for the upcoming national selection in Sweden was made public, leading tabloids made sure to make their list of rumoured names known as in fact both Aftonbladet and Expressen noted you down for one of the songs and initially, there was no connection with the songwriters but in some way or another, the discovery was made. The rumour ended when you were announced by the Swedish broadcaster as to being in the 2012 Melodifestivalen with the song ‘Stormande Hav’ written by Kristian Lagerström, Johan Fjellström, Stina Engelbrecht, Jens Engelbrecht. What does the title mean and could you tell us something about the track?

"Stormande Hav" means "Stormy Seas", and it's a song about a stormy relationship. Something happened that made the two in the story part, but now we want to get it all back and make it right again. The music and melody in the track is very happy and filled with energy and it's more up-tempo than "Kom" is. It's a great song that you'll remember after you've heard it once! We will bring our instruments up on stage so you will definitely recognize us, but we have grown two years older and that will show, both speaking of the performance and the clothes.

The past year has surely been an incredible one for you girls noting the fruits of success that came from Melodifestivalen which included the recording and eventually release of your debut album entitled ‘Längtan’ released through Lionheart International and also distributed through Universal Music. The album was a huge success reaching the top spot in the Swedish charts and doing extremely well in terms of sales. In order to promote your material, you have also been recording promotional videos and information has recently come to us that one of them has been shot over here in Malta. What could you tell us about your album and about this visit?

The last two years have been amazing! It's been like a dream. It's unbelievable that our album "Längtan" reached the first place in the Swedish charts in just one week! About the videos, yes we've made a few. The last one is a music video to our latest single Het, which is not on the album "Längtan" but it will be on our upcoming record.

The first video we made is, like you said, and I mentioned earlier, filmed at Malta. We were there in March 2009 and shot a video to a still unreleased song. Like I told you we used the video to get record labels attention and were never really planning on releasing it. Anyway, we loved Malta! It's so beautiful! We stayed in Valetta but I think that we traveled around to different places on the whole island. We found the most wonderful locations to shoot the video at and it actually got really beautiful.

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 23:18