Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
Farida MGP 2024Farida | Photo: Julia Marie Naglestad / NRK

We talked with multitalented Farida before Heat 2 of the Norwegian Melody Grand Prix 2024 which will take place on the 20th of January

ES: Hi, Farida, welcome back to MGP! How do you feel to be back?

Farida: I’m so excited, you know I didn’t plan on coming back so soon, but then the opportunity presented itself. When we wrote this song I wasn’t really for the contest, I’ve been writing it for myself. And I was also writing for a lot of other people in the past two years, and I just wanted to write a pop song one day.

I actually didn’t send my song to the selection, it was just people at MGP heard the song and they thought – this is so unlike you and we like the song, we like how you sound on it. And they asked if I really wanted to join. This looked like a great opportunity to show another side of me, because I always knew that if I was gonna return to MGP, I don’t want to do the same thing – I’m not that type of artist. My role models are big artists who have ballads in their set list, and also they have pop up tempo songs. It’s different, but it’s still you, because you put your imprints on the songs. I just feel like if I was gonna have a tour one day, I would love to show my diversity – that’s why I wanted to introduce this new pop freedom.

ES: Yes, your song “Heartache” is so different from your MGP 2021 entry “Dangerous,” do you also feel different now?

Farida: I love to write songs and lyrics that has a meaning, and even though this is like a repetitive thing – pop songs are repetitive, but I do think that there’s a bit of a storyline there and I didn’t want to exaggerate the storyline and have too many lyrics. I wanted it to be a sing along, I wanted people to feel good.

ES: Is “Heartache” your personal story?

Farida: Isn’t it for everyone? This heartache stuff 🙂 I think I’ve actually took the inspiration from being in love with someone who didn’t like me back and didn’t know either. Especially in your teenage years when you’re like on the bus and you’re just like: I wonder if this person can see me and stuff like that. So I just thought it was like a fun nostalgic way to bring back that kind of innocence way of thinking, when you are not grown up. There’s so many angles and ways to look at this. And there’s signs and there’s no signs. So I guess it’s a homage to my teenage years.

The journey I have and also the fact that I started as a dancer and I really wanted to incorporate that with the whole song and the feeling and the message and also be able to act this on stage.

ES: So can we expect that you will dance on stage?

Farida: Yes, I’m gonna be moving, but it’s not like a dance break, because there’s no dance break in the song, so I’m not gonna be moving like Chanel (Spain 2022). But I’m gonna have my own cool way of doing it with my dancer.

ES: We can’t wait to see it! it’s not that long to wait – it’s already this Saturday! And you are first the running order – how do you feel to be first?

Farida: Actually I wanted to be first, because I know how the how the system works. People try to figure out – oh, broadcaster put their favourites at the last. But let’s not forget there were a lot of participants like Alessandra (Norway 2023), she was first and then she won. The first participant sets the tone of the competition – it’s something very special about getting to start the show.

And the one more thing that is super positive for me is that I don’t have to look at the others performances and I don’t be more nervous. I just have to give it my all best on the first spot and then I’m done and can be proud of myself. I captured the moment and then just enjoy the rest of the night. So I’m actually really happy about it.

And it really doesn’t matter, the only matter is what you put on the stage that day. I feel also in Norway not everyone has heard the songs yet. It’s only the Eurovision fans in Norway and outside of Norway, they are really on it from day one, but a lot of people will just watch the Saturday show and hear all songs for the fist time. And a cool thing that you never really know what people will like that day. So I just have to do the best I can at that moment.

ES: You are also a very successful songwriter. You reached the final in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition in New York with your song “Do About It“, you co-wrote two K-pop songs, you are one of the songwriters on the song Love Is a Drug, which Armin van Buuren released last autumn. That’s very impressive! When and how you start to write songs? Are you usually writing lyrics or music?

Farida: That’s a great question. I always thought of myself as a melody person, that I feel like I am good at coming up with melodies. So I think that my strength is to write melodies, and also maybe choruses – I love a good chorus. And I think that that feeling about becoming a songwriter it was always in me, but I didn’t know how to meet the right people to start to do it. It’s all about of putting your ideas out and then have sessions with other producers and songwriters and then you can see what you can do, and then you get other opportunities. And you have to be able to work with other people, when it comes to sessions. Doesn’t matter if you’re the artist or you’re just a songwriter – you have to leave your ego at the door and have to listen to each other and learn from each other. And I really embrace that part and I’ve always had a lot of ideas that I knew I can do this also myself, but I like to share it with someone else, when you have a lot of ideas lyrically or melody wise. I love all genres, that’s why I’m here also – I want to represent that I’m a songwriter, but I’m also an artist who can do something different styles.

ES: You have experience working with a K-pop as a songwriter, how was it?

Farida: It was fun and it’s very different. I’ve done it since 2019, it all started when we got signed to one K-pop publishing company. it was just trying to figure out how to put yourself in that mindset because K-pop is very different. There a lot is allowed. I do feel like some Eurovision songs with the dance breaks they kinda reminds me of K-pop, because there’s a lot of different parts and it’s not like – oh, let’s just put this part in here. It’s more like – this needs to be here, because we have 15 people into this band and some of them need to sing here and some of them needs to dance and some of them needs to rap. There’s a lot to think about, but I love these things, it’s music and I just love music. I learn new stuff all the time.

ES: Yes it’s obvious that you love this process, and hard to say who are you more – singer or songwriter. You are working a lot as songwriter now, but you also have great experience as performer – you performed with Dua Lipa on one stage, participated in many festivals and in MGP, had your tours.

Farida: Yes, absolutely. And I think with this performance I really want to show people what more I can do on stage and I really want to pursue that part of my career, because you can do songwriting and being an artist at the same time. But I really wanna focus on showing people that I can give them something else. And there’s a lot of good music coming and I feel is it’s great to start with “Heartache” because it’s a different side of me and I’m just excited of showing something else.

ES: So are you back to MGP to win the contest or to show yourself more?

Farida: I’m not gonna lie, I love a good competition, but I do feel like I am a hundred percent focusing on my performance and if I’m happy with that I’m good. When it comes to MGP it’s not always the favourites or maybe the best ones that win, it’s a feeling right there at that moment. And I think even if I would win, I feel like a lot of people may not like it, so that’s just how it is. That’s why you need to focus on what you’re doing and that’s what I’m gonna do. And I’m ready, I’m so ready!

ES: That’s a great attitude, so you’re ready for it, just enjoy this journey, enjoy this moment!

Listen to Farida’s song ” Heartache”

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