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Monday, 16 November 2009

Salem in Melodifestivalen!!!! (and that's no joke)

It has been announced today that Salem will be competing in the 2010 Melodifestivalen: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/article6129219.ab

I only found out about it whilst checking the internet during my afternoon coffee break at work today and was so excited at the news that I couldn't concentrate on any of my work for the rest of the afternoon :)))

This morning Salem was announced by SVT as the second "joker" (wildcard entry) in next year's competition. He will sing his own composition "Keep On Walking" which is described as a mid-tempo song played on the piano, the theme of which, he told Expressen is "about trying to get up and move on once you have fallen". He said that he thought for a while before he accepted SVT's invitation, but he's now looking forward to the challenge. Salem told Expressen: "I have had a free hand, it feels great. It was time to experiment with new ways now and find a new audience".

The MF semi-finals begin on 6th February and the final takes place in Stockholm in 13th March. For those readers of Planet Salem who are not familiar with Melodifestivalen, this is the annual Swedish song contest. The winner represents Sweden at the annual Eurovision Song Contest (next year's contest will take place in Norway) but the Eurovision aspect has, I think, become less important in recent years - as both new and established acts realised that it's not just a song contest but it provides an unrivalled marketing opportunity - appearing in front of massive audiences in huge stadiums, watched by the biggest TV audience of the year in Sweden. Many Melodifestivalen songs become massive hit singles and are guaranteed huge radio airplay. Thanks to the internet, Melodifestivalen has many fans outside Sweden, who watch the show live on SVT's website, so an appearance on the show also provides the chance to reach a worldwide audience.

In recent years Melodifestivalen has provided a major breakthrough for many acts in Sweden: and regardless of how he does in the contest I think it would be the perfect opportunity for Salem to showcase his music to a wider audience. According to one of the articles I read today, Salem was approached to participate in the 2009 contest, but this did not fit in with his schedule (this was around the time of the release of "Astronaut")

Here are some more links you might want to check out:

http://svt.se/2.79702/melodifestivalen_2009?lid=puff_1772426&lpos=lasMer - where you can find a short video clip introducing Salem as this year's second joker entry.


http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/musik/salem-al-fakir-andra-jokern-i-melodifestivalen-1.995142 - Dagens Nyheter article

http://www.expressen.se/noje/musik/1.1781309/salem-al-fakir-joker-i-melodifestivalen-2010 - Expressen article


Here are a couple of pictures from this morning's press conference, courtesy of Aftonbladet and Expressen:



Congratulations Salem - I'm so happy for you! Planet Salem will be supporting our favourite singer all the way in next year's contest and I'll be reporting all the news on this blog.

So, readers, what do you think about Salem appearing in Melodifestivalen? Yes it's time for a new poll, which I'll be running on this site until the end of this year. As he's not a traditional Melodifestivalen-type artist I'm interested to find out if you agree with Salem's decision to compete next year. It's just a bit of fun so remember to cast your vote!

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