Introducing 2011: Norway

by Marcus Klier 80 views

All songs for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 have been selected. During the weeks between the national final season and the actual Eurovision Song Contest, we will introduce all 43 entries in random order. Part nine of the series is dedicated to the Norwegian entry.

Basic information

Performer: Stella Mwangi
Song: Haba haba (Little by little)
Language: English and Swahili
Music: Big City, Beyond51
Lyrics: Stella Mwangi

2nd in the first semi final

The song

Haba haba is a mid-tempo afro-fusion pop song. Stella Mwangi has explained that the lyrics are based on a real story. When she was a child, she complained to her grandmother that things are not going fast enough for her and she has been toll that little by little is how things are achieved in life:

Everything I look for
It is right in front of me
Everything I work for
Everything I wish for
Everything I look for
It is right in front of me

And she said
Haba haba (Little by little)
Hujaza kibaba (Is how to reach your goal)

The performer

Stella Mwangi was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She has been living in Norway since the age of five and she has been part of the music business since 2005, when she performed for Nelosn Mandela with band The Rise. Her debut album Living for music was released in 2008. Furthermore, she won various awards for her singing and songwriting and she was a supporting for singers and bands such as Busty Rhymes and Flo-Rida. Her musical spectrum includes pop, hip-hop and soul.

In 2011, she competed in the Norwegian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. With Haba haba she qualified for the final, which she eventually won by a clear margin getting almost twice as many votes as the runner-up. After the final, the song hit number one on the Norwegian single charts making it the fourth Norwegian entry in seven years to become a number one hit on homeground. The song, which has been in the top ten for nine weeks now, will also be included on the singer's upcoming second studio album.

The songwriters

Haba haba was written by Big City and Beyond51 (music) as well as Stella Mwangi herself (lyrics). Beyond51 is a production team from Norway which was established by Kjetil Helgesen and Victor Eugen Forberg-Skogeng in 2008 and has worked with acts such as X-Factor contestant Bjørn Henrik Brandtenborg and rap group Kesera.

The national selection

MGP returned in 2011. Just like in previous years, three semi finals and a second chance round were held before the grand final, where eight songs competed. The winner was chosen in two rounds of voting. In the first round, the top four were selected by televoting and in the second round the evetual winner was chosen by audience voting, televoting and a jury.

Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest

Norway was the third Scandinavian country to join the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960 and despite a strong debut with a fourth place, the country turned out to be one of the most unsuccessful ones over the next 25 years. However, a first victory came in 1985, a second one followed in 1995 and in 2009, Alexander Rybak brought the contest to Norway again. In total, the country finished in the top five nine times. However, Norway still keeps the record for the most last places as they finished at the very bottom of the scoreboard ten times, which means during more than 20% of their participations.


This will be Norway's 50th participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the 24th time that the country is being represented by a female solo performer. Furthermore, it will be the eleventh in twelve times since the abolishment of the language rule in 1999 that the Norwegian entry will include large parts of lyrics in English. However, it will be the first time ever for any Eurovision Song Contest to feature lyrics in Swahili.

Haba haba will be the second song to be performed in the first semi final. It follows the up-tempo pop song from Poland and it is followed by another up-tempo pop song from Albania. Norway was drawn in the so-called "death slot" in 1978 finishing last with nil points. Between 2004 and 2007, no song managed to qualify for the final from number two. This has changed since with four "number two" songs qualifying for the Saturday night since. This means that since the introduction of two semi finals, more songs performed at number two made it to the final than countries that didn't make it. A disadvantage might be the fact that the Norwegian entry is performed in a streak of up-tempo and energetic energetic songs at the beginning of the first semi final.

Vi ønsker Norge og Stella Mwangi lykke til og et fint resultat i Düsseldorf!


National final performance/preview video:

The single Smile:

Move it, another song:

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the Moldovan entry.

Previous parts of the series:

  1. Estonia
  2. Italy
  3. Croatia
  4. Slovakia
  5. Lithuania
  6. Finland
  7. Switzerland
  8. Ukraine

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