Norway: Interview with Didrik Solli-Tangen

by Tom Espen Hansen 69 views talked to Didrik Solli-Tangen (22) one day before the final of Melodi Grand Prix in Norway. He is one of the favourites according to both the press, bookmakers and the fans all over Europe.

Who is Didrik?

I am just a normal guy from Porsgrunn in Norway, who finished high school and who now studies classical music at Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. Before moving to Oslo I took private singing lessons with Anders Vangen for five years, starting of with pop music, but he convinced me to try singing opera, which I really felt was something I could do well and develop even more in doing. My music experience so far is limited to some local concerts in my home area, and some competitions. I even did an act together with Alexander Rybak in a christmas church consert in December 2009.

Your friendship with Alexander Rybak has been mentioned in the media, what is the truth here?

Well, we attended the same class in the same school for three months before he won the Eurovision, and I know him as a very likable person who is very good at what he is doing. It was very exciting for me to follow his victory in the Eurovision, and because of him I attended the semifinal in Skien (which is actually a neighbourcity to Porsgrunn) where he got through to the MGP final.

How did you get inn touch with composer Hanne Sørvaag?

It was at the MGP afterparty in Skien. I am a very open person he easily gets in touch with new people, and while talking to her a bit I made a joke about when she would write me a song. She actually took it seriously and I sent her some demos of me singing a bit later. She really liked my voice, and she contacted Fredrik Kempe in Stockholm, where they both live, about writing a ballad espesially for me and my voice. When I got to hear the song I immideatly liked it, and thought that it was suitable for Eurovision. When I talked to Hanne about this, she said that both her and Fredrik also had the same thoughts. NRK liked the song, and now I am in the final.

What is your relations to Eurovision Song Contest?

I have never been a huge fan, but especially after WigWam represented Norway in 2005 I started to follow the competition, as I liked their song very much. Now, as a participant myself, I see that it gives a very good attention and new opportunities for me as a singer. MGP has been very popular the last years, with a lot of well known artist competing, and it feels like an honour to be in the final this year. I think all the songs in the final are very good, and any of them could actually win. Earlier Eurovision has shown us that it is very hard to predict the result in advance.

How has all the focus in the media affected you these past weeks?

My primary goal this year is to do well in school, and I have tried to live a normal life as possible. I have even recently passed two exams. With this focus in mind, I have tried not to give too many interviews, as it really takes your focus away. Of course some in the press think that it is a part of a strategy, but I chose this also because I'm just a normal guy, and therefore it shouldn't be much to write about me. This past week though, I have taken the time to give the press some interviews.

Any comments to your fans throughout Europe?

It is always very nice to get good critics and to be mentioned as one of the favourites, but I try to keep it at a distance, focusing more on doing my best with the song. But I would really love to get out and show Europe what I can do, and I will give a very big thanks to all those who have noticed me and my song so far.

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