KEiiNO: Represents Norway with three flags on their chests

This year’s Norwegian Eurovision-participants are not only going to wave the Norwegian flag in Tel Aviv in May. The Sápmi flag comes along too, of course, the same goes for the pride flag. 
By: Stein Østbø
Translated by: Linda Karina Rasmussen

In wonderland:  Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan, and Fred Buljo play on humor and earnest in the video for “Spirit in the sky”. Photo: Frode Hansen

This way the entire trio gets each their identification mark during the weeks ahead of the international finale the 18th of May; Fred Buljo as the Sápmi, Alexandra Rotan as the Norwegian and Tom Hugo as the gay.- We never became football players and made the national team, but now we feel a little that we are on the pop-national team and we have to make use of that. This is a chance that we probably never will get that many times in life, says Tom Hugo, who quickly adds that the pride flag hardly makes it to the stage in the finale.

– It’s probably a political statement which is not allowed, but I am going to use it for everything it’s worth during pre-parties and other arrangements. And this is important to me. Norway is probably the best country to live in as a minority, but sadly there are some powerful people on the right-wing of Europe, who takes pleasure in setting people up against each other. We have to fight this “us against them”-way of thinking, he says. 

– To finish off the political side; are you satisfied the finale city is Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem?

– Yes I am. Simply because it would have caused so much more attention around the conflic in Israel if it had been in Jerusalem. We mustn’t forget that Eurovision was started as a peace arrangement, says Tom Hugo.

FAVORITE VICTORY: Here has KEiiNO – from the left Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan and Fred Buljo – just won the Norwegian finale in Melodi Grand Prix. Photo: Teigen, Trond REidar /NTB scanpixakkurat vunnet den norske finalen i Melodi Grand Prix.

VG meets the trio respectively as wolf, snow-fox, and reindeer during the recording of the music video for this year’s Melodi Grand Prix-winner, “Spirit in the sky”.

-We take the lyrics a little further, into wonderland and with some sparkle in the eyes, they say and add that the costumes represent their spirit animals, little people or animals which function as “helpers” throughout life.

So they meet Europe through their nature-religious helpers through the video, but physically they start up the introduction to Eurovision-finale the first weekend of April.

-There we vi will visit the larger cities of Europe almost every single weekend until the finale. We look forward to that. We have from the beginning said that we want to represent as much as at all possible, says Fred Buljo.

-The period after the Norwegian finale has been great, but hectic tells Alexandra Rotan. I think we have spent the time well. We have reflected on what has happened and made a plan for the road ahead, she says. 

-You sailed up as clear favorites ahead; did this have an effect on you in Oslo Spektrum?

-No, not really. We were much more surprised over the volume when we performed. It’s not possible to hear what you sing yourself like that. Or joikes, says Fred Buljo. 

After the finale, they have received pads on the shoulders from previous participants.

-JOWST sent a message that we should just contact him if there was anything we were curious about. And Kjetil Mørland told us to remember to have a good time, says Alexandra. 

-Health first, then a good time, adds Tom Hugo.