Saturday January 21st, 2023
By Karina Brandt, KEiiNO NEWS
This interview was made through recording, while Tom, Fred, and Alexandra were driving towards one of their promotion gigs and was typed up afterward..
The year 2023 is over, and we have started 2024, with the wonderful news of KEiiNO participating in Norwegian MGP this year.
2023 was a busy year for them all, as a band and for each one of the members as individuals.
Fred became a dad for the first time, Alexandra moved in with KEiiNO-band’s amazing guitarist, Markus, and Tom released his first solo album in 11 years. But what do they each feel has been the biggest moments of 2023, and what do they expect from 2024, personally as well as professionally?
KN: Fred, you became a dad – how has this been?
Fred: Life is pretty good right now, and I can say that having a kid has really changed my perspective on life, and it gave my life a whole new dimension.
KN: Is Ailo a good sleeper?
Fred: Ailo is a good sleeper now. He can sleep by himself now, which is good for MY sleep.
KN: Are you now the new Norwegian champion in diaper changes?
Fred laughs: I can change a diaper with one hand!
KN: How was your first Christmas as a dad, and how did you celebrate it?
Fred: This Christmas I really had the Christmassy feeling, and I haven’t had that for years. Everything I do now, I feel I live for Ailo.
KN: Alexandra, you put your apartment up for sale and moved in with Markus – did the two of you spend Christmas evening together or were you with your families?
Alexandra: We spent most of Christmas together, but Christmas Eve we spent separately with our families. That is a tradition of mine and we are actually not gonna celebrate Christmas Eve together until we are married. So its a nice tradition.
Tom: So, when is the marriage coming up?
Alexandra laughs: I don’t know, don’t ask me.
KN: Alexandra, you have had a few solo-releases in 2023, one of them was a beautiful duet with Kurt Nilsen. How was it to work with him? Are we going to hear more country style from you in the future?
Alexandra: it was amazing to work with Kurt. we also went on tour together, a Christmas tour actually, and that was really nice, because when I’m with KEiiNO jumping around on stage to pop music 90 percent of the year, its okay to also to do some Christmas songs near Christmas. I’m not sure if you’re gonna hear country music soon but its fun to sing country as well.
KN: Tom, you and Alexander also moved to a new place in 2023, and you released a solo album. How has that been for you, moving into a new place and releasing your solo album? How was your album received by your fans?
Tom: Actually, I didn’t remember that we moved into a new apartment in the beginning of 2023, did we? (here, Fred and Alexandra confirms it was the beginning of last year). We did, That’s true. I think that answers a lot. My life has a lot going on but I’m really, really happy with my new place and I guess a lot of you have seen some snippets of it on our social media channels, because it’s got this light and beautiful view, and we found a great joiking spot for Fred so he is probably going to be there quite a lot in the future.
Alexandra: What about your solo album?
Tom: I’m superhappy that I was finally able to finish it because its been an ongoing project, with songs that mean a lot to me, and I’m satisfied with the result, although of course, at the very end of it, the production phase, half my brain was focusing on the new KEiiNO songs and half of it was trying to finish my solo album, so I haven’t been able to process the whole thing but I’m really happy with it and it looks like a lot of people like the songs. I haven’t had any time promoting it so maybe I’ll do something new with it when, hopefully, we’ve won Eurovision.
KN: We have been blessed with a stack of great releases from KEiiNO in 2023. Thank you. Which of your releases this year, as a band and as individuals, have had the most success, now 2023 is over and 2024 has begun?
Alexandra: I think maybe Insomnia, is it? It looks like it with the streaming numbers.
Tom: It doesn’t need to be the streaming, but what you feel.
Alexandra: Oh what I feel? I love Insomnia but I also love, Get Up. I think its a song that haven’t got the attention it should have. Its a really fun song and I can’t wait to do it live in 2024.
Fred: I’ll have to say Insomnia as well but I personally also like, Alt du kan se.
Tom: I think we released a lot of good songs last year, i don’t think there’s one of them I feel oh we shouldn’t have released that one, I think that’s a good sign. I think for me, personally, maybe Ritma is the most successful song because at the time we decided, okay, let’s put this up a few bpms, let’s go for a KEiiNO face that is a bit more up-tempo.
Alexandra: I love Ritma too.
KN: A lot of fans speculated of you entering the MGP in 2024. Around New Year we began to pick up hints. Some sooner than later, and of course, fans are THRILLED to see you participate again, and with this amazing new release, Damdiggida. I think the entire KEiiNO-world of fans has been dam-digging the past few days. For how long did you work on Damdiggida before you felt it was MGP material and how much more did you polish on it, before submitting it?
Alexandra: It was maybe like, I dont know – three hours before we felt that this was the song we were gonna have in MGP. We felt it quite right away actually.
Tom: Was it? Because you didn’t tell me that you felt it. None of you.
Alexandra; We talked about it. We talked about it like, oh imagine having this in MGP.
Alexandra: and then we were just like, I showed it to my dad before I told him we were gonna be in MGP, and he cried and he was just like, you’ve gotta go to MGP with this song.
Tom: I think it was one of those moments like, we felt that we had the song that was going to be – or a few songs we felt we would be able to enter MGP with, but then we had this session with Jacob (Redtzer) in Stockholm and it was such a fun session and we laughed so much, and I think we all felt that yeah, this is what music is supposed to be. Songs for Eurovision shouldn’t be felt difficult, it should be something fun.
Alexandra: Yeah, something fun that makes you smile and make you happy because its like a celebration.
Tom: We also felt that it might be a song that would bring even more people together, because that’s what we are, we like bringing people together, and I think we will be able to include quite a lot of new fans with Damdiggida, compared to some of our older songs.
KN: How was it received by your fans? We noticed it hit directly into first place on the release radar, how is it going now, a few days after the release?
Tom: How it was received by our fans? I think in the beginning they were like, what is this? Because it was something a bit different but now I think the reactions are great and I’m really superhappy. (Fred and Alexandra agree with Tom on this). Its streaming well, and I think the most important thing is you don’t see the proper reactions on a song for MGP before you performed it.
KN: What are your hopes, dreams and expectations for the year of 2024, as a band and as individuals?
Alexandra: Oh wow, everything can change in the next few weeks. I mean, if we win MGP and if we get the chance to tour Europe and the world all over again, it would be a dream come true. If not, we still have a lot of new music coming and I think its gonna be a fun year, no matter what.
Fred: I agree with Alex. first of all to participate in Melodi Grand Prix and see how it goes there. Hopefully we’re going to Europe again because we love to play for people. Personally for next year, I look forward to watch Ailo grow up and take his first steps.
Tom: We plan for 2024 being very busy and being able to perform live and we can’t wait to show you all the new songs that we have in planning and there will be more songs, regardless of the outcome of the MGP although of course we believe that we have the possibility of going to Eurovision if everything goes as we want, and then of course we would love to tour and meet as many people as possible.
Tom: Thank you so much
Alexandra: Thank you, bye