10 Things About…Keiino!

KEiiNO will represent Norway at Eurovision 2019 with the song ‘Spirit in the Sky’. Find out more about the band with 10 Things About…KEiiNO!

1. KEiiNO is a three piece band made up of Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan and Fred Buljo. They formed in summer 2018 and their name was inspired by the name of Buljo’s home town Kautokeino (North Sami: Guovdageaidnu). The last part -geaidnu translates to the ‘way’ or ‘road’, which Fred states ‘represents the road that brought us together’.

2. The band mixes electronic pop with Nordic folk melodies and joik, the traditional form of song of the Sami people.

3. Alexandra Rotan made it onto Norwegian music fans’ radars with her success in the Junior version of Melodi Grand Prix which is used to select Norway’s participant for Junior Eurovision and Norwegian Idol. She has since toured extensively as supporting vocalist for Alan Walker. More recently, she finished third in last year’s Melodi Grand Prix in a duet with Stella Mwangi.

4. Alexandra is currently studying to become a nurse.

5. Fred Buljo is a 30 year old native of the northern Norwegian town of Kautokeino. He burst onto the Norwegian scene in 2008 when he competed in Norway’s Got Talent with the Sami rap group Dulova Duottar. He has since played numerous live shows all over Scandinavia and Russia and is widely considered one of the Sami music scene’s most talented performers. While his rap skills are well established, he had never joiked or sung publicly before joining KEiiNO.

6. Fred is allergic to almost all animals except reindeer.

7. Tom Hugo is a seasoned songwriter and splits his time between Norway and Berlin. He has had radio hits in Norway and Germany as a solo artist, and has competed at Melodi Grand Prix in 2013 and 2018.

8. Tom’s CV includes hit pop songs performed by groups across Asia, including #1 hits for K-pop bands EXO, TVXQ and SHINee.

9. KEiiNO entered the Norwegian Eurovision selection show Melodi Grand Prix 2019. They competed against nine other artists. They beat off strong competition from the likes of previous representative for Norway Morland, as well as pop jazz band D’Sound and American Idol singer Chris Medina. KEiiNO won the final of the contest with 59% of the vote. Since its win, the song has skyrocketed to the top of the Norwegian charts and it’s currently the fifth most viral song in the world according to Spotify.

10. Their song ‘Spirit In the Sky’ was written by Tom and his husband Alex Olsson. It was inspired by struggles for equal rights regardless of ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality. The idea for the song came to Alex on a night filled with Northern Lights and was inspired by the Sami belief that nature gives you strength in times of trouble.

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