Emma Muscat’s new Eurovision song I Am What I Am could have featured in Sweden’s Eurovision festival but didn’t because the right artist wasn’t found, a music company producer has clarified.
Anders Fredslund-Hansen, who runs the music company The Arrangement, said I Am What I Am – along with some 34 other songs – was written at an international Eurovision songwriting camp in Mallorca last August.
Warner Sweden’s artists & repertoire, who work closely with Melodifestivalen, were present at the camp and tried to match I Am What I Am to a singer.
However, according to Fredslund-Hansen, this proved to be unsuccessful because “there wasn’t the appropriate artist for the song.”
In an interview with Danish public broadcaster DR, Fredslund-Hansen, said Malta’s Eurovision officials reached out to him for help a mere day after Emma won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with Out Of Sight last month.
He sent Malta a number of songs, with two shortlisted and recorded as demos. Malta ended up choosing I Am What I Am, a song written by Danish musicians Stine Kinck and Julie Aagaard.
Emma then did her own work on the song, giving it her own interpretation, and she is now listed as one of its co-authors.
“Emma loved the original version of the song, especially the chorus, but did not feel a connection to the original lyrics and production as they were with guitar and not piano which is her signature as a pianist,” Fredslund-Hansen said.
Meanwhile, Sweden ended up selecting Cornelia Jakobs’ Hold Me Closer as its song for the 2022 Eurovision.
“For me, the song is incredibly catchy and has an uplifting message, something which traditionally does well in Eurovision,” Fredslund-Hansen said of Emma’s song.
Asked to speculate on why Malta decided to change its song, the producer suggested that they might have wanted to stand out from the crowd a bit more.
“From the songs I have heard from the other countries so far, I can sense that not much sounds like I Am What I Am,” he said, while confirming he is supporting Malta ahead of his native Denmark for this year’s contest.
“Of course I hope Denmark does well, but I will obviously stick first and foremost with Malta and my own song. That’s my job and I won’t hide it.”
Malta is currently ranked 21st in the bookmakers’ charts, with odds only giving Emma a 1% chance of victory, although it was even lower before the song change.
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