June 20, 2024

A Minute With: Two-time Eurovision winner Loreen on the song contest, new music


LONDON, May 8 — Sweden’s Loreen says her life “has changed so much” since her historic 2023 Eurovision win, adding she remains grateful a year on.

The singer-songwriter became the first woman to win the song contest twice: in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2012 and last year in Liverpool, England.

This week, Loreen, who just announced a new 2025 European tour, will be back on the Eurovision stage in Malmo, Sweden, performing her new song Forever at Saturday’s grand final.

In an interview with Reuters, Loreen spoke about Forever and Eurovision, which is billed as non-political but this year has been overshadowed by Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, prompting critics to call for the banning of Israel’s contestant and planned demonstrations.

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Below are excerpts edited for length and clarity.

Q: What has this past year been like for you?

Loreen: “To be honest, I can’t remember my other life because it’s changed so much… for one year it’s been a very wonderful, beautiful space, but it’s been moving very fast. I’m trying to reflect every now and then and every time I do, honestly, I feel so much gratitude. I feel so much love.”

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Q: How would you describe Forever?

Loreen: “My theme for everything that I do right now is love, love in all its different forms. It’s declaring my love not only to myself but to my surroundings… (With) ‘Forever’… I knew what the narrative (was), what I wanted to say with every cell in my body before going into the studio.”

Q: What advice would you give this year’s Eurovision contestants?

“If you can find that moment where you’re like ‘I’m happy and understand on a deep level that I cannot control this competition. I cannot control anything outside of myself’… that’s when it’s authentic. And if you are, oh my God, it’s going to resonate with your people and it’s going to start this flow.”

Q: This year’s contest has become politicised off-stage with opposition to Israel participating and planned protests. What have you made of this?

“To me, sound and creativity is so much bigger and stronger than politics… My main focus is being constructive. My main focus is like, OK, is this hub helping people at this moment collectively? Oh yes it does. Should it be boycott(ed)? No, we shall not punish people.” — Reuters



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