2016: Returning songwriters Part One


As we know, the Contest should be seen as a competition for song-writers. These highly important people often get overlooked in favour of a glamorous, attractive or vivacious performer. But crafting that winning song is an art, and it takes skill and a little bit of luck to have what it takes.

This year, we see many composers and lyricists who are giving it another go. Let’s look at some of them.

First there is Thomas G:son. He is a mammother amongst Eurovision writers and possibly another contender for the Swedish title of Mr Eurovision (it’s a very crowded field these days). He’s back, not with Sweden, but with Cyprus. Admittedly, the group Minus One have had a hand in writing their song Alter Ego, but Mr G:son’s influence could well give them that edge. This video is his very first attempt. No, not on the Eurovision stage, but the MF song he wrote in 1999 for Cleo Nilsson.

The old adage about waiting years for something, then several arriving at once applies to Stig Rästa. His excellent song in Vienna, which he performed with Elina Born was one of the highlights of 2015. It seemed a less-than-favourable draw didn’t do his chances much good. However, maybe it was his name that saw Estonia’s song for 2016 through. Stig has co-written ‘Play’ with Fred Krieger and Vallo Kikas. Here’s Stig as part of Slobodan River in Eurolaul 2004 with a song called ‘What a day’.

Perhaps the oddest collaboration in 2016 is the Turkish stable behind the entry from San Marino. Singer Serhat has an interesting take on Eurovision songs, and detachable monocles may become the must-have gadget in Stockholm. The song ‘I didn’t know’ is written by Olcayto Ahmet Tuğsuz. Don’t remember the name? Well his previous foray was back in 1987. The Turks were active participants then, and sent Grup Locomotif fronted by the unforgettable Seyyal Taner. They paraded around the stage singing ‘Sarkim sevgi üstüne’ all dressed in white. It was eye-catching. As was the position this song achieved. In a record field (at the time) of 22, OAT’s song finished, well, have a look online. Here it is in all its glory.

As we know, Eurovision song-writing isn’t restricted to Europeans. We’ve had our fair share of North Americans try their luck too. Mary Susan Applegate isn’t perhaps a name you think of about songwriting, but Belarus are employing her services this year with the song ‘Help you fly‘ performed by Ivan. Sorry, IVAN. Mary Susan has (almost) had success too. In 2012, her co-written song was in Baku performed by the Buranovskiye Babushki. It must have taken an age to come up with the English lyric. However, it finished second, so she must have done something right.Will her Belarussian song do as well?


Stay tuned for more returning writers. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope.


Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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