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Makeda: “My song is basically about standing up for yourself, which is important in my life” (Norwegian finalist – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Makeda Dyhre, finalist of this year’s Norwegian national selection for Eurovision, “MGP 2016”. Makeda will perform “Stand Up” in the final set on February 27.

ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Norwegian national selection for Eurovision 2016!

Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?

Makeda is from Asker. She was born in Ethiopia; adopted and grew up in Norway. Music has always been a big part of her life. In High school, (Videregående skole), she majored in music with vocal as her main instrument. Since then Makeda has worked as a backing vocalist with various artists, such as ENVY ( Nico & Vinz), Admiral P, Samsaya, Kohinoor, Essa Cham and Ost & Kjeks. Her African roots has influenced her in many positive ways, she therefore loved singing in an African choir called Yebo Choir.

Makeda has been on the TV show, Det Store Korslaget , Norway’s version of Battle of the Choirs, where she was a part of Team Tuva. She also participated in “The Voice” in 2013, where she was mentored by Espen Lind and Tommy Tee.

Her interests in music range from gospel, to Soul, R&B, Reggae and pop music. Some of the artists that inspire her are Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Kirk Franklin, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. Besides singing in Traces Gospel Choir, Makeda is now working on her own solo career.

E+: What impelled you to take part in “MGP 2016”?

I was asked to join the competition on Christmas eve 2015, so I ultimately said yes.

E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?

I was very happy to qualify for the final but it’s only one final in Norway right now, but I am thankful to be a part of it.

E+: What it would mean for you to represent Norway?

It’s awesome to represent Norway, it’s my home.

E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?

The song is called Stand Up, and it’s about standing up for yourself basically, and that is important in my life. The message is also relatable.

E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?

Because like I said it’s a great message, also I’m bringing a little flavour to it. It’s something different from Norway. I feel like I stand the way I express myself on stage and through the message.

E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “MGP 2016”?

Yes I have started to prepare my stage performance. I don’t want to reveal too much, but it’s going to be a fun surprise.

E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorites songs in the history of the competition?

I usually don’t watch Eurovision but I’m excited to be a part it. Can`t wait. My favourite song must be Stella Mwangi from Norway.

E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing with, who would it be?

I don’t know actually. Many good ones.

E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?

Focus on my own career as a songwriter and artist. I’m excited to see what the year has to offer.

E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

Hi everyone! I’m Makeda. I hope you like what I bring to Eurovision this year, and I can’t wait to perform for you guys!

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

About Tony Rodríguez (Spain)