Author/Photo: Nina Marie Askim
The Sarpsborg girl Annsofi Pettersen (18) performs a song written by Eurovision success Alexander Rybak.
Found by Ulli Cologne. English translation by Tessa Lande. Revised by Anni Jowett.
On Saturday, the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest is held, this time in Floro. Today the seven songs were presented, among them 18-year-old Annsofi Pettersen from Sarpsborg. Annsofi Pettersen is keen to be herself when she is on stage this Saturday. Annsofi participates with the song “I`m with you” written by Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak. He had great success with the song “Fairytale” in the final in 2009.
– The song is about loss. It is probably a subject we all can relate to in some way. I added my own interpretation in both words and music. I hope it shines through, she says to NRK.no.
Listen to the song here: Annsofi – “I’m With You “
Annsofi says that the performance is going to be a stripped-down affair. No glitter and finery, no dancers to hide behind.
– It feels very personal and bare. Just me and the song, which is hurting and hopeful and varies between many different moods, she says.
Annsofi Pettersen is keen on being herself when she is on stage.
Doesn’t feel any pressure of expectation
Annsofi is clear that she is not afraid to stand in the shadow of Rybak, although many have high expectations for his “Eurovision comeback.” She hasn’t felt any pressure of expectation either.
– It is easy to think that Alexander has a blueprint for how to do things in MGP. But you have to be yourself and not a copy of other. He has been clear all the way that it is I who participate this year and not him, Annsofi says. She says that the cooperation has been very positive. That Rybak is good at giving advice and has helped her to develop her talent.
– But I’m not floating around on an Alexander Rybak-sky, she says.
No sweet music privately
Alexander Rybak and Annsofi have made sweet music together before. They sing the duet “Baby, it’s cold outside” on Rybak’s Christmas album. Rybak is known to be popular among the girls. A quick search on the name and you’ll find headlines like “got thousands of wild Russian girls to cheer.” Annsofi denies, however, that she has noticed anything special about that.
– He may be known to be a flirt. But we have developed a mutual respect for work and a good private friendship. We work very well professionally, she smiles.
Hope all goes well
Annsofi is used to getting on stage and performing for a huge audience. In 2010, she was placed third in the X Factor and won the Big Choir competition with the Åge Sten Nilsen choir ‘Team Åge. ”
When it comes to expectations on the night, she hopes of course to receive a lot of votes and advance to the next round.
– First and foremost, I hope that all goes well. That it is a good atmosphere and that I feel I couldn’t have done better when I’m done, she says.
Author: Marcus Husby and Halstein Røyseland
Rybak will miss the Eurovision contest on Saturday.
Photo: NTB Scanpix
Found by Ulli Cologne. English Translation by Tessa Lande. Revision by Katie Anderson.
Alexander Rybak (26) will not be able to watch the semi-final in MGP, where Annsofi Pettersen (18) performs with his song.
Melodi Grand Prix
– I will, unfortunately, not be able to go to Florø. The same evening I will in fact have a concert with Bettan and Didrik (Solli-Tangen), so I will not get the results before I am finished with that. It will probably be a very emotional concert on my part, Rybak told VG.
Alexander Rybak has written the lyrics and music for the song “I’m With You” that former “X Factor” participant, Annsofi Pettersen, will participate with on Saturday.
– I have been thinking about Grand Prix since I won. But it took me three years before I found the right artist. Annsofi is the right one. She has the energy to fill any stage, he said.
Rybak become fan of Annsofi during “X Factor” in 2010, and has followed her since. Last year they sang a duet together on Rybak’s Christmas album “Christmas Tales”.
– Annsofie is one of those artists that, instead of using others to convey herself, she uses her own talent to convey a message. There are not many who manage that, he says.
– The song is timeless and a little nostalgic. I didn’t relate to any trends when I wrote it. I never do. Now I hope that the Norwegian people are ready for a power ballad like this, he says.
Passionate /Burning for
Rybak is not afraid that he can loose his title as the Grand Prix king if the viewers don’t vote for her on Saturday.
– You can not stop living after a success. I’m really enjoying myself as a composer. That’s what I am passionate about.
– You did not want to perform the song yourself?
– I love to be on stage. But there is a time for everything. This is a song that is written specifically for Annsofi, and she should be left alone there – unless Jimmy Jump jumps up, Rybak says with a smile.
– Have you given her any advice for victory?
– I’ve given her some tips. But what I have said, remains secret. I do not think I’m sitting on a winning blueprint. There is no such thing, says Rybak, knowing very well he set the record when he gathered all 387 points in the final in 2009.
Annsofi Pettersen says it does not matter that Rybak will not attend the semifinal in Florø.
– I would be more nervous if Alex was in the audience. I actually don’t think that I’m going to be that nervous. Now I have control of the things I shall do. Both I and Alexander are perfectionists and control freaks. We have gone through everything down to the smallest detail, Annsofi Pettersen says to VG.
– If something goes wrong I know what to do. Nothing is left to chance, and that’s very reassuring, she said.
– What kind of advice has Alexander given you?
– The main thing is that I have to get enough sleep, eat enough food, and take vitamins, and focus all the way, she laughs.
– No matter how good and interesting the other artists are, I will always keep the faith that my song suits me the best, she says.
Author: Arve Henriksen
She is Rybak’s Eurovision hope.
Found by Ulli Cologne. Translated by Tessa Lande. Revised by Katie Anderson.
The 18-year-old from Sarpsborg will be performing the song “I’m With You” in Saturday’s semi-final in MGP in Florø, written by the man who managed to get the international Eurovision Song Contest to Oslo and Norway in 2010.
– Rybak has been very clear that, yes, he has written the song, but he has written it for me. It’s not his song, it’s me who will stand there and convince all of Norway that what I do is credible, Annsofi Pettersen says.
When the seven new semi-final songs were presented to the press tonight, Rybak was not present. He will not be there for the semi-final in Florø, although he plays violin on this year’s Eurovision entries.
– He has been clear that he doesn’t want any more attention than necessary. Instead, he backs me up, and I think that’s fine. He has done his job of making the song and preparing me for this. Now he lets me fly alone, she says.
Alexander Rybak won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with a historically large margin. In Olympiysky Sports Complex in Moscow, he made a clean sweep with “Fairytale”.
– It’s not to be forgotten that Rybak is a big name within the Grand Prix context, that will never change. Therefore, it is funny that he let me put my stamp on the song. We are both perfectionists, but that does not mean we are egoists. We’ve managed to crack that code, we have a good dialogue. At the same time it is a challenge to work with Rybak, he’s so clever. But he is very good at bringing out the best in those he works with, the 18-year-old says.
She previously starred in “Det store Korslaget” on TV 2 and finished third in the “X-factor”. After she and Rybak first met during the latter mentioned program, she was invited to participate on his Christmas his tour in 2010 and later his recent album.
– We had never met before he heard me perform in “X-factor”. That is, I got his autograph after I had warmed up for him, home in Saprsborg when I was 15 years old. At that time he only wrote “AR”. Now, in retrospect, I have therefore given it back to him and asked him to do it better, she chuckles.
She has sung in choirs and played the piano since she was little. Dancer, and singer in a black metal band also belongs to the empirical data. By day, she goes in the third grade at St. Olaf High School in Sarpsborg, while taking time to work in the studio with her recording debut.