Cornelia Jakobs Online

Translated Interview with HBL

Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs is one of the pre-favorites ahead of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, a competition that will be inevitably colored by the war in Ukraine. – The war does not end because I ignore my job, says Jakobs.

In this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine is, unsurprisingly, the pre-favorite for the victory. But the betting agencies also have low odds for last year’s winner Italy which is second, and Sweden’s contribution which has the third lowest odds right now. Melodifestivalen winner Cornelia Jakobs recently visited Finland on a publicity tour that also includes London, Amsterdam and Madrid ahead of Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy in May.

This is her first time in Finland, she has only been to Åland before, but she hopes to perform at festivals this summer.

– My dear friend and drummer Joakim Lövmark is from Vaasa. He is my connection to Finland. We met when we were studying rock music at a folk high school nine years ago, says Cornelia Jakobs sitting on a sofa at the record company Warner Music‘s office in Kampen, Helsinki.

She has not listened to the competitors yet, but knows that it’s The Rasmus who represents Finland.

– I know that The Rasmus has a rock’n’roll song and that he is half naked.

She believes that the war can affect the competition quite a lot this year and make people vote more emotionally than before. But also says that culture means extra in difficult times.

– It is a very special time right now and as an artist it is difficult to balance the bowls. In one hand, you are overwhelmed by what is happening and feel helpless. In the other hand, I’m experiencing my most important time as an artist right now, and the war does not end because I don’t enjoy it and ignore my job.

Her own choreographer
Cornelia Jakobs has been involved in writing her song Hold me closer herself, which she doesn’t see as a ballad even though it has been called that.

– I think it has a fairly high energy level.

The scene number where she barefoot wearing a top with long silver lashes, moves around a white screen that can be spun on, she has designed herself. She sat at home on the living room floor for a long time, thinking about how she wanted to visualize the song.

– I tried to feel with my body how I spontaneously wanted to move. I felt strongly that the energy of the song is green at the beginning, then it accelerates to the red at the end, with more frustration and higher energy.

In addition, she wanted the number with its slow camera work to feel like a single shot filmed with a handheld camera. Performing on the small satellite stage in the audience was also important to her.

– I am mainly a live artist and to get an energy exchange with the audience, I wanted to be on the island out in the audience. It’s also nice to have a smaller space and not just float out on a giant stage where the energy easily seeps away.

Of cultural lineage
Cornelia Jakobs grew up in a cultural family on Djurö in the Stockholm archipelago. Her grandfather was the priest and author Bengt Samuelsson, her grandmother the conductor and composer Kerstin Nerbe and her father is Jakob Samuel, former singer in the rock band The Poodles.

– It’s hard to know if I have become an artist without the natural entrance, but I think I found it anyway because it is so heavenly strong in me. I’ve always had a staircase down to Dad’s studio where I could rattle songs, and I started performing at his gig when I was very young. Surely this has given me a bit of a head start.

What advice did you get as an artist from your dad?
– He is quite simple in his advice: “don’t think, just drive, you know that”. He trusts me to make it.

Cornelia Jakobs’ artist career took an early turn when she applied for Idol in 2008 without moving on in the competion.

– It was a lot of work, of course, and I wasn’t happy with my performance. Still, I had no plan B, but rather thought that this was a shame and crazy, but that I only had to work uphill for a while. I was a little girl who would start in music high school but I didn’t feel so small then, you’re never as big as when you’re sixteen.

In Melodifestivalen, she has competed as an artist twice before, in 2011 and 2012, as a member of the group Love Generation without reaching the final. Last year, she competed as a songwriter with a song that went to Second Chance.

As a child, she watched Eurovision and thought Lordi was refreshing when they won in 2006. As a young adult, she wasn’t so interested in the competition for a while, but now she says she has rediscovered it.

– It’s a fantastic happening. It’s so awesome that we’ve created something that brings us together in such a nice way.

Translation by:
Photo: Malin Slotte

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