Cornelia Jakobs Online

Translated interview with QX

“I’m still on cloud nine, and scared that somebody will wake me up,” Mello winner Cornelia Jacobs said two weeks after she won. Now, The ESC week has finally begun.

Nearly two months have passed since Cornelia Jakobs raised the songbird in Friends Arena after winning Melodifestivalen 2022. The song has topped Spotify, Sverigetoppen and Svensktoppen, and is clearly third in the odds before the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin. “Hold Me Closer” is also historic as it’s the first Mello winner to have two women on the work (plus David Zandén): Cornelia, and best friend Isa Molin (whose father Bobby Ljunggren has co-written five winners: “Se på mig”, “Kärleken är”, “Evighet”, “Hero” och “This is My Life”).

Cornelia Jakobs being the winner of Melodifestivalen 2022 could hardly be predicted from the odds before the competition started: “Hold Me Closer” gave 57 times as much money in January! Before the final, the newly 30 year-old had enchanted Sweden during the first semi-final in the Globe (Avicii Arena) on February 5th. Being the big favorite, however, failed to intimidate her.

– Throughout this trip, I didn’t try to think so much about the competition aspect. For me, it was about enjoying the journey, and performing the song as well as possible. I wanted to be in my bubble and focus on my performance, otherwise I would have been stressed and nervous. So my right hand Celia was taking care of my phone all the time, so I didn’t read anything, says Cornelia from a taxi seat when we finally manage to sync time into her hectic schedule to talk.

“Hold Me Closer” was written after, and about, Cornelia’s latest breakup with her ex-boyfriend. Cornelia, Isa Molin, with whom she has been best friends for seventeen years, and David Zandén, with whom she worked with three years ago, were seen in a studio and immediately clicked. But Sweden’s 62nd Mello winner sounded different in the beginning.

– Yes, “Hold Me Closer” was another song after the first day. The chords were the same, but the melody was different. We were really happy, but the next day we felt we wanted to redo the chorus. And when we did that, we felt that it didn’t fit with the bridge and the verse, so then we redid them as well. So yes, it became a brand new song.

The trio’s collaboration has continued and there are about ten songs ready for an upcoming album.

– It’s so fun to write with Isa and David because no one gives up until it’s really good. We are all perfectionists and detail freaks.

Is Hold Me Closer your typical sound?

– I have quite a few colors on my sound palette, and this song contains many of them. During my fatigue depression, I couldn’t stand too hectic songs. However, I was able to regain my craving for stronger energy I had before I got depressed. I love rock ‘n’ roll and come from that school (Cornelia’s father is, as you know, The Poodles singer Jakob Samuel). But above all I love dynamics and the contrasts between high and low, strong and weak. So it will still retain the calmer, cinematic feel.

Cornelia says that after the time with fatigue depression, she learned how she works and has now begun to be able to take in and enjoy situations.

– During Melodifestivalen, I have had such a good team around me, and now not having to do everything myself has helped me a lot in my process to feel good. I have never been able to concentrate on just being an artist before, as I have released music independently and done everything myself all these years. So one of my most meaningful goals with participation was just that, to be able to enjoy doing what I love, without a lot of stress and anxiety. And my calling in life is to play live, and after the pandemic I dared to throw myself out and do the Melodifestivalen to reach out and be able to play live.

– I’m still on cloud nine, and scared that somebody will wake me up (laughs).

The winning number with green and red lights, a spinning big dot and a barefoot Cornelia captured the viewers and is loved by Eurovision fans, but that will change in Turin.

– I get so badly forced as their stage looks completely different, and the audience is placed in a different way. I will do everything I can to preserve the essence, the core and the feeling of the number.

Cornelia chose the color scheme of the song when she got the idea of ​​what it would look like in Melodifestivalen. It started out green, then turned red towards the end.

– The song doesn’t describe a dramatic breakup, rather the abandonment and the heavier, calmer grief when you have accepted the fact that you need to move different ways. That you have to let go. The song begins with a green, calm, serene emotion, which gradually builds into a frustrated, energetic grief, before switching to red, which represents one last desperate attempt to get the other person to repent and stay.

– I also knew that I wanted to be on the small stage, on a small island in the middle of the audience, because I had missed playing live. And I wanted to create something that was seen from all directions and then it was practical for the dot to be spinning. When I sing “So baby bye bye, I wish you the best”, I symbolically turn the “dot” half way to “leave something” and move on. While I sat and stood in the living room, I listened what the body spontaneously felt to do in and around each part, then I decided how to sit, stand, and walk according to how it felt in my body.

It was a thrilling voting in Friends, but Cornelia won the hearts of the international jury groups and was clearly the people’s second choice after Anders Bagge. And now she’s the whole of Sweden’s Eurovision hope, ten years after we sent a Euphoric solo girl who took home the whole competition.

My lesbian friends love you and your appearance. It’s like Loreen’s admiration. Have you noticed that you have a lot of lesbian fans?

–Oh that’s fun! So, I haven’t had large crowds of fans before (laughs). So it feels hella fun to hear! Greet them so much from me!

Cornelia Jakobs actually has a past as a lesbian party DJ.

– Lol. Yes, the party fixers Gunn (Lundemo) and Katja (Gustafsson) and I, Martina and Melanie (from the groups Love Generation/Stockholm Syndrome) had a deal: If we played at their parties, they taught us to DJ. In addition, my first gig was under the name Cornelia Jakobs, during the Stockholm Pride festival.

– It was really fun. I love Pride and what it stands for, and I’m glad we live in a country where we have come far than in many other countries. However, we still have a way to go.

So, how straight is Cornelia Jakobs?

– Time will tell…

Let’s jump back to when you competed in Melodifestivalen with Love Generation. In 2011 you made it to Andra Chansen with “Dance Alone”, and in 2012 you were eliminated from the competition with “Just a Little”.

– With “Dance Alone”, everything was top notch. We were at the top and so proud of our stage number and the clothes we had created by ourselves. And I still like the song. The second time wasn’t so fun, we didn’t like the song as much and didn’t have as much fun.

Why were there no more RedOne songs?

– I don’t think he had much time for us. He wanted to, and hoped that it would go well for us. We tried to write with others but we never let it go, and in the end it ran out in the sand and we split Love Generation.

After that, Cornelia with band colleagues Charly Q and Melanie Taylor formed the trio Stockholm Syndrome, which released the singles “Pretty Girl” and “Karma”. Pretty soon Melanie dropped out and Charly and Cornelia toured as a DJ duo around the world for about four years. The song “Pretty Girl” was in a big UK-Lóreal campaign with pop star Cheryl Cole who headbang to the song under the direction of director Jonas Åkerlund. They released more songs as a duo and made collaborations with names like John Dahlbäck and Young Squage.

Do you still have contact with the girls?

– Now it was a long time ago. I have had some contact with Melanie in recent years, Martina (Charly Q) lives abroad now and our contact has run a bit in the sand, and Mikaela I have only seen a couple of times.

Looking ahead: Have you heard of any of your competitors in Turin?

– Yes, a few, because I heard them before the final when a journalist played clips for us finalists and we got to rate them. But I haven’t really dug into it, and probably postponed a bit subconsciously because I know that I will start thinking about the competition then and I would like to live in the profit-joy bubble for a while longer (laughs). But what I heard was variation in terms of genre and that’s what’s fun about Eurovision, it’s impossible to predict how it will turn out! But I remember I liked the Spanish girl (Chanel with “Slo-Mo”), she was so cool. Norway’s song was incredible (Subwoolfer‘s “Give That Wolf a Banana”, and Switzerland (Marius Bears‘ “Boys Do Cry”) had a very nice song.

And lastly, what is your all-time Eurovision favorite?

– You obviously love “Euphoria”, so it’s no surprise. I liked Ukraine’s song “1944” which won in 2016. It was absolutely amazing! And then I have to say Lordi, I appreciated them as hell for some obscure reason. I thought they were refreshing I think. (laughs)

Article by Ronny Larsson/QX
Translated by Cornelia Jakobs Online
Photo by Peter Knutsson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *