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Alessandra, Queen of Kings of Norway

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  • Written by Mark Savage
  • BBC Music Correspondent

Every day this week we interview one of our favorite artists from the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

Today, 20-year-old Alessandra Melly of Norway will be the first rider to climb the stage in Tuesday’s first semi-final.

She’ll perform “Queen of Kings,” a mega-empowerment anthem that fuses Lady Gaga’s ballad with Norse mythology.

It culminated with the singer rocking a Mariah Carey “whistle note” style, while donning an outfit inspired by Queen Elizabeth I.

We spoke to him the day after his first onstage experience in Liverpool.

Oh Alessandra! You just posted a TikTok of yourself watching repeats while laughing at a whole bunch of crackers. Was it a good cookie?

They were very good. I had to write a note for the hotel. I said, “Please don’t leave any more cookies because I’m eating them all!” »

Surely you have calories? I did this routine three times in one day!

It’s a lot, that’s right. I was trying to eat healthy and nourish my body. The frying is very heavy, not good if you have to dance and focus on something important like Eurovision. And I really love sugars.

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You were born in Italy but live in Norway, when did you move?

Just two years ago. My mother is Norwegian and my father is Italian. And I moved to Norway because I missed my family so much. My grandparents are my best friends and they won’t live forever, unfortunately, so I want to be as close to them as possible.

What did your grandparents think of Eurovision?

My grandfather becomes very emotional. He always writes to me saying he imagines me singing on a big stage, so he likes what I do. He also loves music. He is part of the 82-year-old choir.

He even had them sing Queen of Kings – a choral version of Queen of Kings. I will request a video for that!

Did you sing at family gatherings when you were young?

I’ll tell you a funny story. I always did it, as always, and then I was shocked that as soon as I sang, without doing it on purpose, I farted!

In front of everyone. It was very embarrassing. I went running and started crying in my room, then my mom came laughing while I was crying. And it was a shock, so I didn’t sing for the family for a few years after that.

Well, the good news is that if it happened in Liverpool, the mic wouldn’t pick it up.

You won’t hear it, will you!

Photo caption

The singer was a contestant on The Voice Norway last year

One of the reasons you went to Norway was to study music, right?

absolutely yes. I wanted to study music theory, because I’m a songwriter. I learn more about production and music. So it’s a year of our lives, all students go to LIMPI (Lillehammer Music Production and Processing Institute) in Norway to write music every day.

Did you write Queen of Kings in school?

No, because I was on The Voice Norway, and they asked me to be part of the songwriting camp for the MGP (Melodi Grand Prix, Norway’s national selection process for Eurovision). I thought, why not? It looks very interesting. And who would have thought that he would lead me to Eurovision?

Tell me about that session you invented the song?

I remember the producer composing a melody on the piano and I had this image in my head of a goddess running in the dark through the woods, through the trees in a winter storm. She’s a strong woman, who came out of a bad time, and gets that kind of energy from the song.

Your vocal range is amazing. Your natural range is pretty deep but you hit that amazing high E note towards the end.

I didn’t even know I could do this before a session! It was so weird because I was walking around singing like that [breaks into song] And other writers were like, “Can you whistle?” “We have to use it!”

you know what? This note was so loud that Zoom filtered it out, because they thought it was background noise!

This is madness! Can you hear me if I do it again? [She sings the high note two or three times].

No, he cuts it off. You are too high for the zoom function!

It’s very interesting, isn’t it?

How about hitting that note at night?

I’ve always sung the note without a problem. If you practice it, you will get it 99%.

image sources, Getty Images

Photo caption

The singer performed at the Eurovision concerts before the contest

You’re at the start of your first semi-final, it should be exciting.

so interesting. I can not wait. It would be nice to relax after doing this and watch the other parts do their job.

You have a new Liverpool uniform, right?

Yes, it is more proprietary. My style is inspired by Elizabeth I, from the 16th century, but of course more modern. So we have the corset and the lines that give me the warrior energy.

Do you adopt this character when performing the song?

certainly. I have to have that confidence because I’m singing such a powerful song. Even if I feel sad during the day, I have to play a game.

How was the experience of meeting all the other contestants?

Very pleasant. I’m very friendly and love talking to people, so I think I’ve become friends with almost everyone!

Is this likely to get you in trouble?

Well, one of my biggest favourites [Swedish contestant and former winner] Lauren. I think she deserves it because she is so good at what she does. She is a role model, so I am honored to be part of Eurovision with her. Makes the experience more “wow”.

I just answered a different question than you asked… I meant what other chores are most likely to get you into trouble on a night out?

evening !! Oh, that’s fun. that’s fun.

These Irish boys sound like bad news.

Yes this! As I said! Yes! certainly!

image sources, Sarah Louise Bennett/EBU

photo caption

Alessandra Meili grew up in Italy and moved to Norway two years ago

I teased another song on TikTok called Pretty Devil. What can you say about this?

It is a song that we plan to release after Eurovision. So this would be a lot of fun because, of course, the Queen of Kings was written for the pageant – and I think Pretty Devil is a good bridge to learning another part of being an artist. Because I have a pop/rock side, I have an EDM side. I have a Spanish side. I have a singing side.

She also made an Italian version of Queen of Kings.

I don’t want to tempt fate, but when people win Eurovision, they often perform a multilingual version of the song to close the show.

Oh, we have to. What can you say then? I would say maybe French and Spanish…

Perhaps the Ukrainian too, because this year it was supposed to be their competition.

It would be nice to do that. I’ll ask Tvorchi to teach me!

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