The moment the 2023 winner of the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest – also known as Melodifestivalen — was announced, fans knew that history had been made.
With her 2012 winning song Euphoria racking up the most douze points an entry had ever been awarded at the time, many of the contest's fans — as well as the wider world — still hold it in incredibly high regard.
Speaking at the London Eurovision Party in April, Loreen still recognises the effect it has had on her life.
“With Euphoria, it just hit me. There was a gut feeling — and it is always telling you the truth. The mind comes in and says “Maybe you shouldn't…” and when you follow your gut, you're afraid sometimes. But it changed my life in many ways. I got to meet people, went around performing… I mean, where do I start?”
Coming back to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest hasn't been a straightforward path. With her 2017 Melodifestivalen entry Statements not surviving the qualifying stages, it's taken a further five years for Loreen to perform on this hallowed European stage.
Though she's a fan-favourite to win — and obviously recognised as a fierce contender — she explains that the pressure on her shoulders isn't coming from the outside.
“My pressure is not [external] — my pressure is more in the performance. I'm a purpose-driven person, and I need to understand why I do things. The performance [of this year's entry Tattoo] is about us. If we look at the world and how it seems to be, there is a lot of negativity. But one thing that we need to understand is that the medicine for negativity is creativity. That's how you start to build up positive energy.”
“This Eurovision community is so important to me. It grows and gets bigger — and it's so much bigger than it was in 2012. I see myself as a server of creativity, and to me, [competing in Eurovision] was an opportunity to create something that hopefully makes people feel all of these positive sensations. Spark some more creativity. When you're at that place, it's really hard to be negative.”
Regardless of if she wins or not, Loreen is sure to ride the waves of international success once again. But does she have anything already up her sleeve?
“No, I don't have any plans whatsoever. I'm just going with the flow.”
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 begins on 9th May.