Jonas Hedqvist, in Skandinavien bekannt durch seine vielen Auftritte auf den Pride-Festivals des Landes und als – vielleicht sogar ein wenig mehr – „Mr. Gay Sweden“ im Jahr 2000. Für den aktuellen Pride von Kopenhagen und Malmö hat Jonas Hedqivst den offiziellen Song zum Festival eingesungen. „Survivors“ heißt der Titel und geschrieben wurde er von Ylva & Linda Persson, die schon für den österreichischen Vorentscheidsbeitrag „Stay Tonight“ von Laura Kamhuber veranwortlich waren. Für Schwedenschlager.de hat Jonas unsere 6 Fragen beantwortet. Wir haben das Interview im Original auf englisch veröffentlicht. Viel Spaß beim Lesen.
Schwedenschlager: How did the collaboration with Ylva & Linda and your new single „Survivors“ happen?
Jonas Hedqvist: We were actually talking about other projects when I told them a little about that i wanted to start working on something new, since I felt unurge to come back to the stage again after a few years where music wasn’t allowed to be a priority in my life. I told them a little about my story and the day after Linda and Ylva sent the song and it was love at first sight. The song said all the things i needed to speak out loud for both me and others to hear.
Schwedenschlager: The title „Survivors“ is the Pride song 2016 Copenhagen and Malmö. What does the title mean for you personally?
Jonas Hedqvist: It’s actually the first song I’ve recorded in many years that I feel comes straight from my heart. It is so important for me. I just came out of a really rough year with all the miserys torning up at once aswell in economy, health, work and private life and as the crown of it all a really painful separation after 7 years with my partner. There was really dark times during this period of time where I felt I wouldnt be able to carry on. I was litteraly on the bottom of the deepest and darkest place you can imagine. But I looked back on my life and I realised that deep inside I’ve always been a fighter, a survivor! It’s been hard work but I’m back – still healing of course, but climbing towards the light! And I know that there are so many people out there going through life crises, struggeling with their identities, trying to stay invisible for the bullies in school. They inspire me and I want to inspire them back, lift them up and carry them around on this amazing happy and catchy pop pearl. Everybody needs to really start with loving themselves.
Schwedenschlager: In 2000, you became „Mr. Gay Sweden“ and in 2001, you sang the official Pride song. What happened off the Pride scene in the past 15 years?
Jonas Hedqvist: OMG. Is there space to write a novel here? I’ve been so fortunate to be able to keep touring and performing a lot mainly in Sweden, Denmark and the US for many years. Especially I had a few really crazy years in South Beach, Miami where everything was sex, drugs and rock’n’roll and the wildest parties you could imagine. But after a while I felt that there was an other side of me that needed to be explored I always knew since childhood that I’m put on earth to make a difference in peoples lives, to touch and encourage to change. I wanna spread hope and happiness and get people to realize that they can actually be what ever they want to be. Everybody can be a star! Screw you Bulliers!
Schwedenschlager: What are your coming plans? A new single? An album?
Jonas Hedqvist: Right now I’m reahersing my new show with just a week left to premiere, I’ve dusted of some of my old singles and added some new stuff as well as a few covers from Swedish icons like Robyn and Swedish House Mafia. Apart from that I also wrote new lyrics to the French entry in ESC this year that will be a very important part of my show. It’s a big production, 12 dancers, 5 musicians, 2 back singers and a wailing diva. What else could you ask for?
Schwedenschlager: What kind of music do you listen to privately? And what Schlager do you like the most?
Jonas Hedqvist: I listen to everything that makes me happy. I’m a big fan of Sia, of course. And Beyonce is one of the best performers on this earth if you ask me. Since I started out in musical theatre I listen to a lot of Broadway Music and have many favorites there. Scott Alan, that is also my vocal coach, has written and performed lots of New style Broadway songs that I Love and really think everybody should take a listen to. My favorite schlager? I actually love EVIGHET with Carola. She is the Queen of schlager and such a spontanious and funny person, no matter what everybody else says or thinks.
Schwedenschlager: Let’s talk „Eurovision Song Contest“. Ylva & Linda are well known for the fact that they are great Eurovision fans. Perhaps the two you should write a Schlager song for Melodifestivalen?
Jonas Hedqivst: I would love that! I think that they have made such an amazing job with finding the character and power in Survivors and at the same time making it easy to remember and connect to! I’m sure there is a schlager monster waiting there somewhere!
Hier gibt es den offiziellen Pride-Song „Survivors“ für Kopenhagen & Malmö zum Download: