Sweden is a heavy-hitter at Eurovision, and with Cornelia Jakobs’ song “Hold Me Closer”, she proves that she could continue the legacy from one of Eurovision’s most successful countries.
As one of the fan-favorites for this year’s contest, Cornelia’s honored by the positive reception and winning the OGAE poll, an annual survey over multiple eurovision fanclubs. “While I understand that I should feel pressure about it, but I don’t, which I’m very happy about because I hate feeling pressure,” she said. “I was pretty much unknown, even in Sweden, before this.”
Influenced by a mix of 1990s pop, Sting, the Cardigans, and even jazz music, Cornelia has found herself amongst television shows and groups, including Love Generation. It’s a special experience, because “we don’t have much security in the system”, she said, but ultimately advises, “It’s very important to be in this industry for the love of music, or else you will tear yourself apart.”
Hence, which makes her Melodifestvalen victory for “Hold Me Closer”, inspired by an on-and-off relationship which was “really passionate, but really toxic”, all the sweeter.
“My goal was to be able to be myself and do what I want to do as an artist,” she stated about how she felt about winning the national final. “These past five years I have been a solo artist, I’ve been writing and working on my artistry. My goal was to stay close to myself and show what I can do.”
And it shines the most on stage, with a simple, yet intimate performance. Despite describing the stage “huge and beautiful”, Cornelia and her team had to adjust it a bit. “I chose to be on the satellite stage in Sweden; I like the feeling of being on a little island in the middle of an ocean of people,” she said. Because of how vast the PalaOlympic Stage is, she had to think differently and work more on facing the camera.
However, two details remain constant–one is going barefoot, which is “because it’s so much easier to balance–when you have your toes and your feet on the ground, it’s a lot easier to find balance.” Another is her overall aesthetic, which is in collaboration with Celia Kop and her mother, the latter who is a fashion designer!
Cornelia Jakobs will sing in the second semi-final on 12 May.