Introduce yourself and tell us how you ended up representing Norway in Eurovision this year!
My name is Tooji Keshtkar, I’m 24 years old, living and working in Oslo, Norway. I’ve been working with music and songwriting for several years now, and it was actually my manager who suggested that I enter the Norwegian Eurovision Contest 2012. I wrote the song “Stay” in collaboration with the swedish producers Peter Bostrøm and Figge Bostrøm, and was voted the winner of the Norwegian Eurovision contest.
Are you looking forward to going to Baku and what can we expect from your stage show?
I’m very excited about going to Baku! Two words to describe my stage performance: “Explosive Joy” 😉
Norway made a shock early exit from the contest last year in the semi-final, how do you plan to change that this year?
My only plan is to give it my all with love and joy, and hope for the very best.
Which of this year’s other entries do you rate?
My main rival is also the one I love the most, Loreen.
Which is your favourite entry from your home country?
Silya. I loved her song Euphoria and her performance and her personality.
There’s a lot of ballads this year; do you think from that point of view Stay will stand out from the pack?
I think definitely that Stay does stand out with its explosiveness and rockin’ beat.
Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke, an attitude which a lot of us are trying to change. How is it regarded in Norway?
I think that for many years the views and opinions of Eurovision in Norway was very split between “a joke” and “entertainment”. Generally the Norwegians really do make a big deal of Eurovision. Hopefully with the fresh, new and catchy entries we had this year we managed to raise the bar. The voting in Norway was through the roof which is a great achievement and just reflects how many viewers we had.
Why do you think so many people still love it so much even after all this time? I think the concept of “unknowns” is appealing to the majority of our voters. Someone like me, who has little or no experience, but a lot of talent is able to expose themselves and experience something so big. Also the process of the competition, where voters are brought along the entire journey helps them relate to the performers.
Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it, and our somewhat older representative? Any chance of some points? (please…..:))
The UK entry “Love will set you free” is a beautiful song, and I have nothing but respect for Mr Engelbert Humperdinck who has a mature and beautiful voice. My ratings I’d prefer to keep to myself for now 😉
And finally, tell me why Norway should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2013 and which city would you choose to host it? Norway is a beautiful country with a lot of amazing culture. I would love to host Eurovision 2013 in Oslo.