Måns Zelmerlöw kicked off his European Tour in Amsterdam on 19 April 2017, all in promotion of his new album “Chameleon”. His second date of the tour was yesterday (20 April 2017) at the O2 Academy Islington, London, UK. CelebMix was invited along to interview him before the show as well as attend the gig. Don’t forget to check out our Gig Review of the show.
He’s the guy who won Eurovision 2015 with his song “Heroes”, he then went on to present the show alongside Petra Mede, the following year. His career has been long and successful. He was a contestant on the second season of Swedish Idol, coming fifth. He went on to win the first season of Let’s Dance in 2006. The following year he competed at Melodifestivalen 2007 coming third overall with his song “Cara Mia”, which later charted at number one on the Swedish Chart Sverigetopplistan. He went on to release a total of seven studio albums, his latest of which was released at the end of last year, and contained singles “Fire In The Rain”, “Hanging On To Nothing“, and “Glorious“.
Arriving at the venue in the middle of the afternoon, Måns Zelmerlöw invited us onto his tour bus as his guys unpacked and prepared the stage.
Sitting across from us, Måns Zelmerlöw chatted about his European Tour, his new album Chameleon, Eurovision as a whole and what he makes of the 2017 representatives, as well as what he hopes the future will bring. He also confirmed that he has been living in the UK for the past three months, and he now calls it home.
Let’s start with last night, how was it kicking off your European Tour in Amsterdam?
It was amazing. I had so much fun and the audience seemed to have a lot of fun as well. Many of the songs were like… I didn’t know what people would think of them because it is quite a new album [Chameleon], and I didn’t know how much they’ve heard; but, it seemed that they loved it all, which felt great. So, I’m really excited about [this London gig], playing on my home turf, in a way – I have lived here now for three months; and, having my girlfriend here over and all her friends, many of my Swedish friends are coming over. It’s going to be a blast.
Are you going to do anything different, at this concert, then what you did in Amsterdam?
Probably not, no. We discussed it yesterday, and like, what to change? But the feeling was that it went really, really well; really good. So I’m doubting we’ll change anything.
France is your next stop on your European Tour on 23 April. Will you be staying here for a few days, or are you going straight to France?
I’m actually stopping here. I’m going out to Knebworth, [today (21 April)], actually. To do some scouting (laughs) no. I doubt that I’ll be able to pull 125,000 people; yet (more laughs). But I have two days off here and then we’re going on the French tour, and then to Switzerland and Poland.
With this European tour, how excited have you been?
I’ve been so excited; I’ve been longing for this ever since the last European tour, a year and a half ago. And, I’m just, like, I’m so so proud and so grateful for being able to do another European tour because I know that as a Eurovision winner, it’s always like you have that song and then most of us are forgotten quite quickly. But, I’ve been able to build on that and try to like, get out of it, outside of the Eurovision bubbles, as well.
Okay, let’s talk about your new album Chameleon, where did the inspiration for the name come from?
It actually comes from me being somewhat of a chameleon. Like, not choosing a straight path, like blending into different environments; different professions, in a way. I’ve been trying to develop in many different areas, like hosting, artistry, songwriting, and many different things on the side as well. So, yeah, that’s probably where I got it from.
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IT'S OUT!!! I am so proud of this album. Written in Bath, Copenhagen and South Africa together with amazing song writers. A HUGE thank you to everyone who's been involved and most of all thank you to all #månsters out there for your incredible support! Hope you like #mzchameleon and tell me your favourites NOW! Artwork @ciarajanson
What about the tracks on your album, what’s your favourites? Any special ones?
I would say that the most special one, for me, is “Wrong Decision”; which is probably the most personal song I’ve ever written and I really feel it every time I sing it. So it’s that one, and it’s… What else is there…? “Happyland”, yes! “Happyland”. I love “Happyland”; and, especially, live. I think it’s so heavy and it’s just really, really cool.
We love “Happyland” too! What’s next, single-wise, or will there not be any more from this album?
Well, I believe “Hanging On To Nothing” has been released here now, right? [It was released in August at the same time as the rest of Europe; however, it will, apparently, be re-released in the UK sometime soon]. I don’t know then. Britain is like in a world of its own, in a way; because, like, in the rest of Europe, I kind of know what singles to release. But I am hoping that “Wrong Decision” will be released here at least, and “Beautiful Lie”, I think is quite a good song for Britain as well. So, we’ll see what the record label says and what the PR people say and everything.
What about your music videos, what one has been your favourite to date?
My music videos, hmm… I still think that “Should’ve Gone Home” was the best one I’ve done. Especially because it was quite a challenge for me learning the entire song backwards; which gave really cool effects in the end. I’m really, really proud of that one. Also, I think the “Glorious” video is glorious in many ways, it’s very big, and it’s very anthemic. So, we’ll see if I get to do more. I know that there is one coming up for “Hanging On To Nothing“, actually, as it is being released in France – in French. But, I am hoping I get to do one for “Wrong Decision” as well.
Let’s talk about Eurovision, which one is your favourite this year? [Eurovision 2017]
I haven’t heard all of the songs, yet. I went down to France, to do a duet with Alma [who will be singing “Requiem“], the other week, and I think that’s a great song, I actually like it better in French all the way, than the Eurovision version, where the chorus is in English. Then I’ve heard that the Italian guy is the favourite [Francesco Gabbani with “Occidentali’s Karma“]; I’m not sure that I get that, yet; but, I might when I come down to Kyiv [Ukraine, where Eurovision 2017 is being held]. I think that Iceland has a good chance [Svala with “Paper“]. I was there for their [national] selection process, and she really stood out to me; and if she can do that performance, even bigger and cooler and more dynamic, then I think she has a shot. Yeah, those are probably my favourites, for now.
What was it like to win Eurovision in 2015?
It was one of the best nights of my life, obviously. And, I still have Eurovision to thank for so much, like everything that happened after that – there was a lot, like, I spent a year on tour, I think; and, in Sweden, there was like 25,000-30,000 people everywhere. I got to do a European tour and, yeah, a lot of dreams came true on that night.
What was it like to present Eurovision, the following year?
That was, also, fun; in a very different way. I had so much fun doing it with [Petra Mede] and I’m really proud of the level – much thanks to [Edward af Sillén] actually, who wrote the script – the level of humour we got in there because, usually, it’s quite difficult to make fun of Eurovision because you can’t make fun of Eurovision without having love for the contest, which both Petra and me do. So, I think we found a good level of that.
What advice would you give to the next Eurovision winner?
I would say, have an album ready, first of all; so that you can actually go out on tour with more than one song. And, also, appreciate that, but I think that it’s really important to show your audience that you are more than that song, that you’re more than just those three minutes on that stage. Work your ass off afterwards.
What’s next, after this tour and this album?
I have some movie plans, actually. I am going to try acting, as well; which has always been a dream for me. And then, I’m going to start writing the new album; try to, like, establish myself more in Europe. And then we’ll see.
What are your thoughts on Melodifestivalen? And people who return again and again, as you yourself competed a few times.
As you know, Melodifestivalen is so big in Sweden. It is bigger the Eurovision for the Swedes; so, like, just participating there, has an impact on the charts, you will get your song up there, you will be able to tour with it. So, I think, Melodifestivalen, for many artists is just a way to like, keeping yourself up there and keeping yourself in the loop.
Would you participate again? Loreen returned this year. [She won Eurovision for Sweden in 2012].
She returned, that went so and so. Though I thought that she had a great performance; it was probably the coolest performance I’ve seen on a Eurovision/Melodifestivalen stage. So, yeah, of course, I probably will, at some point. I love the contest too much to say never. But, I think, it’s going to take a while, though.
Thank you so much, Måns Zelmerlöw, for taking some time out to be interviewed by CelebMix. You were phenomenal at the O2 Academy Institute, London, and we hope the rest of your European tour goes smoothly and effortlessly. We have no doubt you’ll fully bring it and rock the stage, just like you did last night.