After a convincing victory in the Danish heat of the Eurovision Song Contest, 25 year old Thomas Lægård shot to fame overnight - before that, his name had only been familiar in the relatively restricted world of Danish hip-hop and undergroung music.
He grew up on the Danish mainland, in a tiny village where he wasn't allowed to take part in music lessons at school because he wanted to improvise, rhyme and rap rather than sing in the choir and clap along with his classmates. But whenever he got the chance he performed his own numbers, and just loved when he made people laugh.
He was behind a number of major events at the youth college he attended, and he supplied script material and played at several of the local vaudevilles on the mainland. Hip-hop culture really grabbed him when he saw the film "Beat street" in 1986, and from then on rap became a major part of his life. As well as performing and writing lyrics, Thomas has also lectured on hip-hop culture and taught rhyme and rap at youth colleges around the country.
Thomas Lægård met Lars Pedersen - the composer of his song competition heat winner - in 1989. Since then they have become good friends and collaborators, one result of their work being Thomas' debut album, just released in Denamrk.
Thomas Lægård - or Kølig Kaj, as he prefers to be called - wrote the word for "Stemmen i mit liv" (The Voice In My Life). On the surface the lyrics are about a young man who falls in love with the voice he hears on the phone when he calls directory inquiries - and then spends a fortune ringing again to find that same voice. But behind this image the text is about alienation and loneliness, about dreams that don't shape up when they come true, about people who fail to live up to the face they present, about friends who aren't there the day you pull yourself together to tell them the things you haven't been able to say for so long.
In Dublin the voice in Thomas' life belongs to Christina Juul Hansen, who is on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest as the anonymous telephone voice. 23 year old Christina is studying for her insurance exams, and in her spare time she sings in various groups.
In Dublin Thomas will also be assisted by backing singers Lise Dandanell and Susanne Carstensen, and dancers Mikala Matzau and Marlene Britt Hansen.
Lars Pedersen who is 27 years old is regarded by many the man who brought rap to Denmark. At the end of the 1980s he formed one of Denmark's first rap bands "Rockers by Choice" which had an international hit with his "Engel". After a few years he put together the group Sound of Seduction, wrote its numbers and produced its first CD. The group was a massive hit in Denmark and abroad, particularly in Greece, where "Until I'm satisfied" has only ever been surpassed by Michael Jackson in terms of CD sales.
Jan Glæssel (conductor) has composed and arranged music for
countless events. He has his own studio, where he has composed and produced
music for over 400 commercials. A couple of years ago he released his own solo
album "Whole In One". He has conducted Danish Eurovision Song Contest entries
before - in 1986 in Bergen, where he had to leave Norway a day before the
finals because his son had decided to come into the world that day !
[ Chris Zavos - Hellas ]