Swedish songwriter Thomas G’s Eurovision legacy: sound
Swede Thomas Gustafsson is one of Eurovision’s most prolific songwriters, but fans will know him best as Thomas G: son.
Coming from Skövde, nearly 350 km southwest of Stockholm, Thomas, 53, still lives in the town where he grew up with his wife Maria and two of his three children.
After spending his teenage years helping his estate agent father with local weekend auctions, Thomas began his music career in the late 1980s as a guitarist in the hard rock band ‘Masquerade’. The group enjoyed moderate success, toured Japan and released four albums before going their separate ways.
Thomas switched to a warehouse job and started writing songs in his spare time. Her brother built a studio extension on the family home and the rest is history!
First forays into Eurovision
Thomas has been a full-time songwriter since 1998 and began his Eurovision legacy soon after.
He wrote his first song on the Swedish national selection program Eurovision Song Contest ‘Melodifestivalen’ in 1999, ‘Natten är min vän ‘by Cleo Nilsson.
He finished in 8th place, but he would only wait two more years before claiming the Melfest crown.
Friends’ “Lyssna till ditt hjärta” (“Listen to your heartbeat”) won the title and finished 5th at Eurovision Song Contest in 2001.
Not a bad start!
He then started writing songs for other nations as well, he had songs in the Finnish National Team (UMK) in 2002 and then in Denmark (Dansk Melodi Grand Prix) in 2003.
But it was again Sweden that saw their second Eurovision Song Contest, Carola’s ‘Invincible’ which earned them another Top 5 in 4th place.
Success of Eurovision
After countless songs in the late 2000s, he struggled to make an impact with just two national final entries making Eurovision Song Contest – “Ven a bailar conmigo” for Norway who finished 18th in the semi-finals and “I Love You Mi Vida” for Spain who finished 20th in the Grand Final.
In 2010, he won gold again with ‘In A Moment Like This’ performed by Chanée & N’evergreen for Denmark. He finished in 4th place for Oslo giving Thomas his third Top 5 entry.
But … it was his 30th song Melodifestivalen that created something very special.
A short track titled ‘Euphoria’ by Loreen won the Swedish selection and won the Eurovision crown. It is considered a song that changed the contest and has remained a fan favorite every year since.
Thomas was obviously happy to say,
“It’s absolutely one of the greatest moments. It was a long journey to get there, but it was a truly memorable thing.”
He also finished in the Top 10 of the same year with another classic, ‘Qupdate contact‘by Pastora Soler for Spain.
After the “Euphoria” years
It didn’t stop after Loreen of course, Thomas G: his was going to have eight more Eurovision entries which included many well-known songs:
2013: ‘Cascade’ – Sopho Gelovania Nodiko Tatishvili (Georgia) – 15th
2015: ‘Amanecer’ – Edurne (Spain) – 21st
2015: ‘Warrior’ – Nina Sublatti (Sweden) – 11th
2016: ‘Alter Ego’ – Minus One (Cyprus) – 21st
2016: ‘Midnight Gold’ – Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Loliaz – 20th
2017: ‘Gravity’ – Hovig (Cyprus) – 21st
2018: ‘Taboo’ – Christabelle (Malta) – NQ (13th in the semi-final)
2020: ‘Mon alliee’ (‘The Best in Me’) – Tom Leeb (France) – Competition canceled
It’s an amazing record and it has included many different artists, nations and styles.
In an interview with Scandinavian Traveler magazine in 2016, Thomas said he writes an average of about one song per week, but doesn’t give too much thought to how the creative process works.
He has written songs in many different genres such as dance groups, rock and powerful ballads, but at this point no hip hop – yet! The most important thing is that he likes the song himself… otherwise he knows it won’t be good.
He also wrote two junior Eurovision Song Contest entries for Sweden during their time in the competition.
Thomas’ career has not been without controversy. In 2001 he and his co-writer Henrik Sethsson were accused of plagiarism when comparisons were made between “Listen to Your Heartbeat” and the 1996 Belgian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest “Liefde is een kaartspel” by Lisa del Bo . The charges were denied, but a cash settlement was reached when the Belgian songwriters filed a lawsuit.
Thomas doesn’t intend to stop saying Eurovision.tv in 2017
“My goal is to write songs that I love and have a good time. This is my main goal so that this process does not become boring. I’ll always write songs if I think it’s fun.
In fact, he had two other Melodifestivalen appearances this year, ‘Tänker inte alls gå hem’ by Arvingarna and ‘Still Young’ by Charlotte Perrelli.
This year’s songs at Melfest were his 61st and 62nd in the competition and he wrote 40 for other nations and their national selections. 15 of these songs were featured in Eurovision Song Contest and two more won the OGAE Second Chance Contest (“Kingdom Come” for Anna Bergendahl and “A Million Years” by Mariette).
An impressive record which does not seem to end anytime soon.
Thomas G: his is truly an incredible Swedish Eurovision legend.