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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

How 'Who the Hell is Edgar?' was born

Credit: derStandard

The duo of Teya and Salena from Austria have taken the Eurovision world by storm with their entry 'Who the Hell is Edgar?'

The song has been praised for its catchy hooks, slick video and biting commentary of today's music industry.

But how did this even come together?

The pair knew each other from a show in Austria called 'Starmania' and their reunion 18 months later spawned what we have today.

In an interview with Aussievision, they told us their work together at a songwriting camp gave birth to the song.

"We were always talking about Eurovision, that's what connected us a lot, and after one-and-a-half years, we started to write a song in a songwriting camp for me, for Eurovision, and the same day, we started writing 'Edgar' as well," Salena said.

But exactly how did this songwriting camp work and what was the spark?

Teya explains: "So, every camp has an A & R, which name drops in our song, and they invite artists, songwriters and producers.... the camps go for about three days, and every morning you get a briefing and get put into a group together, it's mostly like three people, so like a songwriter, a producer and an artist.

So Salena was the artist, I was the songwriter, our producer Ronnie was producing. We originally wrote for just Salena, as she was one of the artists talked about going to Eurovision this year for Austria.

We had a great day of writing and then, because it was so much fun, and we had an hour left before the listening session, which is where all the participants of the camp get together, have dinner and listen to the songs from that day, we thought, 'well let's keep going and write something that is very authentic to us and is just fun' basically."

Salena adds that they wrote 'Edgar', not necessarily as a joke "but to make people laugh during the listening session in the evening, but turned out that our manager said we had to send it to Eurovision."

An original expletive version?

And is there any truth to the rumours that the original was full of swear words?

"'Who the hell is Edgar?' was 'Who the fuck is Edgar?' because Ronnie, our producer, he asked 'Who the fuck is Edgar?' and we were like 'Oh we're going to put that in the song!"

"And we had I think [instead of] 'he can't resist' in the first verse, with 'he's writing like a bitch'"

So yes, there was a f*cking expletive version, but alas, the duo told us it won't be appearing on Spotify anytime soon.

And why Edgar Allan Poe?

Salena tells us: "Well Teya just improvised the first lines...'There's a ghost in my body and he is a lyricist' it is da-da-da-da-da... oh 'Edgar Allan Poe' and I was like 'Why Edgar??'.... we can't really explain, we think it's because the syllables matched."

Teya jumps in and says:

"I can't really explain, how and why it happened, but it plays into the conversation we had with Elsie Bay the night before, which is when you write a really good song, it feels like it flows through you, from the back of your head through to your hands from somewhere above, and it doesn't feel like your work. That as the initial ignitor.... let's write something about a ghost writer."

So there you have it, a conversation with Norwegian singer Elsie Bay about the out-of-body experience of writing good music, combined with the desire to make a songwriting camp laugh, and the connection between two friends, oh and also the right amount of syllables, plus the fact their producer didn't know who Edgar was, led to this masterpiece!


Watch our full interview with them where we discuss even more about their entry, including THAT leak.

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