Interview: Dotter on Melodifestivalen 2021 Entry ‘Little Tot’, Taking Inspiration From Fans, Her Upcoming Album, and This Being Her Final Time at Melfest

We had the pleasure of taking part in an interview with Melodifestivalen star Dotter who competes at Saturday’s grand final with her entry Little Tot. The Swedish singer spoke to us about her artistic evolution, how she hopes to better herself, her planned upcoming album, and the meaning behind Little Tot.

You can keep in touch with Dotter on her Instagram. She will be performing in the Melodifestivalen final on March 13th, which can be watched on SVT at 20.00 CET. International viewers can tune in on SVT Play.

Dotter, can you elaborate on the meanings behind your stage name?

I got this name in 2013 because I felt like my birth name Johanna Maria Jansson was a boring artist name. At that time I became vegan and was very into Mother Earthy things, so me and my boyfriend who is also my songwriting partner and producer (Dino Medanhodzic), we started the whole Dotter thing. He looked for a name on an old list of names from hundreds of years ago and he found this name Dotter. I felt immediately like this was the name. I am a daughter. It could be like daughter of Mother Earth. It feels really good to have this name.

You have participated in Melodifestivalen several times. Comparing your three entries, how do you view your evolution in the competition?

Bulletproof really opened up everything to me so that is probably the closest to my heart. Also the performance is really hard to top because it was so strong. It was a crazy number to do. Right now I feel like Little Tot is a bit more interesting because it’s a new song to me. If I had to choose one, I think Bulletproof is probably the one.

Were you relieved that you weren’t selected for Eurovision last year?

Of course, I mean there was no Eurovision. I felt really sad for The Mamas. Actually I felt like I wasn’t really ready last year to participate in Eurovision. This year, I feel more confident. It would be a lovely thing to do and be Sweden’s representative.  

How did you decide to come back to Melodifestivalen so quickly?

It all depended on the song like it did on Bulletproof. Me and Dino wrote a song that we loved and we showed it to the label. They thought it could be a great song for Mello so we said yes. It all depends on the songs.

Dotter with fellow finalist Anton Ewald

Can you describe the message and themes behind Little Tot?

I believe that it is quite an important message. It’s about telling your young ones or future children not to grow up and be like us. We are very egocentric and we can’t go further in this world if we continue this. It hurts the planet too much. Our children won’t have the same world to grow up in as we have had. The young ones today are faced with much more mental issues – especially with social media. They are stuck in a social media trap and have nothing to compare with. When I was little there were almost no iPhones or mobile phone. I want them to feel like they can be free. There is going to have to be a change.

You have been working with London based producer Michelangelo. How did this collaboration come about?

We released one song that we wrote together – Heatwave. We also wrote a few other songs, but nothing that we have thought about releasing yet.

In a previous statement you said that you would not compete at Melodifestivalen again. Is this true?

I feels like I always say that. Right now it feels like this is my third time, and my last time forever. I’m 99.9% sure about it. It feels like Melodifestivalen has given me so much and now it’s time to go further and hopefully fly on my own.

Dotter performing Little Tot

Why did you decide to return to Melodifestivalen during the pandemic?

It feels even more important to come back right now as this year has been really crazy. We haven’t been able to come out and play. It’s really sad as I had my big break a year ago. Still I haven’t been able to meet my audience yet. I have no idea how it would feel to perform before corona. It feels important for me to continue and use one of the biggest windows that we have in Sweden. It’s important to show that you are still alive and continue to do music!

Where do you and Dino find inspiration for writing songs?

When we are travelling we write even better songs. When I’m stuck in inside with no light and no air it feels like I can’t feel creative. When I’m out travelling in Asia or LA we get the best inspiration. We moved one year ago and created a home studio and it feels like we have found more inspiration. I don’t know if it is because of the room or because we go for walks in the woods every day, trying to stay healthy and take care of our bodies.

Who inspired the empowering lyrics of the track?

For this song, it was my fans. I have discussions with my fans every day and there are some young girls around 11 to 14 who talk to me about all their issues. Some of them said they felt uncomfortable in school as they get bullied. When they return from school they are still bullied through social media. That inspired me to write about this as I was thinking about how I didn’t want them to grow up in that world.

Little Tot single cover

How would you make your Little Tot proud?

I’m trying to do my best by being a vegan, buying second hand instead of new. I’m thinking about this every day and have done since I was ten years old – how to make the world a better place to grow up in. I don’t really use social media or compare myself on it, I use it as a creative platform. I don’t use my phone all the time. I try to have distance from my phone. I get up in the morning and do yoga, morning meditation, I bake my vegan banana cookies. Trying to live in the moment instead of in my phone.

Will you be releasing new music after Melodifestivalen?

The album will be released in autumn. The single will be before the summer. I’m already all up in it – my creative mind is already creating the music video as we speak. There is going to be much more music from me this year.

 What is the main idea behind the staging of Little Tot?

I wanted it to look international and that it could appear on any stage in the world. I wanted it to be blue, edgy, strong, and a little bit futuristic. I wanted it to inspire people to be strong.

You previously mentioned being inspired by Barbarella, what appealed to you about the film?

I love everything about the sixties. It’s got such a cool retro vibe. I’m just in love with it. The performance is a little bit of a throwback, but also feels like you are thrown in the future. I created the Little Tot logo and that is a little bit inspired by Star Wars – even though I haven’t seen it!

Dotter performing Bulletproof in 2020