KEiiNO will be representing Norway in this year’s Eurovision. The trio was formed in 2018 by award-winning singer-songwriter Tom Hugo, Sami rapper and joiker Fred Buljo and singer Alexandra Rotan. Their entry, “Spirit in the Sky,” blends electronic pop music with traditional Nordic folk melodies and joik, the traditional song form of the Sami people. The spirit of the Northern Atlantic is infused in the song’s DNA… and that’s no surprise in light of the band members’ DNA results!
We were lucky to catch up with the band on our Eurovision Bus Tour:
Tom Hugo Hermansen
Tom Hugo is 97.6% Scandinavian and 2.4% Italian. We found over 4,000 relatives in our records from 35 countries worldwide… and guess who one of them is? None other than Elisabeth Andreasson, a member of Bobbysocks!, Norway’s first-ever Eurovision winner!
“I did not know that I was related to Bettan (Andreasson), nor that there was some Italian in my heritage,” says Tom.
“Although my DNA-mix might not seem very exciting, I’m super happy about the Italian touch,” he adds. “I love being in Italy, I’m a huge fan of their wines and food and also their entry this year!”
How does he feel about being related to the first Eurovision winner for Norway? “That I’m related to Elisabeth makes me believe in faith, as seeing Bobbysocks win as a small kid in 1985 made me want to be part of Eurovision one day. Now I’ll be there, knowing it’s partly because of a relative.”
Alexandra Rotan’s DNA is a little more diverse: she is 79.1% Scandinavian, 19.9% Irish, Scottish and Welsh, and 1% Central Asian. We found 7,055 relatives of Alexandra’s from all over the world… and it turns out that she is related to Elisabeth Andreasson of Bobbysocks!, too!
Will this pedigree give them a better chance at winning Eurovision this year? That remains to be seen. Some of the family trees we found belonging to her relatives have more than 3,000 people. That’s quite the potential family reunion!
“I did not know that I am almost 20% Irish!” says Alexandra. “That is so cool, and gives me another reason to practice their supercool accent!”
It seems that the results might spark some fascinating conversations in the family: “After seeing these results I definitely have to talk to some of my grandparents, to find out why I am 20% Irish!” says Alexandra. “It’s very interesting, and it’s also cool that Sarah McTernan and I have something in common!”
Fred-René Buljo belongs to the Sami people, historically known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, and brings a unique Sami sound to “Spirit in the Sky.” Fred’s DNA reflects the Finno-Ugric origins of his people: he’s 61.3% Finnish, 27.7% Scandinavian, and 2.6% Central Asian.
Apparently some of his ancestors came from across the Atlantic, because he’s also 8.4% Eskimo/Inuit! We found an astonishing 13,500 DNA matches for Fred from all over the world… there’s even one from Antarctica! The closest relative we found in our records was a great-uncle or first cousin once removed from Norway who has a family tree with more than 1,000 people on MyHeritage.