The band name KEiiNO is inspired by the last part of Buljo’s hometown Kautokeino (Northern Sami: Guovdageaidnu). The last part «geaidnu» is Northern Sami for road.
The group was one of ten participants in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix on Saturday 2 March 2019. They won the contest with “Spirit in the Sky” and represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest. In the grand final, Norway became number six after receiving the most televotesvotes. The group also won the televote in the semifinals.
The week after the international final, “Spirit in the Sky” topped the Norwegian charts, as well as charts in several European countries.
Following the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, KEiiNO released several versions of “Spirit in the Sky”: an expanded club mix, an acoustic version and an instrumental version. On April 26, 2019, the group released their second single, “Shallow”. Later in 2019, the group released their third single, “Praying”, which is about fear of death. In January 2020, the single “Colors” was released.
In June 2019, the Sami Parliament appointed the group ambassadors for the UN Year of Indigenous Languages. The group was nominated for a Spellemannprisen 2019 for «song of the year». They also won two awards at the Sami Music Awards in open class and producer of the year.
After the Eurovision Song Contest, the group announced that they were planning a concept album with indigenous languages from around the world. The album was named OKTA (Northern Sami for one) and was released on May 8, 2020.
After releasing several singles and the album OKTA, the “Spirit in the Sky” songwriters sat down and wrote the song “Monument” in the summer of 2020. In the autumn of 2020, “Monument” was selected by NRK to participate in the final of the Melodi Grand Prix 2021. In the Norwegian final, it finished in second place. The song became a hit in the Norwegian charts. In 2022, the group released two non-album singles, “On a night like this” and “Mother of the night”.
Spirit in the Sky
Kine Ludvigsen Fossheim
Running order: 15
Running order: 15