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Making of “The Code”
The songwriters of “The Code” at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2023 in the Powerplay Studios (from left to right): Nemo, Benji Alasu, Linda Dale and Lasse Nymann.
Photo: Manu Leuenberger
Text by Manu Leuenberger
The song “The Code” is a journey, in terms of music and content. The Swiss entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, composed by Nemo, Benji Alasu, Linda Dale and Lasse Nymann, was created at the SUISA Songwriting Camp.

Taking part in the SUISA Songwriting Camp had been on Nemo’s wish list for some time. It finally came to fruition in early summer 2023. For the sixth edition of the event organised by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions, Nemo spent two days as a guest at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. On this occasion, a total of 37 music creators worked together in teams over three days to compose 24 new songs.

“When I asked my group on the first day: Who are we actually writing the song for?” the answer from the co-composers was: “For yourself, of course!” Nemo remembers this in our conversation and smiles. “In the beginning, I assumed that I was here as a ‘pure’ songwriter.” After the initial surprise, Nemo quickly came round to the idea of singing the tracks himself – tailored to the proper voice, so to speak. And also tailored to personality.

The team of four was bursting with ideas

“The Code” was created on the second day of the camp. The songwriting team consisted of four people who had never worked together before. Apart from SUISA members Benji Alasu and Nemo, Linda Dale and Lasse Nymann sat down in front of a blank sheet of paper in a studio room and began the composition work by “talking a bit first”, Nemo explains. “I told them about my story, where I am in life and what is bothering me loads at the moment.” The basic theme for the song, the journey to the realisation of a personal, non-binary identity, was created. The musical ideas began to bubble forth, and then some!

“There was energy in the room right from the start”, says co-composer Benji Alasu, “and there was a very good flow”. The team put together one musical idea after another, step by step. They hadn’t said “No” to any idea, explains Linda Dale. There were no limits: “We laughed so much,” says Lasse Nymann, “because we thought: What if we just go completely crazy in the next part?” And even then the group didn’t stop and let the creative momentum run free until the end.

Nemo and “The Code” are travelling to the Eurovision Song Contest 2024

By the evening, the demo track was finished and was already received with enthusiasm by the audience at the “Listening Session” on the final evening of the songwriting camp. After the camp, they continued to hone the song further into shape. When “The Code” and Nemo were presented as the Swiss entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 at the end of February 2024, the song triggered a wave of reactions. The wave washed Switzerland into first place in the betting odds for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 at the beginning of April. The official video on YouTube was viewed over 3 million times up to a week before the contest.

In the video, Nemo experiences a journey in a railway carriage. The ticket and timetable are labelled Malmö. “There is no one else who could perform this song with this quality,” says co-composer Benji Alasu, looking ahead to Nemo’s performance at the ESC. Nemo will be on stage there with “The Code” in the second semi-final on Thursday, 9 May 2024.

Watch the Making of “The Code” video in the SUISA Music Stories on Youtube. 

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