Tooji’s musical accolades include winning the Melodi Grand Prix 2012, which led him to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 with his song “Stay”. Though he qualified from the semi-finals, he placed 26th in the final round. Moreover, he presented international jury votes for various Eurovision events and has co-hosted Melodi Grand Prix Junior in Norway since 2012 alongside Margrethe Røed.
Musically, Tooji has been a versatile artist. His 2013 single “Rebels” is described as a fusion of pop-dance with hints of organic elements and robust electronica. Later, in pursuit of refining his musical style, he moved to Stockholm and released “Packin’ Guns”, a track blending electronic components with a gritty, organic sound. Tooji’s approach often incorporates irony against intense beats. His background in social work and education deeply influences his music, often echoing political and social sentiments. For instance, “Cocktail” addresses contemporary gender norms, referencing a quote by Gloria Steinem. After openly discussing his sexuality, he unveiled “The Father” project, confronting the church’s stance on sexual relationships and perceived hypocrisy. His subsequent single “Say Yeah” takes a stand against homophobic violence. His single and EP “Father” played a pivotal role in his coming out journey, addressing the complex intersection of sexuality and the church. Meanwhile, Tooji also released his first children’s book, Taki og Bestemor.
In 2016 Tooji played a role in the musical “Rent”, where he played the role of Angel, a HIV infected gay person in the nineties. In the same year he co-wrote “Start anew”, a song by Swedish/Norwegian singer Elouiz. He joined the ‘Dracula Song Camp’ in Bucharest in September. Together with Lori Witt and Lauren Gallagher, Tooji produced a short film, “Just hear me” based on the Father Project. The short film was released in December 2016.
In March 2017, the second book of Taki og Bestemor was released. On 26 November 2017, producer Anderson released the song and video “Cool kids”. The song was written by Tooji, who also provided the vocals. In 2018, he composed the music for the film KuToppen. He made his first steps in the field of K-Pop in 2019, when he wrote the song “Want” for Taemin. In April of that year, Chris Viviano released a song “Black horse” with Tooji’s vocals.
Since July 2019 Tooji is known as Samaj Ai Bandéh. He leads Pink Lotus soundhealing and meditation sessions. Meanwhile he kept writing songs for others, like for Sofie Rose (“Keep loving me”). His film De Reisende (The Travelers) was released in 2020.
Hans Esben Gihle
Sérgio Benvindo jr.
Anne Marit Tynes
Maria Ima Karlsen
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