Tel Aviv 2019

Who are the Destination Eurovision 2019 artists and songwriters?

Chimène Badi – “Là Haut

Lyrics: Yseult, Yacine Azeggagh, Corson / Music: Yseult, Yacine Azeggagh, Corson, Boban Apostolov

The artist
© France 2 (Droits Réservés)

Chimène Badi is a big name in the French music industry. The 36-year-old had been dreaming of becoming a singer since her childhood, and came of age when the first TV singing contests appeared on French television. She auditionned for the second season of Popstars in 2002, and got to the next stages. She was however eliminated before the creation of the bands, as her voice was judged “hardly manageable”.

Buf if the jury couldn’t see her in a band, one juror, Valery Zeitoun, saw strong potential for a solo career, and signed her under his AZ Label. Her first single, “Entre Nous“, topped the French charts in 2003, with more than 250,000 sales, and her first album (Entre Nous) went platinum. Since then, she has sold over 4 million records, making her the 10th most successful singer in France between 2003 and 2012.

In 2016, she took the role of Grizabella in the legendary musical Cats, for 35 shows of a French version at the Théâtre Modagor. She also performed “Ma vie” (“Memory”) on television, after the success of her stage performances.

The song and the team

Yseult is a singer-songwriter who reached the final of La Nouvelle Star (French Idol) in 2014. Yacine Azzegagh is a songwriter, composer and music producer who composed songs for K-Pop band Tohoshinki (“Box in the Ship”) and Eurovision winner Lena Meyer (“Teenage Girls“). Corson (Alain Cordier) is a singer-songwriter who sang in musicals before releasing a few EPs in his solo career. He also wrote and co-produced songs from Jennifer’s last album, with Boban Apostolov.

“Là haut” is a positive, inspirational song, reflecting Chimène Badi’s situation nowadays.

Silvàn Areg – “Le Petit Nicolas

Lyrics & Music: Caz B, Mamadou Niakate, Erick Ness

The artist
© Olivier Da Costa

Silvàn Areg is just the most recent alias of Sylvain Hagopian, aka Casus Belli, aka Caz B. Born on May 18th 1979 in Clermont-Ferrand (which will make him 40 years old the day of the Eurovision final), of Armenian descent, he moved to Lyon and started rapping in the 90’s, with a band, before going solo and releasing his first EP (still called “maxi-singles” at the time) in 2000, “Lyon“, under the name of Casus Belli. He kept releasing rap music, through EPs and albums, during the 2000’s, before seemingly putting an end to his career in 2010, and becoming a PE teacher.

Then, in 2016, he reappeared under his real name, as a co-writer/composer for three songs of Claudio Capéo, including “Un homme debout“, the videoclip of which reached 124 million views on Youtube. The same year, he also created himself a new alias: Caz B, through which he writes and intends to sing less rap and things closer to variété, pop, with urban vibes, like “Sale Journée“. But in 2017, he came back as Casus Belli too with new rap albums (CB2K17 in 2017 and CB 2.0 in 2018), and he now lives artistically as two distinct entities, the two sides of the same coin: Casus Belli and Caz B. For unknown reasons, he created another alias under which he will sing in Destination Eurovision: Silvàn Areg (Areg being the name of the 8th month of the Armenian calendar, between March 9th and April 8th, as well as the name of the first day of each month in the Armenian calendar, and meaning “sun”).

The song and the team

If you understood the way Silvàn works artistically, then you remember that Caz B is just one of his aliases. Mamadou Niakate is the real name of Doutson, who also takes part in Destination Eurovision this year, and who we will introduce a few lines below (exceptionally breaking the order of announcement).

Erick Ness (whose real name is Jean-Pascal Anziani) is a young DJ, composer and radio producer from Southern France. He also worked on Claudio Capeo’s song “Un Homme Debout” (with Mamadou Niakate / Doutson, with whom he has been working for 6 years), and on Doutson’s song for Destination Eurovision.

The song itself, “Le Petit Nicolas” (Little Nicholas), is titled after a famous character of French litterature, Le Petit Nicolas, a schoolboy from the 1950’s The song itself is very “retro”, quite reminiscent of Igit’s style, but with the urban influence of Caz B. The lyrics are the word of a naughty schoolboy who is bored of his village list in the middle of nowhere and wants to get out and see the world.

Doutson – “Sois un bon fils

Lyrics & Music: Mamadou Niakate, Jean-Pascal Anziani, Ryad Bouchami, Caz B

The artist

Doutson (Mamadou Niakate) is a 33-year-old French singer who lived most of his life in Paris and Lyon. In the 90’s, he joined the rap band COLORS, where he got his stage name Doutson. Later, in the 2000’s, he worked as a composer for the L5, M.Pokora, but also for the original soundtracks of TV series and cartoons, including Asterix and the Vikings.

Then, in 2010, he started releasing his own music, with “Quand je l’ai vue“, or “#Dingue” in 2014. He also co-composed and produced Claudio Capéo’s “Un Homme Debout”, with Erick Ness and Caz B (Sylvàn Aleg).

The song and the team

The team behind “Sois un bon fils” (“Be a good son”) is almost the same as the one behind “Le Petit Nicolas”: Mamadou Niakate (Doutson himself) and Caz B (Silvàn Areg) are credited under the same names, while Erick Ness is here credited as Jean-Pascal Anziani. As for Ryad Bouchami, he’s a music producer from Lyon.

“Sois un bon fils” is a song about a mom’s advice and expectations for her son, sung to all mothers, but especially Doutson’s. Quite unlike “Le Petit Nicolas”, this song is contemporary, tropical, and reminiscent of the Afrobeat genre.

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