Tel Aviv 2019

Who are the Destination Eurovision 2019 artists and songwriters?

Gabriella – “On cherche encore (Never Get Enough)

Lyrics: Gabriella Laberge, Christian Sbrocca, Richard Turcotte / Music : Gabriella Laberge, Christian Sbrocca, Richard Turcotte, Zander Howard Scott

The artist
@Pierrick Guidou

Gabriella (Gabriella Laberge) is a 25-year-old Canadian singer from the French-speaking province of Québec (home of Garou and Céline Dion). She started playing violin at the age of 6, and singing when she was 11, after having broken a finger and being unable to play for months. She also learnt to play guitar and piano, making her a multi-talented instrumentalist.

Gabriella started her career as a chorist, before going solo in 2013 with the help of Christian Sbrocca, her producer. After singing in music festivals, 2015 was the first big step for her, with the release of her first album, The Story of Oak & Leafless (a double album). The same year, she auditionned for The Voice : La Plus Belle Voix in France: her blind audition, broadcast in 2016, reached 35 million views on Youtube, and she reached the quarter-finals in Mika’s team, with her violin. She gained many fans thanks to the show, including a surprisingly strong proportion of Spanish-speaking fans.

Her second album is still in preparation, but she has already released one of its singles: “Tu es flou“.

The song and the team

Christian Sbrocca has an original profile: he started singing in 1999, but was also pursuing a professional ice hockey career at the time, being active between 1992 and 2007 in North-American and European leagues. He’s also from Québec, and released a few songs in English and French. He’s now Gabriella’s producer.

Richard Turcotte is a music composer from Québec, as well as a radio host. He hosted the most successful radio show in Canada in the 2000’s, with the humorist duo Les Grandes Gueules on NRJ Montréal.

Zander Howard Scott is a Canadian singer-songwriter, as well as a cello player.

“On cherche encore (We never get enough)” (“We’re still looking”) is an energetic and catchy bilingual song, in French and English.

Seemone – “Tous les deux

Lyrics & Music: Fabrice Mantegna, Alexandre Mazarguil, Léa Simoncini

The artist
© Asa Mader

Seemone (Léa Simoncini) is a 21-year-old singer from Paris, whose dreams of music are more recent than those of many other candidates. Originally, Léa wanted to become an actor: however, she was born with a voice defect, and her acting teachers advised her to take singing lessons in order to better master it. She did so when she was a teenager, but after a bad experience with her teacher, she asked Fabrice Mantegna (the teacher of one of her friends) to help her. After a few months, he told her that she should sing instead of acting, because she was a good singer with a very unique voice.

After a few months, she started releasing covers on Youtube, and after finishing high-school, she released her first songs, “Nightbird” in 2017 (with a videoclip filmed in Berlin) and “Que reste-t-il de nous?” in 2018. Her first EP (which included these two songs) is in preparation. She also started to take piano lessons.

Artists that influence her include Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Beyoncé, but especially Adele, her role-model. Their voices are quite close, despite a chirurgical operation Seemone had in order to clear her voice (which was problematic before).

The song and the team

Fabrice Mantegna is a French tenor who started music when he was 8 years old, and who studied it in France and Italy. He met Seemone when he started giving her singing lessons, and he was the one encouraging her to pursue music. He composed and wrote all her songs, with Alexandre Mazarguil (part of the disbanded duo Gentle Republic). Despite being relatively unknown by name to most people, Fabrice Mantegna is remembered by some as the “singing tree” in the worldwide-famous movie “The Intouchables”.

Léa Simoncini, as written above, is the true identity of Seemone, and it seems this is the first time she writes her own song. Until now, she prefered letting others write lyrics, feeling that she wasn’t good enough at it.

The song itself, “Tous les deux” (“The both of us”) is a very soft piano ballad, about the relationship between a father and his daughter, a story inspired by her own life.

The Divaz – “La Voix d’Aretha

Lyrics & Music: Yacine Azeggagh, Marielle Hervé

The artists
Clockwise, starting from the right picture : Amalya, Stacey and Sofia © France 2 (Droits Réservés)

The Divaz is a trio made up by Amalya, Sofia and Stacey, after playing the Divas in the French version of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert The Musical in Paris in 2017. All three have been inspired by Aretha Franklin and Adele, and all three of them took part in The Voice: La Plus Belle Voix, in different years.

Sofia Mountassir started to sing in Casablanca, and moved to Paris to study performing arts. She sang in choirs on the greatest stages of France, she won Studio 2M (Moroccan Idol) in 2009, and released a few singles (like the successful “Sa3a Sa3ida” with Saam Lamjared). She also took part in the first ever season of The Voice in France, in 2012, getting in Garou’s team with her interpretation of “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera, but didn’t make it past the Battles.

Amalya Delepierre-Zemmour decided to make a living out of singing when she was 18, in 2002. According to her biography on the Priscilla: Queen of the Desert The Musical website, she took part in the 2006 French national selection and finished as a “semi-finalist”, something which can’t be confirmed due to the lack of sources around that selection. However, she certainly reached the semi-final of the first season of The Voice, starting the adventure by having all four coaches turn around on her “Set Fire To The Rain” cover. After that, she recorded “J’avance” with the rapper Dry, and joined Maître Gims’ label Monstre Marin Corporation, singing “La fin du conte” in the label’s compilation album.

Stacey King was born in Belgium in 1971, and lived in Belgium, Britain, The Netherlands and Germany before settling in France with her family, near Geneva. She studied political sciences and worked in banking before starting to sing as a chorist for album recordings. In 1999, she met New-Yorker DJ Roger Sanchez, thanks to whom she recorded her first single, “Just Leave Me”, and travelled around the world. She recorded a few singles here and there, and took part in The Voice in 2014 in France, getting in Florent Pagny’s team with a cover of “Skyfall“, and reaching the semi-final. More recently, she released “Sing a Song” with Deba Montana, an electro-swing track, and a very original (and visually queer) cover of David Guetta’s “Dangerous” with Laurent Ban.

The song and the team

Yacine Azzegagh is also behind Chimène Badi’s song (cf page 2). Marielle Hervé is a French vocalist and composer. She composed “La Loi du Silence” for the late Johnny Halliday, universally seen as one of the greatest French singer of all time.

“La Voix d’Aretha” (Aretha’s voice) is a tribute to Aretha Franklin, who immensely inspired the three Divaz, and especially to her song “Respect”, defending the right every woman has to being respected. The song is energetic and swingy.

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