Mazy – “Oulala“
Lyrics & Music: Julie Mazy
Mazy (Julie Mazi, and not Mazy) is a French singer about whom not much is known. Her passion for music made her drop out of her studies in communication and audition for La Nouvelle Star (French Idol) in 2007. She reached the quarter-finals before being eliminated, ending up fourth overall.
She took part in a few concerts after her TV adventure, and recorded a few songs in the 2000’s, although it seems none of them were relased. In 2017, she became Mazy, and released two new singles : “Toi et moi” in January 2018, then “Oulala“, her Destination Eurovision song, in November.
The song and the team
Mazy is the second candidate who composed and wrote her song all by herself. “Oulala” is basically a bright and colourful song about loving in the present.
Noémie – “Ma petite famille“
Lyrics: Noémie, Youssoupha / Music: Cehashi
Noémie is another artist with multiple aliases : before being Noémie, she was Ayna.
Noémie was born to a French mother and a Madagascan father, who is also a musician and singer. Thanks to him, she was introduced to music at an early age and travelled a lot. When she was a teenager, in 1999, she started to sing with two friends of her, Maya and Christel, forming a band called Trinity.
In 2003, she met Lassana, who would become her manager. A few years later, she met French rapper Youssoupha, becoming his protégée. She collaborated with him on his first two albums, accompanied him on stages, but she truly entered the limelight when she was featured in Youssoupha’s single “On se connait“, in 2013. She then started to release her own songs and EPs, which at first included many collaborations with Youssoupha and other artists.
Last July, she released her last EP as Ayna, Faux Départ (still available on the usual platforms), before changing her stage name on September 26th, becoming Noémie, in order to “turn the page”, and to symbolize her transition from a urban, rap and R&B artist to a singer/songwriter with a more diverse and more “authentic” repertoire, as Noémie is her actual first name. Her first single under her new stage name, “La Fête“, is indeed quite different from what her fans were used to.
The song and the team
Youssoupha played a big part in the career of Ayna/Noémie, which easily explains why they both worked on the song’s lyrics. Youssoupha is a French-Congolese rapper of Zairian and Senegalese origins. His father, Tabu Ley Rochereau, was a pioneer of the Congolese Rumba. Youssoupha started his solo career in 2007, and his albums always reached Gold or Platinum certification. He now regularly collaborates with Cehashi, a beatmaker from Luxembourg, who composed “Ma petite famille”.
“Ma petite famille” (“My Little Family”) is a very stripped-back production, quite true to Noémie’s origins. It is very unique because the backing track doesn’t have any instruments, only percussions and voices.
Naestro – “Le brasier“
Lyrics: Mark Hekic, Alexandra Maquet / Music: Mark Hekic, Alexandra Maquet, Thierry Leteurtre
Naestro (Nabil Rachdi) did not really want to become a singer when he was a child. The 28-year-old candidate actually started his adult life as a professional boxer, until his wife convinced him that he had a talent for singing that went far beyond karaoke. She convinced him to enter singing contests, at least to have a professional opinion on his voice. The juries were impressed, and he discovered he was a tenor. In 2014, he even won the select Graveson Opera First Prize. Because his voice is stronger and better when he sings opera and lyrical music, he chose to call himself Naestro on stage, a mix of Nabil and Maestro.
In 2015, he took part in La France a un incroyable talent (France’s Got Talent), and finished second. After that, he pursued several projects (including a collaborative album with TV stars, the benefits of which went to a charity helping children with cancer), until the success of La Casa del Papel. No, he neither played nor dubbed any character, but he sang a new, revised French version of “Bella Ciao” with some of the biggest names in the French musical industry (Maître Gims, Slimane, Vitaa and Dadju), a single that topped the charts in 2018.
The song and the team
Alexandra Maquet is of course better known by Eurovision fans as Alma, the 2017 French representative. Mark Hekic, on the contrary, is an absolute stranger to Eurovision (until now, at least), but he composed sonsg for some singers like Ben l’Oncle Soul, Claudio Capéo and even Tina Arena. As for Thierry Leteurtre, he also composed “Por Aqui” (cf page 4).
“Le Brasier” was released on all platforms the day after all the artists were revealed. It is a strong, dramatic song, adapted to Naestro’s lyrical voice. The lyrics themselves are quite dramatic, basically saying that we live in a cold and empty world, that we become bored of love, until true, authentic, honest love or help comes, being a spark that reignite the blaze (of our life).
What do you think of this lineup? Who is your favorite artist? Which song is your favorite among the released ones? Tell us more in the comments below or on social media at @escxtra !