Redo, an award-winning breakdancer, and singer Eefje de Visser will open the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The duo will tell Redo’s life story through song and dance.
Who is Redo?
Redouan Ait Chitt, 31 years old, is an award-winning breakdancer. He has performed all over the world, from Hong Kong to New York. He’s the first self-taught breakdancer to win the Zwaan, the most prestigious Dutch dance award.
As a child, Redo had to overcome prejudice and judgement. Being born with a shorter right arm that lacks an elbow joint, a total of five fingers and a missing right hip, people around him claimed he would never even be able to hold a pen. By trial and error, he eventually found a way to express himself: dance. That story will now be turned into a dance act for Eurovision. About his act, Redo says:
The dance comes from a very personal place; I want to tell the universal story of overcoming the setbacks that life presents, which applies to so many people, especially with the challenges we’re all facing together in the world today. The story will unfold from the dark period in which we currently find ourselves, to working towards a moment of togetherness and celebration. I hope that people recognise themselves in our work, and that Eefje and I can touch people through our art.Redo to Eurovision.tv
Who is Eefje de Visser?
Born in Voorburg, now based in Ghent in Belgium, Eefje de Visser has managed to become an established artist in the Dutch music scene. In 2020, OOR Magazine named her the Artist of the Year. Also in that year, she won the Gouden Notekraker – an award remarkable and artistic performances. Other artists like Douwe Bob, Ilse DeLange and 1961 entrant Greetje Kauffeld have also won the award before. Eefje de Visser’s style can be described as synth pop, with deep vocals and lyrics which make you think. Most of the material she has released up until now was in Dutch.
However, for Eurovision, De Visser is working on an English language track. Eefje de Visser has written the music and lyrics to the song herself. Both fit Redo’s life story, which makes sure the act will come together on stage. For the musical arrangement, musical director of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Eric van Tijn is now involved. Van Tijn is the producer and composer behind the 1993 and 1998 Eurovision entries for the Netherlands: Vrede and Hemel en Aarde.
When speaking about her performance for the Eurovision Song Contest, De Visser stated:
I’ve been watching the Eurovision Song Contest for as long as I can remember, so Redo and I consider it an honour to be able to work together on such a huge, iconic production. Our presentation is about resilience and connection. We want to say that more can be achieved through collaboration, especially in these times we need each other. It will be magical.Eefje de Visser to Eurovision.tv
Resilience as a theme
With Redo and Eefje de Visser, we now know the first opening act of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Before this, we also learnt that Getty Kaspers and Lenny Kuhr, who won Eurovision in 1975 and 1969 respectively, will be part of the interval act. The idea is not new, as it already was a plan for Eurovision 2020. Whether the other names – such as Gigliola Cinquetti or Sandra Kim – will also make an appearance is unknown.
Gerben Bakker, the Head of Show for the Rotterdam contest, has commented on selecting Redo and Eefje de Visser as the openers for the second semifinal. He states that the organisers are keen to showcase Dutch talent to the world during Eurovision. Chances of an international star, like Justin Timberlake or Madonna, are therefore limited. Instead, Bakker added that resilience and the ability to adapt will be a theme for this year’s shows, calling those themes “more current than ever”.
Are you excited to see Eefje de Visser and Redo open the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021? Let us know!