This summer, we are running a series of feature articles that are slightly different to the norm. We think this is the perfect time for you (and us!) to find out more about the ESCXTRA team! Twice a week we’ll meet two of our team members. What is our personal Eurovision story? Why did we want to be a part of this website? What are our favorite Eurovision songs of all-time? How can you get in touch with us on social media? Read on to find out!
I am 17 years old and I come from the wonderful world of Fulenn in France: Brittany! I am proud and very honored to be now the youngest member of the team and the second Frenchman! As a student in a renowned French business school, I finally have the opportunity to invest myself completely in my greatest passion: Eurovision; by writing articles for you. I am a real creative, I draw, model 3D stages and compose my own songs. (Hoping one day that you will see me represent my country at Eurovision 😉)
Your first Eurovision memory?
As usual, I hid in the living room to watch television behind the sofa because I couldn’t sleep. My parents saw me and I was allowed to watch TV at night for the first time.
I was only 11 years old when I discovered this contest! It seems not far in time but I’ve known the competition for more than 6 years! My mother told me that her family had been watching the competition for a long time and that she was also captivated!
“What’s the pressure?”, the first Eurovision song I listened to, and immediately I sang the chorus with my mother who was coaching me at the same time to have a voice similar to Laura Tesoro’s one. And many times I was contradicted by my parents who didn’t like some songs that ended up finally in the top 10! In the end, we were all caught up in Jamala’s performance and her song 1944, which was a real call for recognition of her community’s deportation.
I then started singing my favorite songs in karaoke on my TV and I was finally happy to find my ultimate passion. However, I never imagined having to defend my passion to promote the magnificent values necessary in our current world.
Your Eurovision journey
After watching Eurovision 2017, I started to be much more passionate about the competition during the 2018 edition, following Destination Eurovision 2018 in particular, where I knew from the first listen that Madame Monsieur were expected in Lisbon. I felt then that this world was made for me. Shortly after, I watched a Youtube video summarizing the songs 1 month before the competition and thus began to listen to the songs in the bus many times and fell in love with “Toy” (Netta), “Monsters” (Saara Aalto) and “Taboo” (Christabelle).
I then started to listen to songs that I hadn’t taken into account in previous years: “Walk on Water” (Ira Losco) , “Fly with me” (Artsvik)…
In 2019 I followed the national finals and each following year became the one I was most attentive to. 2022 was the year I watched the Norwegian MGP final for example, Melodifestivalen final and the Israeli X Factor one very carefully.
Why is Eurovision special to you?
For me, Eurovision is the most beautiful song contest in the world: it brings people together under their flag but also in the European or international nation! Eurovision binds the citizens of the participating countries and for one night we forget state conflicts (or almost).
Sometimes considered corny or too boring, I had to defend my passion and its values on many occasions. Fortunately, I managed to communicate with fans like me, which allows me to create a network and take concrete actions for the community (thank you so much ESCXTRA). Eurovision is above all the peaceful meeting of the year around art and culture as a whole.
In addition to discovering new musical trends, the competition allows me to develop my English, to recognize many languages, flags, cultures of European countries and to acquire European geographical and geopolitical training. We discover wonderful international singers, which creates for us a musical culture of inclusion and diversity at the same time. I’m always happy to discover incredible artists from other countries, some going to Eurovision and some not.
Eurovision is ultimately a real personal contribution but also a way of asserting values: kindness, tolerance and openness.
What attracted you to ESCXTRA?
First of all, ESCXTRA is one of the most popular and up-to-date independent fan sites on Eurovision News! Created in 2011, the site welcomes many people of different nationalities in its team and I look forward to meeting great people!
ESCXTRA deserves quality editors because the Eurovision community will continue to diversify and grow in all territories.
So, the team allows me to be an active part of the wonderful Eurovision community. I am honored to contribute to the writing process of an online journal about the passion that punctuates my life.
ESCXTRA is a real springboard for my professional and personal life and I know they will give me so much more! This is why I can’t wait to prove that I can be an influential writer on the site! (give me some time before😭)
And finally, your top 5 Eurovision songs of all-time?
I have never had to answer such a difficult question! 😭 To me every song is beautiful in its own way, hard work and a desire to compete is behind most songs. So many songs that I love failed to make it to the final and even to Eurovision! Of course, you have to consider that my favorite songs are not necessarily the ones I wanted to win. Anyway, my favorite countries are mainly (since 2016👀): Malta, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. I will then give you my ultimate top 5 Eurovision songs. I keep a deep place in my heart for Olga Lounova and Dotter.
5- BARBARA PRAVI – “Voilà” 🇫🇷
Barbara is a wonderfully talented artist! I was so happy to discover her song during Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez! From the start, I believed in her and in our dear France, which finally had a golden opportunity to win again for the first time since 1977. I had a lot of hope in “Voilà“, a song inspired by the greatest tunes of French music.
4- VICTORIA – “Growing up is getting old” 🇧🇬
Victoria is one of my favorite Eurovision artists! I can’t count the number of times I’ve listened to her album! Unfortunately the 2020 edition was canceled and we will never know her placement with Tears Getting Sober. In the end, I put Victoria in this place because her songs have this Billie Eilish vibe (my favorite non-Eurovision singer). Growing up is getting old has really great lyrics and a melody that takes us back to our youth.
3- SAMRA – “Miracle” 🇦🇿
During my first watched edition of Eurovision, I fell in love with Samra and her song Miracle. When I was young, I paid a lot of attention to the visuals and the scenography, which I loved, gold gold gold everywhere! 🤩 The song is powerful and mysterious. Being really my first song that I loved in Eurovision by its running order, it keeps a warm place in my heart.
2- CORNELIA JACKOBS – “Hold me closer” 🇸🇪
As soon as I listened to this song I couldn’t stop, that even when I was walking with my family I was listening to “Hold me closer” on loop from a Youtube video that I had found broadcasting the live performance from the day before. I absolutely couldn’t stop and told myself, strongly in my head, that Cornelia would win Eurovision 2022!
1- NETTA- “Toy” 🇮🇱
What to say! Netta is a wonderful singer and a talented artist! She defends what is close to her heart and it makes her songs, in her own way, powerful and strong in meaning. Her songs are the modernity of music, Netta tries and succeeds! The productions are worthy and “Toy” is a wildly important and necessary song in our world. #WeAreNotTheirToys