November 19, 2019

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Thursday, 06 February 2014 14:50

France: Interview with TwinTwin

Earlier this year, escflashmalta.com had the pleasure of speaking to Joanna Lagrave, one (1) of the three (3) artists hoping to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest, and today, we are proud to present another act who is competing to try and become the first winner of the western nation since Marie Myriam back in 1977. The act, TwinTwin has received a lot of positive feedback prior to the presentation of their entry Moustache yet the follow-up has been rather mixed. Patrick Strouk speaks to the group about their career, their Eurovision Song Contest plans and what lies ahead in the future.

TwinTwin, would you introduce yourself to the readers of escflashmalta.com and explain how you came about in the music industry?

The band consists of Lorent Idir (lead singer and composer), François Djemel (bass) and Patrick Biyik (beatbox and guitar) . We have been composing our songs together for three years now and we have started  TwinTwin story by playing in squats, then on bigger scenes, like the Ricard SA live tour (VV Brown, BB Brunes), festivals , (Francofolies, Printemps de Bourges, Solidays, Rock en Seine…) and we have support artists for many artists (Philippe Katerine, Catherine Ringer, Martin Solveig, Stromae, Soprano, Shaka Ponk and Nina Hagen amongst others). We are also directing our own clips and I have to say that we enjoy it very much.

Who influences your music the most, and what kind of music do you listen to the most?

Our musical influences are very broad and rich. We love Music overall so we  can list French singers like Georges Brassens or Bobby Lapointe, rap (NTM, Lunatic), rock, metal , Deftones, Pantera, Noir Désir.  Electro music also influences us and we can name Major Lazer or Daft Punk. In fact, music is so interesting and wide that we could spend hours  speaking about it.  Oh yes, I forgot, we get influences from Folk music ians also (Neil Young, Bob Dylan), as you see that’s an unending subject (laughter)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puCpPpGIEA8

How did you decide to partake in the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest and was Moustache especially written for this purpose?

We first started talking with our Team then with our record company which sent our song Moustache to France 3. The song and participation were validated and hmm…here we are !!! We are delighted with this project and really expect to bring our up-to-date and dynamic touch to the very Top.

What are your feelings about Eurovision? Do you watch it every year?

We watched the show last year and Eurovision is really a big extravaganza  and we want to be part of it this year . It’s a fun event  where you can get another image of Europe. Countries are uniting to offer together a massive show. This is a totally unique moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyV8ctYprR4

Several artists have stated that participating in the Eurovision Song Contest is not a smart move due to the aftermath of a possible negative result. Don’t you fear that your participation might affect the positive image that you currently occupy in the national media?

We have always enjoyed to face new challenges and  actually we are absolutely not afraid as in France,  is not as popular as it is in some neighbouring countries. Younger people are rather watching reality shows like Nouvelle Star or The Voice. We think that promotion mainly matters but also the background is essential.

We have more than 250 concerts in two years behind us and we did the first part of many famous artists. Whatever people may think and say, they just have to look at our  career but we are focused on the future! We played in festivals, in established concert halls, in Colombia, Canada, Reunion Island. We toured in jails and even in retirement houses.

The song in itself might have a deeper lyrical understanding; hence, we would like to know what that message actually wants to define. Would you tell us?

Lorent Idir has written the lyrics . It is based on a true story . A friend of us told us once the story of a guy he knew. He was a very handsome guy, wealthy, with a nice apartment and many friends. While having a drink, he once made this surprising confidence. Well, I enjoy my life very much, I have everything which I need but there’s something  I  really miss ; … a moustache. I am dreaming to have a moustache.

At first it made us laugh to death. However, when we thought back about this anecdote, we realized it could be an interesting song theme which summarized the current era. People always dream to get  what they are not able to get. Even if you have everything which you need, you still want to get more. In fact, if you listen to the tracks of our album « Vive la vie »,  behind cheerful tunes, all the texts tell stories about our daily life and the world in which we are living.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cunhb_ohIyo

In France, you are famous as a scene band, do you think that it might be an advantage with a lot of contrived performances with very little space for improvisation especially at such an international stage?

TwinTwin is a whole package, it is the visual, the sound, the live and the style. Live music is something you intensely feel with your audience. Sometimes you are connected, sometimes you are not it depends. TV is something more organized, you cannot fail, therefore there will be no improvisation. We are preparing a tailor-made show ! Dance, Fun, Energy this is our cocktail for Eurovision!

One of the most important aspects at the Eurovision Song Contest is the look, and therefore, this leads to the main question; how did you choose yours and do you think that this particular look will help you garner a positive stance with the juries and the viewers?

Only a very strong project and and a good performance can make the difference in Eurovision. We are a band with a strong image, our music aims at international audience mixing electro codes, hip hop and rap and lyrics in French. Foreigners who don’t understand French, immediately adhere to the image and the energy, this is our strenght in a music contest mixing so many countries and cultures.  Our taste for entertainment and brightful show is also an asset to touch a wider audience. We have had many positive feedbacks from various countries like U.K , Finland, Sweden, Russia or Spain. The secret is to stick into people’s mind with something strong and innovative

Do you already have a precise idea of the way you wish to present your entry in Copenhagen, Denmark should you be selected to represent France?

Oh Yeah! We already have so many ideas, we are working hard on it ! So send us to Copenhagen!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a5xix1kzvg

Why should people vote for TwinTwin to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest and what is the message you wish to send to our readers at escflashmalta.com to vote for you?

We have so many support for foreign countries. They greet the creativity and the modernity of our project. This is great ! We have toured in several countries like Colombia and Canada and have received a warm welcome everywhere. We believe in us !!  We wan’t to travel, visit new countries and our goal for 2014 is to visit Denmark !! So please send us there and we can be a big surprise.

Do you think that the Eurovision Song Contest would prove to be a career springboard for TwinTwin in the hope of reaching fame as well as a wider audience?

We really feel a strong infatuation for our song on Twitter and Facebook. In addition and for the first time in many years, France 3  is putting a lot of efforts in order to generate interest. This is really important. We do not see Eurovision as a springboard but we would be very proud to represent France and to prove that our country can be amongst the top ones with a powerful artistic proposal.

Source: TwinTwin (Twitter) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_78Z6xxN9s

Published in Interviews

Joanna, one of the hopefuls trying to represent France in this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just re-recorded her entry Ma Liberté in English as Reinvented. The original version is composed by Sean Vella, Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg with lyrics by Yann Guillon but this brand new version in English is penned by Gerard James Borg himself, having already exhibited his work on a notable number of entries in the past including; Desire (2000), 7th Wonder (2002), On Again .. Off Again (2004), Vertigo (2007) and Vodka (2008).

Ma Liberté is one (1) of three (3) entries which have been shortlisted in the pre-selection and is seemingly joint favourite with Moustache performed by the group Twin Twin who have been racking up public support for one main reason; their insanity. Late in January, we had the pleasure of speaking to Joanna and her participation in France, and we will be publishing an exclusive video message in a couple of day’s time, along with details on how the public can vote for the song without using their phones. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eCaOBNePPg

Thursday, 30 January 2014 23:15

France: Aline Lahoud Auditions for The Voice

Aline Lahoud, the female vocalist who was supposed to represent Lebanon at the 2005 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Quand Tout S'Enfuit prior to the surprise withdrawal is hoping to restart her career in France, by virtue of auditioning for La Plus Belle Voix (The Voice). Aline is the daughter of famous vocalist, Salwa Al Katrib and has now moved onto the next round of the competition following a brilliant audition in front of the four professional judges.

She will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Nuno Resende and Lise Darly, representatives of Belgium and Monaco in 2005 who also got through to the final stages of the competition last year and the year before that. Nuno was somewhat more successful though, having reached the final show, and finished in third place. His entry Le Grand Soir was perfect at the Eurovision Song Contest but did not succeed in getting a place into the finals back then. Surprising enough, Aline did not choose fellow Lebanese singer Mika as her coach, selecting Florent Pagny, something which also Lise and Nuno had done. Whilst wishing Aline Lahoud the very best of luck, we ask you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: La Plus Belle Voix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBvIAayKM90

It has always been a pleasure to speak to artists competing in national finals across Europe and therefore, this year will not be any different, even more for the simple reason that local songwriters are entering foreign selection procedures. We have recently caught up with Joanna, one (1) of three (3) acts competing to represent France in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Ma Liberté written by Philip Vella, Gerard James Borg, Sean Vella and Yann Guillon.

In 2013, Amandine Bourgeois represented France with L’Enfer et Moi, mustering only fourteen (14) points to finish in twenty-third (23rd) place at the end of the voting. This kept in line with the disappointing results that the nation has achieved in recent years, despite enlisting notable names such as Amaury Vassili and Anggun, who in turn represent different genres. What would you bring to the competition that would make you stand out?

I will try to be myself, without thinking about what people think because of the past. The most important thing when I'm on stage in every circumstance is, to respect people in being honest in my interpretation. The first thing, if I go to Copenhagen, is to satisfy my country, even if I don't win, I want them to be proud to have chosen me.  

Ma Liberté, the song which you hope to represent France with in this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is co-composed by Philip Vella, Gerard James Borg and Sean Vella with French lyrics by Yann Guillon and English lyrics by Gerard James Borg. How did you come in contact with the songwriters and how would you describe your entry?

I was listening to some songs for my album, when I heard Ma Liberté and I felt like it was my own song. It was like I could have written in myself because it was full of emotion – the very same strong emotions I would describe in music and lyrics.

When my manager saw my reaction in listening to the song, he decided to present it for the national contest. And it was a really beautiful and welcome surprise for me to be chosen as a finalist for France. 

Without a shadow of doubt, the local audience are familiar with three (3) of those four (4) individuals but nevertheless, Yann Guillon is an extremely respected songwriter in France having previously worked with Emmanuel Moire whose most recent album Le Chemin peaked at number #1 in the official chart. How does it feel to have such an opportunity and will this be the start of an extended collaboration?

I would be so honoured and happy to work with him on other songs. He understood who I was, and he uses words like I would listen to a French song, it's pure and honest. It's really difficult for me to write in french so I'm really admiring Yann Guillon he's a really talented man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkK052U5nmU

This marks the first time in seven (7) years that France is hosting a public selection process, and your entry Ma Liberté is up against another two (2) entries, one entitled Moustache and the other one being Sans Toi. How does it feel to have been selected by the professional jury as one of the finalists and what do you think of the other songs in contention?

It makes me happy and I'm really motivated to show French people I'm able to go to Copenhagen. I don't like to be in competition, not because it's a lot of stress, but because when there's competition there's negativity. The other songs are pretty different to what I do and it's good. Because French people will be free to choose which kind of image and music they want to be represented by.

Natasha St-Pier, a French-Canadian recording artist who had the opportunity to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2001 with the song Je Ne Que Mon Âme  has decided to publically support your participation on behalf of the nation. Having such a magnificient artist throw her weight of music experience behind you must be an honour and a burden at the same time. How do you view such support, and were you surprised?

I'm really happy to see her supporting me publicly. I was really surprised because I didn't expect her support my song before the diffusion of the show on Sunday 26th January. It's very good but I have to convince everyone else now! :)

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com? And what can our readers - who have read this article and would like to support you and your song in France – do?

I want to say thank you to those who are supporting me. And I invite them to go on France 3 web site, and vote Ma Liberte’ (Song number 2) if they like it and if they want me to go in the Eurovision finale. (http://www.france3.fr/eurovision) Thank you very much and I hope to see you in Copenhagen. A big hug and kiss to sunny Malta! xxxxx  Thanks for your support! I truly appreciate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wObC441ejlo

Published in Interviews

Earlier today, the three (3) entries bidding to represent France at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest were unveiled on Channel Europe 1, one of the most famous radio stations in the country. Eventually, they were also published on the official website of France 3 in order for a broader view from both a local and a foreign perspective, the latter bearing more significance due to the competition that lies ahead for the BIG FIVE country in just a couple of months.

Whilst it is not easy to get a clear picture of the songs based on these very short extracts, one could easily see them to between quite different from each other. The choice is between three (3) songs of considerable difference as already have been stated; Moustache is an uptempo electro pop song sung by trio Twin Twin and it sounds like a mixture of Dur Dur d'être bébé and Lipstick; Ma Liberté is a strong power ballad written by the successful Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg with vocals provided by Star Academy finalist Joanna; Sans Toi is a typical ballad sung in English and French, adding to the cheese due to the fact that it is performed by a boy-band.

The outcome of the selection process will be announced on the 2nd March during the programmes Les Chansons d’Abord hosted by Natasha St-Pier, 2001 representative of France, who successfully finished in fourth place back in Copenhagen, Denmark. The winning song will have the honour to carry the French flag on the 10th May 2014, with the hope of bringing a long awaited 6th victory to France, 37 years after the victory of Marie Myriam with L’Oiseau et l’Enfant. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: France 3

In 2014, France 3 decided to host a selection process for their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, making it their first in seven years since Les Fatals Picards and their entry L’Amour à la Français. One of the three (3) shortlisted artists, Joanna has just given an interview to eurovision-quotidien where she revealed that her entry Ma Liberté (My Freedom) is composed by Philip Vella with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. Nevertheless, she will be performing the song in French and has thus enlisted the services of Yann Guilon.

Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg, the most successful songwriters in Malta when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest with no less than five entries to their name; Desire (2000), 7th Wonder (2002), On Again .. Off Again (2004), Vertigo (2007) and Vodka (2008) have competed in other international selections in the past, including in The Netherlands with Ebonique and their entry Heatwave (2003), finishing in fourth place and in Norway with the track Absolutely Fabulous performed by Queentastic (2007) managing a third place finish. 

This news comes in just after Ally, Elton Zarb and Natasha Turner made it to the Lithuanian finals as songwriters. Joanna will be competing alongside Twin Twin and Destan for the right to represent France at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark. The songs will officially be presented on the 26th January 2014 during the programme Les Chansons D’Abord hosted by former representative; Natasha St-Pier on France 3. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: eurovision-quotidien

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSkfmXGIG4

Thursday, 09 January 2014 05:44

France: Song Titles Made Public by Broadcaster

Amandine Bourgeois, and her entry L’Enfer et Moi was not technically an internal selection noting that there were several stages prior to the eventual choice but nevertheless, Frédéric Valencak, the current Head of Delegation is set to revamp the format even further by including the public in a nationwide vote. Late in 2013, France 3 went public with three (3) names as shortlisted by a fourteen (14) member jury panel, and the initial comments were surprisingly positive, especially with several upcoming artists putting their name forward to represent France according to various sources.

Destan, protégées of Universal Music France will be performing the song Sans Toi; Twin Twin, represented by Warner Music France will be singing the track Moustache and Joanna Lagrave from Star Academy will belt out Ma Libertè. The fact that France is actually making use of their own labels is somewhat comforting, especially when not just one label is involved. This is said due to the fact that Warner Music France was responsible for the past three entries from France, including L’Enfer et Moi (2013), Echo (You and I) (2012) and Sognu (2011), respectively.

The tracks of the national selection will not be made public prior to the selection show, which will officially kick-off on the 26th January on the programme Les Chansons D’Abord hosted by the magnificent Natasha St-Pier who proudly represented France in the 2001 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Je n’ai que mon ame which finished in fourth place, and remains to be a fan-favourite to this day. Voting will commence on the programme and will run for just over a month with the results revealed on the same programme on the 2nd March 2014. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: France 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAUpa37Oqhc

Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:15

France: Shortlist of Three Artists Made Public

France 3, the national television broadcaster responsible for the nations' participation in the Eurovision Song Contest had initially made an announcement stating that three (3) artists will be put forward for an upcoming selection procedure. The first detailed have officially emerged as a committee made up of fourteen (14) members, including former Head of Delegation, Bruno Berberes and current Head of Delegation, Fred Valencak had the opportunity to shortlist the acts which they would like to see represent France at the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set for the 10th May in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It is important to point out that although the fourteen (14) panel jury was comprised of people from the music industry, they sought to incorporate the best possible new talent that the country has to offer rather than submitting names of well known artists such as Shy'M. It was in 2009, when France last managed a top ten result, that being at the hands of Patricia Kaas and her song Et S'il Faillait le Faire. The three (3) acts shortlisted for the public selection are as follows;

Destan (Dean Killian, Quentin), a boyband whose music is best described as pop, with a lot of enthusiasm and a distinctive fresh sound. They hope to followin the path of One Direction.

Joanna, discovered through the eighth edition of Star Academy back in 2008, where she was the first runner-up. She had the opportunity to tour all over Europe with the musical 'Il était une fois Joe Dassin' with the genres being a fusion of jazz, soul and rock. She expects to go to places should she get the opportunity to represent France.

Twin Twin, a group made up of three (3) members, the first two (2) being twin brothers, Loren Idir and François Djemel whilst the third one actually being a beatboxer known as Patrick Byick. Their music is described as a mixture of pop and rap.

On the 26th January 2014, the public broadcaster of France will present the songs that will be competing for the right to represent the nation. All of this will happen on the programme 'Les Chansons d'Abord' hosted by 2001 representative Natasha St-Pier who will also be present at the international event having joined the team as a commentator. The audience will have the opportunity to listen to three (3) entries as they will be available on rotation. The votation is set to end on the 23rd February when the results of a public and professional vote will be made public. Stay tuned ot escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: France 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAUpa37Oqhc

Friday, 04 October 2013 13:07

France: Casting Call Procedure Commences

FranceTélévisions, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of France within the Eurovision Song Contest has launched a casting call which will see to the selection of an artist to represent the nation at the upcoming edition of the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Earlier this year, Amandine Bourgeois and her entry L'Enfer et Moi finishing in a disappointing 23rd place with just 13 points.

France 3, the actual broadcaster selected to take care of the event since 2001 onward, is looking for an artist over the age of sixteen, who would send a demo via web transfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. prior to Sunday, 24th November 2013. In the meantime, the song should be mostly in French although an additional couple of phrases in a foreign language would also be accepted. The actual selection of the song is yet to be revealed but nevertheless, more information is expected from FranceTélévisions during the course of the season. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: FranceTélévisions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQwiQj5Dyj8

L'Instinct Masulin, the name of the eighth studio album by Patrick Fiori became his most successful thus far, peaking at number #3 in France, #5 in Belgium and #56 in Switzerland. The renowned male artist is thought to have a predominant following of fans who rather prefer buying a whole abum than singles and thus this could prove to be tricky. Nevertheless, the representative of France at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1993 with the track Mama Corsica which finished in fourth place has decided to release a brand new track entitled Pachamama (La Terre Mere) with one aim, and that is to promote Basque as a regional language.

France, a beautiful country with a generic language, one which is the tenth most spoken in the world. Nevertheless, there are several regional dialects which vary in structure, such as Corsican, a regional variation which Patrick Fiori performed in during the Pan-European competition. This time round, in conjuction with the young artist, Anne Etchegoen andd together with the male choir known as Aizkoa, this single has been recorded. The official video to promote this track was aired for the very first time last night on France 2, a former broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest before France 3 took over in 2001. Patrick Fiori is known to have a varied heritage which features both relatives from France and Armenia. He has always been proud to support ethnic minorities especially when it comes to language. This track will also be within the album entitled Les Voix Basques set to be released on the 24th June. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: esctoday.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fseF8OrrlMY

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