It has been 10 years since Switzerland has chosen a French song for the Eurovision Song Contest. With the song 'Répondez-moi', written and performed by 21-year-old Gjon Muharremaj from Broc in the Canton of Fribourg, they will do just that.
Gjon has dedicated his heart and soul to music since he was a child. Moving his grandfather to tears with his rendition of Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love as a 9-year-old was a formative experience for him. The artist's name came from this very experience: Gjon's Tears. "Whether it's joy, sadness or melancholy – I want to touch people with my music in every possible way."
Gjon's grandfather, who has Albanian roots, was so moved by his grandson's voice that he registered him for a talent show in Albania on the spot in 2011. The then 12-year-old came third in Albania's Got Talent. A year later, he reached the semi-finals in the Swiss equivalent and again in the French talent show The Voice France in 2019.
Gjon has a deep admiration for cinema, is passionate about theatre and loves to draw inspiration from museums and art galleries. Old objects also arouse his interest because, as a child, he visited flea markets with his father. But music has always been his top priority: he is not only a great lover of classical music but also admires "the magic of Cesária Évora, the eccentricity of Grace Jones and the musical intelligence of David Bowie".
Gjon's Tears wrote and composed Répondez-moi with songwriters Xavier Michel, Alizé Oswald and producer Jeroen Swinnen as part of a Swiss songwriter camp. It is an intense mystical song that gets under your skin. The song addresses the themes of origin and self-questioning: "Everyone asks themselves why exactly we are here, where do we come from and where are we going. These are key questions, particularly for people from a migrant background. My parents are from Albania and Kosovo. I grew up in Switzerland, and it's my home, these are questions that I think about a lot". Gjon's Tears is working through his personal story in the song.
Gjon concludes: "... I want to be proud of who I am, where I come from, and what I have achieved. I want to inspire people to follow their own path with Répondez-moi."