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Madame Monsieur

Madame Monsieur will represent France at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Mercy'.

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Since the dawn of time, the old saying is that two is better than one. In some cases, it rings as true to the ears as it does to the eyes. This is what happens when you cross paths with Madame Monsieur, the French duo formed by Jean-Karl and Emilie. Their shared musical and personal journey began in a bar ten years ago. The day after that first glance, the first words and first notes were already flowing between them. In 2018, they unleashed Vu d’ici, a debut album that pushes the boundaries of both urban and pop worlds.

Emilie’s love of chanson and her writing style were influenced by French greats such as Barbara and Nino Ferrer, as well has her fascination with jazz and blues. Emilie also inherited her love of music from her childhood in Nice, where stories were sung to her instead of read. Jean-Karl had a formal education in the alto section of the Conservatory of Amiens and his polar-opposite upbringing, filled with English songwriters and the kings of pop. 

If there is strength in unity there is also perseverance. After a few productive years as part of a folk group in English, the pair decided to break off from the project and sail towards their own destiny and Madame Monsieur was the result. "Madame" and "Monsieur", like two poles of the same celestial body, are each pulled to the centre of a song, where Emilie masterfully sculpts the French language around Jean-Karl’s pop leanings. It’s the one-way ticket of their dreams toward simplicity.

Jean-Karl and Emilie's fortuitous meeting with producer Guillaume Silvestri came at the end of a cycle of doubt, as if the planets had aligned and delivered them the way forward. In them, he saw a potential as natural as a chorus between two verses. He fast-tracked Madame Monsieur within the urban scene, hooking them up with many of the artists that would appear on the duo’s first EP Tandem (2016), such as Youssoupha, Ibrahim Maalouf, Jok'air and S.Pri Noir. Diving into fresh sources to further their art, these encounters pushed creative boundaries, leading to an increasingly modern style. Emilie’s voice flows majestically over Jean-Karl’s nuanced tones and grooves, inspired by the world around him. The duo’s alchemy was there and they were ready to write the next chapter in the form of their first album.    

Entitled Vu d’ici (Seen From Here in English), Madame Monsieur’s album reflects an almost urgent longing to relate to the world around them, like that day in March 2017, when a tweet by a journalist aboard the humanitarian boat Aquarius flashed onto their screens with the photo of a little girl born in the middle of the sea. Rescued amid chaos, the miracle that is Mercy inspired Madame Monsieur’s eponymous first single, which earned them a spot representing France at Eurovision, chosen by the public during the televised show on France 2. Madame Monsieur embodies this universal poetry and puts its center stage on Vu d’ici.

Madame Monsieur find light in the sometimes cruel reality of daily life and transform it into something beautiful and strong, as on their second single Comme une reine, which serves as a resounding warning for the self-esteem against tyranny.    

Madame Monsieur’s ultra-visual atmosphere provides the foundation for the layers of music upon which flow a melodic tide of time. Vu d’ici delivers a snapshot of an era they identify with, a photograph of the world that this inseparable duo inhabits. Madame Monsieur are the shimmering stars of pop with the soundtrack of tomorrow. Hand in hand.

Lyrics of Mercy

Je suis née ce matin
Je m’appelle Mercy
Au milieu de la mer
Entre deux pays, Mercy

C’était un long chemin et Maman l’a pris
Elle m’avait dans la peau, huit mois et demi
Oh oui, huit mois et demi

On a quitté la maison, c’était la guerre
Sûr qu’elle avait raison, y’avait rien à perdre
Oh non, excepté la vie

Je suis née ce matin
Je m’appelle Mercy
On m’a tendu la main
Et je suis en vie
Je suis tous ces enfants
Que la mer a pris
Je vivrai cent mille ans
Je m’appelle Mercy

Et là devant nos yeux y’avait l’ennemie
Une immensité bleue peut-être infinie
Mais oui, on en connaissait le prix

Surgissant d’une vague, un navire ami
A redonné sa chance à notre survie
C’est là, que j’ai poussé mon premier cri

Je suis née ce matin
Je m’appelle Mercy
On m’a tendu la main
Et je suis en vie
Je suis tous ces enfants
Que la mer a pris
Je vivrai cent mille ans
Je m’appelle Mercy

Je suis née ce matin
Je m’appelle Mercy
Merci, merci, merci, merci
Merci, merci, je vais bien merci
Merci, merci, merci, merci
Merci, merci, je vais bien merci
Here is where I was born
With the name Mercy
Somewhere out in between
On the open sea, Mercy

Mama travelled so far
Over every tide
And for nearly nine months
I was safe inside
Oh I, I was safe inside

But she couldn’t ignore
What she had to do
Ran away from the war
Nothing left to lose
Oh no, nothing but our lives

Here is where I was born
With the name Mercy
Someone held out a hand
Giving life to me
For all the children lost
To the cold, cold sea
I’ll live ten thousand years
With the name Mercy

But surrounded by blue, nothing else in sight
If the water won, we would pay the price
Oh we, we’d pay it with our lives

Rising over a wave came another boat
A chance at survival, a sign of hope
Oh my, they sang when they heard me cry

Here is where I was born
With the name Mercy
Someone held out a hand
Giving life to me
For all the children lost
To the cold, cold sea
I’ll live ten thousand years
With the name Mercy

Here is where I was born
Je m’appelle Mercy
Merci, merci, merci, merci
Merci, merci, I made it, merci
Merci, merci, merci, merci