French broadcaster France 2 has unveiled the songs that are in the running to represent France at the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, along with the artists who will be performing them.
Et voilà! We can now take a listen to the 12 songs that are in contention to become the successor to Barbara Pravi’s Rotterdam runner-up.
On Saturday 5 March, France 2 will broadcast Eurovision France: C’est Vous Qui Décidez. The French pre-selection is the same format that was used in 2021 to choose the nation’s Eurovision entry, and which saw Voilà voted to victory – a feat the song very nearly repeated at Eurovision a few months later.
Undoubtedly hoping to go one place better in Turin in May, will be each and every one of the artists revealed by France 2 to be taking part in C’est Vous Qui Décidez 2022.
Let’s get to know them, and take a listen to the songs that they’ll be competing with on that 'magnifique’ evening in March!
Joanna – Navigateure
(Lyrics and music: Joanna, Sutus, Gaspard Murphy)
In just 4 years she’s gone from uploading videos of her singing on her YouTube channel, to now directing her very own music videos, for songs to promote her debut album Sérotonine. Hailing from Rennes, the capital of Brittany in the northwest of France, Joanna cites luminaries such as Mylène Farmer, Björk and Lana Del Rey as her main influences in music. She regards her song Navigateure as a fighter’s song, one which encourages self-confidence and freedom.
Elliott – La Tempête
(Lyrics and music: Elliott Schmitt, François Welgryn, Aliose, Gaspard Murphy)
Having moved from his home in Alsace to the bright lights of Paris at a young age, Elliott soon started making a name for himself at the popular French YouTube channel Cover Garden, where a collective of performers regularly delight viewers with their unique takes on music and humour. A solo EP followed, as did a side career in dubbing for French TV and films. Now Elliott presents to the world La Tempête, a song he describes as an intense journey filled with hope, love and fighting spirit.
SOA – Seule
(Lyrics and music: LudySoa, NathanSoa)
SOA is a duo formed of brother and sister Ludy and Nathan, which means that they have a lifetime of experience in singing together. Living in Toulouse, but originally from Madagascar, where they lived all their childhood, these siblings are proud to showcase their culture through their music. With Seule, they dedicate their song to all people who might feel isolated, calling it an ode full of hope in regaining self-confidence.
Joan – Madame
(Lyrics and music: Joan, Alex Finkin)
A lover of musical theatre, and a seasoned performer in the genre, Joan has been singing and playing guitar since she was very young. Influenced by Anglo-Saxon folk, and particularly attached to the French classics, it is this rich heritage which she is hoping to showcase on the Eurovision stage. In her song, she ponders how love can often be so passionate, it can bring one to the point of madness.
Marius – Les Chansons D’amour
(Lyrics and music: Marius Niollet, Igit, Jonathan Cagne)
Originally from Lyon, at just 18 years of age, Marius moved to Paris and joined a musical comedy training programme. Inspired by great variety singers such as Brel and Balavoine, he also counts modern superstars like Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Kanye West amongst his influences. In his music he conveys a sensitive side through raw themes and a powerful voice. With his song Les Chansons D’amour (co-written by Igit, who also co-wrote Voilà by Barbara Pravi) he explores the process of finding oneself.
Elia – Telephone
(Lyrics and music: Elia, Anibeatz)
Having been writing songs since she was a child, Elia soon graduated to learning piano and drums, too. Influenced by classic French songs as much as she is by hip-hop, the young artist can be classed as an observer of her generation within her music and lyrics. In her song Telephone, too, she explores this theme, pondering the doubts and ideals of her time.
Hélène in Paris – Paris Mon Amour
(Lyrics and music: Hélène Benhamou, Virginie Lesdemia, David Lefèvre)
It was during the first lockdown of the pandemic that Hélène in Paris discovered a passion for song and created a bit of a buzz on social networks with her jazz covers. Born in Morocco, Hélène spent her childhood in Casablanca until the age of 13, before moving to Paris with her family. After studying in France, she emigrated to the United States in the 1980s, where she started a career in fashion and then in interior design. Before long, she was contacted by NBC, and given a job hosting her own show on the Home Shopping Network. In 2019, she finally returned to Paris. And it is this story born of farewells and reunions that she tells in the song that she hopes to go to Eurovision with, Paris Mon Amour; a song in which she evokes the passionate ties that bind her to the French capital.
Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn
(Lyrics and music: Marine Lavigne, Alvan Morvan Rosius)
Performing Fulenn, we have Alvan (a multi-instrumentalist musician specialising in electro) and Ahez (a trio comprised of Marine, Sterenn D. and Sterenn L., 3 Breton singers of traditional heritage, who perform contemporary stories mixed with the myths of their region). The song tackles the Breton legend of a young woman who emancipates herself from societal norms by dancing at night bathed in the light from a bonfire.
Cyprien Zeni – Ma Famille
(Lyrics and music: Cyprien Zeni, Stéphane Petrequi, Nicolas Lassus)
Originally from Réunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean. Cyprien Zeni is now based in Toulouse. As the title of his song might suggest, it is a declaration of love to his family and his roots. And indeed, music runs in the artist’s family; he is the grandson of the famous singer Maxime Laope.
Julia – Chut
(Lyrics and music: Julia Fiquet, Alban Lico, Fabien Mettay, Anton Wick)
A protogee of the iconic French artist Mylène Farmer, the young singer from Haute-Savoie released her debut album, Passe… Comme Tu Sais, in 2020, written for her by her famous mentor and Laurent Boutonnat. Now, Julie is co-writing her own material, including this song, which plays with the preconceptions that people can have about young women of her generation.
Saam – Il Est Où?
(Lyrics and music: Saam, NESS, Charles Boccara)
A dental surgeon by day and an artist by night, Saam draws upon a range of influences as diverse as all-time greats like Jacques Brel and George Brassens, to rappers Niska and Nekfeu. He released his debut EP in 2021, and this year he hopes to take to Turin a song of hope and candor.
Pauline Chagne – Nuit Pauline
(Lyrics and music: Pauline Chagne, Antonin Tardy)
Last autumn, Pauline released her debut EP, and in her Eurovision hopeful, Nuit Pauline, the artist tells a tale of a night in which a young woman can see herself as the heroine in her own life, with all the twists and turns it entails. Music aside, the singer and songwriter is also a keen actress, having taken to the stage in a variety of musicals, plays and cabaret shows. The fight for gender equality is the common thread that runs through her music and her performances.