As you'll surely know by now, the Netherlands are hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in May, so speculation around their entry has been particularly intense. The wait is over. Dutch singer-songwriter Jeangu Macrooy has revealed the song he'll be performing on home turf during a special live broadcast for fans.
Birth of a New Age tells a story of resilience and the beginning of a new era, and was written and produced by Jeangu Macrooy and longtime collaborator Perquisite.
In conversation with Cornald Maas during the event, Jeangu summed up the song:
“The song is an ode to everyone who stands up for themselves and dares to celebrate the power of their authenticity.”
In a dynamic live performance, backed by his entire band, three percussionists and the ZO! Gospel Choir, Macrooy showcased his song to Europe:
“As an artist, there’s nothing I like more than performing. So it was really awesome to be able to present the song live on such a grand scale.”
During his entry Jeangu sings in Sranan Tongo, one of the languages of his birthplace Suriname; the language makes a welcome debut on the Eurovision stage. This section is inspired by an old Surinamese “odo” or saying: ‘Mi Na Afu Sensi, No Wan Man E Broko Mi’. The literal translation of which is: 'I’m half a cent, you can’t break me'. The half-cent was the smallest coin in Suriname and therefore literally unbreakable into smaller denominations. In the context it stands for self respect, resilience and determination.
About Jeangu Macrooy
The seeds to Jeangu’s musical journey were planted when he received a guitar from his parents for his 13th birthday. Together with his twin brother Xillan, he formed a musical duo. His artistic ambitions, however, proved bigger than the scene in his native Surinam and he moved to the Netherlands at the age of 20.
In the Netherlands, Jeangu enrolled in music college where he began collaborating with producer Perquisite. Jeangu's soulful debut album, High On You, was nominated for an Edison Pop Award and he has since performed at prominent festivals such as Lowlands, North Sea Jazz and Eurosonic Noorderslag. His second album, 2019's Horizon, is critically acclaimed by both press and public and preceded international headline tours and frequent appearances on national TV and radio.
In the autobiographical song Grow, Jeangu Macrooy opens his heart and mind to the world around him. What would have been his entry for the 2020 Contest is his personal story about getting older and the quest to find himself.
Jeangu believes there is no instruction manual for life, and by accepting that life consists of highs and lows, he believes that you make progress and get closer to who you are:
"Emotions, good and bad, are a universal language. I hope the song makes people feel a little less lonely in their search for happiness. I think that openness and honesty about how we really feel will ultimately bring us closer. I believe in the power of music to bring people together. It's the reason I do what I do."
The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest
The Netherlands are one of the founding members of the Eurovision Song Contest, and of course, Duncan Laurence's recent victory is the reason we're heading to Rotterdam.
The Netherlands are one of the most successful Eurovision nations with a total of five champions: Corry Brokken (1957), Teddy Scholten (1959), Lenny Kuhr in a four-way tie (1969), Teach-In (1975) and Duncan Laurence (2019). Can Jeangu gift the Dutch a sixth victory?