She calls herself a “warrior”, between “rage and pride”: Barbara Pravi will represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest at the end of May with “Voila”, a flash of a life strewn with hardships and a song which earned her comparisons with Barbara or Piaf . His piece is both a diary and a business card launched to an audience to be won over. “Yes, it’s absolutely my story, that’s why this song was so hard to write, but it can resonate with any person”, confides to AFP the singer, lived on stage, ball of energy in interview.
“She is absolutely correct, with strong words: she talks about her but at no time does one say to oneself that she talks too much about her, everyone can take a little piece of her”, echoed for AFP Alexandra Redde-Amiel, director of entertainment and variety at France Télévisions and head of the French delegation to Eurovision.
“It’s not at all my kind of saying” listen to me, I want to talk about myself “, it’s a plea,” I only have music in my life, without that I don’t exist “” , enlightens the singer-songwriter-arranger, not yet thirty. Message received: the curly brunette came first in the vote of the jury and the public and will represent France at Eurovision on May 22 in Rotterdam. If the sanitary conditions allow the competition to be hosted in the Netherlands. Otherwise its interpretation will be recorded remotely.
“We have a talent like that every ten years”
Since his televised performance on Saturday, praise has been raining down. The composer André Manoukian, member of the jury, found the definitive formula: “She picks up the arrow left by Edith Piaf or Barbara and sends it even further”. “These influences in the world of Barbara, Piaf, she takes them, in fact something extremely modern, we have a talent like that every ten years”, dissects Alexandra Redde-Amiel.
“These comments are incredible, unexpected, we cannot predict such a strong runaway in the wildest dreams, I am hyper-moved and I feel carried, I will be even stronger at Eurovision”, promises the interested. Peers like Madame Monsieur (a duo that went through Eurovision) or Benjamin Biolay are also seduced by the impulses of life and the wounds of the past which cross his voice.
“It’s as if the events I had known were digging holes, that I knew how to close them and that I knew how to reopen them when I sing,” she draws. Tests ? All you have to do is listen to her songs, where she gets naked, between domestic violence (“Le Malamour”) or abortion (“Chair”). “On Saturday, I knew that in front of the screens, there was my grandfather, my friends, all those who helped me, but also all the people who crushed me, it gave me energy, between rage and pride, a warrior force, in the positive sense: “I am here, I succeeded, it is already a victory” “.
Last French victory in 1977
Her story is condensed in another song, “Je Sers”, a painting from the time when she was a waitress but already knew that her blackened notebooks would become songs (and soon a future album scheduled at the end of the summer at Capitol) .
“Authentic” is the label that often comes up to define it. It can’t be invented, it’s the translation of Pravi, Serbian name of one of her grandfathers (“Deda”, to whom she dedicates a song, the other grandfather is Iranian, her parents were born in France like her). Barbara Pravi did not hatch artistically on Saturday night. She has already released titles in her name and has also put herself at the service of others, from the mainstream variety of Yannick Noah to the sharp electro of Terrenoire.
And then, alongside her writing partner, Igit, she is also behind two French songs of the Eurovision junior, including that of Valentina, winner last year. If Barbara Pravi won this year, she would sign a strange double. Enough to erase the eternal reference to Marie Myriam, the last French winner in 1977.