Two and a half years after her Eurovision entry, Dutch artist Joan Franka returns to the music scene with her new song, Nigel. The single was released today, 9 October 2014. Nigel is a rock ballad with autobiographic influences, and signifies a new beginning for the singer after her Eurovision adventure.
Joan Franka represented The Netherlands during the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Influenced by the age of hippie’s, the 1960’s and 1970’s, Joan Franka sang the folk-song You And Me, about a young woman who looks back at her childhood and remembers her first innocent love for a boy. The song was inspired by the children’s game “playing cowboys and Indians”, and Joan was most noticed for wearing a traditional Native American headdress during her performance on stage. Unfortunately, Joan Franka did not go on to the grand final, reaching the 15th place in the second semi final.
Now, the artist is back with her new single Nigel. It is a brand new start for the singer, who has had a difficult time following her Eurovision participation, as she told Dutch newspaper AD. Returning form Baku, Joan signed a contract that limited her artistic freedom, as she felt that the record company was pushing her into a musical direction she did not want to take. Eventually she decided to leave the company, which led to a financial crisis. She also had a rough time because of her failure at Eurovison. Because of this, she went to Paris in 2013, where she performed as a busker for several weeks. During this time, Joan rediscovered her love for music, staying true to her own artistic ideas. Back in The Netherlands, she started writing again, and is following classes at the Herman Brood Rock Academy in the Dutch city Utrecht, collaborating with other musicians. Joan has also found an investor who helps her with her financial problems.
Nigel is somewhat rougher in sound than You And Me, and exemplary of Joan’s new sound, who now describes herself as a “gentle rockchick”. Although still inspired by the ’60’s and ’70’s, the Native headdress and wide frocks are gone. Just as You And Me, Nigel is a somewhat autobiographic song, inspired by a guitarist on which she had a secret crush. Just as in her new career, Joan Franka wants to emphasize that staying true to yourself and following your heart are the best options.
Nigel is now available on iTunes.
Joan Franka (born Joany Franka Johanna Ayten Hazebroek, Rotterdam, 1990), is a folk-rock singer of Dutch-Turkish heritage. She became known to a wide Dutch public because of her participation in the popular show The Voice Of Holland in 2010, eventually reaching the fourth live show. In 2012 she was selected to partake in the national Dutch selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, the Nationaal Songfestival. She won with the song You And Me, which she performed during Eurovision 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Joan Franka reached the 15th place in the second semi final, gathering not enough points from both jury and public to go on to the grand final, although in retrospect, she would have reached the final if only the public had voted.