Nayah, the 1999 French hopeful in Jerusalem, is back in the Eurovision race! The singer submitted a track titled Immortels to represent Switzerland in Vienna in 2015. The song is currently in competition on the website of the Swiss German-speaking broadcaster SRF to be among the short-listed entries to make it to Die Große Entscheidungsshow, the Swiss national final, to be held in Kreuzlingen on 31 January 2015. ESCToday.com met with the singer who kindly answered a few questions.
Hello Nayah! Back in 1999 you represented France at the Eurovision Song Contest held in Jerusalem with the song Je veux donner ma voix. 15 years later, here you are again! But this time, surprise, you submitted a song to represent Switzerland in Vienna in 2015.
First of all, how have you been doing since 1999?
I have been doing very good, thanks! During those 15 years, the girl from Perpignan has never stopped singing! When I left Jerusalem in 1999, I received an invitation for a casting to impersonate Céline Dion in a show in Las Vegas. The very same day, I signed a 5-year contract to become the singing look-alike of the one and only, Céline Dion. Today I still perform this show all over France and Europe and it is a real pleasure to sing such an amazing repertoire and impersonate such a world class diva… who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 with Ne partez sans moi… for Switzerland!
So, what has motivated your new Eurovision project and and why did you decide to try to represent Switzerland instead of France this time?
Well, I have been waiting for that moment for a very long time now! I have a childhood dream which is to win the Eurovision Song Contest!
Why Switzerland? Well, for several reasons actually! The first one is that I submitted many songs in France in the past but none of them made it through the selection process… But above all it is because back in 1990 I took part in the Swiss national final held in Lugano with a song performed in duet with Joël Grammson. We had a great song titled Dites à vos enfants which was penned by Pierre Collet et Philippe Malignon. We placed 2nd, we almost made it! At that time, I was married to a Swiss and we lived in Geneva with our children. I can still remember the enthusiasm of the Swiss audience when we performed in Lugano. I have so many great memories of this fantastic experience. The Swiss are such a passionate and respectful people. I enjoyed living in Switzerland where I still have family and I would be delighted and honoured should the Swiss choose me to represent them. I would give the best I can to bring back the trophy to the land where the Eurovision Song Contest was born!
Another reason is that I feel like I need to give something back to the Eurovision fans who have been following me since 1999. I regularly receive messages from eurofans asking me to come back to the contest. They say they miss me! How could I stay insensitive to so much love?!
Talking about 1999, what memories do you keep from your Eurovision experience representing France?
I only have great memories of me representing France in Jerusalem. This was an exceptional adventure that I fully lived together with a great team, my backing vocalists and the French delegation. This is why I want to return to the contest, to experience those feelings again and this time to win the whole thing!
All right. So you submitted a song in Switzerland, Immortels. Could tell us a bit more about your entry (see video at the bottom of the page)?
Sure. I wrote the lyrics of the song Immortels based on a music composed by my friend Rémi Orts. While doing so I was thinking about all the people whose life is a suffering and who struggle to adapt to our modern world which is every day more violent. When I watch the news I am always chocked to witness so much hate and violence, an increasing number of people living alone, of abused children, poverty everywhere, more hunger in the world… At some point I felt the need to shout ‘enough’! Time has come to do something about it. We need to focus also on the positive aspects of our world and have a closer look at what Life is meant for. We need to learn how to live together, how to respect each other with our differences, how to express our brighter side… It is possible. Why couldn’t Life be lived in peace and in good health after all? This is what my song is about. And I believe we have the keys to change it all!
This song kind of completes the album Je suis that I released a few months ago with the help of another friend of mine, Martial Fernandez. Immortels will also make it easier for people to understand who I am and what my vision of the world is. What I wish for is love and hope for everyone in this world.
Do you have a message for the readers of ESCToday.com and the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest?
Yes. I cannot wait to meet with you all again! But this is only the very beginning of my challenge right now. I need you to help my song go through the first stage of the selection process. Please vote for my song Immortels from 3 to 17 November on the website of SRF!
Will Switzerland and the Europeans like my song enough to vote for it and make it win the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015? This is what I will be wondering till the end of this new adventure that I wish to fully live with you and everyone who is willing to support me. It is the beginning of a dream, dear friends. You have the keys to make it happen! Thanks for your loyalty and your love <3 ! Nayah.
Thank you Nayah, ESCToday wish you all the best!