Amaury Vassili’s "Sognu" finally released!
…and I think I might be in love.
As expected, France has taken a complete 180 degree turn from last year’s Afro-Caribbean club jam “Allez! Ola! Olé!” “Sognu”, performed in Corsican, is a operatic bolero performed by one of the world’s youngest professional tenors. Twenty-one-year-old Amaury, a native of Normandy, rarely sings in French, preferring to record songs in Italian or English. France, however, being France (remember, this is the country that argued in Parliament over whether their 2008 entry should be performed in English or not), will have their song performed in Corsican, the language spoken on the island where Napoleon himself was born and raised. This will be only the second French ESC entry where not a word of the French language will be heard, the first being 1996’s “Diwanit Bugale“, performed in Breton.
I am not a musicologist, or even an aficionado of opera. I am a proud Josh Groban fan, and I took a few trips to Lincoln Center as a schoolgirl, but that’s really the extent of my experience in this genre. I am, however, very impressed by Amaury’s talent, especially considering his age, and I hope he’s as good live as he is on the studio recording of this single. Obviously, “Sognu” is not the typical Eurovision entry, and it will not be to everybody’s liking. However, between Amaury and Italy’s Raphael Gualazzi, we’re seeing a few songs that step outside of the expected ESC mold of Schlager, Ballads, and Europop and take a risk by bringing unexpected genres to the event. Many “mainstream artists”, especially in Western Europe, tend to pooh-pooh Eurovision, claiming that it’s no longer a musical competition, but rather a popularity contest or a political event. If Amaury or Raphael make a big enough impact on the scoreboard, we might see opinions like that start to shift.
Or at least I can hope, right?