Anggun: France’s Choice for Baku!
Within the past few hours, France has announced their representative for Baku 2012: Indonesian-born R&B singer-songwriter Anggun. The 37-year old Jakarta native (full name: Anggun Cipta Sasmi) has recorded over a dozen albums in French, English, and Bahasa, and has had hits all throughout Europe, and Asia. She is also tangentially connected to the Eurovision world; her work on the soundtrack for the 2002 Danish film Elsker dig for evigt/Open Hearts had her collaborating with Neils Brinck, who represented the Scandinavian nation in 2009.
We don’t know yet what Anggun’s song will be; if past years are any indication, it might be a bit of a wait until we get all of the details on what broadcaster France 3 will present. (A month went by between the announcement of Amaury Vassili and the presentation of “Sognu”, and the same went for Jessy Matador and his “Allez! Ola! Olé!”. However, Patricia Kass revealed “Et s’il fallait le faire” only a day after she was revealed as France’s artist for 2009, so you never know what will happen!) Anggun’s latest album, Echoes (or, in the French version, Echos) was released just this month, so it might be possible that she will use a single from this new album, just as Kass did when she released “Kabaret”.
To hold us over until we get official word on France’s 2012 entry, here’s a sampling of some of Anggun’s biggest hits (or, at the very least, some of my favorites):
Her breakthrough came in 1997 with the release of “Snow on the Sahara” (or its French-language counterpart, “La neige au Sahara“):
Her 2005 single “Cesse la pluie” spent 23 weeks on the French Top 100, and was featured on the soundtrack to the film “Transporter 2”:
And her most recent release in Bahasa is entitled “Hanyalah Cinta (Just Love)”:
Anggun isn’t the first Indonesian to perform at Eurovision; Anneke Grönloh, Sandra Reemer, Dries Holten, and Justine Pelmelay were all either born on the island nation or have roots there. Also, all of these artists performed for the Netherlands, while Anggun seems to be the first Asian-born artist to represent France. With her diverse linguistic portfolio, and considering France’s penchant for having one of their national languages (whether it’s French or a rare foray into Corsican, Creole, or Breton) presented, it begs the question: will France 3 showcase Anggun’s distinct point of view and have her sing in Bahasa, or will she have to sing in French?