Szervusz! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in Budapest. We are so ready to try a goulash, but for a starter we are listening to Hungary’s Eurovision 2017 entry, Joci Pápai with “Origo”. Does it have the right flavour or are we going to send it back to the chef? Read on to find out!
Joci Pápai – “Origo”
About Joci Pápai
Twenty-eight-year old Joseph Pontifical, known professionally as Joci Pápai, is a Hungarian singer of Romany descent. Influenced strongly by traditional sounds and tunes from the 1960s and 70s, Joci submitted the autobiographical song “Origo” to Hungary’s national selection A Dal 2017. It speaks of the pain and torment he has faced as a part of an ethnic minority.
Deban: “Origo” is a folklore masterpiece. Stirring, visually arresting, and a testament to topical social issues which resonate beyond the borders of Hungary. Joci Papai is courageous and remains emotive when switching from Romani harmonies to rap. This offering is sufficiently high-level enough to appeal to the juries, and accessible enough to touch the masses.
Chris: Possibly underrated by many thanks to the results of A Dal, “Origo” has lots of good qualities. It’s arguably the best ever example of how to use rap at Eurovision. When used right with the staging present, Joci makes the rap have real passion and purpose. Using simple sounds for the chorus means that keeping the song in Hungarian shouldn’t be much of an issue, too. Well thought out and a real top-ten contender.
Mikhail: When I first started listening to this song I was thinking that, finally, there is something unique and traditional. I was really enjoying it… until the rap part. I don’t think it belongs here. While in the studio version it sounds ok, live Joci Papai sounds like he is Attila the Hun shouting at his opponent to demoralise him. Even though the traditional part is nice it gets too repetitive and nothing changes in it throughout the whole song.
Robyn: “Origo” is bold and mysterious. Even without knowing the meaning of the lyrics (racial prejudice, spirituality, music), Joci makes the message clear through his performance. He switches from singing to rapping because that is how his message needs to be presented. This is easily one of my favourites this year and I can’t wait to see the final staging for Kyiv.
William: This song is so mystical and other-worldly that at times I feel like Joci is trying to turn me into a frog or to communicate with my dead relatives. The first 90 seconds — all smooth and mysterious — have me in rapture. And then he transitions seamless into an extended spoken word section (noticeably featuring the word samurai and a great deal of anger) that really works. He conveys the struggles he has faced as a man of Romany descent — who loves a white woman — so well that I’m left breathless. Given the conservative climate sweeping Hungary at the moment, this isn’t just a pop triumph but a socio-political one too.
Anthony: Traditional ethnic instrumentals gives a haunting depth to “Origo”, combined with the bilingual mix of Romani and Hungarian, and the rapping blends in without feeling disjointed. My only concern is that whether casual Eurovision viewers will get this.
Rezo: “Origo” is deep, fresh and different from the other songs, which gives us opportunity to celebrate diversity in May. This music inspires me to think about Hungarian culture and I appreciate it.
Dayana: This is undoubtedly the most outstanding entry this year. The sound, the voice, the language — everything sounds so unique and fresh. And even if you don’t understand a word of “Origo” you will still remember this entry until the very end of the show. (And probably after it, too).
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.13/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!