Israel: Netta Barzilai’s “Toy” is an anthem of empowerment inspired by the #MeToo movement


She is not a toy, but we already love to play her song. Netta Barzilai, the one-woman show who won the Israeli national selection The Next Star for Eurovision 2018, has not officially released her Eurovision 2018 entry “Toy“. But on Saturday evening, as Europe followed the results in Melodifestivalen and Melodi Grand Prix, her song leaked — giving the fandom yet another track to dive into.

In a year where there’s a dearth of pop tracks, Israel is delivering us something fun and catchy from the Promised Land! From the first beat you can hear that this song is different — and you can barely compare it to anything you’ve heard at Eurovision before.

The Oriental / Mizrachi sound takes centre stage here, providing a fantastic core around which Netta can improvise. The song is mainly in English, although you can hear plenty of words in Hebrew, such as: “Ani Lo Buba” (I’m not a puppet). This diva isn’t attached to strings — she’s pulling ’em!

As the #MeToo movement helps women find their voice, Netta is using hers to sing of empowerment with some in-your-face lyrics: “Wonder woman don’t you ever forget, you’re divine and he’s about to regret….I’m not your toy, you stupid boy”.

“Toy” was written by Doron Medalie and Stav BegerIn a recent interview on Israeli radio, Doron said that the song has a strong connection to the #MeToo movement. As he said: “Women are not toys”.

This is freestyle, Mediterranean women’s anthem that works well with Netta’s powerful image and voice. She’s in control of herself and her song — and we know this is going to be magical.

Netta’s “Toy”

Following Netta’s victory on “The Next Star for Eurovision 2018”, a special committee with members of IPBC (KAN) and Keshet (the broadcaster of The Next Star for Eurovision 2018) listened to 140 song submissions. The chosen song was “Toy” — by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger.

If you’re a hardcore Eurovision fan, you should know Doron, as he also wrote “Golden Boy” and “Made of Stars”, the Israeli songs at Eurovision 2015 and 2016.

Doron also wrote many other Israeli hits such as: “Tel Aviv” and “Tikitas”. He also took some Eurovision hits — Opa (Greece 2010) and “Dime” (Spain 2003) — and reworked them in Hebrew.

Stav Beger wrote a song for the Israeli national final in 2016 (together with Tom Gefen), “Follow The Sun”, by Gil Hadash, as well as some other hits for Israeli artists, such as “Shnei Meshuga’im ” (Two Crazy People) by Omer Adam.

Netta Barzilai will be allowed to use her vocal looper

From the moment Netta had her first audition in Israel the big question surrounding her performances was whether the Eurovision rules would allow this kind of performance.

According to the latest reports the EBU will allow her to use her own special toy on stage, as long as the voices will be recorded to the looper during her live performance.

Who is Netta Barzilai?

Netta is 25 years old, and she performs in clubs and weddings in Tel Aviv. She has a unique look, which reflects her unique musical style: She’s a one-woman show that you have to watch in order to understand.

In her first audition, and during most of her performances on the show, she had a special vocal looper on stage. But even with just a one-string guitar during her second audition, she still oozed charisma, style and uniqueness in her special version of the Eurovision 1978 winning song, “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”.

Links to Netta Barzilai’s perfomances:  “Rude Boy” | “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” | “Hey Mama” | Mashup | “What Is Love” | “Barbie Girl” |  “Wannabe” | “Kzat Meshugaat”

During the last months there’s been quite the interest in Israel surrounding Netta and her unique style. In fact, she was even imitated recently on “Eretz Nehederet” (A Great Country) — a very popular Israeli TV show. Looks like a star has been born.

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What do you think about “Toy”? Do you think Netta can make it to the final or maybe even win Eurovision? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!