In his Eurovision 2017 song “My Friend” he works two registers and two languages. And in his official music video Croatia’s Jacques Houdek keeps up the game of twos, taking on two very different roles — stylish Croatian crooner in leather gloves and Italian opera virtuoso wearing spectacles.
The song’s inspirational message — living every moment as if it’s a miracle — manifests through the video’s sweeping visuals, which include a sunlit field and stunning views from a mountaintop.
But, more importantly, it also comes through in a series of vignettes about personal perseverance. The various characters — including a hipster, a man driving a car, an adorable puppy and a dancer — all have back stories and surprising attributes that only emerge as the video progresses, forcing you to re-think your assumptions about people and things.
We won’t give away the surprises, so watch the video — and watch carefully.
Jacques is thrilled that the video is finally here. Writing on Facebook he said: “‘My friend’ official video is out!”
“Thank you all for participating and helping out in the realization of this video, especially the director Katja Restovic, the filming executive Josip Ruzic (Rose-Art videoproduction) and their team.”
This song doesn’t fit neatly into any box, as it melds and mixes elements from many genres and styles. In many ways it’s a song of twos: two languages (English and Italian), two styles (torch song and operatic ballad) and two halves (a dreamy and atmospheric first half which leads to a forceful second half).
Unlike any other song this year, “My Friend” sounds like a duet between a talented motivational singer and an opera star — except Jacques provides both voices, switching quickly between styles in what is surely a difficult vocal feat.
Thematically the song is all about seizing the day and making the most out of your life right now. “There are only two ways to live your life,” he intones in the opening. “One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything’s a miracle.”
ABOUT JACQUES HOUDEK
Many diehard Eurovision fans will recognise Jacques from back in the day, when he competed in Dora — the old Croatian national selection for Eurovision. His debut in the competition was back in 2002 with his song “Carolija”, which placed thirteenth at the time. But the silver lining was that it launched his long and enduring career in Croatia.
Since then he has signed to Croatia Records and produced thirteen albums. And now he sits pretty in the big red chair on The Voice of Croatia, where he led Croatia’s artist for Eurovision 2016 Nina Kraljic to victory. It’s a small world!
Are you excited to see Jacques Houdek at Eurovision 2017? Can he take Croatia to the final for the second year in a row? Let us know in the comments section below or via our new wiwibloggs app – now available on the App Store and Google Play.