It’s the revamped national selection that’s serious about getting Switzerland back into the Eurovision grand final. German-Swiss broadcaster SRF has now announced the six artists and their songs that will be competing in ESC 2018 – Entscheidungsshow.
The previous regional quotas have been scrapped, but the six artists represent different regions of Switzerland. The lucky six acts are: Zibbz, Angie Ott, Naeman, Chiara Dubey, Alejandro Reyes and Vanessa Iraci.
This year the emphasis went on quality songs first. The six competing songs have been composed by some of Europe’s top songwriters, including a few who collaborated at last year’s Swiss songwriting camp. But it’s not all hired guns — three of the artists have co-written their own songs, and one has also co-written a song for another artist. Let’s meet the six.
Zibbz is a brother-sister duo made up of Corinne “Co” Gfeller and Stee Gfeller. They divide their time between Los Angeles and their Swiss home. The siblings are experienced musicians and as well as performing together, they also have solo experience with leading Swiss musicians.
Their song “Stones” was written by Co and Stee in collaboration with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker, at the Swiss songwriting camp. Laurell is an experienced songwriter and co-wrote “I Wish I Loved You More” and “Freedom Hearts” in the 2017 UK national final.
Angie Ott came to fame in 2013 as the runner-up of the first series of The Voice of Switzerland. She’s since worked as a singer and has released a number of songs. Angie is very passionate about music. She says, “I need music like the air to breathe. Only with the music do I feel well in my skin.”
Her song “A Thousand Times” was written by the Swedish-Maltese team of Jonas Gladnikoff, Sara Ljunggren, Glen Vella. Glen represented Malta at Eurovision 2011 and is a frequent contributor to national final songs, especially in partnership with Jonas.
Naeman is a Dutch-born, Swiss-raised singer and has experience on talent shows. He was a semi-finalist on the 2015 edition of Switzerland’s Got Talent and made it to the early stages of German Idol the same year. But Naeman’s strengths lie as a street performer. He travels the world performing in street jams, including locations as far afield as the United States and South Korea.
He will sing “Kiss Me”, written by Kate Northrop, Eric Lumiere, Ken Berglund and Alejandro Reyes. The song is another product of the Swiss songwriting camp. Northrup is an American-born, Swiss-based creative; Eric Lumiere is a successful American dance music producer, who has worked with Swiss artists; Ken Berglund is a Swedish recording engineer; and Alejandro Reyes is a Chilean-Swiss singer-songwriter who is also competing as a singer.
Chiara Dubey is no stranger to the Swiss national final. The talented singer and violinist has competed twice before. In 2012, she placed third with “Anima nuova”, then the following year she placed fifth with “Bella sera”. Curently studying at university, Chiara says her favourite Eurovision song is Céline Dion’s “Ne partez pas sans moi”.
Chiara will sing “Secrets and Lies”, which she co-wrote along with Janie Price, Jeroen Swinnen, Darcy Proper and Sally Herbert. Janine Price is a successful European songwriter; Jeroen Swinnen is a Belgium songwriter, best known for co-writing Tom Dice’s “Me and My Guitar”; Darcy Proper is a Grammy Award-winning recording engineer, and Sally Herbert is a noted string arranger who has worked with artists such as Florence + the Machine and Kylie Minogue.
Alejandro Reyes is the Chilean-born, Swiss-raised singer-songwriter who has long been a fan favourite to represent Switzerland at Eurovision. Due to a medical issue at birth, he was left with a disability in his left hand, but that hasn’t stopped him playing the guitar and creating music. Alejandro also features as one of the songwriters of Naeman’s song “Kiss Me”.
Alejandro will sing “Compass”, which he has co-written along with Laurell Barker and Lars Christen. Laurell is a Canadian songwriter who has also co-written Zibbz’s song “Stones”; Lars is a songwriter who had worked with many popular Swiss acts.
Vanessa Iraci came to fame in 2014 on the second series of The Voice of Switzerland. She made it to the semi-final before being eliminated. She has since built up a career as a singer, and last year appeared on the Swiss music show Ich schänke dir es Lied.
Vanessa’s song “Redlights” is written by the Symphonix songwriting collective, including Boris Milanov, Joacim Bo Persson, Johan Alkenäs, Jessica Ashley Karpov and Jesse Saint John. Symphonix has an impressive track record, but are best known for being behind Bulgaria’s 2016 and 2017 entries, “If Love Was a Crime” and “Beautiful Mess”.
ESC 2018 – Entscheidungsshow
The six acts will battle it out at the grand final on 4 February. Switzerland’s 2017 act Timebelle will also make an appearance, and the will be a tribute to “Amar pelos dois”. The national final will also debut an international jury, and will have a dramatic voting reveal to keep viewers guessing until the end.
What do you think of the six finalists? Who should represent Switzerland in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!