Netta Barzilai has one of the biggest voices of Eurovision 2018 and she’s using it to spread a message of social justice. While “Toy” is definitely a song of female empowerment, it’s also a song of empowerment for us all….regardless of our gender. She clucks like a chicken not merely for our amusement, but also to let the haters know it’s time to back off. As she tells wiwibloggs: “The noises are supposed to imitate the voices of a coward — a ‘chicken’. Someone who doesn’t act the way he/she feels and treats you like a toy.”
In her first English-language interview since winning The Next Star for Eurovision, Netta discusses her message, her vocal looper and her love of a certain Czech Eurovision star…
Follow Netta on Instagram @nettabarzi
You’re climbing the iTunes charts all over Europe and your video is approaching six million views. Did you expect this response?
I knew we were making something unique and different, but never in a million years did I think the song and the video clip would get such a strong positive response.
You became the bookies’ favourite to win almost immediately. Do you feel extra pressure now? How are you coping?
I’m just trying to be super focused. There is a lot of pressure, of course, but I’m working as hard as I can and I do get a lot of help from a team of amazing people. I’m extremely grateful for having them near me.
Your composer Doron Medalie has said the song is inspired by the #MeToo Movement. Did you tell him that you wanted a song of female empowerment? What was your reaction when you first heard the song?
While I was at “Rising Star”, Israel’s pre-selection competition to the ESC, I was exposed to many people, including Doron. He saw me, my persona and capabilities and decided that “Toy” is a song that would fit me and the competition. I couldn’t agree with him more.
What’s the general message of the song?
The song has an important message – the awakening of female power and social justice, wrapped in a colorful, happy vibe.
Your chicken noises give us LIFE. Please explain their significance and what they represent.
It’s so funny how people are caught up with that. It has a double meaning. The noises are supposed to imitate the voices of a coward — a “chicken”. Someone who doesn’t act the way he/she feels and treats you like a toy. Baka is also ‘stupid’ in Japanese.
Are you worried that people will perceive the song (particularly the chicken noises) as a joke or troll entry? What will you do to ensure people realise this is a ‘serious’ entry?
I think we spend too much time on judging ourselves and others, instead of opening our minds to take in all the inspiration that surrounds us.
Is Pikachu your favourite Pokemon?
Isn’t it yours?!?!?!
Could you please explain what your vocal looper is, how it works and why you love it?
The looper is a mobile recording device which allows me to record my voice, several times in a loop, until a playback is formed. I love it cause it gives me creative freedom to express my crazy musical ideas.
Were you worried that the EBU would prevent you from using it? Are you now fully cleared to use it in Lisbon?
I can’t reveal anything that would happen on stage, but I can promise surprises!
Are you worried that you might make a mistake live on stage with the looper that might impact your performance?
Yes, but that’s part of the thrill of taking chances. If you want to succeed, you have to take some risks.
Many fans have called you the ‘Verka Serduchka of 2017’. Verka, of course, is wild and crazy and came second at Eurovision. What do you think of this comparison?
If a comparison needs to be made, I’m glad it’s to Verka’s Eurovision performance! 🙂
Have you listened to Czech song? Many people feel it carries an opposite message to what you want to convey. We’re curious what you think.
Mikolas Josef is hot! Maybe he could lie to me next time we meet.
Will your staging in Lisbon take inspiration from the music video? Will those fab dancers be coming?
Yes, we are taking inspiration from the video, but I can’t reveal anything at this stage.
Finally, do you have a message for all of your fans on wiwibloggs?
My message is that you don’t have to fit the normal standard model of how a person should look, think, talk and create in order to succeed. We’re only here for a minute — we better enjoy the ride.
Are you in love with Netta as much as we are? Are you feeling her beautiful spirit through the outré and addictive “Toy”? And what other questions do you want us to ask her when we finally meet? Let us know in the comments box below!
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Well, honey I feel you! But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Last year people in the comment session literally wished Salvador his death… So… No surprises
The message of the song is clear. The most important things are your personality and brain. Love yourself the way you are. It’s true. But I think people should care of their appearance too. Be better today than you were yesterday in any case)
No, you’re *not* encouraging her to get fit and assimilate, you’re encouraging her to place herself and other contestants in a dangerous lifestyle that not a lot of people can survive
No, you’re *not encouraging her to get fit and assimilate, you’re encouraging her to place herself and other contestants in a dangerous lifestyle that not a lot of people can survive
Israel douze points.
“We’re only here for a minute — SO we better enjoy the ride.”
Good luck Netta Barzilai.
chicken emancipation necessary. Chicken are nice, they lay eggs and humans take them all away. if anything, chicken should be a symbol of humble self-sacrificing worker. it is unfair that jerk men get compared to chicken. Chicken always go to sleep before daydown and they are already abused as is. It is weird that a song that talks about harrassment and abuse is actually so abusive to an innocent bird
True. I also hate any saying about animals like ”treated like a dog” ”die like a dog”
Israel will never win with this song, period.
They will win easily, period.
The winner will be decided in competition. Let´s not make it boring again.
tbh it is a catchy song, but with a rather typical hook and not really a winning song quality.
I am thinking the winner might be someone nobody predicts that isn´t even in Top 10 ´s at the moment. It is whoever manages to grab the audience on stage – or that haunts the brain longest.
AAHA,the lyric is for a child… poor lyric, and now they say there is a message. OK
Read them first(:
For those who haven’t seen this yet, here is a wonderful transcription of the song “Toy” played on Grand Piano: https://youtu.be/CWB_2D6hpqk
It’s really nice to hear the harmonies filled in for the verses, and the player makes full use of the range of the grand piano to demonstrate the song’s musical content. “Toy” is definitely a contender to win ESC this year, and I think the piano cover helps to justify why, musically. I hope Netta likes it.
That was really lovely! Whether one loves it or not, it has to be said that Israel has one of the most interesting songs of this year.
It’s funny,but it’s not a winner. Pls do not let Israel win,because this song not the best among the 43 songs.
Its the best by far, most original and killer talented performer
I won’t be suprised if Gal Gadot joins Netta on stage as the real face of modern wonder woman! All she has to to do is have all the gear on (there is not much), and add her to the song and performance, hey presto they secure their win!
That is about as likely as Zara Larsson entering Melfest.
On stage no, but if they win, I bet Gal Gadot will be the first name on the host run list.
This is Eurovision, be respectfull
Love, love, peace, peace from Sweden ; )
Israel eurovision fans are overreacting at the moment (they think and truly believe that they have best singer in earth) :):) Pardon – this song is so bad that I think it collect just some points in total and will be in 15-17 place in 1st semi.
Israel fanclub- calm down- Netta is not superstar- just a young girl and even with not good voice. We have thousand of Nettas accross Europe actually. :):)
its not israeli fans only, its a world wide hit so please be accurate with the facts, and there is no other Netta thats why its such a hit and she is first in all betting odds sites. she should and will win if you like it or not, 15-17 place in first semi??? in which world honey???(:
and please provide something in the world that sound and look like this:
Bad song- my wife even did not listen it more than 1 minute. Please dont cry if she stays in semifinal and I think she is not going to the final. 0 points- sorry !
I like the song at first. A lot. Now with all those hashtags , “empowerments” , the constant preaching , moaning ,angry feminism & the propaganda behind it I dislike it as much as the French one .
yep the more the word ‘messaage’ I see used by contestants the more inclined Im to start disliking the song…
Sometimes I wish I didnt follow the pre Euro hoopla as I do now & just saw the contest without knowing all the drama & messages beforehand…
The song and emotions is all that matters, dont be influenced by words
this is what i suggest…
Sorry- this song is so bad that I stop listening it in te middle of song (waist of time). Not sure she even willpass semi-final. Sorry Israel- you pay so many attention (and money).
Yeah, im not sure as well if it qualify to the final but im totally sure it will win the contest…see ya in israel next year(:
Women should let men going their own way. MGTOW. Let’s see who is better alone. Women are doing better by themselves.
I feel like people are trying to make some drama out of nothing. 😉 In their songs, both Netta and Mikolas are clearly making fun of certain gender stereotypes (typical basic fu*kboy/typical aggressive tumblrina), while both are in fact very likeable, intelligent and talented artist. Mikolas is actually a feminist and #MeToo supporter, since he experienced what it’s like to be a victim of sexual empowerment while he was working in fashion industry, and I am also sure that Netta is not some grumpy man-eating feminazi or anything like that. I actually think it wouldn’t be bad idea to interview… Read more »
The most i lke from all the text is that when say
cocococcorocoo, or something like that , like a chiken , ya ok …..mmm….winner no???or yes… or not???? ….
Hate the song, LOVE her personality and character.
I thought it was terrible first. But damn I can’t stop listening to it. Now I think it’s a brilliant song. Israel is my favorite this year with Bulgaria and Sweden.
I don’t think calling a boy “stupid” is the best way to awaken femenist power, as the heading says. Sorry! In any case, it must be built with respect.
So Netta, not a good social example to follow under my opinion…. But a product with basic lyrics for a conctete purpose: ESC.
You do realize that the “stupid boy” she’s referring to are the men of higher power who uses their influence, authority, and position to abuse and harass women and men of lower status, right?
If she’s having a man dressed as a chicken on stage.. then bye.
The message might have been good and inspiring, but that song was rubbish. No wonder why it was a borderline qualifier. My 26 at the 2016 final. Of course, this is just my opinion.
Song was decent, but staging too dark, girl dressed like member of Volturi family, I know it was adapted to the song, but again general audience don’t see message.
“I think we spend too much time on judging ourselves and others, instead of opening our minds to take in all the inspiration that surrounds us.”
Whatever you call that song, at least she’s showing her true self and doesn’t care about your judgement.
ESChbelgium, she doesnt care? she made a song about a ‘stupid’ boy, i’d say she care about peoples opinions
I’m having a “Ocidentalis Karma” vibe about this song afther reading the interview.
Francesco had a great song, but in the end it was a party song with a monkey on stage and people didn’t actually get the deep meaning of it all.
Toy feel like a party song about a woman who had a bad relationship and is getting over it, not about the #metoo or #timesup movements (being that those movements focus on harrasment and inequality in the workplace, things that the song doesn’t explore, nor the video)
There are two ways of getting your message across:
– The classy way (Ukraine 2016, Austria 2014, Sweden 2015)
– The clownish way (Israel 2018, Italy 2017, Iceland 2006, Finland 2013)
Yeah, you may notice the winners category easily. 😉
Dana International’s winning performance was a bit clownish too and look where it got her!
I agree there is a classy way to say things and that’s good. Although Austria winning song was not about a message, the message was Conchita herself and being able to participate and win Eurovision.
I just can’t help it, but love the clownish way actually! I love Israel 2018 and Italy 2017, haven’t heard Iceland 2006 and Finland 2013 is still one of my guilty pleasures to this day. Hell yes!
DING DONG! SO MARRY ME I’LL BE YOUR QUEEN BEE! XD
Good for you.
Ukraine classy lm,ao thanks for a laugh ))))))))
Ive been engaged in fights with SJWs and I can damn right assure you that Netta is not an SJW. She just wanted to make an underlying statement with her entry. That’s not bad.
This is how an SJW comment looks like:
GENERALIZING OPPRESSORS DOES NO HARM TO THEM. Get over your self, no one cares about your feelings. This a gays only event GO HOME
(This comes from of those SJWs who use Latinx)
Hardcore SJWs are just as annoying as real conservative bigots. The key word is a bigot and anyone who is unable to hear not only the opposite opinion, but even a slightly toned down opinion, is a bigot. Those people only know ‘my way or high way’ way of thinking. On one side we have ultra-left ”Mikolas is a sleazeball, men are horrible, go, Netta, show those pigs!”, and on the other side we have ultra-right ”How dare she, women aren’t harassed, MeToo is about nothing, just shut up and take it”. Both are terrible at using common sense.
Exactly, it’s funny and ironic how both sides think the other side is the worst thing ever, yet they both are practically the same, like two sides of a coin. Ironic, indeed.
Couldn’t agree more, Colin. There are so many people these days hurting causes that I deeply support by adopting the same agressive behaviour they always condemned on the other side. Sometimes it’s even difficult to have a conversation with people that I agree with on 95% of the times, because if I don’t accept the other 5, they treat me as I were an enemy.
Netta is amazing, she’s so alive and kicking, like we all should. Love her and hope she wins!!
it has literally NO chance of winning
I dont think this song will make the difference about sexualizing women. Also “you stupid boy” could be interpreted in the wrong way. Also Azerbeijan 2017 and Serbia 2016 … brought songs about women, probably with other context. It’s good when the song is about society but the singer should be 100% with their song, the most important is the singers feels that their song is true to themself.
Altough I’m not fan of Israel song, but Netta is just being herself it’s good.
Ok, i’ve just found my new username for the rest of esc season xD i’m curious to see what they will do live with this.
However, grammatically your username is saying the exact opposite that you probably intended to?
Is there any reason why your usermane links to an youtube video of Jan Doddema singing “Marie, de laatste dans met jou”?
It’s a nice song, the lyrics are kinda cute. Translation (thanks google): Red, the sun goes down again The evening has begun You walk past me by, And my heart starts to hunt I dare not ask you Are you free tonight? But that night at the dance There I already take my chances Because I’ll see you again there Then I’ll look into your eyes Time seems to be rapid Under the silver moon Marie, the last dance with you alone Let us float, experience a dream We together one Marie, the last dance never passes Since that evening… Read more »
Haha, it’s kinda like a meme among my friends so i put it there in the link once and never took it down again.
The issue here is not that “men are stupid” nor the chicken noises. Its all tools to serve her unique, beautiful and empower values with an amazing voice and extremly ctachy song and vibes. Winner for sure.
@EugeneESCUK you have too much hate, not enough brain. sorry
I love than Netta is unashamedly plus sized and you can tell she feels hella sexy and empowered, because you know what, she is!! Netta is my hero on so many levels. She’s not afraid to call men stupid and insinuate they are chickens. Go Netta! She also rejects the patriarchy-imposed self image and self worth most women have of themselves, that if they are not skeletically thin, then they are not beautiful. A truenfeminist would reject this artificially created and tarnsihed standard of beauty created just to please men, like Netta does. She could be thin, if she wanted… Read more »
Couldn´t agree more! But not a reason for win ESC.
I wish her well. And I do agree ESC can be a wonderful platform for good causes. Look at Conchita. I just wish the song would be better, more cutting edge, with a better groove. The composers were lazy and used an unoriginal and fabricated beat and melody. But it will be fine for me if she actually wins…
Conchita’s song is iconic, but not my fav. I prefer Norway or The Netherlands 2014. But Conchita has a positive impact, she isn’t like a transgender she is a drag queen BUT with beard, it’s good she broken gender labels. But i think Conchita assumed that her alter ego is a woman.
I love seeing gender labels are going breaking! <3
Oh hi! I was referring to Netta’s song, not Conhita’s. I like Conchita’s song very much but I also would have perfected the Netherlands to win. Great song. Also silent storm was amazing!
Good night and good luck. I enjoyed the interview and should not have wasted my time in the comment section.
Netta:”My message is that you don’t have to fit the normal standard model of how a person should look, think, talk and create in order to succeed. We’re only here for a minute — we better enjoy the ride.”
while you guys are having battles of the sexes, can you stop for a minute of think of Katie Boyle, she has just died.
“Toy is the awakening of female power” That’s why the song was written only by males ?
For credibility purposes, of course. 😛
so man cant write songs about women empowerment? your definition of feminism is that the whole world will be by women only?
talking about definitions, what is your definition of female empowerment So?
This is actually the awakening of both men and women to avoid the removal of responsibility of the harasser man or at least forgive him.
Spoiler alert: some men are also mistreated by men
Spoiler alert pt. 2: men can also support women’s causes.
“…That’s why the song was written only by males”
this is the stupidest thing Ive ever heard
Also, one of the co-writers is called Stav. In Israel, that’s a female name…
There are many reasons to hate on the Israeli song, but this is just a reach.
okay, but i just don’t think it’s that deep of a song… the lyrics are just too basic to have that dramatic of a message
maja keuc did the feminist anthem better
We love a PURPOSEFUL song!
I certainly do. But Netta has a lot more purpose than the actual song.
Yes, we need “music with content” quote from you know who…
From Salvador? Luisa? Me? Colin? Charles?
All of us? 😉
Men who are respecting women and seeing them as equal would not have a problem with this song–it is not about them. Sadly, however, there are too many men who do the opposite and still view women as objects, toys, servants, etc. I can understand why they are so outraged. The song is really turning the tables. Go Netta! Lot’s of support from L.A. California. Too bad I can’t vote. This is exactly the song I want to sing to our dear president and his wife. I wonder if he will understand how relevant it is. Israel should try to… Read more »
She gives really good answers and doesn’t regurgitate the same meaningless phrases a lot of media pets are using whenever they’re being interviewed. Especially her answer regarding Mikolas Josef is awesome. Too bad I can’t stand her song.
“Toy” is a funny, quite addictive song. But “addictive” implies repetition… and most of ESC audience will hear it (and the other songs) for the first (and probably) last time! Now I pretty like it, but on first listening I really didn’t know what to think… If it had been the Grand Final, I’d never have voted for her at that moment! Audience is composed by so many different people, from teenagers to oldies, and I’m sure the majority is not from “a hype generation” … There are so many settings: it’s impossible to predict THE winner… The positive point… Read more »
#William – I am interested where and how did you make this interview?
I’m starting to think that all These ”All men are stupid! we don’t Need them! Women are better! Girl power!” comments are coming from the same stupid Person. If not, I’m really losing my faith in humanity.
I think you are right – it must be the same person trolling. William did such a good interview but the comments have nothing to do with it. It’s such a pitty.
Sadly it’s not the first time I’ve seen this pattern happening here. From nowhere, a lot of comments about the same subject, ruining the discussion on some posts. I guess all we can do is don’t feed the trolls. But Wiwibloggs’ team should definitely consider some changes on the comments section.
All in same manner, written by troll obviously. Too bad because it won’t have any benefit for Netta and it just ruins this good interview in article. Sabrina, agree with you totally about changes on the comments section.
I already noticed that yesterday. All of a sudden there are so many comments like these out of nowhere. There’s no point to argue with trolls, they will immediately throw insults at you when you disagree with them. Let’s just ignore them and try to keep the comment sections clean.
I can see an opposition between “Lie to Me” and “Toy”, but I like to believe there’s also some convergence going on. Netta is singing that she’s not any guy’s toy, she’s her own self, nobody should tell her how she should be. Mikolas can’t take a girl from his mind, his first reaction is to blame her, but in the end he admits that he still wants her even if she doesn’t want to be “his woman”. When he says “lie to me”, he’s somehow accepting that he’s actually… her toy. So I don’t see her song as a… Read more »
I agree, but the Point is, that he wants her despite the fact that she’s always sleeping with other guy’s. Which still fits your Interpretation, but it’s a Little different.
Well, it’s a first person song. So we can go many ways from there. She can be a girl who plays with guys for fun and she can do that in a mean and deceitful way or just minding her own business and being an independent woman. He can be jealous to the point that he sees her with other guys and automatically assumes that she’s having sex with them. I don’t know if it was the original intention, but the fact is that the song is much more open to interpretations than songs about sex and hookups usually are.… Read more »
i’m hip!!! you literally always spill the tea at just the right temperature
I don’t even know if that was a compliment Brennan, but I’ve loved it anyway! haha
“he admits that he still wants her even if she doesn’t want to be “his woman””. So love for two?… Mmmm… where have I heard this message last year? 😀
Hahaha, Salvador could had tried this way less romantic approach last year! But in the end, I guess winning Eurovision was much more exciting than having some casual fun with his stubborn muse. 😛
This interview everything I wanted her to explain to people 🙂
Thank you so much <3
I love Netta so much and sure she'll be amazing live!
Just wanted to say that the looper is not a gimmic
As people are playing the guiter, violin, drums etc. Netta is using the looper
Violins, drums etc are not allowed to be played live on ESC….so If we put the looper in the same category (In Netta’s case she uses the looper as an instrument and not a record device) Why is she allowed and not others? I know there’s one more artist who didn’t use a looper in her studio version because she was told it wasn’t allowed. She ended up using a backup vocal instead of looping the lead singers voice..
Netta “I think we spend too much time on judging ourselves and others, instead of opening our minds to take in all the inspiration that surrounds us.”
Netta: I’m signing about female empowerment and bla bla bla
Also Netta: Yes, I want a piece of Micolaf Josef’s spaghetti…he can lie to me anytime.
Something is not consistent there, dear.
In my opinion, the Israeli delegation just decided to slap the #metoo movement on their song just to give it attention. The song really does nothing to empower women. Hell, if the #metoo movement came to light before eurovision 2017, their eurovision 2017 song’s message would be about the #metoo movement, too.
While I agree, I don’t really understand how the Mikolas Thing interferes with the message of the song.
She just said he’s is good looking. How did you get that she agrees with the “message” of the song?
Again: There is no Sexist message behind Lie to me… Neither is there any Sexist message in Toy. People get offended by everything nowadays.
I know there isnt, that’s why I wrote “massage”.
Why can’t strong women say a man is hot?
Such a stupid comment
The idea behind the “me too” movement is, among other things, for men to stop objectifying women. Mikolas is literally singing about a woman he loved in the past serving as a “sex object” after being unfaithful. I personally don’t find it offensive in any way, but it’s kind of hypocritical of someone who’s trying to “empower” women say “maybe he can lie to me next time we meet”.
Obviously she was kidding. You don’t have to be so fussy.
The song is great fun and that’s it.
Whatever she tried to convey with the lyrics, it was a hit and miss. Being a feminist doesn’t mean hating men. (i’m a woman btw)