They won Destination Eurovision way back in January and are now well on their way to Eurovision 2018. And as part of promotion for their song “Mercy”, France’s Eurovision act Madame Monsieur have given an extensive interview to Ouest France discussing their song, the migrant crisis and their ambitions for Eurovision. 

In the interview, vocalist Émilie revealed that the duo think about Mercy “every day” and that the songwriting process for “Mercy” was like “constant ping pong”.

The duo wrote the song after they saw this tweet from Nice Matin journalist Grégory Leclerc:

After the tweet, producer Jean Karl described the songwriting process as an “alignment of planets”.

Both members of Madame Monsieur come from parts of France on the frontline of the migrant crisis: Jean Karl is from Calais where the “Calais Jungle” has become a symbol of the crisis and Emilie is from the Mediterranean coast. But the tweet changed everything, as Émilie says:

“The migrant crisis has always been underlying, in the back of my mind, but the birth of Mercy at once put a form and a name on something that before that didn’t really have a form, and wasn’t an immediate concern.”

“The issue of migrants in Calais is a subject of enormous tension and it’s a difficult and divisive subject. But what’s happening there is terrible. Some radios in northern France won’t play our song because we’re so in opposition to what’s happening and people are calling in to protest,” adds Jean Karl.

Émilie also revealed Madame Monsieur contacted SOS Méditerranée to make sure they understood Mercy’s story:

“Once we’d written the song we got in touch with them: even if we didn’t in theory need their permission, we needed to know if we’d understood, because we weren’t on the Aquarius (the rescue ship Mercy was born on). SOS Méditerranée were really touched by the song.”

The duo dedicate the song to the humanitarian volunteers and said that Mercy symbolises all the children “born in improbable conditions and caught up in the situation.”

Eurovision may be weeks away, but the duo are already looking beyond the contest, revealing that their album Vu d’ici (The View From Here) will drop April 20 and be promoted through the summer at concerts.

GET MORE FRANCE EUROVISION NEWS HERE

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Tre
Guest
Tre

Sorry, but I’m just laughing out loud at how hypocritical one can get. You are preaching tolerance and condemning xenophobia, and then you just accuse all E Europeans of God knows what. what else are E Europeans guilty of? maybe it was them who commited all the terrorist attacs in Europe in the last several years? Is it E Europeans who mutilate their daughters genitals?

Hfyrgd
Guest
Hfyrgd

We shouldn’ t put everyone in the same bag, of course, but with rising number of terrorist acts (or mass murders – lets call them for what they are) and rapes, people are afraid for their families, their children. It’s not like they are prejudiced without a reason, only because of cultural differences.. they are prejudiced because people of that culture commit seroius crimes in Europe and nobody seems to care or do anything about it

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

So no matter what I type here, a small group of replies will appear below that demonstrate xenophobia. I conclude this has effectively demonstrated why this comments section has become a “hate forum”.
Disappointing.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I hope I’m not one of them. But honestly speaking about the migrant crisis is not xenophobia. Although yes there are some people who are bringing it.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks Marcelo, for acknowledging the question earlier. 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I agree. Since you didn’t reply to me, I could not be referring to you. So don’t worry.

jenny
Guest
jenny

Welcome to Sweden. Is this a right wing photo? Is a photo nonetheless.
http://www.renegadetribune.com/sweden-accepted-162k-refugees-2015-guess-many-jobs/

jenny
Guest
jenny

How can you find infinite excuses for this men? I’m really interested to understand how is possible to team these men who don’t seem traumatized by war.

Étoile
Guest
Étoile

Jean-Karl is from Amiens (La Somme) not Calais (Pas-de-Calais). It was a long interview with many things said, it’s sad that you just reduced it just to that. I wonder why. ^O^

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Well, to be fair. Americans or other Europeans aren’t coming from a war-devastated country. Plus can you compare the staggering numbers of refugee Syrians or Africans to the ones of the Chinese, Australian or Americans? It’s foolish to think there will be no consequences if Europe just let’s all their borders open and start accepting as much refugees as they can.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Still, do you really believe all these people is a nice and safe refugee. There has to be controls on immigration and that’s up to Europe’s foreign policies.

S:T:
Guest
S:T:

You can have them all.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Isn’t it incredible how a three-minute minimalist song called “Mercy” can cause so much toxicity in radio media, on social media and in blog comments like these below. I wonder how many of those people would think if they were forced to flee their homes – would they ask for “mercy” from others?

jenny
Guest
jenny

You have no idea what you are talking about. There were refugees all the time from war zones (all the time, every year of your life), and these from Syria were safe in Turkey. They have no business in central Europe. They should have stayed in Turkey, with money from all over the world, but at the end of the war they should have go back to their houses in Syria. But there is a twist. Europeans want their sexiness, because Europeans love sexy males.

jenny
Guest
jenny

1. I will not go to west, be sure of that.
2. Turkey is just fine, refugees had a place there, and money could have come from all over the world.
3. If refugees want a better life…well…this is what all the world wants, but this is not a reason to leave the refugee camp. You should stay there waiting to go back to your home, in your country.
4. I’m talking about s e x because it is something nobody wants to talk about and is part of this problem.

MIM
Guest
MIM

They are deluded, they think in the West will find Heaven, eating grapes with 72 virgins. Unfortunately, they will have some virgins.

Tre
Guest
Tre

Oh so now you’re in a position to invite someone to western europe and tell other people to leave it? very consequent. I think that your view of refugees is somewhat naive – not all of them want to build a tolerant word together. You probably know nothing of their mentality, upbringing and what they think about the west.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I’m pro-immigration but to think accepting flows of thousands people with no regulation is something good, I can’t agree on that one. Plus, we don’t have the fault that Syria had to go on civil war.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

And also rising claims of rape… But that’s not the point. If you believe accepting as many immigrants as you can with no regulation is a safe idea then that’s you. But I know that this amount of immigration could be dangerous, so yeah. It’s not that we don’t have a heart, but sometimes you also have to think with your head.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Note: No-one bothered to answer my question.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I would but I also know it will be a hard time to immigrate and that I’ll have to bust my ass off. I don’t know about others.

jenny
Guest
jenny

If I see a new born baby floating on the sea like Moses, I will save and adopt that baby. But let’s face it, stories like that are used by horny male adults, to be accepted in Europe. Sorry single man and women, you will not find love among horny refugees. They are not here for love, and they don’t respect you.

Ari The Scorpio
Guest
Ari The Scorpio

What about sympathy for us locals? What country do we have to go to once ours has been turned into a third world hellhole, eh?

Ari The Scorpio
Guest
Ari The Scorpio

You should move to the Banlieues or the Charlie Hebdo- office, dear. I will stay put.

Ari The Scorpio
Guest
Ari The Scorpio

It’s nice to see some voices of reason here whose comments do not get censored. We’ve had more than enough invasions, merci.

jenny
Guest
jenny

Agree, Europe does more than enough. What is the purpose, the whole world to move to Europe? Europe is stupid for thinking that is so rich. For Europeans, richness means free health care and free education, but other cultures expect obscene richness, rivers of money, milk and honey. This is why many refugees had no other problem than complain they don’t have cable TV and refused to stay in the houses built for them, and other houses had to be built. Each culture has its own definition of richness.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I think the UK already did that and look, they’re fine as heck. It’s not racist to try and find a solution to the immigration crisis. It’s foolish to think you just can accept thousands of refugees into your country and that there will be no consequences. But anyway, as I pro-immigration, there has to be a solution.

Tre
Guest
Tre

And who are you to tell anyone to leave Europe? Or to invite anyone here? So hypocritical. Have some respect to other people and their views.

Esc Shane
Guest
Esc Shane

Have a look at my top 43 Eurovision songs 2018!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itaBYd9Vvc4

Hippolyte
Guest
Hippolyte

Also concerning the song itself: I don’t really think much people watching ESC in may will know this song talks about immigration except if the commentors mention it. Last year’s winner was amazing but I don’t even know what he talks about in his song.

Hippolyte
Guest
Hippolyte

Huge correction to be made for this article: Jean Karl is from Amiens in Picardy, which is also in the north of France, but he is not from Calais. The article does indeed talk about the Calais situation but it is never said that Jean Karl is from Calais but simply from “the north of France”. I am French and from Calais so I was surprised when I read the article because I’ve heard before he was from Amiens.

Marty Mc
Guest
Marty Mc

A correction for those who try to write in the English language, Humanitarianism is not a political statement. It means the promotion of human welfare. Stop calling it a political statement.

This is a song contest and this song is about human dignity and human rights. Every song tells a story, whether is about love, life, pain or hate. This song is about Mercy and it is in French.

And many people love it.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

No it is not! It is shouty political propaganda, as is Italy! And it’s not even good, in any respect. It’s appeal to emotion falacy in the most tacky way and I’ m sure you will realise this in May, via voting.

Marty Mc
Guest
Marty Mc

I am an educated child!

Marty Mc
Guest
Marty Mc

Angry person, I can speak and write in 2 languages. It would be interesting to know which song you do like….I think, it must Moldova, its the least ‘political’ i guess. Can’t be Lithuania otherwise you will be complaining about pensions! and it can’t be Norway, it’s about writing lessons, so education is a debate here and that can only be political pending on your countries state of education. Just enjoy the music. Play the ones you like. Switch off the ones you don’t. Your comments are read and noted. Peace and love,…not the hate! Have compassion, and by the… Read more »

Kit Kat
Guest
Kit Kat

Applause

jenny
Guest
jenny

Random thoughts :
-Eastern Europe has its own problems, this is why those countries are so realistic about refugee problem. It’s not racism.
-France has little chance to win because of language and 90’s sound.
-For people that complain about negativity…are you new on the internet? Everything written on this blog’s comment section is so soft…what do you want? Only ”Great! Super! Masterpiece!” Is this your ideal comment section? Are you afraid of ideas and people questioning the message?

Anita
Guest
Anita

I think it can be interesting to read critical thoughts if they refer to the topic of the article and: bother to give some explanation for the judgement! Otherwise it is waste of time, engery and space. You can post hundreds of negative assertions without substance, but that’s just rubbish. It is pure curtesy and appreciation of your fellow human beeings not to waste their time with sensless statements. And I think it is always good to show your appreciation about good work – like the articles published at wiwibloggs. The writer for sure would like to read appreciative comments… Read more »

jenny
Guest
jenny

May I say I don’t like France’s song at all. But at all. Am I allowed to say why? Because is cheesy. If people are allowed to say that Spain is cheesy, why can’t I say that France is cheesy. And this article has the picture of a baby. The ultimate trick. The picture of a baby, really, can you get lower than that?

Anita
Guest
Anita

But this article was not about: please express your opinion about the song. It gave the background what led the artists to write the song. If you don’t believe that the story and the tweet about the birth of Mercy – it is your good right. But to say that this article tries to do some tricks by posting the picture of the Baby, please, think, think.

Don’t you believe that storys and experiences can give you the start for writing a song? And why do you think that it’s a bad thing?

jenny
Guest
jenny

Your way of thinking belongs to North Korea. Just let people speak, can you?

7ruruwj
Guest
7ruruwj

The difference is, E European migrants didn’t commit mass murders

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Dear Jenny, It is not that we are afraid of ideas and people questioning the message. As pointed out very nicely by Anita, no one would mind a negative or different view on something, provided that that view has some sort of substance or merit to back up what is being said. You’ve made it clear that France’s song isn’t to your taste and is cheesy. This is neither an “idea” nor a “message”, but your own opinion, which you are obviously entitled too. But as nicely quoted by Robyn, saying that France’s song is cheesy, is not going to… Read more »

jenny
Guest
jenny

After all why are we here, not for saying our opinion? Positive and negative are needed, just like wiwi jury does too, in order to understand why a song won or lost. ”Cheesy” is a word used very often by wiwi jury.

jenny
Guest
jenny

-Eastern Europe has always been close to Asia (of course), Turkish influence is everywhere, Jamala is Muslim and Tatar, and nobody cared, don’t tell Eastern Europe about being open minded, it has always been, even in Middle Age. No inquisition.
-Portugal 2017 is not a good example about ”non-english song”, is just a song about love and everybody felt that. Mercy is more complicated.

jenny
Guest
jenny

-Do you remember Ira Losco touching her unborn baby at the end of the performance in 2016? I believe that made her lose votes. Enough said. People know when is too much.

jenny
Guest
jenny

I disagree with you. E Europe was just fine and open, a place between two continents, a melting pot in its own way, full of churches, synagogues and mosques, but then…the western liberal propaganda went there assuming is a primitive place and starting to tell people what to think. Liberals spoil everything thinking they invented free thinking.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I find this interesting, from Jean Karl: “Some radios in northern France won’t play our song because we’re so in opposition to what’s happening and people are calling in to protest.”
As the old saying goes, the truth hurts.
Away from the divisive issues, I hope the song is at least recognised for being a great example of minimalism in pop music done well.

Ffs
Guest
Ffs

Oh , FFS

Chupacabra
Guest
Chupacabra

MERCI for the french entry. Good music, sublime instrumentalisation. It´s not political, it´s about human rights. Every human being is born with same dignity. Music, song and message form a unity. Will call for it. Greetz from Austria.

John
Guest
John

You can watch the top 43 video from 100 tops from Youtube

LINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V68qbf_Ut5E&t=18s

Enjoy It

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

I am so tired of the negativity in the comments section of every single article on Wiwibloggs. Yes, trolls are everywhere on the internet, but I am at the point where I question whether to even read the comments section. And this is sad because I do like reading the comments of certain commenters, who provide valuable, intelligent, and non-offensive contributions. I mean the articles on Wiwibloggs are so good, like this one, which deals with the awareness of the refugee crisis. But as soon as you read further on to the comments section, you are bombarded with hate and… Read more »

togravus
Guest
togravus

Very well said.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I agree. In case it means anything, recently I have been attempting to contact people at Wiwibloggs to start a dialogue at improving the website’s comment features. I have had little success at this so far. So, if any Wiwibloggs Editors are reading this, please do take note: There are issues with this comments section that a number of us want to help solve if we can. Thank you.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

We are working on improving the comments section. I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but we aim to roll out a few features that should make the comments section a nicer experience.

As for the quality of comments that we always seem to get at this time of year, to paraphrase this iconic quote from Mean Girls, “Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And saying horrible things about one country’s song won’t make another country’s song any better.” 😉

Ari
Guest
Ari

A nicer experience would definitely be to not censor someone’s opinion because it’s contradictory to whoever deletes all those non-spam comments.

Kinie
Guest
Kinie

« And saying horrible things about one country’s song won’t make another country’s song any better.” ?»

Indeed, that should also be aimed at the wiwi team, because they love to say horrible things about songs from many countries.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thank you Robyn. That’s good to hear. Please do keep us updated. Nice quote. 🙂

Genuinely my reviews so far have been more positive than usual, due to an increase in quality of the song content this year. There’s really good music out there – I like this year’s selection.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Thank you very much for your thoughts and I support them fully.

Jo
Guest
Jo

People calling this song “political” clearly don’t know what politics really are, so maybe that’s why the whole system is so messed up.

Ix
Guest
Ix

Tia, it’s never politics when it’s left, right?
If somebody wrote a song about immigrants NOT being welcome, would it be political then?

Anita
Guest
Anita

@Jo Please read your comment again. You said: “People calling this song “political” clearly don’t know what politics really are” – What is the meaning of such a sentence: there is non. Anybody can assert anything, by not giving any argument and explaining anything such an assertion has no meaning whatsoever. So first: explain what your definition of “political” is and than explain why “people” “don’t know what politics really are”. Otherwise such a statement is messing up “the system” and is just wasting everybodies time. AND PLEASE refer to the topic of the wiwbloggs article, that’s the purpose of… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Sure, because no one has call this political.
I could give a better explanation, but after reading the first two replies that I’ve got, I won’t.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Thank you very much indeed for wasting our time.

Jo
Guest
Jo

You must be new on the internet, so I will respect your rookie status.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Devaluation and denigration seems to be your line of professionalism on the internet.

Jo
Guest
Jo

**Skip to the ** if you don’t want to “waste your time”.

No, it’s not. You came to me with your “wasting time” line, but you keep doing it. Most comments on wiwi are not related to the main post, but you decided to come after me, even though mine is related. If you read your comments above, they are also indirectly replies to me.
Also, did you read the first two replies to me? Why would I explain my point to them? That would be a waste of time.
Anyway, have a nice week.

** ok.

Flo
Guest
Flo

The correct translation for Vu d’ici is « Seen from here »

Moop
Guest
Moop

inb4 “pity votes”

Kinie
Guest
Kinie

inb4 “it’s not political”… oh wait