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:
— Grégory Leclerc (@GregLeclerc) March 21, 2017
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.