He’s a fabulous French singer and YouTuber in every sense of the word.
And 19-year-old Bilal Hassani has already had a wild ride on the road to Tel Aviv.
He’s sung at 30,000 feet, won France’s national final in a televote landslide and had to grapple with an onslaught of online hate.
We discussed all that and more when we spoke to him at the London Eurovision party.
France’s Bilal Hassani at the London Eurovision Party
On why he’s kept the final version of “Roi” under wraps, Bilal reveals it’s because he loves “surprises”:
“I keep it tight-lipped – I love surprises, I love pranks, I love preserving the mystery because I really think most of the people in the 200 million haven’t seen all of the action that’s been going on for months, they discover it on the night and I want that experience for everyone who has watched the national selections too.”
Singing at 30,000 feet
The star also discusses his impromptu gig at high altitude on an EasyJet flight to Tel Aviv:
“That was a moment. The idea wasn’t mine. They were like, “Do you wanna sing to the plane at 7am in the morning going to Tel Avi?”
Even for a consummate star like Hassani, that poses some logistical hurdles, “First of all do I need makeup and my wig done by 7am, second are you sure you want me to sing for people at 7am, aren’t they gonna get p*ssed?”
The “Jaloux” hitmaker continues, “The tannoy doesn’t sound right, my voice is not awake, but I thought you know what I’m gonna have fun and do it and kiki. Israelis are so fun and light-hearted, so I knew they were gonna be okay about it. Everyone was so excited, it was really really nice.”
How to deal with haters
Asked about the hate he has received online, the star is candid about how important his support network is:
“That’s why I need my mum all the time. We’re a family living the adventure together they always uplift me when I’m down and I read too many negative things, they’re always here to raise me up.”
Asked about his Moroccan heritage, the “Fais Beleck” star says:
“My Moroccan spice comes from my parents. I always try to incorporate a little oriental vibe in songs.”
His album Kingdom is available now from online music retailers. And he is Bilal and we will see him at the Wiwi Jam in Tel Aviv.
Are you excited to hear the final version of “Roi”? What wigs do you want Bilal to wear in Tel Aviv? Let us know in the comments below