According to pop-rock violinist Catherine Lara, the French “must stop writing bad songs” and sending acts that “can’t sing”.
Catherine Lara on France at Eurovision
The chanteuse touched on the song contest during a wide-ranging interview with RTL Radio. Marking 50 years in the industry, Lara also discussed coming out in the 1980s while branding the Miss Universe pageant “distressing”.
But, of course, it’s her comments on Eurovision that are of most concern to readers of these pages!
Stop writing bad songs
What do France’s most recent Eurovision entries — “J’ai Cherché”, “Requiem”, “Mercy”, and “Roi” — all have in common? Well, in Ms Lara’s opinion, they’re all “bad”.
“If France wants to win Eurovision, the only solution is to stop writing bad songs. People think we need to write hype songs. A beautiful French song, not only something which sounds techno, it’s fashion. There’s no recipe to do a good song”.
Techno is a form of electronic dance music. And it would be a stretch to place even France’s most left-field entries inside the genre.
The 74-year-old adds that a good song must have “heart”, which has apparently been lacking in the country’s efforts of late.
The French representatives can’t sing
Catherine soon turns her focus to the French acts. And in an attempt of “no tea, no shade”, she alleges that the likes of Amir, Alma, Madam Monsieur and Bilal “can’t sing”.
“I don’t want to spill on the last French representatives but they have no voice, they can’t sing. They are all about who can sing the loudest. We don’t care. We want voices with emotions because there’s nothing else to sell as singer”.
In fact, she admits that the only performer she’s liked at Eurovision of late is Raphael Gualazzi, Italy’s 2011 singer.
“These last few years I never get any goosebumps by watching Eurovision. Or only in 2011, by listening to the Italian, alone with his piano and wow. He was so different to everyone but he finished second by the way. Everybody wanted listen to him”.
I could try to write a song for France
After all that, the opinionated chanteuse concludes by saying that she’d be open to writing a song.
“We need to be different. If they ask me to write a song for the French representative, why not? I could try. But not me as the French contestant because I’m too old now”.
Following these comments, one gets the feeling that Catherine might not be top of the French delegation’s wish list.
Who is Catherine Lara
Catherine Lara first broke into the mainstream in the early 1970s. In the decades since, she’s established herself as an acclaimed composer and popular performer.
Her biggest hit came in 1985 when she recorded a career-high of 13 in the charts with “Nuit magique”. It stayed in the countdown for 22 weeks. None of her other releases have troubled the top 40.
She’s had slightly more success in the album chart. She’s featured on five top 100 LPs, two of which cracked the top ten.
She co-commentated for French TV on Eurovision 2011.
What do you think of Catherine’s comments? Is she simply bitter? Or is there any truth to what she says? Let us know in the comments.
Additional reporting by Oranie Abbes