After a bizarre week in which every Dutch singer beginning with the letter “J” suddenly became a potential candidate for Eurovision 2020, the Netherlands eventually confirmed its artist on Friday 10 January. And now, Jeangu Macrooy seems to be the most talked-about person in the country.
However, one man has had his eye on Jeangu for significantly longer — Cornald Maas, the Dutch Eurovision commentator and the Creative Advisor for Eurovision 2020.
Jeangu Macrooy was on the Dutch selection committee’s radar since 2016
Speaking to AD, Maas reveals that he’s had an eye on Jeangu since 2016. He told the rest of the Dutch Eurovision selection committee to do likewise and they duly obliged.
Now that Macrooy is finally on the Dutch ticket, Cornald is, of course, full of praise. He complements the singer’s voice and appearance while promising that his song will be very distinct.
The track was submitted to the selection committee in late 2019 and it was immediately clear that it should be the Dutch entry for Rotterdam. Maas says that when music is written from the soul it will reach the hearts of both jury members and televoters alike.
Jeangu Macrooy for Eurovision 2020: Reactions
Cornald isn’t the only one raving about the Dutch representative. The weekend’s newspapers were filled with people lining up to gush about Jeangu. And top of the queue was Pieter Perquin — Jeangu’s manager.
Pieter Perquin — Jeangu Macrooy’s manager
He believes that Jeangu is the perfect fit for Eurovision 2020. In an interview with Nu.nl, Peter emphasises that Jeangu is a black, homosexual singer with roots from outside of The Netherlands. This connects strongly to the Eurovision 2020 slogan “Open Up”.
Peter says that Jeangu had to have a lot of courage to be open about his sexuality when he lived in Suriname, as the country is not as accepting of homosexuality as The Netherlands.
Peter and Jeangu first met in 2015 at the conservatory in Enschede. There, Peter saw Jeangu performing some of his self-written songs.
After a while, he reached out to the future Dutch rep and in no time the two met in the studio for a collaboration. Peter took Jeangu with him to perform outside Enschede. He got him his first performance in Amsterdam — a sellout concert at the Paradiso.
When asked about their preparations for Rotterdam, Peter insists that they won’t be checking out the performances of past winners. They trust their intuition. Peter says the chances of a strong result in the Ahoy Arena are high.
They obviously can’t do better than 2019 winner Duncan Laurence, but they will try to match his result.
Others react to Jeangu Macrooy
Newspaper AD contacted several Dutch personalities who have connections with Jeangu.
Singer Angela Groothuizen says Jeangu is a fantastic vocalist. He has a beautiful voice and his music combines both soul and pop. She is very happy that he has been chosen to perform in Rotterdam.
Rob Kramer from the Artez Conservatory in Enschede remembers Jeangu as the guy who was always cold in The Netherlands because the climate is very different from Suriname. He also says that Jeangu is a great songwriter with a fantastic voice.
Radio presenter Giel Beelen says Jeangu knows how to put soul in his songs and he sings from his heart. He also finds a good connection between old soul and new electronic elements.
What are your thoughts on Jeangu representing the Netherlands? Are you excited to hear his song? Let us know in the comments.
How has the reaction from the Dutch public been?
Also, are they hungry for a second victory on the trot (or future?)
Very positive, Jeangu is a little more on everyone’s radar because of his frequent television performances unlike Duncan who at the time was very unknown to the majority of the public. Though everything still stands with a good song , and if the public doesn’t like the song they will also tell it in a very direct manner (Dutch people don’t really sugarcoat their opinions).
I was only going to be happy if Davina Michelle went!
A major role on winning last year was the fact that Duncan wrote the song and it was authentic and organic. Countries who are just shopping songs and dont create them by having the artists in mind dont do well because there is no chemistry (e.g Malta 2019. Michela had a great voice but the song wasnt for her).
Also, she’s from Malta so she has no backup in televoting
I agree with Dawid , had the song been from a country with resources it would have finished top 5 perhaps , would it have won , probably no
The Netherlands and Switzerland on the other hand are tele voting power houses?
A good song will always do well. For years Israel didn’t do well but when Netta came and she had a song made for her and not bought by some random swedes
In 2005, a year with 100% televote, Malta came second
And if you want a more current example, Israel in 2018
What neighbours would vote for Israel? Let alone other countries (considering the political status with Israel…) Yet Netta won the televote and the whole contest
So do me a favour, Malta can still win the contest
not them trying to use his race and sexuality as a card already i- all that matters in the end is whether his song will be good or not, nobody’s gonna vote based on the fact that he’s an independent, strong, empowered homosexual man of color
It’s an interview with a Dutch website… he’s just saying Jeangu fits the Open Up theme, that’s all. No one is trying to play any cards, that’s just your imagination.
If that was true Bilal would end up next to S!sters last year. Of course there are people who vote just because of that
Is it my selective interest, or does the Dutch entry get waaaay more coverage on this site than other countries?
It’s the 12th of January. I imagine other countries will be covered as the news breaks. The Netherlands is the host country, so obviously it’s bound to be near the top news-wise.
I hate when they say “He perfectly embodies the “open up” theme” stuff. It’s like they were saying “Yes, you’ve been chosen because you’re gay. Not because we like your music”. I’d feel insulted as a musician hearing that. It’s like someone asked you how did you like their music performance and you said “Well, staging was cool”.
I hope he’s comfortable with it and good luck at ESC.
It’s his own manager who said that. If he felt insulted, he could just fire him. Cornald Mass, who actually is part of the team that chose him, did praise the music.
Not just his manager, Perquisite is also the producer and co-writer of the song.
Open up to colonisation
Consider me hyped! This is shaping up to be a great home entry! I always have an extra amount of faith when contestants say they aren’t trying to pattern themselves after other past successes – just go and do your own thing! Cornald Maas and the selection committee definitely have a good radar for soulful music, so I trust their intuition. Best of luck to the home team! Hup hup Holland! (And boy, is this comments section gonna be a delight.) (Also, just confirming what Cesar Sampson and John Lundvik made clear: neo-soul is IN at Eurovision, and I’m all… Read more »