It’s the highs and lows that make you grow. That’s one of the many nuggets hidden in Jeangu Macrooy’s Eurovision 2020 song “Grow”.
The slow-built ballad sits at the intersection of dark soul and gospel. At times it’s so pared back that it seems naked: Jeangu’s rich voice is completely exposed. Thankfully he shines in these moments, showing just how strong a vocalist he is.
The song comes with deep lyrics in which Jeangu dives into his inner self and apologises for his way of expressing his feelings.
“Don’t take it personally, don’t be offended, don’t mind my mood changing like the weather. God knows I tried to hold it all together. I’m getting old and it ain’t what I thought it would be,” he sings.
That journey feels completely autobiographical. Jeangu, an openly gay man who grew up in conservative Suriname, came to the Netherlands to study music. But he also arrived looking to find his place in the world. His lyrics suggest his travels haven’t always been easy.
The song adds elements and voices which build to a powerful crescendo, and finishes in a gospel-like final chorus. It’s classy and it’s finely produced — “Grow” actually does justice to its title.
Speaking of his song, Jeangu said:
“Emotions, good and bad, are a universal language. I hope this song makes people feel a little less lonely in their search for happiness. I think that openness and honesty about how we really feel will ultimately bring us closer. I believe in the power music has to bring people together. It’s the reason I do what I do.”
Are you loving this? Do you think that Jeangu can beat the host country curse? In the battle of the ballads, does this one take the cake? Let us know in the comments box below.