It will go down in history as the song contest that never was. But just as fans wonder what could have been at Eurovision 2020, so too do the artists. And that’s the case with the Netherlands’ Jeangu Macrooy.
In a recent interview with our William, the “Grow” singer tells us that he “might” have won this year’s edition, if certain things had fallen into place.
Could Jeangu Macrooy have won Eurovision 2020?
While Jeangu wasn’t necessarily high on the bookie or fan rankings at the time of cancellation, there was a certain amount of support bubbling under for the home entry. This was particularly so after the singer delivered a sublime acoustic performance of “Grow” on DWDD.
So, we asked him straight out — did Jeangu think he could have won Eurovision 2020 with “Grow”?
The unassuming singer’s first response was to laugh. But after a moment of consideration, he outlined a potential path to victory.
Firstly, it’s all about creating a feeling and connecting with the audience.
“Well, let me put it like this. I think, at the end of the day, it’s about what you feel… if something gives you a feeling. And I think this song was all about that. I also believe that it’s a very universal theme”.
Jeangu explains that this is what happened on the “Grow” music video shoot. All the participants were ordinary people rather than actors. And all of them were touched by the song, sharing their own experiences and struggles.
And while Eurovision is a song contest on paper, Jeangu is well aware that there’s much more to a winning entry.
“With all of the plans we had for the staging and the way my team worked on it and we were all on the same page, I do think that if I performed on the 16th and put everything — my heart and soul — into it, it might have transcended to Europe. And, yeah, I think I might have won”.
He adds, “but we’ll never know. Maybe next year”.
On the staging, Jeangu says that it would have been quite simple and intimate.
“It was going to start very intimate and very small — as if you’re sitting in the room with me while I was writing it the first time. But also the end is quite euphoric and hopeful. So, that was going to be a steady growth in the way the visuals developed and I wanted really the end to be this explosion of optimism and hope”.
Jeangu Macrooy — Eurovision 2020 Interview
In the almost 36:00 minute interview, Jeangu touches on a multitude of topics — from his youth in Suriname to the moment he came out in the Netherlands. All the main talking points are listed below along with their respective timestamps.
00:00 – Intro
01:00 How are you coping with lockdown?
02:25 Tell us more about Suriname — what should we know?
03:35 Does Surinamese culture influence your music today?
04:55 How did you view The Netherlands when you were a kid?
06:22 Jeangu has a twin!
07:17 What prompted the move from Suriname to The Netherlands?
08:39 “Off of the plane and out of the closet”
10:15 How did the freedom of being out impact your music?
11:10 Where were you when you found out Eurovision 2020 was cancelled?
12:51 Where were you in the creative process? Did you have your ESC 2020 staging ready?
13:30 “The live performance is when the magic happens for me”
13:50 DWDD live performance
14:45 What was the starting point for writing “Grow”
17:00 What struggle motivates the song — was it a mental health issue?
18:30 Getting personal messages from fans
19:05 How did you get the invitation to sing at Eurovision?
20:24 What were your fears as a child?
22:15 Do you think you could have won Eurovision 2020?
23:55 Can you tell us about your planned Eurovision staging?
25:00 Would you have had backing vocalists?
24:20 Who are these people in the music video? Is this a real therapy session?
27:15 When were you confirmed for Eurovision 2021?
28:20 Will this songwriting experience be different now that you know you’re going to Eurovision
29:20 Will your 2021 song be similar to “Grow”?
30:30 Acoustic live performance at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
31:55 Live performance in Rotterdam Ahoy as it was being converted to a hospital.
33:20 Could you sing a little bit of your song?
Are you excited for Jeangu’s 2021 return? What kind of song do you hope he brings? Let us know in the comments below.