She performed her new single “Cuckoo” during Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, receiving the widespread praise that she deserved. While we all knew her strength — from big power notes to her personal story of staring down the haters — fans were touched to see her more fragile side come out through song. The tender number has now been added to Spotify’s Global Pop and New Pop playlists, and won plaudits from Twitter followers and Billboard magazine alike.

And on Friday Netta — Eurovision winner, Israeli icon — released the music video for what some consider her best song yet. The video in some ways reflects what we saw in Europe Shine a Light. Netta performs  in a bed with music box accompaniment — but this bed is futuristic and high-fashion. Scenes cut between vulnerable Netta singing her heart out and images of couples questioning whether they really love each other. Netta works a variety of looks — from a coat with very fulsome shoulders to a tuxedo with pink embellishments. It’s all kept tightly within the defined aesthetic, one that’s sleek and somehow vintage, yet very 2020. The video retains the same melancholy undertone from her debut performance in May.

Netta: “Cuckoo” music video

Speaking to Yediot Ahronot last week, she explained the meaning behind the song.

“‘Cuckoo’ is personal because it also speaks about doubts in a romantic relationship,” Netta says, adding that for the last year and a half she’s been in a relationship with Ilan Ben Or, a new immigrant from the US. “We’ve had some rough times because my life is not simple. I met Ilan after I became famous and wasn’t sure whether he was sincere. Maybe because of my past, I always have doubts and this is echoed in ‘Cuckoo’ – do I really deserve to be loved?”

Netta also discussed how Eurovision — and her song “Toy” — changed her life for the better but also for the worse. Two years after securing Israel’s fourth win in the song contest, she says she often feels as if she’s in a prison.

“I sometimes ask myself what the hell is happening, why have I even started with this (Eurovision) and whether I want this or not,” she said. “I was a waitress who used to live with flatmates and grew potatoes on my balcony and then one day I win Eurovision and become the most famous woman in Israel and perhaps even in Europe. All my dreams came true but it can be frustrating [“bassa” in slang, echoing her song ‘Bassa Sababa’]”.

“I got used to being surrounded by people, everyone thought they knew what was best for me – how to dress, what to do and how to manage my career. But once the glory faded, they disappeared.”

One might think that Netta’s interview is a PR stunt. But once you hear how she speaks about her songs after “Toy” — “Bassa Sababa”, “Nana Banana” and “Ricki Lake” — it almost sounds like she’s being very harsh on herself.

“Something wasn’t working there. I love ‘Ricki Lake’ but there was silence after it was released. ‘Bassa Sababa’ was expected to be a huge hit, but it only reached 25 million viewers on YouTube compared to ‘Toy’’s 125 million. I put around 1 million NIS on it (c. €400,000) and I really believed in its message. I felt it was authentic – there is a sentence there ‘Stop, call your mama, Run, tell her I’m a rhino’ – and there is a story behind this. When I was 15, I dated someone and we kept it as a secret. After four months, he told me that he was ashamed of me because his mom had told him that being ‘fat is disgusting…’”

In her interview, Netta says that she’s happy that she didn’t write “Toy”. It’s a reference to Doron Medalie’s controversial comments after her victory in which he claimed that she’d only joined the ride: “It’s not even that far-fetched. I didn’t really want to go to the Eurovision because I was afraid that I would be stuck with [its image].”

Netta also addressed the Covid-19 situation and its effect on her career. “I miss concerts and the audience,” she said. “I also feel the economic crisis but fortunately, my standards aren’t that high and without my mom, I would have probably still lived in my rented flat with my flatmates. I do treat myself from time to time – I just bought shoes from Louis Vuitton which cost NIS 4,000 (c. €1,000)…..”

What do you think? Do you like Netta’s new song? Did you like her other songs?

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Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

Signed artists are first and foremost money-makers for the label. They don’t belong to themselves anymore. It must be quite traumatic to receive all that attention and get discarded. There are many, many talented people out there. Maybe some of them are exceptionally talented. Better not become a commodity.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 months ago

I personally can only listen to the music box version of Cuckoo as it’s so charming and emotional 🙂
I’m so sorry to hear her feeling so badly about all those stuff and I just want her to do whatever she wants to and whatever makes her happy <3

Sesil
Sesil
4 months ago

“I was a waitress who used to live with flatmates and grew potatoes on my balcony and then one day I win Eurovision and become the most famous woman in Israel and perhaps even in Europe.”

Girl, come on…

cleopatra
cleopatra
4 months ago
Reply to  Sesil

not everybody handles fame the same way. some crave it, some despise it.

Zeev
Zeev
4 months ago

Is a very quelty and good song

Last edited 4 months ago by Zeev
Alex
Alex
4 months ago

I don’t get Netta, she got her own apartment, she has fans and ezxpensive music videos + the chance to travel around Europe and LA for shows + record music. Sometimes it is hard to understand some ESC winners. They knew they were going to perform on a massive show.   However, i get the pressure for success and she has expressed how she does not want to e remembered as the girl with the buns and the chicken song, but i am sorry this is going to follow her for the rest of her life.   I believe Eleni… Read more »

Maya G
Maya G
4 months ago
Reply to  Alex

I read the full interview, she’s happy and grateful for winning Eurovision and for the opportunities that opened for her, and she wouldn’t change that. But it made an enormous change in her life, and she’s not sugarcoating the fact that such a drastic shift from rags to riches can also be overwhelming, and winning Eurovision doesn’t make you impervious to crises. As for Doron Medalie, he is cocky, but in a self aware manner – which makes it somewhat endearing in my eyes. When the media was up on his case after he said in an interview after their… Read more »

Oliver Adams
4 months ago

My favourite song from Netta so far. It’s a completely different tone but it stays true to her aesthetic.

acp
acp
4 months ago

I just don’t understand why 90% of the artists can’t cope with fame if that’s what they wanted in the first place. Also, Netta really wanted to win Eurovision and was really worried when Eleni rised in the odds (she told this in numerous interviews) and if you win you also are going to have fame. She still wasn’t the most famous Eurovision winner, I mean she didn’t have THAT much fame (outside Israel) after winning. But don’t get me wrong, I love Netta and I love her music and this is not a hate message. I also know that… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by acp
Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  acp

Plenty of people want fame without realizing what comes with it.

Maya G
Maya G
4 months ago
Reply to  acp

N she didn’t, in all of her interviews she said that Eleni overtaking her in the polls was a huge relief for her because it took a lot of the pressure of her, and in retrospect also made her an underdog.
Besides, winning Eurovision doesn’t make you crises-proof for life. Winning Eurovision caused a drastic change in her life, which gave her a lot of recognition and fulfillment, but it was so rapid and drastic that it felt overwhelming and unsettling. It doesn’t make her ungrateful or a hypocrite. It’s just being human.

acp
acp
4 months ago
Reply to  Maya G

Yes you’re right, I understand that winning ESC don’t make you crises-proof. But I also recall her interview after she won when she said she was tired of always loosing to the “basic thing” bc she is different and that she really wanted to win to show people that the basic (Eleni, in this case) can’t always win

Maya G
Maya G
4 months ago
Reply to  acp

That’s pretty far from what she said. She was asked if Cyprus had won would have been devastated by missing out on a victory, and her answer was that she wouldn’t be devastated because Eleni is amazing and also over time she’s already used to (not tired of) coming second to something mainstream (not basic) like the beautiful, skinny singer with the by-the-book pop song. She said that she wouldn’t consider it a failure as long as she ended somewhere within the top 10. Obviously she wanted to win, who wouldn’t? but she was a gracious winner.

Ina
Ina
4 months ago

Dotter has a video out now for her song Backfire!

Ashton
Ashton
4 months ago
Reply to  Ina

That’s already been covered in another article. This one is about Netta, not Dotter.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

She’s still got it

Una
Una
4 months ago

So much to unpack. I liked the Eurovision Shine a Light Version when I saw the live show. I just like that version a lot more than the radio-friendly one.
I don’t understand the reference to money – did she personally spend NIS 1 million? Nor the reference to Doron Medalie. What was that about?

Sale
Sale
4 months ago

Doesnt bassa sababa habe 85mil views not 25?

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  Sale

True and she posted about it recently, i think the interview was taken months ago.

Zeev
Zeev
4 months ago
Reply to  Alex

No it was 25 mil she said in the intervaiw that in the us tv show somone talk on base sababa so is grow to 85mil.

Last edited 4 months ago by Zeev
stommie
stommie
4 months ago

What a pleasant surprise. I fear Netta fell in a trap after eurovision in which the main goal seemed to be to reproduce the wackiness of Toy. Don’t know if that was her own idea or her record company.