It’s a tiny South Pacific island on the other side of the world from Europe. But one musician from Tahiti has his sights set on Eurovision. Singer Ken Carlter has confirmed his intention to enter France’s newly announced national final with a song sung in both French and Tahitian.

Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, a French overseas collectivity. Tahitians are French citizens, and while the rules for the new French national final have not yet been released, if there is French citizenship requirement, a Tahitian artist would definitely tick that box.

Ken announced his national final plans on social media, intending to bring Polynesian style to France. In French he wrote, “I will present a song in French and Tahitian in the line of [recent single] “Ia Ora Na” to make everyone dance and send positive vibes.”

Je vous annonce ma candidature pour représenter la France ?? au concours Eurovision 2021 ?Je présenterai une chanson…

Posted by Ken Carlter on Monday, June 22, 2020

Who is Ken Carlter?

Ken Carlter is a young Tahitian singer who is starting to make a name for himself in France. After attending school in Tahiti, he left for the bright lights of Paris. There he made a name for himself with his own music style, a blend of modern pop and Tahitian sounds.

Ken is signed to Sony Music and released his first album Tahitian Boy in 2014. More recently, he released the single “Ia Ora Na” (“Hello”), which brings a very danceable, summery South Seas sound. The song’s music video has clocked up almost one million views — a remarkable effort for an artist from an island group with a population of only 275,000.

And this song could provide clues as to what sort of song he’ll be submitting to the French broadcaster. He says it will be in the same style as “Ia Ora Na”.

Recently, Ken has performed at Heiva i Paris — the Tahitian dance festival held in Paris. Last year “Ia Ora Na” was featured in a performance at the Miss France beauty pageant.

Tahiti at the Eurovision Song Contest

In 2021, it will be 40 years since the last Tahitian singer represented France at Eurovision. In 1971, Jean Gabilou represented France with “Humanahum”. The French-language song placed third in the grand final, only 11 points behind overall winners Bucks Fizz.

Ken celebrated this, noting that “It would be a beautiful symbol that a Polynesian represents the country again.”

Tahitian music was also represented at Eurovision in 2006. Monaco was represented by the French singer Séverine Ferrer who performed Polynesian-inspired “La coco-dance”. The song included both French and Tahitian lyrics and served the feeling of being entertained at a Polynesian resort hotel.

“La coco-dance” placed 21st in the single semi-final and failed to qualify for the grand final. It was also to be Monaco’s last Eurovision entry to date.

Ken Carlter has his plans to participate in the French national final and represent France at Eurovision 2021. But first, he will need to be selected to be among the participants and, of course, win the national final. The French broadcaster will release more details about their new national final later this month.

What do you think? Would you like to hear Ken Carlter bring Tahitian vibes to the new French national final? What sort of act should France send to Rotterdam this time? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more France Eurovision news here

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CyxCy
CyxCy
14 days ago

I can’t say enough my admiration for Jean Gabilou. His participation was a real obstacle course. Imagine that this man learned that his wife had just died in Tahiti, while he was in the middle of rehearsals for the competition. The guy clings, he still sings the evening of the final, except that in the meantime he had also caught the flu. He struggles throughout the song, he finishes third on the board (which is a very good score for France), but it’s not enough. In France the competition was very little watched (it was the presidential elections). Poor Jean… Read more »

Christian
Christian
14 days ago

I am not sure but what about that French guy from 1992? Didn’t he come from a French island too?

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
14 days ago
Reply to  Christian

Kali (Jean-Marc Monnerville) was born in Martinique, a French overseas territory in the Caribbean.

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
15 days ago

Hmm, let’s about him. I’ve never heard any of his songs. Also, I wish Aya Nakamura, Deborah Lemoine, Seemone, Slimane, and Amina will sign up in the new French National Selection.

FanESC
FanESC
15 days ago

As a french, I never heard of him until yesterday when I discover that he intended to make the NF. I remembered the performance with his song in Miss France when I saw him in your article though. I like the mood of “Ia ora na” but I hope it’ll be better than that and less cliché (especially the lyrics and chorus), but why not ? I think it could really appel the télévote (less the juries). But I do hope we’ll get songs with regional touches since we got among our best results with these songs (1981, 1990-1993) so… Read more »

Crystal
15 days ago

There is a slight error in this post. It mentions that Jean Gabilou took part in the 1971 Contest, won by Bucks Fizz, when it should have read the 1981 Contest.

Milan
Milan
15 days ago

I’m all for musicians from French overseas territories representing France (we had real masterpieces in the past coming from them), but in this case all I hear is just 4 chords repeated ad nauseam. I hope that French songs for 2021 will be more imaginative than that.

Last edited 15 days ago by Milan
Whisker
Whisker
15 days ago
Reply to  Milan

Those are four EXCELLENT chords!

Una
Una
15 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

Ilse de Lange when talking about Calm after the Storm said that the song had been “2 chords and a lot of heart”. Or something like that. In the ocasion of receiving a press or composer award. So the number of chords does not matter too much. Not that I could count them.

Ashton
Ashton
15 days ago

Allez Ola Olé-lite.

Una
Una
15 days ago

Thoughts: “Ia Ora Na” is very good!!! I liked how Ken was presented as a musician as in his music combines modern pop with Tahitian sounds. Somethink similar to “Ia Ora Na” would be very suitable for Eurovision. Very happy, positive, very enjoyable. I think it would be important to find the middle ground like he does because Monaco’s song from 2006 was too much and too cliché. From sound to presentation. We don’t need that anymore in Eurovision 2021. Small typo in the article – “Humanahum” came third in *1981* not in 1971. The song is suprisingly good. Enjoyable… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
15 days ago

I love Ia Ora Na! And I love Ken’s voice and presence! Bonne chance Ken!

Erasmus
Erasmus
15 days ago

Not a fan of his music…

Fionn
Fionn
15 days ago

Yo has anyone else noticed that there are a lot more ads on wiwibloggs lately….

Cameron
Cameron
15 days ago
Reply to  Fionn

Yeah, I keep pop-up ads

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
14 days ago
Reply to  Fionn

I didn’t know that Wiwibloggs have pop up ads.

Ermin
Ermin
15 days ago

Would be too good to be true, but French delegation want the same song like Tom Loeb,s

Off topic Roxen was beaten by her boyfriend. It,s a scandal here.

Whisker
Whisker
15 days ago
Reply to  Ermin

Oh no. Awful.

Una
Una
15 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

Awful indeed. May he rot in hel*. And *may justice be served* for Roxen. Many hugs and all the best to her.

Hi :)
Hi :)
15 days ago
Reply to  Ermin

ROXEN WAS WHAT? is she ok?

Last edited 15 days ago by Hi :)
Esc addict
Esc addict
15 days ago
Reply to  Ermin

“French delegation want the same song like Tom Leeb’s” Why inventing things like that??!! What’s the aim? If they do a national final it’s not to have the same song of this year, it’s more than logical…….
Sad for Roxen…..

Erasmus
Erasmus
15 days ago
Reply to  Ermin

At least she spoke about it, which is important! Wish her well-being and to get rid of that relationship.

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
14 days ago
Reply to  Ermin

OMG, Roxen was beaten by her boyfriend? WHAT?! I didn’t even know she had a boyfriend, I thought she’s single.

Una
Una
15 days ago

Yes, please. Then maybe France will win and the contest will be held in Tahiti. Not only will France have won, but that will be free publicity for the contest. And there will be a record number of participating countries. LOL. Pun intended.
Bonne chance, Ken 🙂