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…
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!