He’s the Suriname-born singer who is fast becoming a star in the Netherlands. But Jeangu Macrooy — the country’s Eurovision 2021 singer — is also a fighter and someone who understands dislocation. Gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, birthplace, belief — there are endless reasons why people may try to push him or anyone else down. His song “Birth of a New Age” acknowledges the difficulties — but inspires people to push past the shade, all to the infectious chant, “Your rhythm is rebellion.”

“They spat on your crown and they poisoned your ground,” he sings. “They burned your heroes at the stake, your voice will echo all their names, this ain’t the end, it’s the birth of a new age.”

As media pundits talk of a splintered Europe and culture wars that rage around the world, his message is as timely as it is optimistic.

Jeangu Macrooy debuts “Birth of a New Age”

 

Speaking to Dutch Eurovision commentator Cornald Maas during the livestream reveal, Jeangu applauded everyone with the courage to speak up and stand tall.

“The song is an ode to everyone who stands up for themselves and dares to celebrate the power of their authenticity.”

The song draws much of its fire from Jeangu’s mother tongue Sranan Tongo. These lyrics are chanted by Jeangu and his backing vocalists, creating an anthemic feel that gives this a spiritual vibe. The words derive from a Surinamese saying: “Mi Na Afu Sensi, No Wan Man E Broko Mi” or “I’m half a cent, you can’t break me”. That’s a reference to the lowest denomination of currency in Suriname, which can’t be broken into smaller coins. In effect, that means you can’t tear him apart.

Jeangu was thrilled to perform his song along with the ZO! Gospel Choir. He was backed by three percussionists and his entire band.

“As an artist, there’s nothing I like more than performing. So it was really awesome to be able to present the song live on such a grand scale.”

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Emkay
Emkay
1 month ago

In my opinion, the live performance needs more of the cultural elements present in the studio version. Everything felt so much stronger in the studio cut, so I hope he can bring so much more of what’s present in that version to the Eurovision stage.

Maya G
Maya G
2 months ago

I really loved his 2020 song, so at first I was a bit disappointed by this. A couple of listens later I like it a lot, even if not as much as I love “Grow”. It’s original, authentic and doesn’t sound like it was tailored to fit some perceived Eurovision-compatibility. I doubt it’ll do well score wise, but being the host nation there’s no pressure of having to qualify or even do extremely well, as hosting the show is a huge source of contentment on it’s own. I appreciate the Dutch for seizing this opportunity by sending a song with… Read more »

Frysk
Frysk
2 months ago

Barbara Dex award!

Christian Perry
Christian Perry
2 months ago

I like the concept but it’s so bad…. I feel like the host nation will come last this year unfortunately.

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago

A strong entry from the host country and Jeangu is really great on stage. So far second in my list, I only like France a little more.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago

I actually think it’s the best so far! I has Lion King vibes which I like. A nice cultural diversity sound. This is how you do being proud of your roots

Christian Perry
Christian Perry
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

How is this like Lion King? Typical white people comparing shiiitt.

zelenovi
zelenovi
2 months ago

Not sure if it’s a song I would play much, but this performances really hit me. There’s something about Jeangu showing his authentic unapologetic self, including his heritage, these powerful lyrics and harmonies, that bridge.. it sends chills down my spine. We needed this in Eurovision.
I just hope they amp up the percussion and the gospel choir, I want be hit by a wall of glorious sound when that choir starts. So different to Grow, but it with with similar impact. Huge respect and admiration for this true artist.

musica
musica
2 months ago

I like what Jeangu is doing, no compromises, both in terms of the message and the music. If you’re in the final anyway, you might as well take some risks. I think the monotone quality of the song is actually true to Surinamese musical traditions (as far as I know), it won’t be to everyone’s taste but it is authentic. Obviously not a winner, but something interesting and new in Eurovision.

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago
Reply to  musica

Very untypical for ESC and that´s really a gift.

AntonESC
AntonESC
2 months ago

I think the official music video uplifted this song very well. It’s a great video with a lot of color. I think Jeangu will all surprise us in May….

Thijn
Thijn
2 months ago

Like the official videoclip. The music track is much better than the live-preformance. With a nice staging it could do well.

Dennis
Dennis
1 month ago
Reply to  Thijn

well, with Hans Pannecoucke don’t count on it as long as Ilse DeLange isn’t involved.

Moonstar
Moonstar
2 months ago

Nice song (Jeangu’s vocals were average), but at the same time a strong contender for bottom five! :/

Darren
Darren
2 months ago

Nice happy uplifting song, albeit a little safe, this is not surprising. But safe doesn’t mean bad.
I like it a lot and I like Jeangu.
It’s a typical host country entry, not at all bad, but won’t win, but should still get a respectable result in the final.
I like this though. I hope it does well.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
2 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Using Sranan Tongo, a language new to ESC, isn’t safe tbh. It is indeed not a bad song tho.

Darren
Darren
2 months ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

It’s just a verse/minor part of the song. The overall song is still safe.
But I’m not bashing the song, I like it. I’m just saying it’s the normal host country song. Will probably finish mid table.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
2 months ago
Reply to  Darren

If the juries like it, I predict a surprising 6-10th rank. But, if the juries vote normally, I expect a 13 – 18th rank. Definitely not bottom 5.

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

It´s a language spoken in Surinam, where Jeangu is born.

ag89
ag89
2 months ago
Reply to  Darren

How is this safe? The song has no “safe” and expected structure, we have never heard a combo of these sounds at ESC. This is everything but safe.

AllThingsNordic
AllThingsNordic
2 months ago

Nice, happy song. Wondering how this will score in the final. Without devaluing the song itself, I can see it bottom 5 because it is not one that can attract the public vote. It will score well with juries, probably.

MartyMcCu
MartyMcCu
2 months ago

You know, I am glad I watched this live version first before listening to the studio version. This is song belongs to a live performance, incredibly different between the two. Thumbs up for his live performance and indeed it is very good, Thumbs down for the studio version, it’s bland and forgettable This will score well with the juries for sure.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 months ago

same vibes as last year. the jury will save it

eha
eha
2 months ago

Last year i absolutely loved “Grow”. It really captivated me from start til end.
This song,
sadly does nothing to me.

Maya G
Maya G
2 months ago

It’s not bad, quite nice actually, but I expected something better after his beautiful song from 2020.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Hmm don’t really like it but I like him. Anw Netherlands holds the trophy for 2 years in a row so let someone else win this time 🙂

Dutchie
Dutchie
2 months ago

I have missed the presentation last night, but I have heard about it on the Dutch radio this morning. Both the radio show hosts as Jeangu (in a soundbite) self referred to a so called ‘Mama Appelsap’ (= Mama Appelsap) in the song. The Dutch radio station 3FM had an item in the program Superrradio (formerly Timur Open Radio) in which listeners could send in mondegreens with the name Mama Appelsap. The program item was created by 3FM DJ Timur Perlin. Mama Appelsap got its name from the song Wanna Be Startin ‘Somethin’ by Michael Jackson, which some people indicate… Read more »

RennyWest
RennyWest
2 months ago

As someone who wasn’t fond of “Grow” I must say – I really dig this one. 4/5

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago

So, for this one, I’m happy that Jeangu is getting to do his own thing, and that will come across well at ESC. If I’m being honest about the music, I prefer the 2020 song to this one.
Other notes:
Someone on YouTube mentioned a Prince vibe with the outfit; I sort of see that, but I think Jeangu has his own identity anyhow.
Using the other language – I like it, but social media’s misheard lyrics division has gone viral with reports of broccoli everywhere. The happy thing is, I love broccoli. 😀

Okt
Okt
2 months ago

You are my broccoli ?

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago

This year’s been pretty great so far! You just have poor taste apparently

Anita Mann
Anita Mann
2 months ago

Similar to Cyprus this year, the song is all chorus and very little verse. 4/10

Ohi
Ohi
2 months ago

Ok so it’s a mixed bag for me. I like the influences and bringing in the Surinamese heritage. It’s something the contest hasn’t seen before which is always an opportunity, but it’s the instrumentation or the vocal… something about this performance prevents it from being rousing and it comes off as a poor man’s something inside so strong. This may well grow on me but I think presentation of this song at Eurovision will be absolutely crucial to it’s ultimate success. I reserve the right to change my mind.

Nicolas
Nicolas
2 months ago

They might have realized the snooze from last year would have followed Israel 2019/Portugal 2018 path.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago

He was my favorite last year. This doesn’t have the same soul-touching “wow” factor I got from grow, but I still enjoy and appreciate this one. I think we can probably safely say that no other song this year is going to end up sounding like this one. I like the incorporation of his culture.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago

So far, this is probably the biggest drop-off from 2020 to 2021 for me. Grow was one of my favourite songs last year and a sneaky contender to do really well with juries. This is just a song. There’s just no magic here and as good as Jeangu is, I think this is going to get a typical host entry at Eurovision result.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

I don’t know if this makes sense, but these songs both almost have like a disney vibe to me. They’re both special to me, but not quite on the same level. This year is like the end credit song. But last year was like, the kind that they’d play in one of those gut-wrenching emotional pixar scenes, you know?

PP77
PP77
2 months ago

My TOP 19
1.CYP
2.FRA
3.LIT
4.CRO
5.NOR
6.FIN
7.SLO
8.BEL
9.ROM
10.IRE
11.MOL
12.AUS
13.NET
14.CZE
15.ISR
16.UKR
17.GER
18.SPA
19.ALB

Jamie
Jamie
2 months ago
Reply to  PP77

Yeeees Lady Gaga

Notyourtoy
Notyourtoy
2 months ago
Reply to  PP77

Literally everyone dislikes your comment because they are filthy on people loving Elena Tsagrinou’s entry.

You guys have to chill out and eat some broccoli, because this leads to nowhere.

And remember, Elena has a big fanbase already, so don’t mess up with us 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Notyourtoy
Stephanie
Stephanie
2 months ago
Reply to  Notyourtoy

You can say that about other participants as well.

PP77
PP77
2 months ago

I don t think that this song wili be in bottom 5. I think this song will do quiete well with juries (i see this song in TOP 13 with juries in final).

PP77
PP77
2 months ago
Reply to  PP77

and in total score from 16 to 20 place

Lollipop
2 months ago

This song is just fine, I guess ?

karworld
karworld
2 months ago

Ohhh I loved his song very much last year, but unfortunately I’m not too keen on this new entry. Talented and great voice. No doubt about it tough.

ESC8
ESC8
2 months ago

The Netherlands have already spent money for 2 contests so it is obvious that they don’t want to even think about winning again anytime soon. So they decided to follow the trend established in the 2010s, finishing bottom 5 in the final. I do not think that even tried, I mean, I was not a fan of Grow, but this is just 5 minutes of songwriting. However, I am excited that we will get to hear a new language on the esc stage, it is called Sranan Tongo. Unfortunately this is the 1st song of 2021 that I gave it… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
2 months ago
Reply to  ESC8

I would say that the fact that because of the Covid restrictions that Rotterdam 2021 will have, The Netherlands more than other recent hosts will really want to win again soon to host a proper Eurovision – granted, in Amsterdam or Maastricht more likely though.

Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
2 months ago

Grow was my number 1 last year. I’m not yet sure whether I like this as much, but I love Jeangu’s voice and his authenticity, I love the power and pride in the lyrics and the music. No matter what place the Netherlands ends up in on May 22, I’m very proud that this is my country’s entry.

PP77
PP77
2 months ago

Last year song was so boring. This is ok song and for me much better song than last year.

GuyGuy
GuyGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  PP77

Same here

ESCLightworker
ESCLightworker
2 months ago

Very dissapointing to me. Its not bad, its just…there i guess. Grow was not my fav but i find it better than this years song. I do think the studio version sounds better, but its just not competitive at all. Cant see people voting for this one. Good luck to their team.

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago

a call for barb dex.
He looks super happy, so I’m happy for him…
but this song goes nowhere (in terms of results). Sad, Grow was such a Masterpiece.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

Ohhh, I actually like the outfit. 🙂

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

I listened to the Spotify version first and I was super moved. It hits harder than the live performance which doesn’t quite capture the studio instrumentation. I didn’t have a real favorite entry prior to hearing this one. 12 points, Jeangu. Great job.

Also you people with the infantile “broccoli” comment… “Non mi avete fatto niente” also had similar lyrics but I didn’t see you trying to look for English sounding words there. Cut it out and stop making light of a language you’re not familiar with.

Leo
Leo
2 months ago

Not what I was expecting. It’s ok but his 2020 entry was far better.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago
Reply to  Leo

They both top five for me but this year he’s like 4th maybe while last year he was my 1st

Benny Hill
2 months ago

I admire him for what he has overcome in life, but if I had to write a song about everything that has moulded me, it would be a mixture of depressing tunes, self-empowering anthems and sexy songs. In other words, ESC. 😛

Good luck. It’s a decent entry.

Last edited 2 months ago by Benny Hill
nycforever
nycforever
2 months ago

Seems like the main intrigue this year is who’s gonna be the last. Netherlands or Spain? We haven’t listened the song yet but I think that UK will join the fight too. Who will be the winner from the bottom?

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  nycforever

You give us New Yorkers a bad name

Stephanie
Stephanie
2 months ago
Reply to  nycforever

I think in the case of the Netherlands there are others songs who can apply for that last place!

PP77
PP77
2 months ago
Reply to  nycforever

I think this song will do great with juries like their entry from 2016,2017 and not so well with televote . I see Spain and Germany in this moment for fight for last place in final.

Robert
Robert
2 months ago
Reply to  nycforever

Albania!

Mariko
Mariko
2 months ago

It pains me to see all the negative comments on Twitter… I also find it quite weird people are suddenly saying they loved his song last year, while he got really negative reactions at first too, people called it really boring and everything… Last year’s song made me cry on first listen. This song does not at all. It’s very different. But I actually don’t mind that. To me personally, it feels very powerful. I don’t think it’s going to win but I think it’s really beautiful and inspiring… I get that tastes differ, but to see people calling this… Read more »

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
2 months ago
Reply to  Mariko

The haters aren’t opening up.

Jinbeizaki
Jinbeizaki
2 months ago

I guess unfortunately the masterpiece that Grow was for me can’t be replicated, the best host country entry since I watched Eurovision in 2010. It’s not a bad song but a more common host country entry, I hope he doesn’t end last though cause his voice is something beyond this world and he deserves some point for that alone.

dfafa
dfafa
2 months ago

You are my broccoli <333. Boring, idk what the place will be, but he brought another culture

Polliu
Polliu
2 months ago

Oh no..I hope it’s because of the live band. So repetitive and boring.

Alo
Alo
2 months ago

I didn’t connect to the song too much… For now i cant see it getting many points during the final.

Monika
Monika
2 months ago

Now we know a strong contender for the last place in the final, along Spain and Germany. Shall we expect more? Like the usual UK…

Sniper K-Wolf
Sniper K-Wolf
2 months ago

This song remember me “France 1992” and its a good sign. Just a modern version.

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  Sniper K-Wolf

They don’t sound even a tiny bit alike but I like that song too

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I mean…they’re both artists from the Caribbean? Not all Caribbean music sounds the same.

Grft
Grft
2 months ago
Reply to  Sniper K-Wolf

Please respect France 1992, this song was .. *chefs kiss*

Bella
Bella
2 months ago

It’s a nice song but it doesn’t really do anything for me. I think Grow last year was very delicate and emotional, and I loved it (despite not likely to fare well at Eurovision). This new song kinda feels empty. Good luck to him though! 

Rumpelstiltskin
Rumpelstiltskin
2 months ago

This is excellent! Straight to my top! Thank you Jeangu and the Netherlands for delivering!