Gjon’s Tears was one of the favourites to win Eurovision last year prior to its cancellation. But rather than getting bitter about the lost opportunity, Switzerland‘s star decided to get better. The proof comes it “Tout l’univers” (The Whole Universe) — his Eurovision 2021 song that is as stirring as its music video is beautiful.
“I am so happy that I will finally be able to take part in Eurovision this year and that I can spread a positive message with my song ‘Tout l’univers’,” he says in the official statement from Swiss broadcaster SRF.
“It was important for us to keep hope in this particularly difficult time: We must not give up and we must stay strong. With love, friendship, strength and courage, we can rebuild our future. I am convinced that in this exceptional situation it is possible to rediscover and reinvent ourselves.”
It will be the first French-language Swiss entry to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest for 11 years.
Gjon’s Tears releases “Tout l’univers” — Switzerland’s Eurovision 2021 song
When it comes to Gjon’s Tears and his music, there’s no need for reinvention. “Tout l’univers” retains the classic sophistication we’ve come to know and love, but it pushes the boundaries with production and instrumentation. The song combines Gjon’s distinct voice with choir, piano and strings, all set to modern beats. The universe may be infinite, but there’s only one soundscape like this. It starts quietly, with Gjon’s instantly recognisable voice guiding proceedings as it builds and swells — all the while making full use of his vocal range and those high notes. This is a masterclass in creating an atmosphere and maintaining it.
The music video enhances the magic of the song and suggests the scale and ambition of the Swiss team. It opens with Gjon on the road, the result of a car accident that’s left him near death and his vehicle on fire. He seems to have an out-of-body experience where he contemplates life and where time rushes forward and backwards. We go on a visual journey through mountains and forest and even outer space, prompting thoughts about life and death, and how beauty and tranquility can lead to horror and despair. Taken together it has an existential vibe that prompts repeated viewing.
Gjon’s Tears wrote his Eurovision entry with songwriters Wouter Hardy, Nina Sampermans and Xavier Michel as part of a song-writing camp. He’ll get to perform it live for all the world during the second semi-final on Thursday 20 May 2021.
In the official press release, SRF re-counted precisely how the song was chosen.
“Gjon’s Tears produced and recorded a number of different songs for Eurovision 2021, working together with a variety of songwriters and producers. Like last year, the songs were then tested by a 100-member viewers’ panel and an expert jury.”
“The viewers’ panel was designed to simulate the phone-in voting process used by the 40 countries in the competition as accurately as possible. Its members were selected in a multi-stage selection procedure using online questionnaires.”
“The song that won the most points from the two juries was declared the winner, and a final version has now been produced for the competition.”
Are you loving Gjon’s Tears entry for Eurovision 2021? Do you hope they keep the stunning visuals from the music video? Let us know in the comments box down below.
Photo courtesy of SRF David Tomaszewski and Bertrand Marin
Our chat with Gjon’s Tears at last year’s song reveal.