Eurovision 2022 has its first confirmed act. The Voice Belgique winner Jérémie Makiese will represent Belgium next year in Italy.
The 20-year-old artist was confirmed this morning on the VivaCité radio morning show Le 8/9. For 2022, Belgium’s Eurovision entry is managed by the French-speaking broadcaster RTBF. Flemish broadcaster VRT managed the country’s entry in both 2020 and 2021.
Since 2013, RTBF’s Eurovision acts have also been alums of The Voice Belgique — Belgium’s French-language version of the popular reality show franchise. In previous years, The Voice stars Roberto Bellarosa, Loïc Nottet, Blanche and Eliot have represented their country at Eurovision.
While Jérémie has been confirmed for Eurovision 2022, at this stage no information is known about his song. Jérémie lists pop icon Michael Jackson, soul legend Otis Redding, Belgian musical icon Stromae and Belgian-Congolese rapper Damso as among his influences, which may offer clues as to the direction of his Eurovision entry.
Who is Jérémie Makiese?
Jérémie Makiese came to fame through his participation in the 2020-2021 series of The Voice Belgique.
He auditioned with a performance of Labrinth’s “Jealous”, which prompted all four judges to turn. Jérémie was coached by the American-born singer BJ Scott. She had previously coached Loïc Nottet during his time on the show and co-wrote the lyrics to his Eurovision 2015 song “Rhythm Inside”.
Jérémie gave many impressive performances on the show and easily won over the voting public. He won the grand final in April.
Jérémie was born in Antwerp to Congolese parents. He grew up in the Uccle municipality of Brussels and speaks both French and Dutch.
The official press release tells us more:
“He started school in Dutch, his mother tongue. Later, he learned French thanks to his parents, originally from Congo, and during his later studies.”
“At home, each member of his family is bilingual.
Jérémie continued his High School studying geology. But after winning The Voice Belgique he decided to put his studies on hold and to pursue his passion in music and also his evolution in the football world.”
“Since the beginning of his teenage years, Jérémie has been driven by these two passions : music and football.”
“Two passions who have been rhythming his life for several months now. Today, he wishes to give all the chances to his musical and sports careers and… just go for it !”
“Although in the beginning, Jérémie’s father refused for a long time to allow him to play football for fear that his son would get badly injured. He therefore only started playing quite late, at the age of 13, and joined a football team without his parent’s permission : BX Brussels, Vincent Kompany’s club.”
“In addition to football, Jérémie started singing lessons in his local school of Berchem-Sainte- Agathe. Even though he had been singing since his early childhood in churchs with his brothers and at family gatherings, Jeremie never really realized the importance of music in his life. It all seemed normal to him. Indeed, Jérémie grew up in a musical family. His father was a member of a choir that performed all over Belgium. As for his mother, she regularly accompanied herself with the tam-tam when singing. Music runs in their veins.”
“Jérémie really discovered this passion during a song contest organized by the local school of Les Glycines in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe. His father registered him without really knowing what it was all about. Jérémie won the competition hands down. It is this victory that made him want to register for The Voice Belgique at the dawn of his 20th birthday.”
“During this adventure, he developed a deep bond with his coach BJ Scott who remains his mentor in the musical world, a shoulder on which he knows he can lean on whenever he doubts. Church and gospel music are common denominators between these two artists.”
“Today, his football career continues alongside with his deep aspirations in the music industry. Jérémie has just signed a one-year contract as goalkeeper with the Excelsior Virton in D1B. He now strongly wishes to invest himself in his two passions.”
“Perfect candidate to represent us at the Eurovision 2022, Jérémie Makiese is the fruit of our country’s history. Born of Congolese parents, this young Belgian speaks our two national languages. A nice mix of culture that feeds the musical universe of a fully complete artist who sings from the bottom of his soul.”
What do you think? What kind of song should Jérémie perform at Eurovision 2022? Should he incorporate football into his performance? Tell us your thoughts below!