Photo courtesy of RTBF / Hadrien Hanse

With Jérémie Makiese, Belgium has announced the first contestant for Eurovision 2022. The winner of The Voice Belgique was chosen internally by the Walloon broadcaster RTBF. In a Dutch-language interview with Flemish commentator Peter Van de Veire on the Één Instagram account, Jérémie spoke about the honour of representing Belgium at Eurovision in Italy.

The newfound Eurovision star said that it took him two weeks to think about doing Eurovision after he had been asked by the broadcaster:

“Yes, I won The Voice, but that was still new for me. Then I am suddenly called. ‘Jérémie, you can take part in Eurovision.’ That was so… I don’t know. It was too much [at once], and I had to think a little bit. Two weeks was enough. Then I called them back to accept.”

In a sense, that is not a large change from the most recent Walloon representatives. Since 2013, the French-speaking region of Belgium has strongly relied on contestants from its local adaption of The Voice, scouting Roberto Bellarosa, Loïc Nottet, Blanche and Eliot.

 

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However, one change is that Jérémie is bilingual, speaking Dutch and French — two of the three languages of the country — effortlessly. The interview with the Flemish broadcaster and commentator this early in the season is quite unique. When asked about this, Jérémie explained his bilingualism:

“I was born in Antwerp. I learnt [Dutch] there. We all speak Dutch, my parents also a little. I live in Brussels and I have been raised there too. Brussels is bilingual too, sometimes.”

Jérémie Makiese remembered watching several Walloon Eurovision representatives, but also thought highly of Hooverphonic, who he called “unbelievable”. With regards to the song he is going to sing at Eurovision, Jérémie does not want to show his cards yet. He’s open to all kinds of genres, although he has a slight preference for ballads, something he showed during his journey on The Voice. When Peter asked what kind of message Jérémie would like to take on stage, the singer simply answered:

“I want to be the best representative for Belgium.”

Peter noted that relatively few black artists appear at the contest and wondered whether that also helped to persuade him to do Eurovision. Jérémie said:

“Yes and no. How can I say that? La peau [the skin]. Don’t look at the skin, but at the voice. I think that is the most important for Eurovision.”

On his absolute reason to do Eurovision, he answered:

“I still have a lot of things to say, [from] within me. I think that Eurovision is the best place to, as we say in French, exprimer [to express oneself]. Yes, that’s why.”

 

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Jérémie Makiese plans to combine football career with Eurovision

Next to being a singer, Jérémie has long combined his passion for music with playing football. Shortly before his announcement as the Belgian representative, he signed a one-year contract as a goalkeeper for the club Excelsior Virton, which currently plays in the Belgian Second Division.

The Voice winner doesn’t think that will hinder his preparations. On the contrary, he acknowledges that he cannot sing without playing football and vice versa.

When attempting to choose between them, he said he’d rather be a champion of both. With regards to his Eurovision song, he revealed that it is supposed to be finished in January and released between then and March.

What do you think of Jérémie Makiese’s answers? What would you like to hear him sing at Eurovision 2022? Let us know in the comments down below!

Read all our Belgium Eurovision news here

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Alex
Alex
25 days ago

Didn’t they say that he recorded music with the producer of ‘City Lights’ and the 2019 entry? I hope it’s going to be in half French at least following the success of Switzerland and France this year.

By the way, TAMINO should be internally selected. PLEASE call him!!

Colin
Colin
29 days ago

Since he speaks both French and Dutch fluently, can we hope that a song will have at least one of these languages in it? I mean, if it’s a good English song, let it be, but it would’ve been a welcome change of pace for Belgium. After all, their only win is in French, and their second best placing in an imaginary language. In any case, I have a good feeling about Jeremie, and the new song.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
29 days ago
Reply to  Colin

He speaks Walloon and Flemish, not French and Dutch. Technically they are the same, but they aren’t completely the same. Other than that, you’ve got a point.

Joe
Joe
28 days ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

Most folks call them dialects of French and Dutch. Nobody says Jacques Brel sang in Walloon.

Alvaro
Alvaro
29 days ago

From here to January-March seems like a long time, but in the blink of an eye we shall listen his song for Belgium for the first time, and just hoping is amazing.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
29 days ago

Fingers crossed that he’s given a great song to give Belgium a top 10 placing chance. If he ends up with the best song that could win a contest, I will be ecstatically happy because it’s been far too long since Belgium last won the contest. Only one victory since 1986!? Belgium is long overdue.

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Only one win for a black performer since 1956, another reason to be happy if Belgium do win.

Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Should’ve been in 1998, since both the The UK and Netherlands eclipsed Israel’s song by a lot IMHO. Also, if Austria had won in 2018, I’d prefer it to Israel. Funny enough, I absolutely love some of the other Israeli entries (2005, 2010), but don’t think that either of their last two wins came with the right entries (they aren’t bad, and Toy is even interesting, but best of the year…).

Last edited 29 days ago by Colin
irn bru
irn bru
28 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Neka Mi Ne Svane would like to have a talk with you

Colin
Colin
28 days ago
Reply to  irn bru

Well, Neka mi ne svane is my big favorite too. I have over 15 songs from 1998 I prefer to Diva. UK and Netherlands were just positioned high enough to have a possible win back then. And as we are talking about possible black winners of the contest, both of them would’ve made a great choice back than. That’s far from saying they are the *only* good songs of that year.

Last edited 28 days ago by Colin
Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago
Reply to  Colin

1991 for me.

Colin
Colin
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Haven’t seen 1991 yet, but I soon will. 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Oops, I actually meant 1990.

Una
Una
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

People are more than their *race* or *ethnicity*. I feel really bad reading comments like this. As if *race* were a criterion for quality or success.
We never read about the *race* of previous winners. Is being “white” a bad thing? Are “white performers” better or worse than performers of other *races*? My opinion is a flat and angry “NO”. Every single person must acknowledged with dignity and recognition of their talent and humanity. “NOT THEIR RACE”!!!

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago
Reply to  Una

Thank you for your concern, Una. If it is directed at my one sentence, let me assure you it is misplaced. At no point did I mean to suggest that he win only because of his skin colour or even that it should be a consideration at all – there is nothing in your comment I disagree with. I most certainly do not define Jérémie, or anybody else, by their skin colour – and the implication that I do is enough to make me really bad and angry. That makes us even. Racism is a problem. Of the hundred and… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
28 days ago
Reply to  Una

tell me you’re a boomer without telling me you’re a boomer

Bird Lover
Bird Lover
29 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

unfortunately blacks will never win the EUROvision… it hasnt happened in 66 years (except a duo for estonia where he wasnt even the main artist), it wont happen now

Ashton
Ashton
29 days ago
Reply to  Bird Lover

the usage of the word ‘blacks’ and the capitalisation of euro tells me all I need to know about whether you are racist or not. by the way, you very clearly are

Kim
Kim
29 days ago

I’m so excited! He is the perfect candidate. He looks good, young and fresh, full of energy, he sings insanely good and he can dance too. Unlike his predecessors he will not be a scared little bird on stage. I hope the song will be good and that he can showcase his talent. I hope it will not be another mid-tempo song, i’m hoping for a full-on power ballad or a party song.

Esc addict
Esc addict
29 days ago

If the song is ready in January don’t wait until the deadline in March to reveal it please….. as I already said, in January and February there are several National Finals where you can go to promote your esc song….

Joe
Joe
29 days ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Covid def kept that from happening this year. Did any NFs even feature other 2021 entrants? I can think of a bunch from 2020 (Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine) but none from last year.

Esc addict
Esc addict
29 days ago
Reply to  Joe

I remember Benny Cristo in Vidbir too, Czech Republic and France had the tradition the years before to go in Ukraine to promote their songs, and it’s a cool thing I think. Oh and Poland too in Vidbir in 2017.

Last edited 29 days ago by Esc addict
Erasmus
Erasmus
29 days ago

It is very likely that his entry will be composed by Pierre Dumoulin (composer of “City Lights” and “Wake up”) and Yves Paquet since he was in the studio with them and he will probably sing a slow song…

So I’m sure he will be in my top 10 – I trust Belgium completely.

I’m more worried about my second favourite country (Bulgaria)…

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
29 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Wake Up flopped though so I wouldn’t be so confident of Belgium sending an amazing song in 2022.

Jofty
Jofty
29 days ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Just because it flopped does not mean Wake Up was not a good song. The performer was too inexperienced, a little like Malta/ Chameleon. On the other hand I found Destiny annoying as did the public it would seem.

CatcoolH
CatcoolH
29 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

I don’t really understand you here, Destiny is a great performer and she did very well on the Eurovision stage.

DonutLover
DonutLover
28 days ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

It flopped because of the staging and unexpirienced performing but the song itself was great!

Joe
Joe
29 days ago

This feels like a representative who can stand for all of Belgium, Wallonia and Flanders, given how long he’s lived in both places and speaks both languages. Looking forward to hearing his entry!

Joe
Joe
29 days ago
Reply to  Joe

And just saying, Sandra Kim also has achieved equal fame in Flanders and Wallonia