France’s Eurovision 2017 Entry

Out of nowhere, France has announced Alma will represent them at Eurovision with “Requiem.”

Alma is a 28-year-old singer with a degree in economics who is at the start of her music career. Her first single “La chute est lente” came out last year, and “Requiem” is the second single from her upcoming debut album. It is a catchy song with an upbeat Latin rhythm (which is surprising for a song called “Requiem.”)

Alma performed “Requiem” live at the melty Future Awards on February 6, three days before the Eurovision announcement. Our impression was that she doesn’t quite own the song yet. While “Requiem” doesn’t have a difficult melody, it does has a crowded lyric that may be hard to sing live. We heard pitch issues, and it seemed like she didn’t always know where to breathe. We shouldn’t be thinking that singing a song is hard work.

Whether or not this is still a problem in May remains to be seen. She’s got time to figure it out. We also have seen that audiences can forgive minor pitch issues if they like you well enough. We had similar concerns about Amir last year, but his charm and charisma carried him far. Alma seems just as charming. She has a strong stage presence that radiates on camera.

“Requiem” was written by Nazim Khaled, who may turn out to be the more interesting part of this story. Khaled co-wrote “J’ai cherché” for Amir. So, Khaled has provided France with two solid Eurovision entries for two straight years. If it continues, he may prove to be a key voice in France’s Eurovision renaissance.