Eurovision Eurovision 2023 France

Who is La Zarra? Meet the Eurovision 2023 representative from France

In a surprise move last January, France presented their representative for Eurovision, La Zarra. This came as a surprise to everyone, especially after France Télévisions confirmed in July of last year that they would once again trust their pre-selection, Eurovision France: C’est vous qui décidez!, for Eurovision 2023, which has been used to choose their representative for the last two years with mixed results.

The need to host the Junior Eurovision contest for the second time in three years may be the reason for the public broadcaster’s attempt to cut costs and internally select a representative with French essence and professional growth.

Learn more about La Zarra

La Zarra is a very mysterious singer who has not given many details about her personal biography by personal choice. However, we do know that her real name is Fátima Zahra and she was born in North Africa, specifically in Morocco. We also know that she spent a significant part of her youth in Longueuil, Canada. Her decision to remain enigmatic may be due to her desire to be solely recognized for her music.

As a child and teenager, she was fascinated by French fashion and music, with French artists like Mylène Farmer and Céline Dion as her role models. She would watch their concerts and dream of becoming a French diva herself.

La Zarra’s debut as a singer was quite casual. She was invited to sing at a party where she met Benny Adam, a hip-hop producer who lives near Montreal. This producer saw the singer’s X-factor and proposed a test at his studio the next day. A few weeks later, her first single, a collaboration with singer Niro, “Printemps blanc,” was released, opening doors for her in the music industry and leading to several successful mash-ups and collaborations.

After achieving fame, La Zarra recorded a new version of “Printemps blanc” with Niro, which became a big hit in French-speaking countries. She continued to make a name for herself in the music world with her original and risky mixes. La Zarra combined two songs, “À l’ammoniaque” by PNL and “Mon Dieu” by French legend Edith Piaf, which surpassed one million views on YouTube, showcasing her love for everything French.

Her success continued with another original mix, “Tirer un trait,” by the group SCH. Her work gained significant relevance, and in the spring of 2021, she released her first original single, “Tu t’en iras,” which was accompanied by a music video, serving as her big introduction. The video surpassed one million views in less than 15 days (now with over 18 million views) and caught the attention of the press, considering her one of the most prominent emerging figures in the industry.

Her talent for fusing and mixing genres and captivating audiences with her voice and interpretation was praised by many. “Tu t’en iras” topped the playlists on music platforms such as Apple Music, Deezer, and Spotify. She also appeared on French television shows such as “W9,” Canal +, and “On est en direct,” where she performed her hit song with a guitar, earning her more praise for her talent.

2021 was her year, culminating in her first album, “Traîtrise,” where most of the lyrics were written by herself and Benny Adams, and she was also involved in the composition and musical arrangements. La Zarra’s latest musical release is the single “Sans moi,” released a few months ago, with over a million views on the lyric video.

She is currently at the peak of her career, nominated for the 2021 Revelation of the Year Award at the Gala l’ADISQ, the NRJ Music Award for French revelation of the year 2022, and she won the 2022 SOCAN Discovery of the Year Award.

La Zarra. Foto: SLAM/France Televisions

“Évidemment,” Her Song for Liverpool

Thanks to the super record label Universal, La Zarra brings us “Évidemment,” a song entirely in French composed by Ahmed Saghir, the Grammy-nominated duo from Montreal, Banx and Ranx, whose members Zacharie Raymond and Yannick Rastogi have written for David Guetta, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, among others, and La Zarra herself is also involved in the songwriting process. The production of the song is again entrusted to the duo Banx and Ranx and Benny Adán.

“Évidemment” makes it clear that things will no longer be the same, where La Zarra shows herself to a love interest, making it clear that her life belongs to her.

“Évidemment” Lyrics

Original lyrics

Mon cœur, mes mains, mes yeux mes reins
Plus rien ne m’appartient
J’me fais du mal pour
Faire du bien
J’oublie comme si c’n’était rien

Dans mon jardin d’enfer
Pousse des fleurs
Que j’arrose de mes rêves de mes pleurs

On a beau être sur le toit du monde
‎‏On ne peut toucher le ciel du doigt
Toutes ces belles promesses que j’entends
C’n’est que du vent

Car après l’beau temps vient la pluie
C’est c’qu’on oublie

C’est toujours trop beau pour être vrai
Mais c’n’est jamais trop laid pour être faux
Elle ne ‘sera plus jamais la même
Cette fille d’avant

Je vends demain, j’rachète hier
Le temps est assassin
Je cherche l’amour
Je n’trouve rien
Comme dans mon sac à main

Dans ma tête c’nest pas tant évident
Je recherche la vérité
Tout en l’évitant

On a beau être sur le toit du monde
‎‏On ne peut toucher le ciel du doigt
Toutes ces belles promesses que j’entends
C’n’est que du vent

Elle ne s’ra plus jamais la même
Cette fille d’avant

Car moi je chante
Ma vie la vôtre
Et un peu de romance
Je suis nue devant vous
Donnez-moi donc une chance

De vous à moi
De moi à vous
Ai-je réussi à chanter
A chanter la Grande France

C’est toujours trop beau pour être vrai/ mais/
C’n’est jamais trop /laid pour être faux
Elle ne s’ra plus
Jamais la même
Cette fille d’avant

English lyrics

My heart, my hand, my eyes, my hips
Nothing’s mine anymore
I kill myself
To give them life
And act like it was nothing
In my hell garden
The plants are watered with the dreams and tears
Even at the top of the highest mountain, you still can’t touch the sky

All these promises I hear are passing like the wind
It’s always quiet before the storm, don’t you forget

It’s always too good to be true
But never too ugly to be unreal
This girl little that I was will never be the same

I trade my future, to get my past back
But time is treacherous
I look for love
But never find it
Like a lost key

It’s not clear in my head
I want the truth
But I keep avoiding it
Even at the top of

You might be on the top of the world
Still your finger won’t touch the sky

All these promises I hear are passing like the wind
It’s always quiet before the storm, don’t you forget
It’s always too good to be true
But never too ugly to be unreal
This girl little that I was will never be the same

Because I sing
My life and yours
A little romance
As I stand naked before you
Give me a chance

From you to me
From me to you
Didn’t I succeed
Singing the great France

It’s always too good to be true
But never too ugly to be unreal
This girl little that I was will never be the same

France in the Eurovision Song Contest

France can be considered one of the founder countries of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, with a total of 61 participations, only surpassed by Germany with 62. And currently, it is part of the group called the “Big 5”, a reference group of the EBU that provides more economic and audience support to the show, therefore with a guaranteed place in the final.

France has won five times, one of the countries with the most titles, but all the victories are very old: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1969, and 1977. In fact, it has been 46 years since their last victory, a record held by Spain with 54 years. In addition, France has finished within the top 10 a total of 36 times in the final and only once they have finished last, in 2014 with only 2 points.

In recent years, France has had a declining trajectory with few moments of success. 18th (1996), 24th (1998), 19th (1999), 23rd (2000), 18th (2003), 15th (2004), 23rd (2005), and 22nd (2006 & 2007). The exceptions were in 2001 with Natasha Saint-Pier, where they managed to finish 4th, and the following year with Sandrine François finishing 5th. Even with a great renowned proposal such as Patricia Kaas in 2009, she could only reach an 8th place.

In 2011 it seemed that victory would finally come with “Sognu”, a Corsican song that was on everyone’s list of favorites to win. But a bad performance by Amaury Vassili ruined the French chances, who ended up in a lackluster 15th place. This marked a new dark phase for the country: 22nd (2012), 23rd (2013), 26th (2014), and 25th (2015).

The internal selection of a new French figure, such as Amir, seems to be the beginning of a new era of splendor. With the 6th place of the song “J’ai cherché”, they have managed to stay around the top 10 final for the rest of the years and with candidates with a great reception from the public and critics. Again, in 2021, it seemed like the year France would finally win with Barbara Pravi and her “Voilà”, but they were left disappointed coming in second place behind Italy.

Last year, after their successful national pre-selection that had given them such good results with Barbara, they chose Alvan and Ahez with the song “Fulenn”, but this time they did not achieve the expected result and returned to the bottom of the table in 24th place.


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