Finally, after six long weeks of televised qualifying competitions, Sweden voted for the song to represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest. Called ‘Voices’, the song is about everybody’s right to be be who they are and to be heard. The song won far ahead of its nearest competitor.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the winning song is actually the singer. His name is Tousin Chiza, but he is known as Tusse. In 2019, he won the Swedish equivalent of Pop Idol.
The 19 year-old singer came to Sweden as an unaccompanied child refugee, fleeing the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2009. He ended up in the small village of Tällberg in county Dalarna where he still lives today and has an adopted Swedish family. He has been widely criticized for his appearance, as he often wears non gender normative outfits.
This is a moment where the lyrics of the song and the artist are closely connected, which possibly explains its popularity and success in the competition. Tusse sings:
‘There’s fire in the rain
But we’ll get up again
We’re thousand miles apart
But we’ll overcome
I’ll never let you down
World is turning us around
But I feel it in my heart
Let’s make a brand new start
Can’t stop us now, forget the haters
Get up and live and make it matter
There’s more to life so go ahead and sing it out’
It’s certainly a song that is a product of its time and it remains to be seen if the message resonates with the voters of Eurovision.
On 22 May in Rotterdam, Sweden will get the answer, and we will see if Tusse is Sweden’s 7th winner. If so, Sweden joins Ireland as the country with the most Eurovision wins since the competition began.