For the first time since 2016 Belgium has returned to a national final format to select their new Eurovision artist, which means we got an opportunity to interview some of the national final participants!
Our first interview features up-and-coming artist Chérine, who prior to Eurosong has competed on both The Voice Flanders in 2017 and The Voice France in 2022. Read below to learn more about her musical inspirations, her experiences on The Voice, and more below!
Hello Chérine and welcome to ESCunited.com! We’re so delighted that you were able to spare some time before the beginning of Eurosong! How are you doing during this crazy adventure?
I’m doing amazing! It’s been busy, but I love it!
How would you describe your musical style to our readers? Are there any artists, genres, or other things that you feel influence your music?
Being a songwriter, I write in a lot of styles, but for myself I would say French 80’s pop! I’m definitely influenced by Kate Bush, The Weekend, Stromae and Dua Lipa.
Those are some amazing references to pull inspiration from musically. And what is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I only started writing songs in French a year ago and ‘mon étoile’ was the first song I wrote in French.
You’ve got an impressive resume for competitive singing shows already, with two appearances on the Voice (the Flanders and French versions). How did both of those experiences change or influence you as an artist?
The Voice of Flanders was in 2017 and I had no idea what I was doing yet. It was a very good learning experience. It was also my first real singing experience and I realized I wanted to do something in music, but I didn’t know for sure if I was ready to be a singer.
The Voice of France was a year ago and there I realized that I wanted to sing, but certainly sing my own songs and share my story!
So you decided to enter the selection for Eurosong 2023, the Belgian Eurovision preselection despite telling MNM just last year that you quote “do not like competition”. Has your stance changed about competitive experiences, or was this just too big of an opportunity to pass up?
I don’t like the term competition. It feels so aggressive. I see it more like learning experiences and a chance to meet amazing people with the same dreams. The people I met in these “competitions” have been a huge inspiration for my own music and the lyrics I write for others. Eurosong has always been a dream of mine. Honestly my biggest dream is to represent Belgium at Eurovision, so this was a chance I had to take!
I understand that. Now let’s talk about your entries because both have extremely different tones, messages, and styles to them. Were both of these entries written specifically for Eurosong or did you already have them ready when the call opened?
I already had these songs when the call opened. I hear from a lot of people that I always have a ‘Eurovision sound’ in my songs. Being a huge fan of Eurovision probably influences my music !
You’re a co-writer for both of your entries, so can you tell us what the songwriting process was like and how long it took?
Mon étoile was written a year ago. I had recently lost someone very close to me and I had a full writer’s block for months. My manager Hans started to play the piano and asked me to join and try to write something in French. Hearing him play gave me inspiration and I started writing my sadness away. It was a magical moment and we both realized we made something special.
Ca m’ennuie pas was written half a year ago and it was the second time I ever saw my co-writers François Welgryn and producer William Rousseau. We immediately had a huge click. The melodies started flowing and we were finishing each other’s sentences. It was the first time I felt like I made something that perfectly fits me!
And you have to choose which of the two entries you’ll officially be competing with. Did you always have a favorite you’d want to compete with, or did you hope that fans would help you pick?
Well I already made my decision and I was very insecure about it. Because it is such a big decision and you never know how people are going to react. But now I’m pretty confident about the choice I made. I think people will be surprised in many ways!
Hypothetically thinking, if you were to win Eurosong this weekend, what is the first thing you’d do to celebrate?
I have no idea! I’m keeping my feet on the ground and I’m too afraid to dream about winning hahaha! I’ll probably need a week to realize that I actually won !
For our readers who want to follow and support you before and after the national final, where can they find you? Any plans or upcoming projects you’d like to promote while we have you?
You can follow my journey on my socials! For now full focus on the Eurosong act! Socials: cherinemroue, you can also join THE CHERRIES on my website: www.cherine.be.
In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?
I actually would love to thank everybody already for the kind messages! It’s been an unbelievable journey so far and I can’t wait for what’s next! Grateful, proud and unbelievably happy!! Sending lots of love ❤️
Chérine will compete against six other artists in the final of Eurosong 2023 on Saturday January 14th at 20:20 CET. The winner of Eurosong will also win the right to represent Belgium at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in May.