Enlarging the list of participating artists at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the broadcaster HRT has confirmed that it will be Jacques Houdek to represent Croatia at the European festival.
Croatia will perform in the second half of the second semi-final on the 11 May, with Houdek hoping to continue Croatia’s recent success and bring the nation to the final of the competition for a second-time-running on the 13 May.
“I am extremely happy and I thank Croatian Radiotelevision for showing faith in me. To represent Croatia at Eurovision song contest for me is a huge honour and I am thankful for the opportunity to represent my homeland through music”, Houdek said.
Jacques Houdek describes his Eurovision entry as an anthem of friendship, which at the same time celebrates life and love. Furthermore he explains that the melody of the song describes all the upturns and the downturns, which most of us are going through in our lifes no matter differences between us. Houdek says, that life is a miracle and that it always wins, which is also the message of one of his favourite lines in the song.
Jacques was born in the Croatian capital Zagreb and studied music in America as well as in France, Greece and Italy. The 35-year-old began singing professionally in 2002 and has tried to become Croatia’s Eurovision entry several times. He has released 13 albums in his home country and his biggest hit is ”Stotinama Godina”. In 2011, he entered the British version of the X Factor and was put through to bootcamp by the then judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa. On his return to Croatia though, he landed a spot as a coach on the Croatian version of The Voice. And in his first series on the panel, he mentored his act Nina Kraljić [a known name in Eurovision], to victory.
”My Friend” is composed by Siniša Reljić, Tony Malm and Jacques Houdek. Siniša Reljić has been working for 20 years as a producer in Sweden before he returned to Croatia. Tony Malm is a Swedish songwriter and producer, who collaborated earlier with Eric Sadee, Lambretta, Emma Andersson and Lutricia McNeal. In 2015 he wrote Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s entry ”I Am Free”, which came second after Måns Zelmerlöw in Melodifestivalen.
This year’s Croatian entry is written by Ines Prajo, Arijana Kunštek, Fabrizio Laucella and Jacques Houdek. Ines and Arijana have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest before as they wrote and composed Bosnian and Herzegovinian entry Ne Brini in 2003. Antun Stašić and Neven Šverko, who are some of the most famous Croatian musicians, are playing the violin and the cello in the song.
Still strict confidentiality about the song for Kiev, which, as stated by the Head of Delegation Croatian Željko Mesar , is very interesting and will wake in the public interest . Commenting on about his perfomrance in Ukraine, Jacques Houdek said: ”I promise I'll give it my all, putting talent, experience, passion, for a song that will give the opportunity to introduce ourselves in the best way in front of hundreds of millions of viewers who follow and support the biggest TV show in the world.”
Will Croatia qualify for the final in Eurovision Song Contest 2017?