Gjon’s Tears: Eurovision or The Voice, “it’s above all television, not music” – rts.ch

Gjon’s Tears: Eurovision or The Voice, “it’s above all television, not music” – rts.ch
Gjon’s Tears: Eurovision or The Voice, “it’s above all television, not music” – rts.ch

After notable appearances on television, Friborg’s Gjon’s Tears released a first album in March. Returning to settle on the shores of Lake Geneva after a visit to Paris, the singer returns in Helvetica to the journey that made him one of the standard-bearers of Swiss music.

From “Switzerland has incredible talent” in 2012 to his third place at Eurovision in 2021, via a semi-final of The Voice France in 2019, Gjon’s Tears saw his career born then explode in front of television cameras . A particularity that he looks at today with pride, but also with a lot of critical distance.

“I started doing TV shows when I was a child, with a very innocent eye,” explains Gjon Muharremaj, his real name, on the Helvetica show on Saturday. “As there was not yet the power of social networks, I was really able to consider these broadcasts as a game,” adds this Gruerian of Kosovar and Albanian origin.

Back to the music itself

But things have changed a lot since its beginnings: “Today, all you need to do is make a small mistake for it to be seen over and over again by everyone on all existing platforms. It’s no longer really a game. L “the impact of social networks is so important that when we decide to set foot in this type of program, we must not forget that it is above all television, not music”, believes the singer of 25 years.

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Gjon’s Tears recalls, however, that these experiences were “enormously useful” for him to develop, to professionalize, to understand how to behave in front of a camera and to define the message he wanted to bring to the image. An experience that he now puts entirely at the service of music, notably in “The Game”, released in March. A first album in which he looks back on several episodes of his life, with a stated desire to arouse emotion.

>> Read about it: Gjon’s Tears between colorful pop and sensitive melancholy in “The Game”

“It was my grandfather who first believed in me and asked me to sing. It moved him to tears. I understood at that moment the power of emotion and I I wanted to put it above all else in my music”, tells Gjon’s Tears.

The experience of racism as inspiration

During the song “Silhouettes”, he also evokes the war in Kosovo through a tribute to his grandmother. “And then, there is also a certain pride in coming from the Albanian and Kosovar people. I have always been a little ashamed. At school, people called me my first name, they asked me where I came from… I replied that I came from here, from Switzerland, but when I went to Kosovo and saw the living conditions, I felt that I did not come from there either,” he explains.

When I went to Kosovo and saw the living conditions, I felt that I didn’t come from there either

Gjon’s Tears

Broc’s child took time to get over this uprooting. “At 18, it’s by meeting the Gustav Academie and Pascal Vonlanthen: he told me to be completely proud of who I am and not to be afraid to sing in Albanian if I wanted to. That’s where I began to understand the power of multiculturalism and I wanted to put it forward.”

Gjon’s Tears evolved in 2018 within the collective La Gustav Academy, which promotes young Swiss talents and contemporary music. [DR – Capture Youtube]

This is also one of the reasons which pushed the artist to participate in Eurovision: “I wanted to show that Switzerland was not only chauvinistic Switzerland, but also in love with other cultures.”

A second album that we will have to wait for

He also ended up finding this Switzerland after a “double-edged” Parisian experience, he summarizes. “There were extraordinary meetings, notably with my idol Isabelle Huppert, the day before the album was released. There were also the participation of Ibrahim Maalouf and Zazie on the album,” he says. .

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“But I also had a certain experience of the underground, of the clichés that we sometimes have of the 80s. There are still things that are true and that are less beautiful. We don’t necessarily have all the same chances”, recalls the young singer.

In Broc, it smells like chocolate when it rains. I needed to find a natural element

Gjon’s Tears

“In Paris, I never felt at home. In Broc, it smells like chocolate when it rains. I needed to find a natural element, to find myself at the water’s edge,” he smiles.

The Fribourgeois therefore settled on the banks of Lake Geneva, where he is already working on his next musical project. “I have very specific desires for collaborations, I will take the time it takes. I always prioritize quality,” he warns. And after a first album very focused on his voice, he believes he has “still a long way to go with the piano”.

“In this first album, I had the chance to work with Tim Bran, the producer of London Grammar and Paul McCartney. I want to have the same conditions for the future,” he continues. “I also want to explore the English language, the writing of Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos… But for that, I would have to head to England or Germany.”

Comments collected by Jennifer Covo

Web text: Pierrik Jordan

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