Ali is a newcomer on the French music scene, and has decided to try his luck in the French national final with his catchy song “Paris Me Dit (Yalla)” (Paris is telling me, hurry!). As a true Eurovision fan he enthusiastically agreed on answering our questions ahead of the big day.
“Salut!” Ali, and thank you for chatting with me. First of all, could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hi! To be honest, Eurovision is my very first musical adventure as a professionnal. I was born and raised in Lebanon during the war, and I was not destined to become an artist at all. My parens wanted me to become a doctor, a lawyer or an architect. So I had to follow the rules of society, and I studied interior design. Once I passsed my degree, I’ve left Lebanon and flew to France to be able to follow my dreams, dreams full of arts, fashion and, obviously, music. Then I started my musical career, while launching my own fashion collection (by the way, on the audition video, I’m wearing one of my clothes).
How did you come up with the idea of taking part to “Eurovision France: C’est Vous Qui Décidez!“? How did things occur up until your qualification?
I grew up watching Eurovision, I am the hugest fan. We wrote the song with Hyphen Hyphen [a rather successful French pop electro band, Ed.] and we decided to bid with it, since it seems like a great opportunity to introduce myself as well as my musical project to the public. Things went incredibly fast. So quick actually that one morning I woke up and discovered I was one of the finalists! For me, since then, it’s really been like a waking dream!
How did you start this collaboration with Hyphen Hyphen?
Santa, Adam and Line told me they were moved by my peronnal story and we decided to tell that story through music. We also wanted to deliver a message of hope and love because the world we’re living in nowadays does need that kind of message.
How do you feel about Eurovision? Are you a fan of the contest?
I’ve been watching the show since I was a child and I’ve always dreamt of performing on the Eurovison stage. As a kid from a remote part of the world (laughs), I never thought this could happen to me. Today, I want to take that opportunity and I really want to do it for France, that’s my point! I would be more than honoured to perform for my adopted country. This would be the best way to say “Merci!” for all France did for me, and to tell the world what that country has allowed me to be and to achieve.
Back in 2005, Lebanon almost took part to the contest for the first time before having to withdraw [Télé Liban was refusing to broadcast the Israeli act during the contest, hence breaching the rules, Ed.]. As a Lebanese citizen, what was your reaction back then, and do you think a Lebanese entry will take part anytime soon?
Oh yes, I do remember Aline and her song pretty well! I was shocked and happy with our participation. It gave me so much hope back then. The magic of Eurovision is this power to gather different cultures on the same stage. I would be more than happy with Lebanon taking part in the future.
What is (or are) your favourite Eurovison entries?
That’s a tricky question! I have a bunch of favourite entries actually. My number one would be “Rise Like A Phoenix” by Conchita Wurst. It was just an unbelievable performance, elegant, classy and vocally perfect at the same time. I also loved Dami Im’s “Sound Of Silence”. Well ok, Australia didn’t win that year, but it was such a beautiful and strong act. Moreover, though it was not an official Eurovision entry, I can say that Mans Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede’s “Love, Love, Peace, Peace” is my guilty pleasure! It was just perfect.
Would you have a special message to our readers?
Thank you so much guys. I do hope we’ll all be able to meet in the Netherlands. Please vote for me and send me to Rotterdam! Yallaaaaaaaa!
Shukran (Thanks) Ali, and we wish you all the best for this final and your project of flying both the French and Lebanese flags in Rotterdam!
Here is the revamped and final version of “Paris Me Dit (Yalla)”.
If Ali is your choice for France, share your opinion in our poll:
The French interview of Ali is also available: