Switzerland Rocks

Switzerland Rocks

Zibbz, an addicting swiss sibling alliance – heavy on the synth and heart-pumping bass, courtesy of multi-instrumentalist/producer, Stee, and topped by the soulful rock’n’roll growl out of the frontwoman, Coco, will represent Switzerland in this year’s European Songcontest.

Swiss Music

Switzerland has its own tradition of folk music indeed, Yodeling being a part of it. But after World War II the influence of imported styles grew. First, due to being a landlocked country, Swiss music adopted music from its neighbors Germany, France, and Italy. But more and more British and North American influences dominated. Today, most Swiss musicians don’t sing in one of the four Swiss national languages, but in English.

Zibbz is no exception when it comes to the language. But while most Swiss pop and rock musicians stay in Switzerland, they relocated to Los Angeles to live their dream. The siblings were born and raised in the rural Canton of Aargau (the equivalent of a State in the US), which is to the Swiss metropolis Zurich what New Jersey is to New York City. Before starting their own band, they gained experience and recognition as live musicians for the very popular Swiss rocker Gölä (one of the rare still singing in Swiss German dialect).

Still, they were not known to the broader public in Switzerland until recently. This changed vastly with them winning the national elimination for the European Song Contest in early February. Their rocking song Stones has it all to win: Groove, a catchy tune, style, and personality. But convince yourself:

The song is directed against cyberbullying and calls for stopping throwing stones and letting people live the way they are.

European Songcontest

This year, the European Song Contest takes place in Lisbon, Portugal between May 8 and 12. It’s always the winning country from the previous year that organizes the event. In the past few years, the Swiss representatives were not too successful and mostly failed to qualify for the finale. A lot of things have been tried, but neither the Russian girl-group Vanilla Ninja nor local greats like The Lovebugs or worldwide known Swiss artist DJ Bobo were able to win the contest.

Switzerland already won twice. The first time in the first ever execution of the contest in 1956 by Lys Assia. Interesting fact: Lys was also born in the Canton of Aargau. The second winner for Switzerland was Canadian singer Célin Dion in 1988. For Célin, winning the contest has been a significant milestone in her early career. (To be qualified to represent a country for the competition, only either the composer or the singer  needs to have the respective nationality.)

While most of the winners are not known to a broader public in the US, there are a few that gained recognition around the world. And not surprisingly, they mostly sang in English. Apart from Céline Dion, artists that might be known even up to today are France Gall (1965, France), Sandie Shaw (1967, UK), ABBA (1974, Sweden) or Katrina and the Waves (1997, Ireland). Most notably ABBA, who launched their international career with their winning song Waterloo and became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982.

 

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