Born and raised in Montreal, Canadian singer La Zarra is aiming for France’s first win in 46 years at the Eurovision 2023 song contest finale Saturday night.
The singer, 35, whose name is Fatima Zahra Hafdi, currently lives in Paris. She was handpicked by the country’s public broadcaster France Télévisions to represent the nation at this year’s competition with her French-language song Évidemment.
According to Eurovision, she co-wrote and co-produced the track with other Montreal artists Benny Adam and Banx & Ranx, who have been responsible for mega hits by Dua Lipa, David Guetta and Ellie Goulding.
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Hafdi was raised by Francophone Canadian parents of Moroccan descent.
She’s following Quebec mega artist Celine Dion’s footsteps, who represented Switzerland at Eurovision back in 1998.
This year’s competition marks the first time non-competing countries can participate and vote.
France is counting on La Zarra to rally supporters from her home country of Canada, her family’s home country of Morocco and other French speaking nations.
Her 2021 single Tu t’en iras went platinum and she was nominated for several awards.
This marks the second time a French Canadian artist is representing France. Natasha St-Pier did so in 2001.
The song competition is organized by the European Broadcasting Union and has been held annually since 1956. La Zarra is currently ranked sixth out of 26 contestants ahead of Saturday night’s finale in Liverpool.
Votes can be cast on the Eurovision website or app.