Basim - winning with a wink at ESC clichés? | Music | DW | 30.04.2014
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Basim - winning with a wink at ESC clichés?

Self-deprecating charm in Denmark's Eurovision entry this year - a departure from the melancholy tension of its winning "Only Teardrops" in 2013. Do you think Basim is the winning ticket? Your comments welcome.

Denmark's Eurovision hopes are riding on singer Basim's "Cliché Love Song" - its title no doubt a cheeky nod to the handful of interchangeable eurodance love anthems that feature year to year as contest entries.

"Baby, I'm-a do whatever you like / I love you / Another cliché love song," croons the 21-year-old during the chorus. Though full of well-worn sentiments, his tune may just have what it takes to stand out from the other odes to affection in the running this year.

Polished, but fresh

The Danish talent has a chance thanks in part to his charisma on stage, where he's no newcomer. He's got polish by now, but he's also not short on boy-next-door appeal with his unpretentious and friendly demeanor.

Basim, whose real name is Anis Basim Moujahid, took part at age 15 in Denmark's version of X Factor, the British TV talent show. He made a name for himself by coming in fourth in the 2008 edition of that competition, going on to release an album that year and in 2009, as well.

Born in Morocco but raised in a working class area outside central Copenhagen, the singer and songwriter co-wrote "Cliche Love Song" along with the Danish hit-makers in the Spectrum production team.

"The song is about a girl I meet and have a crush on. I try and do everything I can in order to get her to love me. But no matter what I do, it just feels like a cliché, and that is the theme of the song," he said.

Basim smiling in a press shot

Boy-next-door appeal: Basim

Too close for comfort?

Basim's Eurovision number has drawn plenty of comparisons with American superstar Bruno Mars - and rightly so. There's the blend of R&B and soul with an infectious pop sensibility, and there's the slick, just-disheveled-enough look. The two performers even have the same haircut. At the ESC, Basim will need to channel what makes him unique to step out of his apparent idol's shadow.

He'll have a home court advantage in doing so. Given Denmark's win last year, the country gets to host the competition this time around. In the past, Eurovision audiences have had no qualms with crowning the same country a winner twice in a row, and Ireland even won three times consecutively in the early 90s. Basim's winking self-deprecation has a good shot at securing a repeat win for Denmark.

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