Netta Barzilai has one of the biggest voices of Eurovision 2018, and she’s using it to spread a message of social justice. While “Toy” is definitely a song of female empowerment, it’s also a song of empowerment for us all….regardless of our gender. She clucks like a chicken not merely for our amusement, but also to let the haters know it’s time to back off. As she tells wiwibloggs: “The noises are supposed to imitate the voices of a coward — a ‘chicken’. Someone who doesn’t act the way he/she feels and treats you like a toy.”
Who is Netta Barzilai?
Netta is 25 years old, and she performs in clubs and weddings in Tel Aviv. She has a unique look, which reflects her unique musical style: She’s a one-woman show that you have to watch in order to understand.
Netta Barzilai of Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, May 12th 2018 with “Toy,” a pop anthem about female independence.
The sound effects in “Toy,” the song that won this year’s contest, have their origins in Ms. Barzilai’s childhood.
The beatboxing, she said, came from being bullied: “I was fat, and I was teased, and I had to find my thing.” And the chicken noises represent how bullying is about fear: “Fear of something different. Fear of somebody taking your place.”
Ms. Barzilai said she previously felt pressured to perform in the soulful voice of Adele or Aretha Franklin — “to stand as a diva, cover myself with black clothes and spread my arms and sing out of my heart” — because audiences could not imagine a “big, funny pop star.” That is why, she said, “a star of my size looking like me and sounding like me is groundbreaking in Israel.”
“I’m so happy,” said Ms. Barzilai as she took the stage after she won. “Thank you so much for accepting differences between us. Thank you for celebrating diversity.”