It is almost 1 am, in the heart of a huge TV studio in the Plaine Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), in the night from Saturday to Sunday.
So it was already the day after the evening “Eurovision France, it's you who decides”, on France, 2 which saw Barbara Pravi win hands down this local competition with her song “Voila” against eleven other candidates.
But not for her: the singer, still under the emotion of her victory and her phenomenal performance on stage, admits: "I have a little trouble realizing".
Of her scenic and vocal prowess, she remembers nothing, evoking a “black hole”: “I can just say that it was intense, it cost me energy, but in a good way… I know that I gave.
Yes, she gave everything, and it shows: in the effervescence of the post-competition, where a joyful agitation reigns behind the scenes, while the jurors come to congratulate her - moved, André Manoukian looks at her, she is like a boxer after her biggest fight.
Shocked, stunned… but not KO.
The interviews take place in the studio canteen, she comes to our table with stars in her eyes, smiling, radiant.
Compared to Edith Piaf and Barbara
Behind the emotion, talent and strength immediately appear, she finds the energy to respond with humor when she talks about her progress: "It's as if I had spent six years throwing lots of seeds, and that from time to time some had germinated.
And there, it's as if everything had blossomed at the same time.
But it's six years of sweeping, of crashing… Finally everything that is in "age", sorry, I am zero in gardening!
His career, if it has all of a beautiful story, has indeed been nothing simple.
Born in the capital, this passionate about French song played the waitresses in a bar in the capital when she decided, in 2015, to invest in a video that she broadcasts on social networks.
Capitol Records spots her very quickly and makes her sign a contract.
Her first album was released two years later, crowned with a new notoriety: in 2016, she stood out in the musical "Un été 44", where she sang texts by Goldman, Aznavour, Le Forestier ...
"Eurovision 2021": behind the scenes of the preselection of the candidate who will represent France
But it is to two other female figures of French song that she is compared from then on: Edith Piaf and Barbara.
Piaf for the cheeky voice and the size - petite - Barbara Pravi was perched on high heels during her performance on Saturday night.
Barbara for the texts marked by feminism: she was part of the collective of 39 women who recorded “Debout les femmes” three years ago, an anthem of the Women's Liberation Movement.
A “lived” feminism that touches the heart.
Her texts evoke violence against women, while she says she herself was a victim of domestic violence inflicted by an ex-companion, or the abortion, which she suffered and recounts in the magnificent title "Chair".
Suddenly, if we absolutely had to qualify it, we would prefer the term “authentic”, so much does it breathe this authenticity through every pore, until it is felt in ten minutes of meeting in the canteen of a TV studio.
Besides, has she not chosen to replace her birth name with "Pravi", in homage to her Serbian grandfather, a word which means in this language… "the authentic".
She writes for Julie Zenatti, Yannick Noah ...
The beautiful story continues after 2017, demonstrating his humility and perfectionism.
While pursuing her career, she began to write for others - Chimène Badi, Julie Zenatti, Yannick Noah, or the Kids with the singer Igt, “this represents 90% of my work, the remaining 10%, that is. is for me, ”she smiles.
In 2019, she signed, still with Igit, the song of little Carla for the Eurovision Junior, which finished fifth in the competition, then, the following year, "J'imagine", which allowed young Valentina to perform carry.
Barbara Pravi's path then seems all set for Eurovision for adults.
She prefers not to rush: “I was not ready, I was not able… Just last year, I would never have accomplished this.
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But this year, yes.
And when she is decided, she goes for it, Barbara: for weeks, she has been feeding her Instagram page with posts to engage the public to vote for her.
Well relayed by her peers: Louane, Julie Zenatti, Benjamin Biolay and many others support her, and proclaim their admiration.
With her feet on the ground, she could not believe it even after her incredible streak, alone on stage, Saturday night, which immediately propelled her light years above her competitors, and which made people say from 23 hours to the specialists of the competition, "it is folded".
Obviously, the jury as well as the public gave it a comfortable lead by their votes.
See you on May 22
She is only 27 years old, and there are still many pages to write about her beautiful story.
Starting with her next album, new songs that she is in the process of finalizing, then this international competition on May 22 in Rotterdam - if sanitary conditions allow it.
Many see her as a winner already, and dream that she will bring France this Eurovision victory to which we aspire, since that of Marie Myriam in 1977.
In the meantime, she will be able to push her "Voila" at will on TV and radio.
Everyone wants her, and after her victory this Saturday, it's the best news of the week: we are looking forward to listening to it on repeat and tasting his talent and his radiant smile in the weeks - the years - to come.