Alvan & Ahez, a touch of Breeze from Eurovision

Goodbye The Beatles! The pedestrian crossing lines correspond to Gwenn ha du, the flag of Brittany. Paris Match followed this quartet of young talent through the final stages before the competition. If they reconsider their regional traditions, it would better enchant the future. Facing 180 million viewers, they will blend the sounds of electric rock with a script that evokes night, fire, and female liberation. The title “Volyn” means “spark”. complete programme.

Madrid, 1 a.m. The three girls from the Ahaz group meet with their hands and close their eyes. Maren, 24, the youngest of all, sings a Breton-language sentence shared by Strings, 25 and 26, in the choir. The further the gavotte progresses, the faster the rhythm. They finish jumping, the body charged with energy and the heart of the Breton. It’s their little ritual before going on stage. They make the walls vibrate with their spells. Forget the decor: the nightclub’s dressing room, on the edge of Manzanares. The last “pre-concert” before Eurovision. You have to cross the maze of corridors in full swing to find Alexis, aka Alvan, 29, who, backstage, keeps a close eye on his gadgets. Dialects mix and collide. Gestures often replace words. Eccentric outfits for some off-the-shoulder with jeans for others. In the midst of this confusion, the “Brits,” as they happily call themselves, listen to a final recommendation from their vocal coach, Leah Evan, by sucking up a slab of Strepsils – the pre-concert, in Tel Aviv, having been straight by their throats to everyone. Alfan Waheez is a meeting between two worlds: electric and traditional song. He had dreams of a rock star as soon as his mother put his Walkman in his hands: he was 3 years old and he was already recording … At the age of nine, he started playing guitar, imagining that he was one of the Red Hot Chilis Peppers. The instrument has since become an integral part of his body, engraved on his forearm: six tattooed tendons. The three met at the Britton Club at Al Diwan High School in Karaikes on Monday evening. They share a passion for music and Brittany, their vocals are harmonious.

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In Madrid, fans learned French phrases of encouragement

In front of the entrance to the artists of La Riviera, the concert hall in Madrid where the rehearsal of the Eurovision dress is held.

© Helen Pampron

One evening, at L’Artiste assoiffé, a stone’s throw from Rennes’ rue de la Soif, Alvin met Ahiz; They decided to meet again very soon, in a homemade studio. From this union was born “Fulenn”, the title that will represent France at Eurovision 2022, on May 14, in Turin. On this occasion, France 3 Brittany will comment on the competition in Breton. Even if they don’t believe in chance, this qualification is roughly the same. Pushed by the director of Alfán, Sebastian Arius, the four Bretons sent their very young nickname “Volyn”, not doubting that they would pass all the selection tests without incident. “We never thought we could win,” they repeated. However, in addition to gaining the audience’s votes, they were victorious over six members of the jury out of ten, including Jennifer, Nicoleta, Andre Manoukian and Elodie Joswin, who would announce France’s points on D-Day. Without warning or after taking the time to realize or celebrate what was happening, they are here thrust into an adventure that everyone describes as “amazing”, “impressive” and even “dream-like” and “wonderful” for Marin and Alexis, two of the superstitious group .

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Participation in Eurovision means agreeing to live a new life, not to control time, to live in the heart of a kind of “camp”, as they say, with mingling but also with the adventures that come with it. It is also and above all the changing dimension overnight. Alvin and Ahiz have a completely different view of stardom. For Alvin, becoming a professional musician is “not a dream, it’s obvious.” A passionate mission, he was always led head-on, with the first parts of the DJs (Offenbach or Betty Biscuit). Prior to Eurovision, he was already limited to his music “Electroworld”, as he made his debut album, “Magma”, which is scheduled for release on May 13. For him, aesthetics take precedence over meaning. He scratches, sings, “screams,” taps, dissects and starts over again to find the perfect melody and matching sounds, ethnic if possible. If he hasn’t been able to travel much yet, he makes up for it in his compositions by mixing Asian and African instruments by rubbing Velleda’s pen on his ukulele strings. A hyperactive little genius beats the time on the table and bangs solo on the back of the armchair in the dressing room. The daughters of Ahiz, lived a more normal life, in Rennes or Lyon, for Sterenn Le Guillou, who had to take all his leave at once. “The day after the selection, we had to warn our superiors or gentlemen’s managers,” she recalls. Since then, they long for their parents, from whom they are no more than a few kilometers away. For the three of them, being at the front of the stage has a price. Marin admits that the hardest thing to manage is the pressure: “People look at you when you’re not any more extraordinary than anyone else. I, I make music out of passion, and sometimes it’s frustrating that image takes precedence. Especially when you’re a woman,” she says.

Accustomed to the scene, they received no theoretical training. They admit that “it’s hard to feel legitimate.” No need for a conservatory to attract fans. Wonderful novelty too. For rehearsals, seven hours before the show and under the blazing sun, the crowd was waiting for the candidates, shouting their names. The collection is filled with requests for selfies, autographs and kind words. The Spaniards prepared phrases of encouragement in French, surrounded by Breton flags up to the hotel. A daily life of rock stars, interspersed with singing, dancing and design lessons, and make-up sessions. However, behind the professionalism in the second most-watched show in the world after the first half of the Super Bowl in the United States, hides a more “amateur” side. Upon arriving in their hotel room, the Marine, Sterenn D. and Sterenn LG have less than an hour to get ready. They are expected to sit on the red carpet at 8pm. No makeup artist or hairstylist, they share two mirrors and a curling iron, and exchange spray can and nose wash horn. In one file, they braided their hair, closely observing the time. “I feel like I’m in ‘The Queens of Shopping’ and I’m ordering the timer!” Sterenn LG jokes as Marine finishes smoky makeup Rivals, yes, but with a smile: Alvan & Ahez (standing, center) behind the scenes with members of the other delegations. From his eyelids, Dandan Strain d.

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In Breton language, France will defend its colors, on May 14, in Turin

Rivals, yes, but with a smile: Alfan and Ahiz (standing in the center) backstage with members of the other delegations.

Rivals, yes, but with a smile: Alfan and Ahiz (standing in the center) backstage with members of the other delegations.

© Helen Pampron

Their stress is that they are running out of time and hair that won’t stay put. For the rest, “we consider we’ve already won”, Sterenn LG puts simply, participation in the European competition is enough to dust the dust off the clichés they haven’t finished fighting. Thanks to Electro, without a marinière or yellow raincoat, they want to be seen as girls of their age texting… in Breton. Rosalia’s frenzied rhythms run through their headphones. Alvin admits: “We don’t have the same fight over Breton. They saw their ancestors deprived of their language.” For them, speaking in Breton was shameful, a peasant thing. So their parents became “passive bilinguals,” as Marin calls them. They had no desire to pass it on to the third generation. “By understanding our heritage little by little, we told ourselves we had to do something about it,” Strin D recalls. These children of Coadout, Argol, and Douarnenez asked at certain times, for various reasons, to join the Diwan of Schools, where classes are taught in Breton. “Britton has tracked my whole life,” Sterenn LG said, to which the other two agreed. Alexis has no such facility. He knew Britton only through the songs he learned in childhood. He is proud to represent those who, like him, do not speak it. This is the case for the majority of the audience tonight, but it is not an obstacle. “Everyone sings ‘Asereje’ or Las Ketchup or K-pop,” said Sterenn D. Why should Breton be tighter than French? Evidence: The four woods made the room vibrate, and spectators jumped with their hands in the air over the entire piece, in an electric atmosphere like during a DJ set. After leaving the concert, Alvin and Ahes are more excited than ever to take on Turin. Chañs VAT! good luck…

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