Next month is the annual Eurovision contest, and I think it’s time for me to introduce you to Eden Alene.
Before we even begin talking about her, please make up your own mind by listening to this song:
Finished? Mind-blown? Me too! Let’s dive right in!
She’s 20 Years Old!
Many YouTubers have compared Eden to Rihanna, and for a good reason. Although she’s so young, her voice reaches the highest of notes, and that’s incredible—no other word to describe it.
Her young age puts her firmly in Gen Z territory and with wisdom beyond her years.
If you’ve never heard of the Eurovision song contest, it’s a music show with many layers and depths. But more than anything, it’s a popularity show. As such, a person who knows to navigate social media and the music world would succeed in such a contest.
In that case, Eden’s young age is actually an advantage.
Her Song Resonates With Us All
“Set me free” is possibly a universally shared idea post-pandemic beginning.
No, I don’t believe we’re past the pandemic, but here in Israel, things are different. We’re no longer wearing masks outside. We do wear them inside, though. Besides, more than 50% of the country is currently vaccinated.
Whether Eden will win the Eurovision or not, this song is such a win for us Israelis over the pandemic. We made the tough decisions; we got the vaccine, we were the lab rats during covid. And now we bear fruit of all that effort.
A year ago, before the pandemic erupted, I hugged friends without even thinking about the consequences. Now, I’ve not hugged a different person for so long. I don’t even know when it will be socially acceptable again.
Eden’s words in the song, “feeling like in prison,” is a sentiment I relate to a lot.
“Feeling like in prison
Looking for the reason
I don’t wanna say goodbye
Feels like no tomorrow
Everywhere that I go
Babe I’m gonna lose my mind” — from Set Me Free.
Eden’s Participation Is a Step Towards Equality In Entertainment
Eden is our First Black woman contestant in the Eurovision song contest. She is not, however, our first black contestant. She was preceded by Eddie Butler, an Israeli singer who participated in the Eurovision song contest in 2006.
Israel is participating in the annual singing contest since the 1970s. We only had two black contestants in all of that time. It’s also important to note that only some Israelis are what social media likes to call “white-passing.”
We are middle-eastern. It’s accepted to have a variety of skin tones here, and there were over the years non-white contestants. But only two were strictly black.
In Israel, as in many parts of the world, there is still much to improve regarding equality to black communities. Black people in Israel might not share the charged history of the black people in America, and all citizens who bear the blue Israeli ID have the same rights across the board, but there are still employers who wouldn’t take black employees, for instance.
And, as much as it pains me to say so, police brutality exists here, too. In 2019, a big outbreak of Ethiopian citizens (who are very much Jewish) protested against police violence.
Eden’s participation in the Eurovision song contest is not a charity act. She won this fair and square. Her talent and will brought her to where she is right now, a step away from Europe’s biggest stage.
And it all started by giving her a chance.
Eden Alene will represent Israel in the Eurovision song contest during May.
I laid out why I’m so happy that this year we have her representing us. And also her song slays.
It’s also available on Apple and Spotify if you want to put it on repeat. You’re welcome :)
May the best singer wins, and as always, thanks for reading!