HRT has revealed today the identity of the 23rd Croatian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. 35 year-old Jacques Houdek will be flying his homeland’s flag in Kyiv after having been internally selected by the broadcaster.
Jacques had already tried to represent Croatia at Eurovision several times in the past. He is one of the coaches at The Voice of Croatia, format won by Nina Kraljic in 2015.
“I am extremely happy and thank Croatian Radio and Television for the trust they have shown”, Jacques said after the announcement. “Being a representative of Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest is a big honour for me and I’m grateful for the opportunity”, he added.
Jacques Houdek is well-known as the best vocalist of the young generation in Croatia. This 29-year old singer from Zagreb with 10 years of professional stage and studio experience as a performer has got a lot to offer; no matter what style of music you would like to hear from him soul, funky, disco, r’n’b, pop, reggae, blues, swing, jazz… you name it- he nails it! He also is a rare example among today’s vocalists because of his ability to sing in five foreign languages; English, German, Italian, French and Spanish.
In elementary music school he studied piano, in high school he studied classical singing. He perfected his singing in vocal labs and seminars in Greece, Italy, France, Germany and the States, where he worked with a lot of classically trained voice principals and also with Grammy nominee Donna McElroy, associate professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston. His impressive vocal range is 3,5 octaves (both chest voice and falsetto).
Jacques started pursuing his professional career in Croatia in the year 2000. in the most popular club in Zagreb called “SAX” where he performed with his band SOUL CLUB and backup vocalists SOUL SISTERS for 8 seasons, 8 years in a role, every Thursday. During these years he released seven studio albums and two live CD/DVD-s.These records became silver, gold, diamond and even platinum for their sellings in Croatia,and Jacques became one of the most popular performers in the whole region. His hit singles have placed him in the official top 10 most air-played artists in Croatia in the years 2007., 2008. and 2009. He sold out the largest concert hall in Croatia (“V.Lisinski” Zagreb) five times in two-year period.
Jacques is five time winner of the PORIN award (Croatian Grammy)- vocalist of the year, artist of the year, album of the year, Christmas album of the year. In all the other PORIN categories he has been nominated over 20 times. In the year 2007. and the year 2010.he won the first prize in the show “Singing with the stars” on Croatian national television. He was voted numerous times as the best vocalist and interpreter on the festivals all around the region, and has performed all around the world. At the end of year 2010. he celebrated his 10th birthday in the music industry with a Christmas concert in the Carnegie Hall, NY.
In the year 2011, his hit song Stotinama Godina became Nr.1 single in the official Croatian Radio Chart and he got nominated for several awards. In 2012, he released his last studio album “Meni za ljuhav” and took a two-year break to spend more time with his family. In 2015, he made a big come back as a coach of The Voice of Croatia.
The song Jacques will perform at Eurovision will be revealed at a later date.
What do you think about the Croatian choice? Will they reach the final again this year? Let us know in comments!