Seychelles was represented at the eighth sanremoJunior held recently in Italy. sanremoJunior is a song competition for soloist artists aged between 6 to 15 years old.
Jade Jolene du Preez, aged 13 years old, came out fourth in the A3 category which was for vocalists aged 13-15. There were 3 categories for the competition. The other 2 were A1 for soloists aged between 6 to 9 years old, and A2 for those aged between 10-12 years old. She was accompanied in Italy by her mother, Irene du Preez, and the national choir’s director and conductor, Xiaoju Lownam.
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It was the first time that Seychelles took part in such a competition in Sanremo, and Jade has described it as an incredible experience.
Jade is a vocal student of Mrs. Lownam, and she has been a member of the Seychelles National Choir since 2016. After being selected to represent Seychelles, Jade chose the song “A whole new world,” which is from Disney’s animated feature film, Aladdin. The song is a ballad between the 2 main characters, Aladdin and Jasmine, about the new world they are going to discover together while riding on Aladdin’s magic carpet.
Speaking about her experience in Sanremo, Jade said she was nervous at first, but then with the wonderful melodies from the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo led by conductor Giancarlo de Lorenzo, she stood proudly on stage in front of a big crowd and enthralled the audience with her voice.
“It was my first time singing for a big crowd, and it felt magical, listening to the different sounds of the violin flutes and piano, then finding yourself fitting into place at the right moment,” she said.
There were 10 finalists in the A3 category, and Lyodra Margareta Ginting from Indonesia clinched the first prize with her song entitled Dear Dream.
Ambre Rapp from France was the second-place winner with the song Elle s’éloigne du monde, while Hungarian Claudia Raquel Castagno settled in third place with the song Cry me a river.
Mrs. du Preez said she felt proud and happy to see her daughter singing in front of such a big crowd, showing off her singing talent and representing their island nation.
The request to have a young soloist to take part in the sanremoJunior contest came through the Seychelles Tourism Board’s office in Italy headed by Monette Rose.