We’re listening to Netta Barzilai’s “Bassa Sababa” because it’s awesome and in honor of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. This is her follow-up song after winning the Eurovision in 2018 with the infectious track “Toy.”
Netta makes musical-esque songs and then transforms them into full production numbers in her videos. “Bassa Sababa” is a carnival for the senses – hear the electronic music, tribal chant, growling chorus and see the pink puffy car exiting the kind of creepy, fun house-like mouth of Netta. Both the song and the video are fantastical show stoppers – dance music in a pink video game world.
“Bassa Sababa” starts off with electronic beeping like an 80s Atari video game. Then Netta opens in an a capella tribal chant but with sugary aggressiveness, a chant with teeth, or in this case, a rhino horn.
Bassa means bummer and sababa is like alright/great/cool. Bummer great, great bummer. Sort of like it sucks but in the end it’s cool. The title is kind of perfect because in the video Netta’s left at the alter and, instead of playing the sad little girl with the broken heart, she exacts revenge. But she goes after her ex Netta style, like a rhino, and blasts the dirtbag with pink bubble gum balls. The chorus is addicting:
Call your mama!
Tell her I’m a rhino!
I’m gonna eat you.
Gonna beat you like a drum.
Gonna chew you like some gum.”
Why rhinos? She lived in Nigeria as a child and loves them. But rhinos are strong, with thick skin. Hers are Pepto-Bismol pink, of course, and she wears a bedazzled horn. She’s tough, doing her own thing, being herself, not what’s the norm, which is what an artist should do.
Hold the trigger.
My horn is bigger.
I love my thicker figure.
I grew a thicker skin.”
This image from Netta’s Facebook with her caption “Step into my office and I’ll show you how to turn Bassa into….Sababa!” is brilliant. Turn that crap into something good.
“Bassa Sababa” is pure dance music. One of our favorite choreographers, Brian Friedman, recently created some spectacular eight counts to the song at TMilly Studios in the NoHo Arts District. Will he do the choreo when he’s doing his master classes in Israel in June?
For those who are unfamiliar with the Eurovision Song Contest, the international song competition between the European Broadcasting Union member countries. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed live at Eurovision and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to pick the winner. Eurovision moves countries each year to the winning country of the winning song. It began in the 50s as a way to bring together the war-torn countries with something fun and light. It was based after the Italian song contest San Remo.
This year Eurovision will be in Tel Aviv, Israel since Netta won the title in 2018. You can watch the show May 14-18 live at http://www.eurovisionlive.com/ or the Eurovision YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Eurovision
Here’s a treat, Netta’s Eurovision-winng song “Toy” and it featured chickens. Will animals be a reoccurring theme in Netta’s music? We can only wait and see.