Meet Nemo, Switzerland’s Eurovision 2024 entry singing ‘The Code’

Musician is one of the favourites at this year’s song contest thanks to their dramatic song ‘The Code’

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 11 May 2024 23:22
Olly Alexander addresses calls to boycott Eurovision as final approaches

Switzerland’s 2024 Eurovision entry Nemo is riding high as one of the favourites in this year’s contest.

The 24-year-old artist, full name Nemo Mettler, is already known as a musician in their home country and was the recipient of four Swiss Music Awards in 2018, including Song of the Year for their single “Du”.

Nemo, who is gender non-binary and uses they/them/their pronouns, has created a powerful expression of identity with “The Code”, an extraordinary melding of rap, opera, pop and drum and bass, loaded with vocal trills, belts and big falsetto notes.

It also riffs cleverly on the Habanera aria from Georges Bizet’s 1985 opera Carmen, and has drawn comparisons to the dramatic themes of the James Bond franchise.

Nemo is competing in the Eurovision 2024 final, and is up against delegates from countries such as Austria, Greece, Croatia, the UK and Israel.

Read our Q&A with Nemo below:

Tell us about how you came to represent Switzerland at Eurovision 2024

Nemo performs ‘The Code’ during the dress rehearsal for the second Eurovision 2024 semi-final (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

It’s funny, because I never expected to end up at Eurovision really, but I got invited to this songwriting camp years ago, and I never had the chance to make it because there was always something else going on. But then for the first time, in 2023, I was able to go. I thought they were inviting me as a songwriter, but I got put together with Teya (of Austria’s Teya & Selena from 2023), and I was like... wait. Who are we writing for?

So you had no idea you were being put forward to represent Eurovision?

No! I had no idea. The pre-selection process has changed a lot in Switzerland, and now we’re more like a Eurovision country, so the awareness has changed.

Nemo on the turquoise carpet at Eurovision 2024 (Getty Images)

How was your song ‘The Code’ created and how do you feel about it?

People have been saying “The Code” reminds them of James Bond, or if Freddie Mercury came back and decided to do K-Pop, which I love.

There are so many influences in the song. I went to youth opera when I was nine in my hometown, and I think that’s shaped a lot of my work as a musician, hearing those very classical melodies. It’s definitely a performance piece; it’s made for the stage, to keep you on your toes. It’s definitely challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun to sing live because I get to do a lot of things in a short space of time. It’s just fun to show different sides... I love performing because it reminds me of singing back when I was at the opera.

I think making “The Code” also shaped how I want to do music in the future. We’re planning everything right now, there are so many amazing doors that have opened up because of Eurovision, so I can’t wait to go back and get together with my band and play my new songs live. It’s inspired me to create whatever feels right, because the song doesn’t feel like it has to follow any rules. That’s what music should be about, not thinking too much in boxes, just having fun and creating something exciting.

Switzerland’s Eurovision 2024 entry Nemo (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Ima)

The song is also a very powerful statement of identity...

It feels like me and the song are the same, we’re one. It’s amazing to get to perform something you truly feel you are, it makes this experience so much more genuine for me.

Follow live updates from the Eurovision 2024 final here.

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