Vancouver-raised singer chosen to represent Switzerland

Rykka after winning Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow. Photo courtesy SRF/Mirco Rederlechner.

Rykka after winning Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow. Photo courtesy SRF/Mirco Rederlechner.

A Vancouver born-and-raised singer won the contest to represent Switzerland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The competition was held Feb. 13 at the Bodensee Arena in Kreuzlingen. Six acts performed their competing entry as well as cover song to show their musical versatility and live performing abilities. Vancouver’s Rykka, who won the provincial music contest the Peak Performance Project in 2013, won through a combined vote of the televoters and an expert jury.

Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow, the Swiss national final for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, was won by Rykka with “The Last Of Our Kind,” a big, bombastic pop tune (as befits the contest, which no one has ever won by being subtle).

She will sing the tune in Stockholm during the contest. Semi-finals are May 10 and 12. The final is May 14.

Watch Rykka’s winning performance of “The Last of Our Kind.”

According to the Eurovision 2016 website, “The show was broadcast live from the small town of Kreuzlingen, where the six finalists presented a wide range of music styles and some distinctly elaborate stage performances: There were cow bells and stylized animals during Kaceo’s stage act, a smiley-filled LED backdrop to match the smile Vincent Gross always seems to wear, a tree on stage for Theo, and Rykka performing in a mermaid-like pose, reminding of Marilyn Monroe.”

Rykka, Photo courtesy SRF/zvg.

Rykka, Photo courtesy SRF/zvg.

The website goes on to say that she “was born in Vancouver, Canada, where she grew up in a very musical family. Her real name is Christina Rieder and her forefathers are Swiss. In Canada Rykka went to a music school and, for a long time, toured the country as a street musician. Meanwhile she has also recorded a few albums.

“Right now the versatile artist lives in a farm house close to Zurich, Switzerland, together with her husband, five fellow housemates, cat Charlie and a flock of sheep.”

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