Leroy and Tony, two men after Chanel's success heading to Eurovision: the song that JLo rejected

In 2007, Youtube It wasn’t nearly the big platform it is today. It had only been a few months since it had been acquired by Google. Its interface had just been launched in Spanish and advertising was also new to the platform. In reality, this website was barely a year and a half old. But Leroy Sánchez (Vitoria, 1991) started throwing there his first compositions -back then, of course, I didn’t even dream of meeting Chanel on the way to Eurovision-.

Barely I was 15 years old and he is heard singing alone along with his guitar. In the description of the videos, she apologizes in advance for the imperfections of her English. She interprets covers of some pop hits. Among others, Avril Lavigne. Some of the topics are illustrated with photos of you, from trips with school and friends. There is no more production or dressing in the sound than what is picked up by the microphone.

But today, in 2022Sanchez has more than four million followers in Youtube. It’s also the main songwriter for ‘SloMo’the song that Spain will defend this Saturday at Eurovision and that has been performed for months by the singer and dancer Chanel Terrero.

Indeed, these were the first steps in the music of the main face in the rear of Chanel. Sánchez managed to attract the attention of North American producers and, when she turned 18, she moved to Miami. Since then, she has composed songs for Malu or Pitbull. He wrote ‘I’m going to stay’, which Blas Cantó took to Eurovision last year. ‘SloMo’ came out during a pandemic day, as he himself told GQ magazine. Sanchez he is the only Spanish of the five authors of the song.

In its composition also participated the Brazilian Iberian Fortesthe Canadian maggie szabothe Dutch DJ Arjen Thonen and the producer Keith Harris of Chicago. The latter has worked with artists such as Mariah Carey either Christina Aguilera. The team recorded a first demo in which it was Szabo who lent his voice to the melody. They came to offer it to Jennifer Lopez, whose agents never responded to the request. The song was left hanging and looking for an interpreter.

And how did Chanel get to ‘SloMo’? The singer has revealed it in several interviews. He was the producer Tony Sanchez-Ohlsson who called her and offered her the song. He knew her from musicals like ‘Flashdance’, where she performed. At the time, Sánchez-Ohlsson was one of RTVE’s advisers for Eurovision and, therefore, one of the three people who screened the songs that we saw at the end of January at the Benidorm Fest.

It was in this event that Spain had to choose its representative in Europe and where Chanel won, with a extreme support of the professional jury and despite the public vote. Sánchez-Ohlsson was not part of that jury although, as we said, he was part of the team that pre-selected the songs that arrived at the Benidorm Fest. Among her tasks, beyond reviewing which proposals were the best that reached her ears, was to invite other artists to participate in this contest and thus give it more life. The producer got a gold record for the album ‘Break of Day’, which the Spanish group Sweet California launched in 2014.

Now, it was time to add incentives for the artists to participate in Benidorm. And this year, in a relatively rare twist, RTVE has renounced to keep half of the copyright that generates the song that goes to Eurovision. Everything will go to the authors of ‘SloMo’, as EL ESPAÑOL announced months ago. This is the second time it has happened in the last three decades. The song belongs entirely to the multinational BMGwhich is part of the same business conglomerate, for example, as the publisher Penguin Random House.

When Chanel won the Benidorm Festthe controversy pointed to a certain favorable treatment by the professional jury and, specifically, by Miryam Blessed, who was accused of personally knowing the singer. But she never put on the table, at least publicly, to what extent it was reasonable that an advisor to RTVE for Eurovision would also be the one to act as a link between Chanel and ‘SloMo’. Again, inviting artists to participate in the festival is part of the job of these consultants, but there are those who think that getting so involved in a song perhaps goes one step further.

It is not the first time that the work of Sanchez-Ohlsson reaches Eurovision. He was also one of the authors of ‘I love you my life’the song that Spain took to the contest in 2007. At the time, the producer translated into Spanish ‘Stay with me’with which Pastor Soler won tenth place at the 2012 festival. It’s the same work he undertook with ‘Dawn’which earned him 21st place edurne in 2015.

the choreography

The elaborate choreography with which ‘SloMo’ was presented at the Benidorm Fest was carried out by Kyle Hanagami, an American dancer, 35 years old and living in Los Angeles. Among others, he has worked with Britney Spears Y Ariana Grande. According to what Chanel told before appearing at the festival, it was the same choreographer who wanted to participate in the project, after listening to the song and learning about it through her Instagram videos. Once again, everything was in social networks.

The audio of ‘SloMo’ arrived on Youtube in December, weeks before the Benidorm Fest and while the favorites to represent Spain were still Rigoberta Bandini or Tanxugueiras. Chanel, Kyle and Leroy posed together in a photograph that the singer uploaded to the networks on January 4, about three weeks before the artist won in Benidorm and was chosen to represent Spain in Eurovision. Today, the music video for ‘SloMo’ hits the million and a half views.

On the way to Eurovision, the team has grown, of course. If Chanel went to Benidorm Fest wearing designs from carmen faralathe transvestite artist known for winning the Drag Race contest, in the grand finale of Turin will be dressed by Palomo Spain, of the national designers with more international projection. Spain’s candidacy will cost RTVE €630,000. It may seem like a lot, although it only exceeds by €20,000 the budget that our delegation had last year, when Blas Cantó represented us.

Chanel, already dressed by Palomo Spain, during one of the rehearsals in Turin.

@chanelterrero

What does remain from Benidorm to Italy is Chanel’s corps de ballet. Are Exon Narcos, from Madrid and a contestant on the program ‘The dancer’, also on RTVE. Seville style Maria Perez We have seen her in the music video for ‘Chicken teriyaki’, by Rosalía. Josh HuertaPeruvian, has worked with Maluma, Luis Fonsi and even with the Spice Girls. Rachel Caurin She is Valencian, trained at the Conservatory and a regular in the army of dancers in Operación Triunfo. Perhaps her most recognizable face is that of Pol Soto, Barcelonan and also tanned in OT. It was he who danced closest to Chanel at the Benidorm Fest and who helped the singer to get rid of her jacket in full performance.

Leroy Sánchez is still attached to Chanel’s candidacy in Turin. Since the singer won in Benidorm, she has done small changes in assembly of the song, as he himself has been publishing on social networks. Meanwhile, he continues to work on his own career as an artist.

On May 17, just three days after the Eurovision final, the artist will perform in the El Sol room in Madrid. Despite remaining in the shadow of this candidacy, Sánchez’s followers on Instagram quadruple those of Chanel. For its part, Hanagami has also accompanied the team to Italyleading a choreography that promises changes with respect to the one we saw in January.

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