Belgium will be represented by Gustaph in Eurovision 2023 with his song “Because of You”. This artist preview will take a look at Gustaph’s musical career so far, his previous Eurovision experience plus how he emerged victorious in Belgium’s Eurovision national final, Eurosong.
Who is Gustaph?
Gustaph (real name Stef Caers) is a singer-songwriter, producer and vocal coach from Leuven, Belgium. He started his musical career whilst studying at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent where initially used the stage name of Steffen. He debut single titled “Gonna Lose You” was released in the year 2000 which reached number 22 in the Flemish singles chart, with a second single titled “Sweetest Thing” following after.
Gustaph then focused more on songwriting and producing plus providing backing vocals for other artists including Belgian singers Lady Linn and Willy Sommers. He also joined the band Hercules and Love Affair as one of the lead vocalists. Alongside his current singing career, Gustaph works as a vocal coach and teacher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent.
Previous Eurovision Experience
Eurovision 2023 is not Gustaph’s first time at the contest. In 2018, he performed as a backing vocalist in Lisbon with Belgian representative Sennek for her song “A Matter Of Time” which finished twelfth in the first semi-final, therefore not qualifying to the grand final. In 2021 he returned as a backing vocalist for the Belgian entry, this time for Hooverphonic’s “The Wrong Place” which did qualify for the grand final, placing ninetieth overall in Rotterdam.
Belgium returned to using a national final to choose their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, the first time the country has done so since 2016. Flemish broadcaster VRT hosted Eurosong with the final broadcast on Saturday 14th January 2023.
Seven artists took part with each artist submitting two songs to the competition. To decide which song the artist would perform in the grand final, a ‘songclub’ show was broadcast each day in the week running up the final which featured each artist presenting their two songs. The ‘songclub’ (the other contestants) then provided feedback on each performance, with the participating artists then choosing which song to select based on this feedback.
Gustaph presented two songs; “The Nail” and “Because Of You” with the latter chosen by Gustaph to perform in the Eurosong final. The result was decided through a 50/50 jury and televote split; despite Gustaph placing third in the jury and second in the televote, this was enough to secure him the ticket to Liverpool with 278 points overall. It was an extremely competitive national final with second place The Starlings receiving 277 points and third place Gala Dragot receiving 271 points, but consistent scoring in both the jury and the televote meant Gustaph was victorious!
Gustaph will be the fifth act to perform in the second semi-final in Liverpool on 11th May 2023. We wish him and Belgium the best of luck in Eurovision 2023!