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'Playground Politica' is an ode to popstar Netta's childhood in Nigeria

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Netta is an international pop star. She won the Eurovision Song Contest for her home country of Israel back in 2018, and she's become known for her eye-catching outfits and quirky dance moves. Netta recently spoke to MORNING EDITION about her new single, "Playground Politica." It's an ode to her childhood in Nigeria.

NETTA: OK, so my name is Netta. I am a musician from Tel Aviv, and I'm very excited for this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

NETTA: (Singing) Take me back to Nigeria, 1999. Back then I was happier...

Back in the early '90s, my parents traveled to Nigeria for work dealing with transportation of water. And we were learning as kids in an international school.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

NETTA: (Singing) I'm so high on the swing.

It was complete utopia. This whole song is very about - when I came back to Israel, I felt that I left my happy kid in Nigeria. And I was thinking, what if we take somebody to sing another verse? Maybe we should think about a Nigerian artist. There was no perfect fit like Mr. Eazi. I wanted him so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

NETTA: (Singing) When I'm on the swing, I come alive. I push my sneakers to sky, swing away the bad day. Boy, I wish that I could fly.

I told him the story of the song and my story about the international school in Ibadan, and he said, wait, wait - you know, I went to an international school, too. His experience is very similar to mine in a very different way. So he wrote also something that is so happy and free of cynicism, and he delivered. And it was so much fun to do it with him.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

MR EAZI: (Singing) Take me back to the days when I did jump around and dance all over the place. Yeah. We no dey look uche face (ph).

NETTA: For me, 1999 was the year that we left Nigeria, and for Mr. Eazi, 1999 was the year that Nigeria had the World Cup.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

MR EAZI: (Singing) I still remember football up on the road, Julius Aghahowa going for gold.

NETTA: (Singing) When I'm on the swing, I come alive. I push my sneakers to the sky, swing away the bad day. Boy, I wish that I could fly and flick my jolly lollipop. Take me away.

After we filmed the video with Mr. Eazi, we went to the school, and they prepared a whole thing. There was a huge sign of me, and the kids were singing my songs. And everything stayed exactly the same.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

NETTA: (Singing) Sunshine on my mind. Sipping juice with Jessica, no playground politica.

The song is about just going to a good memory and draw power and force from it to continue with your life.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

NETTA: (Vocalizing).

MARTINEZ: That's Netta talking about her new song, "Playground Politica."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAYGROUND POLITICA")

NETTA: (Singing) ...1999. Back then, I was happier... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.