Switzerland 2024: Nemo
Photo: Ella Mettler / SRF

Nemo from Switzerland: "The Code has unlocked me musically"

INTERVIEW Nemo has broken the code and is ready to share their truth with the world. As one of the first non-binary people to step onto the Eurovision stage, Nemo's goals go beyond winning. They hope to be an inspiration for others who are yet to see themselves as perfect human beings

We live in a world where we tend to label everything. From people to objects, from music to movies, everything needs to be categorized in order "to make sense." But what is it to make sense? And why does it need to make sense? Why do we always try to categorize everything we see, hear or feel?

It could be the beginning of a philosophy book but it isn't. It's about Nemo and their song, "The Code," set to represent Switzerland at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Nemo performs "The Code" in Madrid

In the song the Swiss singer claims to have broken the code and, with that, found paradise. Maybe breaking the codes which we live under is the key to happiness or, in this context, the key to winning Eurovision.

Nemo has taken the stage twice to rehearse and finally unveiled a little bit of what we can expect from their staging. The staging is in the hands of Fredrik Rydman:

– As soon as I knew he could join the team we had a call and I knew he was the person I wanted to have with me. Luckily, he had the time and loved the song, they say.

– It's been a very passionate project for both of us and we want to elevate the song even higher with the performance.


Nemo was born in Switzerland, in the city of Biel, back in 1999. They are 24-years-old and have, since an early age, demonstrated their talent toward music by playing various instruments. At the age of 13, Nemo had their first musical experience when they were cast in the musical, "Ich War Noch Niemals In New York," and eventually saw a performance of theirs going viral directing them to fame.

Since then, Nemo has been releasing music and decided to attempt their luck by submitting a song to Switzerland's Eurovision internal selection competition. From the 400 songs received by Swiss broadcaster SRF, "The Code" was the chosen one.

Switzerland 2024: Nemo – "The Code"

It was just last year that Nemo found the strength to come out as non-binary, breaking the code "between the 0s and 1s." Eurovision may just be the perfect place to share their story, their truth, and inspire others who may just not feel as strong yet.

In your song you sing, "This story is my truth." What is your truth?

– My truth is feeling comfortable with myself and realizing I was non-binary, Nemo says.

– Being non-binary is a big part my truth. Just this feeling of being able to stand up for myself and be myself wherever I go is the biggest part of my truth.

Nemo confesses it's an ongoing process that they're still exploring and concludes:

– You're always learning about yourself. It never ends.

In a society where minorities clearly still have a long way to go, stepping onto the world's biggest stage and sharing a message of acceptance and inclusivity is bigger for Nemo than actually winning the contest:

– That's precisely the biggest part, Nemo confirms.

– The fact that I can show up as myself and present myself the way I am is more than I could have ever dreamed of. I hope people see I am perfect the way I am because no one can tell me (or you) otherwise.

Being non-binary is a big part my truth.Nemo

Conchita Wurst (Austria 2014) is Nemo's Eurovision hero. She won Eurovision with her song "Rise Like a Phoenix" in drag, and is an inspiration for the Swiss singer:

– She forever redefined what Eurovision means to me. Her performance was captivating, beautiful, and so meaningful.

That may just be the reason why Nemo got inspired to do Eurovision. Nemo, as well as Bambie Thug (Ireland 2024), are the first non-binary people to sing at Eurovision. Could one of them also set themselves up as the first non-binary individual to win? We're a week away of finding out and both are doing great in the odds.

The Code

"The Code" was written by Nemo along with Benji Alasu, Nylan and Linda Dale. As Nemo themselves said it's a song about their story, about coming out as a non-binary individual and finding paradise in that honesty.

Besides its inspiring lyrical content, their entry feels like more than just a song. In three minutes, the listener gets to go through multiple genres such as pop, opera and rap. Instead of a song, we could call it a musical experience.

– I think I would agree because I see it as a little theater piece in itself. It takes you on a journey. In this case of finding out who I am.

I feel like "The Code" has unlocked something in me musically and I find it very fascinating.Nemo

The music video follows the theme. In the beginning, Nemo appears to be a ticket collector in a train's carriage. As the song grows and as they change carriages, their appearance keeps on swapping with different looks that represent the breaking of the code:

– The important thing for me was that the person who shot the video would understand the song and Ruy Okamura did. He seemed to be a fan of it, they share.

– When you get to work with people who like your work, they obviously want to contribute to make it even better. He put so much love into it and had so many ideas and I feel like the music video really shares the idea of the song itself.

You're one of the favorites to win. How do you cope with the expectations and pressure?

– I am just trying to focus on the joy of it instead of any pressure, and focusing on not forgetting why I came here and why I decided to do this, they say.

– This has been a great experience and a way of personal growth for me. Focusing on that is key.

For after Eurovision, there are a lot of plans:

– I am working on so many songs right now. I have a bunch of really great songs that I just love and can't wait to release, they tease.

– I am also working with a band and preparing shows for summer so we can hopefully tour, maybe in Europe. There's a lot going on.

They conclude:

– I really want to focus on this journey of experimenting with my music. I feel like "The Code" has unlocked something in me musically and I find it very fascinating.

Nemo will compete with their song "The Code" in the second Semi-final of Eurovision 2024 on 9 May 2024.

About the author: Pedro Santos (Portugal)

authorPedro comes from Lisbon, Portugal. He's 30 years old and graduated in journalism. He has attended Eurovision Song Contest three times live - 2018, 2019 and 2022 - and covered the show twice more (2021, 2023) but his first Eurovision memory takes him back to 2007 when Sarbel delivered his catchy "Yassou Maria" performance. Pedro's favorite Eurovision song is Albania's 2015 "I'm Alive" by Elhaida Dani which is also his favorite Eurovision edition.

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