How football influenced Montaigne's journey to Eurovision

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As she prepared to represent Australia at the Eurovision song contest this week, singer Montaigne reflected on how her football heritage has helped her throughout her music career.

Performing in Australia's sixth year in the event with her song 'Technicolour', the 25-year-old failed to make it through to the grand final held in Rotterdam, LIVE on SBS this Sunday from 5am (AEST).

But the singer, whose real name is Jessica Cerro, revealed football was all around her from an early age, with father Gus enjoying a 14-year playing career which included stints in the National Soccer League at home, and abroad in Malaysia. 

Montaigne soon discovered her own love for playing the game, competing at a high level in Sydney until her music began to gain traction online, which led to her pursuing a career as an artist instead.

"[Football] was a fairly big influence. I was always talking about it, watching it, playing or training," she said in an interview with FIFA.com.

"My dad had played and coached all his life and that is his passion, his everything. So it is an in-my-blood thing. Football has always been there and I always enjoyed playing it. My experience in a team setting has influenced my psyche a great deal."

Possessing the same footballing talent and passion as her father, Montaigne revealed she at first had the same dreams of succeeding him as a professional player.

"There was a time when I thought music was absolutely out of the question as a career path," she said.

"I was pretty good at football, I wasn’t the fittest player, but I was fairly skilful, so I figured I could work on that.

"I did pretty well at school and I had thoughts of an Ivy League scholarship combined with football. But then [radio station] Triple J Unearthed crept up and [music] took over."

Montaigne also hailed her father's footballing focus and discipline as major influences on her personality and musical endeavours.

"My dad is a very disciplined human being and I think I have carried some of that discipline," she said.

"I’m good at staying focused, working within a team, stating my opinion if needed and just having that work ethic in me. I have been instilled with priorities to look after my wellbeing and my body and to make sure that everything is working correctly.

"At the end of the day, my instrument is my body - as in my voice - and I have to look after that in order to perform well. So I think all those aspects from sport about looking after your physique and other similar stuff has really helped me."

Montaigne also commented on the upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand and it's potential to further grow the women's game and address the ongoing issues of pay disparities between male and female players.

"I’m hoping it gets people excited about women’s football because, as we all know, women are sorely underpaid relative to their male counterparts," she said.

"I understand that part of it is about economy... but I think there are ways to solve that problem.

"Hosting the Women’s World Cup will help with that because it will help people get excited about the spectacle. Watching it live and having the colour and pandemonium of a World Cup will be beneficial."