Takasa was a pop ensemble formed by members of the Bern Salvation Army. They were initially formed to compete in the Swiss preliminary round for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. While they started out as Heilsarmee for the qualifiers, they adopted the name Takasa for the main competition in Malmö.
Claiming victory with their song “You and Me” during the Swiss national selection for Eurovision, the group secured 37% of public votes in a live telecast by Swiss Television SRF 1 on December 15, 2012. This triumph meant they would represent Switzerland at Malmö’s Song Contest. However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) expressed reservations about the group’s name and uniform being potentially non-compliant. This posed the question of whether they would participate, as the Salvation Army identity and attire were integral to their brand. The EBU hadn’t raised any concerns before the initial stages. Come January 2013, the band declared their intention to compete with a new name and adjusted attire. Their track “You and Me” made its debut on the Swiss charts at the 21st spot on January 6, 2013, remaining there for three weeks.
On March 13, 2013, the band revealed a rebrand to Takasa, which means “clean” in Swahili, along with a new white-blue attire. They released a fresh music video for “You and Me” on March 14, 2013, showcasing their trip to Malmö in a vibrant red Fiat 600. Speculation suggested that “Takasa” stood for phrases akin to Prince’s naming style, such as “The artists…” or “The act known as Salvation Army”, but the band dismissed such claims. Ultimately, after performing in the second semi-final of the contest, they didn’t advance to the final.
After the Eurovision Song Contest, Takasa kept on performing on several occasions, but the last time they did so was around christmas 2013. Most of the time they performed on the streets of Bern. However, in November 2013 they got the opportunity to perform in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Sarah Breiter was the youngest member of the band at 20, whereas Emil Ramsauer, turning 95 in March 2013, was the eldest. Remarkably, Emil became the most senior musician ever to join the Eurovision stage. The ensemble mourned the loss of their bassist, who passed away at 103, 12 December 2021.