Sam Ryder “fits perfectly with the message of the Eurovision Song Contest” and will show “authenticity” when he takes the stage at this weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest, according to the talent director, who helped find the UK entry.
The 32-year-old Essex singer and TikTok star has been chosen to represent the UK in a collaboration between the BBC and global music management company TaP Music, which counts Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding among its clients.
TaP Music co-founder Ed Millett told the PA news agency he was “confident” that Ryder could succeed in Turin, Italy, where the grand finale is set to take place on Saturday night.
I’m singing my head off on a giant chessboard in Turin!!! 👩🚀 3 more sleeps until we do this in front of TWO HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE??!!!?!?? WILD!!! 🤯🤯🤯 Drop some 🦁 in the comments if you roar along with me 👇 pic.twitter.com/mXSicKHOsZ
— Sam Ryder 👩🚀 (@SamRyderMusic) May 11, 2022
Mr Millett said: “What was always impressive about Sam was that not only was he an incredible singer and had a great song, but he also had this magical balance of being very warm and approachable – someone who was a joy to be around , to work, and someone who likes to spread joy.
“As a personality, he fits the Eurovision message perfectly. I don’t know if you saw the other day that he did the press conference after rehearsal. And he just made it.
“Because he’s doing it for real reasons. It’s not a strategic career move full of cynicism. He really loves it. He had previously covered Eurovision songs.
“So there’s an authenticity to where he’s from, how he thinks about the competition, what his worldview is and how he sees the competition in it.”
Along with co-founder Ben Mawson and record label Parlophone, Mr Millett has overhauled the UK’s strategy after years of dismal results.
The UK was bottom of the Eurovision leaderboard in the last two competitions and finished bottom in 2019, with Michael Rice scoring ‘Bigger Than Us’ and James Newman scoring ‘zero points’ with Embers in 2021.
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The new strategy included ensuring Ryder’s single “Space Man” was played on BBC Radio 1 rather than Radio 2 and targeted smaller countries such as San Marino, Serbia, Croatia and Malta, which have the same voting rights as larger countries such as Germany.
Mr Millett said part of the problem in the UK has historically been a “lack of investment”.
“This show is a major extravaganza and the studio production is phenomenal if you have the resources to take advantage of it,” he added.
“That was part of the conversation again. If Sam is going to be the contestant, will you as a label really invest in a stunning TV performance? Because the staging is just as important as the song.
“The BBC have increased their budget and the label has really stepped up. And I think the budget this time is ten times bigger than last year. So fingers crossed.
“We’ve brought in some really great people on the production side to help make a great performance and it will all stand us in good stead.
“So yes I’m confident, I’m proud of all the work that Sam has done and that everyone has embraced it wholeheartedly and is committed to it.”
Mr Millett said his team looked at new and established artists during the selection process and even considered forming a supergroup of well-known British acts.
He explained why TaP Music took on the project: “Part of the thing was that we wanted to represent the modern, pro-European, friendly and diverse country of Great Britain. We had a strong feeling that maybe that wasn’t what happened.
“Britain is beating well above its weight globally in terms of pop music and (if you’re going down that path, why shouldn’t we do well in this competition?
“It’s a song competition and we have some of the best pop music in the world.”
In the first semi-final on Tuesday, favorites Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine advanced to the grand final.
The United Kingdom is one of the Big Five countries – including Spain, Germany, France and Italy – which do not have to qualify via the semi-finals and advance automatically to the final.
Ireland’s Brooke Scullion will compete in the second semi-final, where the remaining 18 countries will take the stage in hopes of being selected to the final.
The second semi-final will be broadcast on BBC Three from Turin, Italy on Thursday, with commentary by TV star Rylan Clark and Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/uk-entry-sam-ryder-totally-fits-the-eurovision-message-says-talent-boss-41641716.html British newcomer Sam Ryder “fits perfectly with the Eurovision message,” says the talent director