Sam Ryder is set to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy.
The singer is one of the UK’s most followed and successful TikTok singers with 12.1 million followers.
Ryder found fame on the platform at the start of lockdown, and by the end of 2020, he became the UK’s most popular artist on TikTok. From performing snippets of iconic pop songs, his covers have garnered the attention of international stars like Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys.
Now he finds himself performing his song ‘SPACE MAN’ at the Eurovision grand final in May to more than 220 million people.
Last year, UK’s entry James Newman scored “nil points” for his song ‘Embers’, leaving the UK at the bottom of the table. In 2019, Michael Rice’s ‘Bigger Than Us’ found itself in the same situation. An obvious pattern is emerging for the UK’s track record in the competition.
No pressure then.
‘SPACE MAN’ is co-written by Sam Ryder, Max Wolfgang and Grammy-winning songwriter and frequent Ed Sheeran collaborator, Amy Wadge. The track has sky-rocketing vocals, with an incredibly catchy chorus that effortlessly mixes Ryder’s impressive head voice and soulful chest voice.
Admittedly, the BBC has kept relatively hushed about their Eurovision plans this year.
In October 2021, the BBC revealed that they would be teaming up with Tap Music to internally choose the UK’s 2022 entry.
The label rosters globally renowned artists like Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey and CL.
When Ryder initially released the song on his YouTube channel on 22 February, rumours started to float about. On 2 March, sharp-eyed Eurovision superfans noticed Radio 1’s Scott Mills play a 3-minute version of ‘SPACE MAN’ on air – a noticeably cut down version, and one that fits the 3-minute Eurovision song contest rule.
On 10 March, the official reveal of Sam Ryder’s Eurovision entry ‘SPACE MAN’ launched from BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Scott Mills and Greg James.
Ryder’s personal announcement on TikTok revealing that he would be flying the UK flag at Turin has already reached 2 million views.
Given Sam Ryder’s prominence on TikTok, this suggests a shift in direction for how Eurovision UK entry acts could be selected in the future. TikTok is now known to accelerate artists’ careers, and in recent years has become an essential promotional tool for musicians.
Will Sam Ryder’s TikTok prominence and raw vocal talent in ‘SPACE MAN’ skyrocket the UK to the top? Or will we crash land into the dreaded “nil points” position for the third year in a row?
With Ryder’s entry, the likelihood is low for either scenario, but it’s about time the UK orbited to the left side of the board. Sam Ryder could be the singer to land the UK in that hopeful direction.
But for now – the results are all up in space, man.