After placing second to Ukraine in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the UK’s representative Sam Ryder reflects on the past year and shares his excitement for this year’s contest, which will take place in Liverpool in May.
Ryder expresses gratitude for the opportunities that have come his way since competing and admits that he viewed Eurovision as a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
In order to avoid feeling nervous, he intentionally did not listen to any of the other contestants’ songs until the night of the final.
Ryder believes that artistic expression cannot be competed against and acknowledges the importance of creating a buzz with the audience during the show.
However, he emphasizes that as a musician, his validation cannot be based solely on the competition and considers himself a musician first and a participant in the contest second.
I have been blessed in so many ways since Eurovision, including the opportunity to tour and perform in front of live audiences. It’s amazing to see people coming to our shows now, as there used to be no one.
This success is thanks to our involvement in this event.
The best part is that myself, my tour manager, and everyone else involved are old friends, and we have experienced this journey together.
Being with these people feels like a break, and there’s no need for additional rest or recovery time. We toured Europe at the end of last year and the UK this year, with festival season up next.
This UK leg of the tour has been unbelievable. We even sold out the Hammersmith Apollo, a venue where I used to watch some of my favorite bands play.
The sold-out show fills me with immense gratitude.
I had my granddad up there 91 years old and watching. Him seeing where this has led to, from him dropping me off to practice and telling me to “plough your own furrow and focus on your work”.
I went to see Bon Iver play there a number of years ago with my partner. We were sitting way back, looking down at the size and scale and thinking “imagine being able to play here”, and both of us took the time to remember that moment during the soundtrack.
It’s given me so my blessings.