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UK’s Eurovision entry for 2022 has been announced!

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TicToc social media star Sam Ryder set to represent United Kingdom at Eurovision 2022 with Space Man

The BBC have announced that following an extensive search headed by global music management and publishing company TaP Music, singer-songwriter Sam Ryder will be representing the United Kingdom at the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, set to be held in Turin, Italy in May 2022 with the song Space Man.

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With over 12 million followers and 100 million likes on TikTok, Sam is currently the most followed UK music artist on the platform.

The news was exclusively revealed by Scott Mills on Radio 1 Breakfast with Greg James earlier today (Thursday 10 March) with Space Man having previously featured as Tune Of The Week on Scott Mills’ Afternoon Show on BBC Radio 1.

As the world went into lockdown in March 2020, Sam uploaded the first of his now famous covers onto the popular social media platform and his extraordinary vocals quickly caught the attention of celebrity fans including Justin Bieber, Sia and Alicia Keys, who even posted her own video reacting to Sam’s cover of her song If I Ain’t Got You. As the videos kept coming so did the fans, with his social media standing on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook now at well over 17 million followers.

Having signed to Parlophone (part of Warner Music Group), one of the most famous companies in the history of the music industry, Sam’s star has continued to rise. His debut EP was released in 2021 which has so far amassed over 100 million global streams with singles Whirlwind and Tiny Riot topping the worldwide iTunes charts. Sam has also just completed his first sold-out UK tour.

Sam Ryder co-wrote Space Man with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud) and Max Wolfgang.

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Sam Ryder says: “Having been a fan of Eurovision since I was a kid l I am so honoured to have been presented with the opportunity to sing at an event alongside some of Europe’s most talented creatives, performers and songwriters. I hope to sing my head off in a way the UK can be proud of, and to showcase a song I wrote with my friends last summer makes the whole experience even more special. See you in Turin legends!”

TaP Music co-founders Ben Mawson and Ed Millett say: “The Eurovision Song Contest is truly a cultural phenomenon and an amazing opportunity – with 200 million viewers – for the right performer. As well as Sam having an amazing voice – Space Man is an instant song that we’re confident will really connect. Not to mention he’s also an extremely likeable and engaging character – as evidenced by his TikTok following.”

Kate Phillips, Director of Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC, says: “Sam is a remarkable performer, with a vocal ability that is literally out of this world. His terrific talent, coupled with the spine-tingling Space Man, ensures a UK entry we can all get behind and be very proud of.”

Suzy Lamb, MD of Entertainment & Music at BBC Studios, says: “BBC Studios is so excited that Sam Ryder will be flying the UK flag in Turin. Sam undoubtably has one of the most remarkable voices in current pop music and we can’t wait to share his incredible talent with the rest of Europe and beyond.”

Mark Mitchell and Nick Burgess, Co-Presidents, Parlophone Records, say: “We are genuinely proud and excited to have our own Sam Ryder as the UK’s entry for Eurovision. In Sam, we are putting forward an artist with an incredible voice and a hugely infectious and unique personality. Combined with an amazing song in Space Man, we have huge confidence that he will deliver an iconic moment for the UK at this year’s show.

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“Through his massive social media following we can see he already connects with fans from all over Europe. With Sam, Parlophone and TaP Music on board, and working alongside the BBC, there’s a new sense of energy and credibility around the UK’s involvement in Eurovision.”

Scott Mills says: “It’s been such an honour working with the TaP team and the BBC this year in being part of the selection process for our Eurovision entry. I’ve known and supported Sam on Radio 1 since he started and I’m so excited for what he’ll bring to the night in Turin – we truly have a brilliant act this year!”

The contest itself will take place in Turin, Italy following the country’s victory at the 2021 contest with the song Zitti e buoni by Måneskin.

The Semi Finals will be broadcast on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer on Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 May at 8pm and the Grand Final will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer plus via BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds on Saturday 14 May from 8pm.

(Lead image: BBC)

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Big 90s Festival is heading for Swansea’s Singleton Park

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The Big Nineties Festival is heading to Singleton Park, Swansea for the very first time with a night of throwback 90’s music.

Friday 28 October 2022 will see an amazing festival production with lasers, smoke machines and light displays throughout the night, all hosted at Singleton Park, Swansea for a Nineties Festival Extravaganza.

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Organisers say they have “a line up like no other” and can’t wait to announce this year’s acts very soon.

Tom Cullen Marketing Manager for The Big Nineties Festival said: “Swansea will host a huge weekend of live music, delicious food and drink, and EVERYONE’s invited!

“We can’t wait to bring something of this scale to Swansea, and it’s been assured to help boost the economy and small businesses.”

Organisers say demand is expected to be high and urge anyone interested in going to buy tickets as soon as possible.

Find out more at thebigninetiesfestival.co.uk/swansea.

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Swansea resident Vicky O’Neon raises her drumsticks for ‘Europe for Ukraine’ band

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Swansea resident Vicky O’Neon, a native of Finland, is raising her drumsticks for Europe for Ukraine – a music initiative that gathers musicians from 50 European countries to record an original composition in support of Ukraine.

O’Neon, co-founder of the non-profit music organisations Girls Rock London and Rock Donna, has worked with Hans Zimmer and Nile Rodgers.

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O’Neon, a graduate of Drum Tech in London (now called BIMM), believes that we should never stand quiet in the face of injustice.

“It’s easy to feel powerless towards what is happening and difficult as an individual to make a difference. But as a society we have to do everything in our power to show support for Ukrainians to stop this war,” O’Neon said. 

Songwriter and Klaukkala resident Amelia Ray, founder of Europe for Ukraine, discovered O’Neon in 2021 through O’Neon’s “Drumming Through The Decades” series on YouTube. When Ray had the idea to write and record a song in support of Ukraine, she remembered O’Neon’s series, and asked her to participate.

Drummer, Vicky O’Neon (Image: Vicky O’Neon)

Ray wrote “Hands in Hearts” in multiple languages to highlight the diversity of the European community. The song will be released on Ukrainian Constitution Day, 28 June 2022.

Hands in Hearts,” is an opportunity for me as a musician to raise my voice for Ukraine against this war together with fellow musicians all over Europe,” O’Neon said.  

The Europe for Ukraine band also includes composer and performer, Adi Mulahalilović – who penned Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 1994 Eurovision Song Contest entry –, North Macedonian classical pianist Mimoza Keka, Franc Moody bassist Rosetta from Italy, and Ukrainian violinist Yuliia Kryzhanivska. Participating musicians will record their performances remotely.

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A portion of the proceeds raised from the release of “Hands in Hearts” will be donated to the UNHCR for humanitarian relief efforts prioritised for Ukraine.

For more information, please visit: www.europeforukraine.com  

(Lead image: Vicky O’Neon)

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Craig Charles brings his ‘Funk and Soul Club’ to Swansea’s Patti Pavilion

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Promising a cracking start to the Easter Bank Holiday, Craig Charles will be coming to Swansea to deliver a set of his finest funk’n’soul tunes this Good Friday.

An iconic actor, host, broadcaster, and now one most beloved DJ’s in the country, Craig’s ‘Funk & Soul Club Night’ will see him open-up his “trunk of funk” at Swansea’s legendary Patti Pavilion venue on Friday 15 April 2022.

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From Robot Wars to Red Dwarf, Craig has now grounded himself as a Funk & Soul icon after nearly 20 years of broadcasting on BBC 6 Music with a primetime Saturday night show. As of Autumn 2021, Craig has also settled into a mid-afternoon slot on the station which has already proven a massive hit with listeners nationwide.

“When BBC 6Music asked me to do a Saturday radio show I only had one condition, it has to be a funk & soul show” says Craig, when he was first approached by the station. And so, the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show was born in 2002.

Live every Saturday night since, it features an assortment of classic gems and emerging artists and has seen Craig garner global support as one of the UK’s foremost Funk and Soul commentators, DJ’s and promoters of new music. The show has also become a European benchmark for artists who want to connect directly with their fans.

“Since its inception I have been interested in all varieties of soul and funk music, without imposing any barriers and I am just as enthusiastic about fresh new talent as I am about the classic artists from the golden age of the 60s and 70s”.

The list of guests that have been on The Funk and Soul Show speaks for itself: Gil-Scott Heron, James Brown, Roy Ayers, Cymande, Marlena Shaw, Paul Weller, Primal Scream, Terry Callier, Candi Staton, Marva Whitney.

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Hip Hop legends, The Roots and the Jungle Brothers, as well as the leading players of the new school Kokolo, Cut Chemist, Sharon Jones, Osaka Monaurail, Amp Fiddler, Amy Winehouse, The New Mastersounds, Smoove and Turrell, Quantic, The Apples, The Grits, JTQ, and The Fusion Experience.

Mr. Charles and his trunk of funk DJs, every weekend throughout the UK – stopping regularly at Band on The Wall in Manchester for his monthly residency. A night of soul-hitting funk, ‘can you dig it’ attitude and dance-floor jivin’.

The monthly stop off is currently one of the most anticipated nights in Manchester’s scene, with an array of guests from the funky depths such as, Maceo Parker, The BlackByrds, Smoove & Turrell, New Mastersounds, The Perceptions, Speedometer, Lack of Afro and Funkshone.

Craig Charles has captivated crowds throughout the UK – the Maestro of funk has played at numerous festivals such as, Love Box, Park Life, Festival no 6, Wychwood Festival, Common People, Mostly Jazz funk and soul festival to name but a few. Highlighting 2016, Craig recently played to over 10,000 people at the world famous Arcadia and Shangri-La stage in Glastonbury.

With a jammed packed year in the making, the funk and soul train keeps movin’ along without a stop in sight – in the words of the soulful don himself, ‘No Sleep till Bed time’.

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Craig plays the Patti Pavilion on Friday 15 April. Tickets are priced at £20.00 (plus. Booking fee) and are available through SeeTickets.

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