This June, the 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Turin, Italy. Forty European countries participated. Representing the UK was 32-year-old Essex singer Sam Ryder who sang his song ‘Space Man’. He placed second, behind the Kalush Orchestra, from Ukraine. It was the first time in 20 years that the UK had finished in the top three. (Last year, the UK came last!) It was an amazing result also considering that two years ago Sam Ryder was a little-known wedding singer.
His rise to success started during the 2020 lockdown. All weddings were cancelled, but Sam wanted to keep on singing, so he posted his music cover videos on Tik Tok. Thanks to the quality and energy of his performances, and his positive and chilled attitude, he quickly became the most followed UK music artist on Tik Tok. His videos were even reposted by some artists he covered, like Alicia Keys and Sia.
Sam’s love for music began when he attended his first rock concert, aged 11. After he turned 19, he performed live with various bands, although without much success. To make ends meet he worked as a construction worker and for a while he ran a vegan café, but he kept on singing at weddings, in clubs, and, eventually, on Tik Tok.
Singing, he says, is “a way of expressing joy and finding happiness”. He was delighted to perform at the Eurovision which, to him, represents “unity, peace, love, togetherness, inclusivity and expression.”
(Image: Wikimedia Commons; Wikimedia Commons)