Possible Artists 2015: United Kingdom

Hi there guys! Hope you all are having a great weekend, as we continue our ‘Possible Artists’ series for this upcoming season for Eurovision. So far this year, we’ve covered Portugal, the Czech Republic, Iceland and Ireland and know we’re going to tackle our joint home country of the United Kingdom! So who would we think do the UK justice after this year’s disappointing result? Keep scrolling to find out!

Who do we think should represent the UK? Laura Mvula would be #1 on our list!
Who do we think should represent the UK? Laura Mvula would be #1 on our list!

It would be fair to say that pre-Copenhagen, the UK was regarded as a high favourite to win the Contest, as the BBC finally managed to get out of its rut and send a modern artist with a modern song. So much so, that on the escXtra livestream Contest that took place a month before the show, the UK managed to gather the most amount of votes from nearly 1,000 viewers to come out on top. However, come the 10th of May and a Molly who was struck by illness on the night, the UK sadly didn’t live up to its expectation and finished in 17th place…on the bright side however, it was still an improvement from 2013’s result! So now that the BBC has gotten out of its rut, who would be the best artists that would carry on the baton that Molly took off? Here are our recommendations:

Artist #1: Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula is our first recommendation for the BBC to pick for Vienna, and she is something I can tell that Europe would love. Laura is a relatively new musician to the scene, but has already cracked the US market with her début album, Sing to the Moon which was released in March of last year. Laura’s style of music is very much a mixture of pop, soul and R&B and has been called ‘the next Nina Simone’. Her look as well is very unique, most notably her hair (or the lack of it, but she is growing it back now!). She wrote the entire album on her own, with the help of her friend Steve Brown and this song was the first single to be released from her album: ‘She’.

If you’ve heard this song before, you’ll know that this song was used in a couple of American shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, but the song doesn’t reflect the storylines it was used for. The song is very much like Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” in terms of the lyrics, where she ‘walked towards you with her head down low’, it’s just an awful lot like the same story as the woman who Sheeran sings about…with the lack of drugs of course. The song is indeed a ballad, but it’s a very soulful one and the way that Mvula delivers the song, with her distinctive voice, it just makes you feel very….humbled, to say the least. At Eurovision, I don’t think this particular song would fare too well, as ballads such as that tend to be a bit dreary to a wider audience. So why don’t we go a bit more uptempo?

‘That’s Alright’ is more upbeat than ‘She’ and most definitely a song that the viewer at home would probably end up bobbing their head along to, as the beat is just so infectious and the lyrics are incredibly easily to get. Lyrically, the song is basically a story that is telling the listener that she isn’t what we want her to be…and in any way, she really doesn’t give a fuck. She’ll just do whatever she wants to because she ‘plays her own damn tune’. Like ‘She’, Laura’s distinctive voice soars over the orchestra that brings the song to life. This song’s beat is a bit more complicated than the previous song, but she uses this to her advantage and using time signatures that most other artists wouldn’t use. It makes the song less square than most other songs would be. If this was to go to Eurovision, I can already see the staging coming to life. Whether or not the general public would ‘get’ the beat that this consists of is another question.

Laura is a fantastic singer live, as demonstrated in her performance of ‘Green Garden’ on The Graham Norton Show. If the BBC was to send her to Austria, it would be a bold move as the UK has only tried sending “soul” music before, and it placed them last in 2008. However, with Laura charting in countries like Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand and the US, it’s an artist that I feel should definitely get considered for a good placing!

Artist #2: Fenech-Soler

If, however, the BBC are stupid enough to overlook an artist like Laura, we have a great alternative that they should consider – Fenech-Soler. I am not particularly familiar with their discography, so that’s why I shall leave you in the company of James who will guide you through their reasons to be considered for Austria next year.

*swaps*

Okay, so as Rory said, Fenech-Soler are more within my field of expertise since I am one of their most enthusiastic fans currently in existence! A four-piece band named after one of its members’ Maltese surnames, their music is an anthemic blend of electronic and indie, and it comes out sounding pretty awe-inspiring. Have a listen to my favourite one of theirs, “Magnetic” –

I’m sorry, right, but WHAT A TUNE. I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely adore the sheer energy of this song. The intricate production and percussion sustains interest long enough for that chorus to kick in, and from that point onwards, it just soars. Just like the Finnish entry earlier this year, there are a few different hooks at work here, all of which are allowed their moment to shine, before being overlaid with each other during the middle 8 which builds maximum excitement for the final chorus. Lead vocalist Ben knows exactly where his vocal range can stretch to, and uses this to his advantage, as he can really sell that hook in a way that has you singing it back by the second chorus.

It’s hard to cram this into a neat little box as far as genre is concerned, and that’s something I think could really work in favour of a Eurovision entry. Just look at Aram Mp3 from this year: that song kept on changing before Europe’s very eyes, and left us all guessing – and therefore engaged – with regards to its conclusion. A lot of their music is like this – pitched somewhere in the vast experimental landscape between electro and rock. I don’t know about you, but I think this is where popular music could – and perhaps should – be going. It’s a really interesting place where pretty much anything is possible.

Having seen these guys live myself, I can vouch for both their vocal capacity and their masterful ability to connect with a live crowd. I’m not 100% sure the amazing atmosphere in the hall would translate as well down a camera lens, but then again, how many times in ESC history has the crowd’s enthusiasm really lifted an entry? Case in point being the Olsen Brothers. I reckon a potential Fenech-Soler Eurovision entry could have a similar effect. We KNOW they can write a killer hook, we KNOW they can sell it live… and given the fact that these guys recently completed a European tour which stretched from Russia to Germany, one would hope that they’re going the right way about getting their name out there to a wider voting audience. Now all we need is the song, and the selection. Please, BBC, please. I will love you forever.

If you like the sound of them, you might also want to check out “Last Forever“, “Demons” and “Stop & Stare“.

*and swaps back*

Well thank you very much for that, James! One thing you have to say about our James, when he sees an artist he likes, he gets stuck in! 😉

Other Artists:

Last time around, we recommended that Emilie Sandé and Pixie Lott go to Eurovision, but our lovely requests were sadly denied, but it was okay, because Molly was the best choice for them. However, we’d love for these guys to represent the UK as well!

Clean Bandit – “Rather Be”

MNEK – “Every Little Word”

Jake Bugg – “Lightning Bolt”

Birdy – “Wings”

Bastille feat. Ella Eyre – “No Angels”

The 1975 – “She Way Out”

Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”

George Ezra – “Budapest”

Hattie Briggs – “Old Eyes”

Kyla La Grange – “Cut Your Teeth”

Your views:

Who would you like to see fly the British flag in Austria next year?
Who would you like to see fly the British flag in Austria next year?

Hillary Smith from the United States: If England was to send someone like Elton John to Eurovision, we would be going to the UK for the 61st edition of the ESC. WHEN WILL THEY REALISE THIS!

Gréta Danielsdóttir from Iceland: I would like it if Laura Mvula did get gone to Eurovision. She has soul and something like that is needed in a Contest like this.

Shaun Underhay from the United Kingdom: [With Laura], Would never happen; she’s regarded as too much of a serious, critically acclaimed artist. My ideal candidates would vary dramatically from my realistic candidates. There’s a few in mind, but I’m not holding my breath.

Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: I’d love to see [Laura] represent the UK in Vienna… she’s amazing! I love her voice. I think she would be a fantastic choice!

Well it seems that everyone wants someone to represent the UK, and it’s great to see that people are taking an interest in the UK music scene, even though the country as been doing very bad at Eurovision in recent years. So who would like to see at Eurovision on the UK’s behalf? Is there an artist that we’ve missed out? Who would have the best chance of doing well in Austria, in your opinion? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!

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4 thoughts on “Possible Artists 2015: United Kingdom”

  1. Second Nina Nesbitt, but would she (156K followers on Twitter)?
    Isn’t that the problem for all listed – would they?

    It is quite easy to list names, and blame BBC for not getting their act together…
    But who knows they might have asked everyone of these and got NO WAY as an answer!

  2. Of course, if Scotland vote for independence, they might enter by themselves next year (or more realistically, 2016), and might try to get somebody like Nesbitt. I think the UK need to keep looking for a young female with a catchy song – one that stands out a little more than the others.

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