Queer singer-songwriter Lesley Roy announced as Ireland's 2020 Eurovision entry

Ireland is showcasing its queer talent as Lesley Roy will be flying the flag for Ireland with her song 'Story of My Life' at Eurovision 2020 with creative direction from THISISPOPBABY and music video by Kate Dolan.

Lesley Roy Eurovision
Image: Luca Truffarelli

RTÉ announced this morning that Lesley Roy and her song Story of My Life will represent Ireland at Eurovision in May.

This year, RTÉ invited established songwriters and artists to submit a song for consideration. RTÉ Entertainment, in conjunction with 2FM, then made a shortlist from which Story of My Life, an uplifting pop number, by Lesley Roy, was chosen. For the first time in Irish Eurovision history, RTÉ have selected acclaimed theatre and events production company THISISPOPBABY to work on staging and the creative direction of Ireland’s entry this year.

With a brand new direction, could this be the year Ireland restores Eurovision glory?

Philly McMahon, Creative Director at THISISPOPBABY, said: “THISISPOPBABY are thrilled and proud to be asked to be on Team Ireland for Eurovision 2020. It’s a celebration of Irish creativity and we couldn’t be more excited for Rotterdam. As Creative Directors, our vision is simple, we want to encourage Irish artists, musical and visual, to get involved in future years – to show them that this contest is modern and fun and an incredible platform for their creativity.”

On working with THISISPOPBABY, Lesley Roy said: “THISISPOPBABY are fantastic to work with. It’s always nice to collaborate with artists that want to make the best possible product. They are injecting a fresh, fun vision and energy to the performance, to me as an artist and the song as a whole, and one that encapsulates a modern Ireland.”

Talented Dubliner Lesley will take to the stage in Rotterdam this May to sing Story of My Life, a song Lesley co-wrote and produced, will have its first airplay this morning Thursday, March 5 on 2fm Breakfast with Doireann and Eoghan. The video, directed by Kate Dolan, will also be made available on the official YouTube channel of the Eurovision Song Contest this morning.

On working with Kate Dolan, Roy said:

“The music video was so fun to shoot. Kate Dolan directed and was amazing and totally came up with a treatment that would work in showing the triumphant energy that here we are shining bright and ready to have fun. It completely captures what I wanted to create in the song. Kate understood that it wasn’t supposed to show people being angry or sad, but show that we can and we will defy them, rise up and throw a massive dance party to celebrate! She also cast individuals that truly did have their own story. Kate stayed true to the song and I think it will really shine through in the video.”

Lesley Roy will give her debut TV performance of the Eurovision entry on The Late Late Show on RTÉ One tomorrow evening (Friday, March 6).

Ireland will perform in at the first semi-final at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday, May 12 at the Rotterdam Ahoy Arena. Should Ireland progress to the finals, Lesley will once again perform Story of My Life at the arena on Saturday, March 16 a bid for Eurovision glory.

Lesley Roy is a singer-songwriter from Balbriggan Co.Dublin, who splits her time between her home in the East Village in NYC and Ireland. Lesley released her debut album, Unbeautiful, in 2008 on Jive/Sony Records, which was executive produced by Max Martin.

As a songwriter, Lesley’s career has been prolific, lending her talents to numbers performed by artists including Adam Lambert, Miss Montreal, Medina, Jana Kramer, Marlee Scott and Deorro. A lifelong fan of Eurovision, Lesley Roy said that getting to represent Ireland in 2020 with a song she worked extremely hard on has meant that one of her lifetime ambitions has been fulfilled.

“I’m very lucky that I am from the era of Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Harrington, Eimear Quinn, Riverdance years,” Lesley said.

“I feel like the back to back years watching it live from the Point Depot with Gerry Ryan hosting and the explosion of Riverdance left a very deep impression on me as a kid. I definitely made a mental note that this is something I would love to do for Ireland when I grew up. I think I have a very high standard of what a Eurovision song should be because of those memories and that definitely informed the type of song I would send.”

Of her Eurovision ambitions for Rotterdam 2020, Lesley said: “My mindset for the coming months is to train, rehearse, prepare, perform, execute and hopefully bring Eurovision glory back to Ireland once again.”

Ireland’s entry, Story of my Life, was penned and co-produced by Lesley Roy alongside some of her favourite co-writers in Nashville – Robert Marvin, Catt Gravitt and Tom Shapiro.

“We wanted something uptempo and triumphant, which centres around overcoming your difficulties in life and getting back up again,” Lesley said.

Ireland still holds the record for most Eurovision wins, with a tally of seven victories at the contest. Ireland first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965. Ireland famously won 4 out of 5 contests in the 1990s and became the first country to win 3 times in a row. Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest a record 7 times in total.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will be the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, following the country’s victory at the 2019 contest with the song, Arcade, performed by Duncan Laurence.

For more information on RTÉ and Eurovision, visit www.rte.ie/eurovision.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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