After being revealed as the British representative at Eurovision 2021 in February, James Newman and the BBC have now released the UK entry for this year’s contest. “Embers” got its first play on the BBC Radio 2 this morning and the music video was released quickly after.
Listen to James Newman’s “Embers”
The Brit Award winning singer-songwriter James Newman was chosen to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 internally by the broadcaster BBC. Last year James was set to represent the country with the song “My Last Breath”, but the contest was cancelled due the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was so gutted when it got cancelled last year, and I didn’t get the opportunity to go to Rotterdam and sing on stage. I instantly wanted to take part again.James Newman to BBC Newsbeat
The song is written by James Newman, Conor Blake, Danny Shah, Tom Hollings and Samuel Brennan. Grammy nominated songwriter Conor Blake had major international hits with Italian trio Meduza. Danny Shah has worked with David Guetta, Kylie Minogue and had four UK number-one hits as a songwriter.
Samuel Brennan wrote songs to former Spice Girl Melanie C and French DJ Hugel among others. Together with Tom Hollings, they also worked on the song “Wellerman” with Nathan Evans, that came a huge viral hit earlier this year.
From a songwriter to singer
James Newman started his career as a songwriter and scored multiple hits with Rudimental, Calvin Harris and Little Mix among others. In 2015 he debuted as a singer on a song “Coming Home” with French DJ Arno Cost. Before starting her career as a solo singer, James worked with other world-famous DJs, including Don Diablo and Armin van Buuren.
In 2014, James co-wrote the song “Blame” together Calvin Harris and James’ brother John Newman, who also provided the vocals for the song. The song topped the charts in many countries, including The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom.
Not his first time at Eurovision
James first took part in the Eurovision Song Contest as a songwriter in 2017, when he co-wrote the Irish entry “Dying to Try“. The country, represented by Brendan Murray, finished 13th in the semifinal.
Outside the contest, James has worked with Eurovision artists Guy Sebastian and ROXEN. Last year Romania’s Eurovision 2021 representative ROXEN released the single “Wonderland”, co-produced by James Newman and featuring Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak.
In 2020, James Newman released “My Last Breath” as the British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Three singles, including “Enough” and “Better Man“, followed the song and in July 2020 he released his debut EP, “The Things We Do“.
Collaboration between BBC Studios and BMG
Last month, the BBC also announced the renewed collaboration between BBC Studios and music company BMG for this year’s contest. The song has been released and published by BMG, and BBC Studios will once again produce the BBC’s coverage of the contest this year.
BMG are delighted to continue our involvement with Eurovision and to remain in partnership with the BBC. As soon as 2020 was cancelled we immediately turned our attention to returning with James but with a brand new song. There is definitely a strong feeling of unfinished business!Alistair Norbury, President, Repertoire & Marketing UK for BMG
Following a process in 2019 in which BBC Studios approached a number of record labels to pitch, it was clear that BMG shared the BBC and BBC Studios’ vision of selecting a song with broad international appeal and securing an artist who embodies the spirit and values of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will take place on Saturday 22nd of May in Rotterdam. In the United Kingdom, the show will be broadcast live on BBC One with commentary by Graham Norton and on BBC Radio 2 with commentary from Ken Bruce. Ken Bruce will be also be previewing Eurovision on his Radio 2 show from 9.30am-12 noon on Friday 21st of May. The semi-finals will be held on Tuesday 18th and Thursday 20th of May.
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