The UK’s entry to the 2021 ユーロビジョン song contest has been revealed: a high-energy dance-pop track by James Newman, entitled Embers.
Newman was due to perform for the UK at 2020’s event, before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. His song My Last Breath hasn’t been carried over to the 2021 event.
Where My Last Breath was a Coldplay-like swelling anthem, Embers radically ups the tempo for a song about enduring passion that Newman says has resonances with the approaching end point of the pandemic.
“When we were writing this, it felt like I wanted to show everyone that we were coming back together,” Newman told the BBC. “It’s about having that connection and something reigniting. It’s about us emerging from this rubbish time we’ve been having. It fits with the idea that Eurovision is coming back.”
Newman has only released a handful of solo singles, but already has impressive pop pedigree. He won a Brit award in 2014 for best British single, as co-writer of Rudimental’s hit Waiting All Night. He co-wrote Blame, a UK No 1 by Calvin Harris with Newman’s pop star brother John performing vocals. He also has writing credits with artists including Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Kesha, Olly Murs and more.
Newman will be looking to overcome lacklustre showings by the UK at the Eurovision song contest in recent years.
In the 1990s, the UK enjoyed a Top 10 placing in every year apart from 1999, including a win in 1997 for Katrina & the Waves. But since then, the country’s popularity has fallen sharply, with only two Top 10 placings this century, and four last-place finishes, including in 2019’s contest.