Essex lad Sam Ryder, 32, went from the “Black Death” for bands to a shining light for the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest after finishing second on Saturday night
Eurovision: Sam Ryder electrical show for UK
He’s the singer who changed England’s Eurovision destiny after 25 years.
For the first time since 1998, the UK broke into the top five, with his track Space Man leading the contest light years in the number of judges’ votes.
And while the massive public vote for Ukraine may have pushed him down to second place, Sam is returning home from Turin, Italy, having won the UK something far more precious than a the trophy: he gave us back some of our Eurovision pride.
But how did a long-haired 32-year-old Essex become a knight in shining armor? Who can finally rescue us from Eurovision’s mockery?
It was certainly a duty for a former Catholic student.
Born Sam Robinson, he grew up in Maldon, Essex.
While at the John Payne Catholic School in nearby Chelmsford, he found an old Iron Maiden album during a school trip to a convent.
At the age of 11, he and his schoolmates went to their first rock concert.
That night, he realized he no longer wanted to be an astronaut. He knows exactly what he wants to do with his life: be a rock star.
“Me and my friends went to see Sum 41 when we were in 7th grade, and it really got us excited,” he said. We wrote a ’10-step plan to get a signature’ on the back of our science books and everything’”
Former teacher Jemma Coleman has watched him hone his ambitions at school talent competitions. She said: “He was a likable, alert young man. Even then, he developed into a great performer. ”
By the age of 19, Sam co-founded the band The Morning After, who, as a guitarist and vocalist, was inspired to learn guitar after watching the oddly masked rock band Lord on Eurovision 2006.
The band grows big in their Essex corner, but life gets in the way and they fall apart.
It was the beginning of a depressing pattern for the musician.
He joined the Canadian band Bless by a Broken Heart – only to have the same band split a year later.
Then he joined the American group Close Your Eyes – and the same thing happened again. And that’s not the only time.
Sam explains: “As soon as one of the band members left and someone needed someone, it was me who jumped in. I would be in the band for a year or so… then the band would end, I was like the Black Death. Once I showed up, you knew the days were numbered. “
After going it alone, he quickly fell into a “cycle of overthinking things”, spending weeks on songs before finishing them and starting over, so packed it up to open a Organic juice bar in Coggeshall in Essex with his girlfriend, Lois Gaskin-Barbe.
When the lockdown happened, however, Sam saw it as an opportunity to do it again, to “clean up the interceptor” as he put it.
“To overcome that delay, I just pulled out my phone and sang straight into it,” he said.
He started making covers of Britney Spears and Queen and posting them on the booming social media platform TikTok.
He became a social media star overnight, amassing millions of followers, and his videos are reposted by artists like Alicia Keys, Sia, and Justin Bieber.
“Justin Bieber texted me that he was texting my video singing Sia’s Elastic Heart to Sia,” Ryder recalls, he recalls. “And then Sia posted it on her Instagram with this amazing, encouraging caption. That is an important milestone. ”
Echo helped him score Grammy Award-winning songwriting talent Amy Wadge helped write Space Man, produced by KOZ – who had worked with Dua Lipa and, more importantly, managed by the TaP team, who just recently worked with Dua Lipa. incident was responsible for finding an interesting, credible new artist for the UK Eurovision entry.
Now the vegetarian Essex, who is more likely to be found surfing and skiing than hunting on Towie, has gone from the Black Death for bands to a shining light for the UK in Eurovision.
It’s not like he’s going to forget his roots, as he prepares to tour with Paloma Faith. He is going home to celebrate curry with his family and meet his beloved grandfather to “fill things up for him”.
There will be more to tell him soon.
Space Man is now the new 4th place on The Sky VIP’s official Big Top 40 rankings.