Two Galwegians are among the six hopeful singers competing in Eurosong in a bid to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision song contest.
The winner will be decided by a combination of national jury, international jury and public vote and will represent Ireland at the 66th Eurovision song contest, which will be hosted in May in Turin, Italy.
Brendan Murray represented Ireland at Eurovision in 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine but failed to qualify with the song ‘Dying to Try’.
This year, however, the former member of Irish boy band Hometown and X Factor semi-finalist is feeling more confident and ready to give it another shot.
“This time around feels a bit more special because I’ve actually been involved in writing the song and involved in everything else”, he said.
“I suppose the difference is now that I’m kind of in control a little bit more, and I have a good team behind me as well”, “I think we all kind of have a clear vision of what we want”.
He has been working on his song writing and collaborating with various songwriters throughout the pandemic. It was during this process that he met songwriter Darrell Coyle, who came to him with the idea for the song ‘Real Love.’
Brendan helped him to finish the track, along with co-writing around 50 others but stated that this song in particular “just kind of stood out”. He decided that it deserved a shot at Eurosong and pitched it for the contest.
Brendan said that he thinks that ‘Real Love’ is good enough to go on and represent Ireland and go even further.
Meanwhile, this year will be Rachel Goode’s first time at Eurosong.
Rachel was approached by Swedish songwriters Joakim Övrenius, Thomas Karlsson, Johan Mauritzson and Anna Engh just before Christmas to enter the contest with a song they had written, called ‘I’m Loving Me’. They found Rachel through Instagram, where she regularly posts snippets of herself singing and felt that her voice was perfect for their song.
Described by Rachel as an “80’s bop”, the song is a change from her opera and country roots. She stated that what drew her to it is that “it has that very European style”.
“When I think back to what Ireland had previous, I think this song is quite different. So, part of me thinks that maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s what they need.”
While ‘I’m Loving Me’ is a side-step from her focus on country and folk music, Rachel feels just as comfortable singing pop, as she regularly performs a multitude of genres on stage.
Rachel cites the pandemic as what made her slow down and think about the type of music she wanted to make. “Last year I released my first single in country music, so I’m delving into that world now, that’s the kind of route I want to go down,” she said.
Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in music from the Dublin Institute of Technology and a masters in opera performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She will also be appearing on the upcoming series of Glór Tíre on TG4.
The pandemic is unfortunately preventing the Eurosong acts from having backing dancers this year, but Rachel believes that her song will be a real show. Anxious to do her song writers proud, Rachel said that she feels “very lucky to be in with a chance to represent Ireland”.
Brendan and Rachel will face competition from Janet Grogan from Dublin, Brooke Scullion from Derry, Patrick O’Sullivan from Cork, and Miles Graham from Dublin. This will be the first time since 2015 that Ireland will choose its entry via a national final.
Each song made its debut on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 this week. The six entries were chosen from hundreds of submissions received by RTÉ following a callout last September.