On Wednesday afternoon, he officially became Ireland’s representative for Eurovision 2018. And in the hours since, Ryan O’Shaughnessy has given interviews to both RTÉ Radio One’s The Ray D’arcy Show and The Irish Times, shedding some light on his entry “Together” and the story behind its selection.
He tells the Times that “Together” was selected a month ago. But, he himself was only confirmed as the performer more recently.
There are usually a number of performers, but because I sang on the demo, it would be hard to listen to someone else performing it.
This adds weight to the reports that pop-folk duo Heathers were RTÉ’s first choice. Apparently, they were unwilling to sing a song they hadn’t written themselves.
“Together” — a power ballad with a gospel feel
Speaking to Ray D’arcy, the Dublin singer echoes his previously stated desire to evoke the old-school feel of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, Ireland’s Eurovision 1994 winner.
I’m a huge fan of oldies. And a song that really stood out for me in the past was “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, it’s one of my favourite songs to this day. So I’m kinda trying to bring it back to how the Eurovision used to be, when songs were, had a bit of meaning behind them and a bit of truth.
The song itself is built around the tag “we said we’d be together ‘till we die”. He describes it as “kind of a power ballad”.
His newspaper interview provides more insight.
It’s got a bit of a gospel feel to it. It’s an uplifting song. It’s got a good structure to it. It is something that we haven’t done in the last couple of years. “Rock and Roll Kids”, was an honest song. I feel the honesty in Together will be its best attribute.
And while the description could match any number of songs from current male solo artists, Ryan insists he’s not just following the trends.
Our problem has been following trends in the past and getting on the gimmick train.
With the exception of Jedward’s tour de force in 2011, Ireland’s recent staging efforts have invariably been greeted with derision. And while he says nothing has been decided yet on the staging front, it would seem that Ryan plans to keep things simple.
The Eurovision has come full circle. People are starting to actually listening to the song and judge the performance more than the theatrics.
Will Ireland win Eurovision 2018?
On his chances of winning, Ryan was very much managing expectations.
It’s a tough competition, and I do think that a lot of politics might come into play within the voting system. All we can do is give it our best shot. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
Ireland’s Head of Delegation Michael Kealy was also present for the radio feature. He insisted that should Ireland win, RTÉ would organise a contest within its means. The broadcaster would seek to follow Portugal’s lead, cutting out elements such as LED walls and floors.
When asked about a release date for “Together”, the man who has overseen six previous Irish bids (2008, 2013-2017) admitted that one has yet to be set. He is due to meet the producer on Thursday, and should have a better idea afterwards.
What do you think? Are you excited to hear “Together”? Let us know in the comments below.