Following the Twitter leak, many of you already suspected that Molly Smitten-Downes would be singing at Eurovision. Tonight the BBC finally (and officially) confirmed that the unknown singer will represent the United Kingdom in Copenhagen. Producers selected her using the Beeb’s famed Introducing department, which has brought us runaway successes like Ed Sheeran. We now know she’ll be singing a song called “Children of the Universe”. But what else do we know about Molly?
Well, not a great deal. She studied at Leicester College, as well as in Guilford at the Academy of Contemporary Music, which spawned talents like Newton Faulkner and Amelle Berrabah from the Sugababes (one incarnation of the band anyway). She hit it big for the first time all the way back in 2005 when she met David Valler to form the group Stunt. Stunt signed quickly to AATW, the label behind N-Dubz.
Together, they used Molly’s self-penned “Raindrops”, which was dubbed over German DJ Sash!’s “Encore Une Fois”. They released “Raindrops” with Ministry of Sound Records. In 2006 Ultra Records in the US picked it up, but the song never reached the top of the charts.
Two years later a remixed and reworked version of the song was released on Hard2Beat records as a download-only single. It soard to UK Number #9, marking Molly’s biggest success to date.
Smitten-Downes has also, along with the rest of STUNT, worked on tracks with artists like Basshunter, a two or three hit wonder from Sweden. Remember “Now You’re Gone”? Er, me neither. Anyway, he was signed to Hard2Beat at the same time as STUNT, and the two collaborated on “I Will Learn To Love Again” from his 2009 album, Bass Generation.
Since then Smitten-Downes has been making music away from the spotlight. She has been recognised on the independent circuit, receiving an award for ‘Best Song’ at The Best of British Unsigned Music Awards with her song ‘Lost Generation’ in 2013. She has also received some airtime from BBC Radio, through the Introducing programme, for her song “Strange Alien”.
It seems at first inspection that Molly is indeed a “perpetually upcoming” artist. That is to say, she has been on the fringes of the music scene for the best part of eight years, but has never really hit the big time. With Eurovision on the horizon, perhaps this is what the United Kingdom needs. With artists like Blue, Bonnie and Englebert, the BBC expected success despite the obvious point that their assumptions on the popularity of these acts were horrifically out of date. However, picking an unknown but well-experienced artist, who at just 26 still has the spritely spirit of youth behind her could prove incredibly well considered.
We’ve had several unknown females win Eurovision of late. Lena, Loreen, Emmelie de Forest. Marija Serifovic, Helena Paparizou and even Sertab Erener. This formula has worked in the past. With a strong enough performance, I am of no doubt that it could work for the UK.
- Eurovision Song Contest 2014: Leicestershire’s Molly Smitten-Downes set to represent UK (Leicester Mercury)
- Molly Smitten-Downes Official Facebook Page
- Molly Smitten-Downes Official Web Site (officialmolly.com)
Chris Wood contributed this report from the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @crwexe. You can also keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.