Ryan O Shaughnessy Ireland Eurovision 2018 Together

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.

The 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.

Staging

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.

FOLLOW ALL OF OUR IRELAND EUROVISION 2018 NEWS.

70 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago

I am not making any pre-judgements about the song, or its chances – but Ryan has not gotten off to a good start. Talking about “honesty” and “true songs”, and then bringing that old chestnut about “political voting”. It’s clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about – maybe he’ll learn, but please, keep your mouth closed until then.

R
R
3 years ago

I really hate the negativity already showing towards this entry without even hearing the song or considering Ryan’s previous songs! Ryan is quite an accomplished artist in comparison to some of our previous acts in recent years (Brendan last year had some success with a band; however he doesn’t stand out as a solo performer). Ryan is only 25 years old, he has a degree in music, he’s set up his own independent record label, he’s used to performing for large audiences, he plays 3 instruments (not just guitar), his album is very well written and he sings very well… Read more »

Ron
Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  R

Yes indeed, I’d rate Ryan well ahead of Nicky Byrne and Brendan Murray. Both of those were ex-boyband members with no solo careers to speak of and virtually zero solo performing experience. Ryan is a full time singer / songwriter with his own recording studio and has been gigging for the last six years, with many TV appearances. He is currently touring the US and playing to sold out venues every night.

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Well…let’s not embellish. He’s touring with an Irish dance show called “Dublin Irish Dance”, in which he is part of a large ensemble, a featured vocalist. I don’t wish to undermine this achievement, but it’s not like he’s selling out under his own name (as you imply).

Andrew
Andrew
3 years ago

I just watched Cyprus 2015 I forgot all about it his staging is amazing, just beautiful wish Ireland would do something like this.

CyxCy
CyxCy
3 years ago

I find staggering the attitude of people who judge even before hearing the song. Wait until the song is published, listen to it and only after judge if it’s good or bad.

As an individual, I have nothing against ballads, Irish or not. The ballads have made the power of artists like The Corrs, and that’s what contributes to the musical influence of your country. Don’t be ashamed, put it forward and be proud!

As for this young artist, I didn’t know him before, and I only ask to be convinced.

Oisín T
3 years ago

To be honest, I’m trying to be optimistic about this, but it’s difficult. We’ll probably end up sending an 80s boyband number.

Cathal
Cathal
3 years ago
Reply to  Oisín T

“Probably have an 80’s boyband Number” how so? The writing team have only been writing songs since 2012 at the longest, completely different to last year which was written by a man who used to write the West life songs…Ignorance again…

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
3 years ago

I know you all seem disapointed. But I for one am looking very much forward for this. At least I like his honest and truthful approach. Let’s see what it brings us. And as for fun… Hey, don’t worry, guys, we will have plenty of dance-bang entries! I am sure Eastern Europe, the Eeastern Mediterrenean or Sweden will not disapoint us on that.

Finiay
Finiay
3 years ago

We cannot say for certain until we hear the song but you can’t help but feel this is another wasted oppertunity!
We have some grear talent here in Ireland with the potential to deliver something individual yet contempary….. check out Róisin Ó ‘warns me of silence’…. this is the kind of thing we should be sending, a talented up and coming artist with the potential to stand out!
Considering our recent jury votes, with high points for blanche/loic nottet/aminata… you would think Róisin Ó is more in line with the route RTE should go down

Geo
Geo
3 years ago

Another boring ballad from Ireland = this country doesn’t want to qualify. In 2011 Jedward were pathetic, but at least they had an uptempo song, it was entertaining, fun to watch, of course their qualification was deserved (same in 2012, although their song was weaker than Lipstick).

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Didn’t Dying to try have a gospel bit towards the end ? At least on the studio version…

I don’t how gospel you can make something sound gospel with 6 people…

Colin
Colin
3 years ago

Why are ESC fans complaining so much about ballads? Whenever someone announces a ballad, everybody has a tantrum. However, nobody seems to remember how you all went gaga over Kristian’s ballad last year, how consensus was that Lucie’s ballad was the best thing for Britain in years and how last two winners were, even if not ballads in a narrow way, still of slow tempo. So please guys, before you hear the song, restrain from bashing (or praising it). We can all have expectations, but don’t form them as statements.

Adam
Adam
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin

People just want to be aholes on here because they think it makes them look edgy and cool. It’s annoying and anyone (eg, over half the commenters ive seen) who behaves so reactionary and emotional because of song genre announcements needs to lighten up and stop their poor attitudes

ax
ax
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin

CORRECTION: No one went gaga for the bulgarian rat. Only russians and bulgarians did.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin

Well, I’m not complaining. 🙂

Nickc
Nickc
3 years ago

I think the gospel feel part sounds promising. It can really help them to stand out from the rest of the ballads. It is a risk worth taking!

beccaboo1212
3 years ago

Hopefully people don’t complain too much about “Together” once it’s released. Nevertheless, I’ll ALWAYS love ballads at Eurovision, and the junior counterpart! 🙂

Jo
Jo
3 years ago

I smell drama.

Jo
Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jo

I have to say that you people just can’t stop crying. Let’s wait for the song.

Hada
Hada
3 years ago

That description sounds very Shawn Mendes with “Mercy”. We have to se if it’s gonna be a good Shawn Mendes-inspired song or a bad Shawn Mendes copy.

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Ironically up tempo fun songs is what gave Ireland it’s latest top 10 in 2011. Why not try that instead of keeping it basic and simple? Don’t underestimate fun and show aspect of ESC!

Ron
Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  Denis

Two of Ireland’s recent non qualifiers (Heartbeat and Sunlight) were uptempo, so it’s no guarantee of success or even getting out of the semi.

Marcelo
Marcelo
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Nicky Byrne’s vocals live on “Sunlight” were one of the worst in Stockholm. I guess you also need a good vocalist to get points from juries even if your song is great, plus uptempo songs usually have good vocalists.

DyGh
DyGh
3 years ago
Reply to  Denis

That was 7 years ago, welcome in 2018

Jim
Jim
3 years ago

We are very excited for this song it’ ll definitely qualify and possibly win
-No one ever

Yek
Yek
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Says the person without even listen to the song yet

Con
Con
3 years ago

Best of luck, Ryan. I’m sure you’ll do us proud in Lisbon!

ninasublatti
ninasublatti
3 years ago

Thank god we have saara aalto and mikolas this year who will for sure bring a SHOW
i’m getting so tired of these boring acts wanting to keep their staging simple

Darius
Darius
3 years ago
Reply to  ninasublatti

I so agree with you, Robin! Uptempo songs always do great and qualify, see Sunstroke Project, Robin Bengtsson, IMRI, Ilinca & Alex Florea, JOWST, Sergey Lazarev, Samra, Poli Genova, Ira Losco, Justs, Donny Montell, Laura Tesoro, Amir, Monika Linkyt? & Vaidas Baumila, Nadav Guedj, Mans, Maraaya, Andras Kallay-Saunders, Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd, Paula Seling & Ovi, Loreen, Mandinga, Jedward and many, many more….

BigSyd
BigSyd
3 years ago

Not jumping to conclusions here, but I’ve always been interested in what a modern Irish contest would look like. The 3arena is of course the only possible venue choice on the island, and whilst it fits about 13,000, I’ve tried to look up footage and I can’t help but think it looks kinda cramped. The closest idea is the Cheerios Children’s concert they used to have, but the camera angles look so tight. Would Eurovision fit in the building?

Yossarian
Yossarian
3 years ago
Reply to  BigSyd

In which case, the pyrotechnics would have to be banned – you don’t want fire in a barn. Would it even still be Eurovision? 😀

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago
Reply to  BigSyd

Not quite true when you say that the 3Arena is the only suitable venue on the island – Belfast’s Odyssey Arena would do just as well, if not better. Of course that could mean a co-production with BBC Northern Ireland, but perhaps RTÉ would go for that in a bid to cover costs, under the guise of “unity” and “building bridges”.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  BigSyd

That “barn” hosted one of the best contests of the ’90s! Sonia, man.

Craig
Craig
3 years ago

The sooner an upbeat song wins ESC again and we can all move on from this simplicity and back to basics nonsense and have a bit of fun, the happier I’ll be!

Yossarian
Yossarian
3 years ago
Reply to  Craig

Simplicity is nothing new. Ballads/slow songs with minimalistic staging have been sent before (Belgium 2010, Estonia 2012, Italy 2013, to name a few that did well) and will be sent again.
This said, I’m all for balance. 🙂

Marcelo
Marcelo
3 years ago

Ireland needs to find a song like “Suile Glasa” (Ireland JESC 2017). An amazing song that was massively overrated in Tbilisi. Usually their songs in Irish are much better, I wonder why they don’t give ir a try.

Marcelo
Marcelo
3 years ago
Reply to  Marcelo

Underrated*

Joe
Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  Marcelo

They only submitted a song in Irish once and it (undeservedly) finished near the bottom. It’d be nice if they did again though. Could give them a unique edge.

Marcelo
Marcelo
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe

It’s worth giving a try, I mean four non-qualifications in a row, it’s a pretty bad record. And considering Ireland’s amazing Eurovision history it’s even worse. Plus, people are very into non-English songs. I hope RTE or TG4 consider it.

DarkpassionPlay
DarkpassionPlay
3 years ago

Ireland is a sleeping Eurovision giant , they are like Brazil in football , they just need to wake up!

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

That’s what I like to hear! We need that kind of optimism!

Marcelo
Marcelo
3 years ago

It’s worth giving a try, I mean four non-qualifications in a row, it’s a pretty bad record. And considering Ireland’s amazing Eurovision history it’s even worse. Plus, people are very into non-English songs. I hope RTE or TG4 consider it.

Marcelo
Marcelo
3 years ago
Reply to  Marcelo

Sorry wrong thread.

James
James
3 years ago

I’m cautiously optimistic about this entry from Ireland. On the one hand, ballads has always been Ireland’s best asset if done right. On the other hand, a “made for ESC” type of song equates to a rather safe cookie cutter that has plagued many participating countries.

Have seen Ryan’s videos on Youtube recently though and knowing how he’s involved in the creative process, I have hope that they could turn things around and end Ireland’s non-qualification streak this year.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

That’s exactly how they described Trying to Die, I can’t even.

Cathal
Cathal
3 years ago

It isn’t you just want to believe they are the same thing, grow up.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

You’ve been a bit mean to the different entries as of late. Maybe give them a chance to be released, grow on you, give them a chance?

MonEquipe
MonEquipe
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe

but doing so would clash with his oh so sassy comments and clapbacks! How else is he supposed to show that hes ‘funny’ and knows how to use modern english slang if he cant be mean?

beccaboo1212
3 years ago

The actual title of last year’s Irish entry is “Dying to Try”. :/

Joe
Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

I think it was a joke. Stupid one, but a joke.

James
James
3 years ago

You don’t seem to like a lot of songs these past few months, do you? And you still wonder why foreigners like Italian songs.

Sorri
Sorri
3 years ago

This doesn’t sound good to me..Power ballad…with gospel..that’s why my friends don’t watch ESC…

Ron
Ron
3 years ago

I suspect the song will still sound very acoustic despite Ryan’s description of it as a ‘power ballad’. Nearly everything he records has a simple enough arrangement with acoustic guitar mainly and some piano. I would expect it to sound fairly similar to his earlier well known songs like No Name and First Kiss.

R
R
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Actually many of his recent songs have more jazz elements! No Name and First Kiss were wrote when he was 18/19 years old, his sound and writing style has evolved since then being 25 now! It’ll be interesting to hear this song, he did a beautiful piano interlude on his recent album… I’d prefer something played with a piano rather than guitar if I’m honest! Also looking back on the comments made when the Irish panel were choosing the song, one of the two top marked songs was stated to “require an orchestra” I could imagine this being the song… Read more »

David S
David S
3 years ago

This is begining to sound promising. Sounds like RTE may have focussed on the song this time by getting Ryan (who is a good songwriter) to co-write and then step in to perform it once the Heathers turned it down. I’m sure if the Heathers song had been better than this, they would be going to Lisbon but it wasn’t so Ryan stepped up. I’m also encouraged by his awareness to avoid Irelands fatal flaw of following trends, badly

Ron
Ron
3 years ago
Reply to  David S

Eoghan McDermott, who has heard the ten final songs, says he thought Ryan’s was the best one of the lot and it deserves the ticket to Lisbon. Seems the Heathers song may have divided people a little.

Rick Narcoisian
3 years ago

Ryan is so talented, can’t wait to hear it. Its going to be a tom dice style song from the sounds of it.

Luc
Luc
3 years ago

Uggh I’m not liking the fact that a lot of countries are following Sobral’s footsteps… Well surprise surprise! The country that will do the opposite this year is the winner of Esc 2018. My feelings lean towards Sweden or Bulgaria winning this year.

James
James
3 years ago
Reply to  Luc

The article clearly says that Ryan’s not following any trends.

loci
loci
3 years ago
Reply to  Luc

Dont kid yourself. An uptempo song will win. The winner will be Italy or Finland for sure. Italy has been trying super hard the past few years and they’re more hungry than ever. Italy KNOWS they gotta send something different to stand out. Sara will be the new Sergey and reach top 3. My bets: italy, Sweden or Finland.

loci
loci
3 years ago
Reply to  loci

If the guy from czech republic manages to bring a Camel on stage, i firmly believe that he can be a potential winner 100% too.

Con
Con
3 years ago
Reply to  loci

Unfortunately he can’t as animals are banned from the Eurovision stage. Belarus 2016 is the perfect example of this.

escescesc
escescesc
3 years ago
Reply to  loci

wow a soothsayer with certainties without listening to the songs !!! lol more and more pathetic, italy will win as the last year certainly because italy KNOWS, and finland will be lazarev and in top 3 , it’s so laughable to read this, , LOCI the most pretentious person I have read here!

Cathal
Cathal
3 years ago
Reply to  Luc

Yes because Ed Sheeren is in the footsteps of Portugal 2017 (also if you care to read the interview you’ll see it’s a power ballad that is uplifting which is clearly different to Portugal 2017).

Cathal
Cathal
3 years ago

Sure it doesn’t matter, it hasn’t even been released and has already failed to qualify. That’s of course logic…. I really wish some people on here bashing would listen and realise just how stupid they sound.

Liam Holton
Liam Holton
3 years ago

He’s probably referring to haters and trolls on social media

Con
Con
3 years ago
Reply to  Liam Holton

And about the other articles about Ryan too.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  Con

Yeah, it’s been very bitter in the initial post about his being selected. We haven’t even heard the damn song yet!