In the final days before what would have been the grand final of Eurovision 2020, I warmed up my Skype connection and zoomed in on Ireland’s Lesley Roy. The “Story of My Life” singer was ready to reveal as she sat in her familiar apartment discussing everything from songwriting to her hopes for Eurovision 2021. I use the word “familiar” because her sitting room has been seen in everything from the Eurovision Home Concert to the Wiwi Jam of late. “I’ve been trying to be a bit of light, a bit of hope for people, or even a bit of fun, during this time,” she says. “I think that’s what’s great about art and music — when we are going through such hell, we can listen to a song and at least get three minutes of hope.”
If you drew a line from Stockholm to Nashville to Los Angeles via New York and Dublin, you’d be retracing the many movements of Lesley. In our 40-minute interview, she discusses her various lives and various homes, including the differences in songwriting and production in the cities where she’s worked. Along the way we discuss Swedish producer Max Martin, her collab with Katy Perry and, of course, the possibility that she might sing at Eurovision 2021 for Ireland.
Will Ireland confirm Lesley Roy for Eurovision 2021?
Naturally we had to ask: Would Lesley accept an offer to sing at Eurovision 2021 if Irish broadcaster RTE invited her? Well it looks like it’s in the works — albeit with a major caveat.
“I’ve had a couple of great conversations with Michael Kealy at RTE, our head of delegation, and to quote him so I’m not getting in trouble: He believes it would be national justice for me to come back next year since I didn’t get the shot this year.”
“However, we both feel that the song needs to be there. It has to be as big if not even better now than ‘Story of My Life’ to carry that much over and for it to be fair and equal and right as far as an international selection goes. I will do my best. I’ll get straight into the studio as soon as the travel bans are over and I’ll start working on what that would look and sound like as quickly as possible.”
And where is that studio?
“Sweden. We’re going to go to Stockholm. Just to start. Obviously we’ll check in with Dublin, we’ll check in with the ‘Story of My Life’ guys in Nashville. But I’ve already been talking to some Swedes who have had some success this year, so I’ll be seeing them very, very soon.”
Eurovision 2020 staging concept
Lesley also spoke to us about her ideas for staging. As our readers will remember, she planned to work with This Is Pop Baby. Self-professed “theatre makers, club creatives and good time gurls”, ThisIsPopBaby are behind some of Dublin’s most outlandish stage productions of recent times. Their shows include Alice In Funderland — “a colourful tale of camp magic, mischief and machinations in an acid-trip Dublin” and the award-winning Riot. The latter starred Ireland’s most famous drag queen Panti Bliss and Britain’s Got Talent 2017 semi-finalists Lords Of Strut.
“They were actually filming some of the light work the day of the cancellation,” Lesley tells me. “They were far along on what that was going to be. It was gong to be spectacular. The fact that RTE had hired [creative director Philly McMahon] and were handing over a lot of the creative direction to someone new for Ireland, it really helped the hype of the song. I hope that both of us will be able to carry some of that over for next year.”
More recently, Lesley teased some of her team’s inspiration on Instagram. She wrote: “Excited to share a TINY sneak at the footage shot working towards @thisispopbaby and @algorithm.ie staging for the Eurovision 2020. They shot crystals, ice and semi precious metals to make high fashion textures! Fingers crossed we get to work together next year on a new piece!”
Are you excited by everything that Lesley has teased? Do you think she’ll slay even harder with a Swedish collab? Let us know down below!
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“High fashion texture!” Ireland’s #Eurovision 2020 singer @lesroy has teased some of the visuals we would have seen in Rotterdam. Along with @thisispopbaby and @algorithm.ie, she was celebrating so many colours “shot in crystals, ice and semi precious metals”. All natural, all unique — just like all of you! ?? #eurovision2020 #eurovisionsongcontest