Back in May she revealed that she has an invite to sing for Ireland at Eurovision 2021 — but only if she comes up with a killer song. Now, fresh from lockdowns in New York and Dublin, Ireland’s Lesley Roy is doing everything she can to write that song and propel herself to the Eurovision stage in Rotterdam.
Lesley, who recently wowed us with her summer single “Gold”, is dancing through the streets of Stockholm meeting with the good and the great of pop music. Among the many talents we’ve spotted her with on social media is Erik Dahlqvist, who you’ll know as a co-writer of Dotter’s Melodifestivalen 2020 runner-up “Bulletproof” — one of the most beloved songs of the entire Eurovision season.
So Lesley, have you written your ESC 2021 song yet?
“I am working my behind off!” she tells Wiwibloggs in between sessions in the Swedish capital. “I’m a complete perfectionist when it comes to songwriting. When I have it and the team is waving flags in the air and we have a green light I will make sure that everyone knows we have it. Right now I am just in work mode. I am digging down deep to find it.”
She’s also met with Niklas Jarl, who wrote Jedward’s Eurovision 2012 song “Waterline” alongside Sharon Vaughn. Lesley clearly enjoyed the toys on offer, as you can see in the Insta snap of her with an iconic Abba star guitar above. Haaay, Saltsjö-Boo!
Eurovision fans have been quick to celebrate her recent Zoom session with two Eurovision 2017 participants — Norway’s JOWST (“Grab the Moment”) and Finland’s Lasse Piirainen (“Blackbird”).
— lesley roy (@lesleyroyreal) September 1, 2020
Her ongoing Eurovision journey reunited her with old friends and helped her pick up some new ones.
“Some of the folks I definitely knew from the Eurovision world. I follow all of the writers and producers in regular pop music as well as in Eurovision land, so I knew some of them — some I met a long time ago and worked with when I was in Stockholm before like Niklas Yarl, who actually wrote “Waterline”.
“I reached out to a bunch of people, and a bunch of people reached out to me over the past few months and that’s how a lot of these collaborations have happened. There’s even more Eurovision writers and producers that I’ve scheduled for the next few weeks.”
If you follow Lesley on Instagram, you’ll know she played lockdown by the book — following all the rules as not to jeopardise her own health or anyone else’s. So how sweet is her release from self-isolation?
“It’s so nice to be out in the world. I kind of did the lockdown very heavily in New York. So like most people I experienced what it’s like to be really locked up for the first time in my life. And then I did the quarantine in Dublin where, again, I was very careful not to leave a section of the house that I had set up in my sister’s place in Dublin so that I could come to Sweden. Obviously Sweden has taken things differently than a lot of European countries, and I respect each country’s way of doing things.”
With freedom comes renewed energy and a jolt of creative juices. They are flowing through our girl!
“It’s really nice to be back in the studio. It’s great to be back writing. It’s great to put together all of the ideas that I’ve had circling in my head for the past few months. My desire to want to continue — or start, because it never really happened — this whole Eurovision journey is there. It’s been great to be in the studio, back with so many writers and producers. It’s lovely to be back out in the world again.”
Things are on the up. But Lesley, a woman who has lived many lives in many cities from Dublin to New York to Nashville, isn’t rushing to any conclusions or projecting the future. For now it’s a case of staying focused and putting one note after the other.
“I’m trying my best and am putting my best foot forward to try and write this song and bring what I can back to Dublin. Myself, the delegation and the team will take it from there.”
“Even if a great song happens, I am very aware that the world is a different place in 2020. I would imagine there are chances this might not even happen next year, not just for me as an artist, but for everybody. With Covid we don’t know the way the world is going. All I can do is write a great song and take it from there like I have been doing.”
Are you as excited to hear about Lesley’s progress as we are? What do you think the next chapter in the story of her life will bring? And do you have any guesses about which collab will generate the song? Shout out your answers down below!