The BBC have provided the goods. On Monday evening, UK commentator Graham Norton appeared on BBC One to announce that the UK’s Eurovision 2021 song is coming. The BBC’s official Eurovision account followed up on that on social media, sharing a muted snippet of James Newman’s music video. It looks current and edgy — and fans are loving it.
They also revealed that the song will drop at 09:30 GMT on Thursday. It will premiere during the wildly popular Ken Bruce show on BBC Radio 2, as well as on the more youth-orientated BBC Radio 1.
This simultaneous reveal was done for the first time last year and it shouldn’t be sniffed at. A Eurovision premiere on Radio 1 suggests the team is looking to attract younger listeners to the world of Eurovision, as the station is aimed at 18-30 year olds.
?THURSDAY – 11/03/21?
— BBC Eurovision?? (@bbceurovision) March 8, 2021
James Newman’s Eurovision 2021 video tease
The clip released today fits with the promise James gave us that he was bringing “a banger” to the contest in 2021. It includes modern visuals at night with red and purple lighting. James emerges from a tunnel and into a party scene, where people are dancing among cars. There’s even a couple making out, suggesting the song could have a sensual edge.
At the beginning we see a speeding car buzzing down a winding road. The car is a vintage Porsche, which looks stealth and lavish in-situ. Does the car fit with one of the many rumours we’ve heard in recent weeks? You may remember that one rumoured song title was “Fast Car”. Last week a page was uploaded to music site Genius (used by Spotify) with a James Newman song, which was quickly taken down. If there’s any connection, we’ll see on Thursday.
Despite the silence on the clip, we do get a hint of what is to come musically. We can see a trumpet, trombone and saxophone player all lined up and swaying, which may well fit into the bop James has said he’s bringing. British music icons Rudimental, whose sound is heavily influenced by mixing modern drum and bass beats with brass, have worked with James before.
These elements come together on “Waiting All Night” — one of the best tracks James has written. The song was a huge success, with over 220 million hits on Youtube, and nearly a million ‘likes’ on the platform. If his Eurovision song is anything like this, it would stand out. This is despite the fact we have several up-tempo tracks already this year. Could we see something from James which is more true to the powerhouse British music industry in 2021?
How was James Newman selected?
James Newman was due to represent the UK at Eurovision in 2020 before the event’s cancellation. As we know, the show didn’t go on, but James remained openly hopeful he’d be asked back.
James was initially chosen via a collaboration between the BBC and his record label BMG UK. This was a new partnership after national selection Eurovision: You Decide failed to generate results. Time will tell how successful the new method will be, but fans are already very optimistic.