In February, the BBC finally revealed that James Newman would be representing the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2021. And now, the British singer has released “Embers”, his entry for this year’s contest in Rotterdam.

The official reveal of the song was first made on BBC Radio 2, where it was played by presenter Ken Bruce after he spoke with James himself. The music video is set to premiere at 11:20 GMT.

James Newman – “Embers” (Eurovision 2021 – United Kingdom)

James Newman returns to Eurovision after he was due to represent the UK in Rotterdam last year with his romantic track “My Last Breath“. However, as we know Eurovision 2020 was not to be.

For 2021, James has taken a different approach and delivered what some fans have described as “an absolute bop”. “Embers” is a more upbeat number, reminiscent of many of the pop-dance tracks that get regular airplay on UK radio stations – comparisons have particularly been drawn to songs by British DJ Sigala.

All in all, it seems that James will be aiming to bring the party to Rotterdam.

From “My Last Breath” to “Embers”

The change in tone from “My Last Breath” to “Embers” was perhaps to be expected for quite a long time now.

During a Twitter Q&A session in May last year, Twitter user @curtyleex asked James what type of song he’d bring if he was selected again for Eurovision 2021. James replied “I’d defo come back with a big banger!”.

James also has an extraordinary history of writing chart-smashing bops for huge artists. This includes “Waiting All Night” by Rudimental ft Ella Eyre and “Blame” by Calvin Harris and his brother John. He’s also written for Little Mix, and ex-One Direction alum Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson.

Fans of James (also known as Divers) were very excited when he confirmed this change. He told BBC News in February that he “wanted something people can dance to, even if it’s just in their kitchen”. He feels “like everyone wants a party and to have some fun”. And that is certainly the case!

We can’t wait to dance along to “Embers” come May, and are excited to see what the UK can do this time around at the contest.

What do you think of “Embers”? Will you be giving James Newman and the UK ‘douze points’ in May? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Read more UK Eurovision news here

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Salv Lomanto
Salv Lomanto
6 months ago

When are the UK gonna realise that they won’t get anywhere with this type of music. I don’t think it will get anywhere in Eurovision. Why don’t they go to someone like Gary Barlow who writes top songs and get him to write next year’s one. It’s not an anthem. Katrina was an anthem song. This song will be forgotten by the end of the year. Not got my vote. Nil points for me.

Adam Simpson
Adam Simpson
7 months ago

This is a great direction for the UK, this is something you would hear in our charts. Great staging could elevate this song massively.

I can’t help think that if songs were allowed a little more time and this was spaced out musically then this would be so much better. The song feels squashed/rushed going from verse to bridge to chorus.

Overall though it’s much better then ‘My Last Breath’ and I can’t remember the last time the UK sent a bop to Eurovision so I am excited to see how it does.

canada_piano
canada_piano
7 months ago

im really glad that james had the motivation to go again this year after that tragic lorraine kelly interview last year…

she said that james would never win, because the contest is too political

Ohi
Ohi
7 months ago

I quite like it. It’s pretty sticky but I do agree that something about the production layering feels ever so slightly sparse. In all after a few spins it’s doing it for me and I don’t always say that about the UK song. It’s in my top 10

Last edited 7 months ago by Ohi
Brit-bit
Brit-bit
7 months ago

This song is so much better then the last year! If he will deliver this song with amazingly live vocals I can see it even in top 10!

Ffs
Ffs
7 months ago

Not bad . Not “wow” either.

Chris
Chris
7 months ago

For UK this is definitely a step in the right direction. How it will finally do in the scoreboard is a different story!

Bdzhilka
Bdzhilka
7 months ago

For me, the song is ok. Nothing against the UK or the singer. It’s just the song is pretty boring. I’ve listened for a minute and that was it for me.

Campbell Grace
Campbell Grace
7 months ago

The salty hatred towards the UK is something else whew. Locals be complaining UK don’t send anything “decent” or “uptempo” and they tick both the boxes and the gays be still crying that it’s “middle of the road” and “bad”.

Anyways I think this is a great start and I can see it doing well, especially with the decent staging directors they’ve hired for this year. As long as he can ooze charisma and confidence, this should do well and hit top 15.

mark dowd
mark dowd
7 months ago
Reply to  Campbell Grace

attributing negative song reactions to a generalised class of people all based solely on their sexual orientation? In this day and age?

astro
astro
7 months ago
Reply to  Campbell Grace

‘The salty hatred towards the UK is something else whew.’ Yeah true. ‘Locals be complaining UK don’t send anything “decent” or “uptempo”… Yeah that’s true, it does sorta suck. ‘…and the gays still be crying that its “middle of the road” and “bad”.’ Yeah that does sorta suck, I really wish people would just appreciate- wait, what? The gays???? Hello? What on earth ??

TobyJay
TobyJay
7 months ago

In Eurovision it’s rare you get the position you aim for on the leaderboard, every country obviously aims and wants to finish first… except the UK, I feel like we aim for not last, and when we don’t hit that the only place to finish is last, there isn’t enough ambition, San Marino probably spent more money on production, we sent a music writer to Eurovision, Bulgaria sent their best young talent. I get were snobby and think we r too good for Eurovision, and I would accept that if we actually did well with these people, I like it,… Read more »

SallySasser
SallySasser
7 months ago

Not a bad effort. There were a couple of times he sounded uncomfortable with a note, as in, ‘I can sing it, but I’ve got to concentrate on the effort’. A lesson or two with a vocal coach and some practice or a slight revamp would fix that, though.

Monika
Monika
7 months ago

His song for this year is at least up-tempo, but not my cup of tea. He should instead lose some weight, if he wants to appeal to the public. Great voice, though…

pooky1001
pooky1001
7 months ago
Reply to  Monika

Wow, really!!! Your body shaming someone on a blog about a song contest, how rude!!!!!

Last edited 7 months ago by pooky1001
poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
7 months ago
Reply to  Monika

What the hell is wrong with you? This isn’t even the first time I’ve seen you make a negative comment about a performer’s weight.

ANDREW BROWN
ANDREW BROWN
7 months ago
Reply to  Monika

Chiara from Malta never had a problem with her size! Just two out of three good songs and a good voice

GrantK
GrantK
7 months ago
Reply to  Monika

You disgusting nasty piece of work! I’m sure your no oil painting love! His weight has naff all to do with anything, what a vile cretin you are.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
7 months ago
Reply to  Monika

If only The Mamas also won so we would eventually have James, Destiny the swedish ladies, and Aksel if had he won UMK, so that people like you get pissed off. They are normally people of the community you can’t place them out because they do not have the Victoria’s secrets’ bodytype like Stefania or Elena Tsagrinou. That’s really rude by you and you should apologise

Luke A
Luke A
7 months ago

This is a good start for a British revival in my opinion, next year BBC should send Flur East as she wants to do it, then keep building momentum till they score a big result, but overall proud to say this is my countries entry this year

Melania Trump
Melania Trump
7 months ago

So on scoreboard its 20th and its 20th in odds. Yh UK is getting bottom 7 and the locals will be up in arms about how everything is political

Jo.
Jo.
7 months ago

It’s a good song, I think it will achieve a decent result in the Grand Final.

raspadinha
raspadinha
7 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

If being better than Germany is a good score, then yes.

Kermy
Kermy
7 months ago
Reply to  raspadinha

Not a very high bar this year.

Marc
Marc
7 months ago

Good job UK! This is the best UK entry in years.

Dalth
Dalth
7 months ago

It is not terrible but it is lacking something. Looking at the rest of the songs this is very middle of the pack for me.

Dolly
Dolly
7 months ago

I think the uk should withdraw you are far to big music wise for this competition . Love Malta

Chris
Chris
7 months ago
Reply to  Dolly

Hahaha. How about Sweden, then?

canada_piano
canada_piano
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris

and why not australia and italy too

Héctor
Héctor
7 months ago

It’s a pretty decent effort but I wouldn’t say it is a bop. It lacks energy in my opinion. I don’t see it placing higher than 15th though it’s good to see an actual good song from the UK.

Last edited 7 months ago by Héctor
SallySasser
SallySasser
7 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

The UK would be thrilled to death to finish 15th instead of their customary bottom 3-5.

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago

If James’ mission was to restore the UK’s credibility in Eurovision, he accomplished it. “My Last Breath” was more ambitious, but this is equally radiofriendly and even more representative of what we would find in the UK’s charts. Some say he’s not the guy for this kind of track, but I actually enjoy the contrast that his raspy tone brings to it. With the right staging (ideally, something more spontaneous than mechanic), this may give them the best result in a while.

Ángel NF
Ángel NF
7 months ago

I find it so boring, it sound like background music from a shop like Bershka… not interesting (even tho it’s better than last year’s entry)

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
7 months ago

Seems like the BBC gave in to the pressure from the Eurofans and created a song that they’ll like

gilpgilpgilp
gilpgilpgilp
7 months ago

When will the UK finally send Adele???

AMAAN STORM
AMAAN STORM
7 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilpgilp

Like that will make any difference. People will always find fault and reason somewhere, somehow, as to why they won’t support anything eurovision related from the UK. I’ve read so many of these horrible comments already and it makes no wonder the UK struggle to take things seriously anymore.
It’s okay to say that you don’t like the song that the UK sends, but I’ve seen and read so many insults and sneering, it almost makes me want to see the UK withdraw from the competition entirely.

Nils
Nils
7 months ago
Reply to  AMAAN STORM

c’mon, don’t be sore now. why would anybody have a problem with the uk in general? it’s just that their entries usually are pretty underwhelming – especially considering they still are europe’s biggest powerhouse in terms of music.

also, people on wiwibloggs still remember terry wogan insulting basically every other country there is. don’t you think it’s a bit pathetic to be offended by your results then? especially since spain shares the same fate as uk, but doesn’t complain?

Dolly
Dolly
7 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilpgilp

Adele is far too big for a show with nobody famous in it .

Melania Trump
Melania Trump
7 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilpgilp

Eurovision is a joke in the UK. Noone takes it seriously and its seen as a competition where big names go to crash their career. Adele will never ever compete.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
7 months ago

I liked My last breath and I must say Embers is also good in its own way. Way to go, James! Wishing you a decent result.

Denis
Denis
7 months ago

Well at least it sounds like something that comes from Radio 1 rather than the Radio 2 B-list.
I really don’t see it make that big of an impact but UK should be proud!

Fatima
Fatima
7 months ago

I like it. It needs a big staging idea, though. Something with lights to fit with the lyric.

canada_piano
canada_piano
7 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

they should bring the brass band from the video. that would be a moment

Lemanic
Lemanic
7 months ago

I get Henry VIII vibes from this. Is UK Eurovision entering its own little Tudor period now?

Last edited 7 months ago by Lemanic
raspadinha
raspadinha
7 months ago
Reply to  Lemanic

Lmao, I guess what you’re saying is it sounds a bit dated. Or am I wrong? :p

Sigh
Sigh
7 months ago

Not bad at all, I really like it!

Warren
Warren
7 months ago

I don’t feel hate is incredible. It’s a great light hearted song with a inspiring message.

Emkay
Emkay
7 months ago

This is a decent song, but these kinds of songs will entirely depend on how they get staged. Don’t let me down UK, I’m still rooting for you.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
7 months ago

Not going to lie, this song sounds kind of like what I EXPECTED Vincent Bueno to send this year that he ended up failing to deliver.

Anyway, I’m glad James did it instead, and welcome to my top 10 UK I didn’t see that one coming lol

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
7 months ago

“I don’t feel hate” is nevertheless a catchy, memorable and entertaining number, for me at least. I can’t wait to see where Germany and the UK end up on the leaderboard this year. What do you think?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
7 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Hmmm. Tricky. For the big 5, France and Italy seem to be heading to the top end of the scoreboard, but the other three pretty much will depend on the live versions. Spain has a really good artist this year, but the song might fall flat live. I think Germany and UK could go either way.

Thomas
Thomas
7 months ago

Eurofans: “Why can’t the UK send something you would hear in the UK charts?!”

UK does exactly that

Eurofans: “Omg this is so generic, not unique, not Eurovision friendly”

Well I think it’s a Bop!

Vamplitude
Vamplitude
7 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

They ask for a mainstream song that would be played on British Radio, we deliver. They they say it’s too radio friendly and every other song on the radio sounds like it? Doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t.

Let’s not lie here either, if this was any other country sending this song, it’d be a lot more highly ranked.

GrantK
GrantK
7 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

To be fair most the comments and not just on here either, seem to be more on the positive than the negative side. It’s a good song I think it’s going to need one great staging but a tweet has gone out about that and it sounds promising!

Thomas
Thomas
7 months ago
Reply to  GrantK

Hi Grant,

If you look a lot of the “positive” comments they tend to have a “but…” or “it’s good for UK standard”

I’m not saying it’s the best song In the world but this looks like a pretty mediocre year so far, this is clearly a top 10 song… then as always that actual performance and staging could change everything

Thomas
Thomas
7 months ago
Reply to  GrantK

Also, what tweet do you refer to ? I can’t see anything

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
7 months ago

Yeah ok, pretty good. Better than my effort. 😀
Congrats to James and the team.
P.S. It’s sort of the UK team’s alternative to the Blåsmafian song from the Norway selection (“Let Loose”). Should be fun to do live.

sam
sam
7 months ago

actually pretty good ngl. UK deserves something above 20th and this will do it. finally bringing a modern sounding act.. we love to see it!

Lydia
Lydia
7 months ago

I’m really happy with this song actually. It’s different from what the UK usually send (in a good way for once). I like that they’re being brave enough to send something that isn’t their usual generic “written for Eurovision” song. I just hope the staging does it justice!

Samuel
Samuel
7 months ago

It’s not too bad and it might do okay. It’s better than One Last Breath and I am glad it reflects the current British music scene. I can picture it being blasted out on speakers in pub gardens across the UK once they open this spring!

blueeyed
blueeyed
7 months ago

So generic I even can’t. Last year was better.

Jonas
Jonas
7 months ago

I like it very much. I was dancing without even realizing. A shame there will be no audience, hopefully the other delegations will be enough to help create that party atmosphere – I can see them reacting to this like they reacted to La Venda.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago

I must say I’m surprised. The UK actually is sending a good song for once. And this is really been a surprising Eurovision season. Good luck to James

Nils
Nils
7 months ago

‘my last breath’ was charming and interesting, but this is plain generic. anyway, it’s a better effort than what we’ve become used to from the uk.

Benji
Benji
7 months ago

This song will reach Top 25 in the final, no doubt. San Marino surely wouldn’t consider it good enough to represent them, but UK obviously does.

Colin
Colin
7 months ago

I quite like it! It has a good hook and I like the horns. Good luck to James and to the UK! 🙂
Pleasantly surprised that all of the big five will definitely avoid my bottom ten. It’s not often that happens.

...
...
7 months ago

I like it! It’s not the best song of this year, imo, but is definitely a good song.

Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
7 months ago

I get the comparison with Sigala, but it’s a pretty basic and watered-down version of a Sigala song to be honest. It’s an improvement on last year, but this is by no means a Top 10 finish. Unless staging is top notch.

Pascal Z
Pascal Z
7 months ago

Very catchy, i like it ! With a good staging, it could easily be in top 15

Ifty
Ifty
7 months ago

Meh

Jimmy Smit
7 months ago

I’ve finally been able to figure out my first ranking for 2021… KEiiNO 1. France 2. Switzerland 3. UK 4. Bulgaria (based on the live performance) 5. Ukraine 6. San Marino 7. Netherlands 8. Australia 9. Italy 10. Lithuania 11. Spain 12. Russia 13. Finland 14. Ireland 15. Cyprus 16. Croatia 17. Israel 18. Belgium (the song is good, but I wouldn’t vote for Hooverphonic over Eden) 19. Norway 20. Germany 21. Romania 22. Denmark 23. Moldova 24. Greece 25. Serbia 26. Estonia 27. Czechia 28. Portugal 29. Austria 30. Slovenia 31. Albania DQ – Belarus Not released – Azerbaijan,… Read more »

Nicolas
Nicolas
7 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Why Albania is so underrated for once they have made a great revamp. I think they will qualify like in 2019.

Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  Nicolas

My view of Albania 2021 has been shaped by the NF performance, which I had a lot of issues with. I’ve seen your comment and I’ve now watched the new music video, it’s definitely better – you’re right, the revamp is a great improvement and much more polished, I hope that translates on stage in May.

Edit: Incidentally, I adored Eugent Bushpeppa and still listen to Mall!

Last edited 7 months ago by Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I do wonder if some broadcasters held back stronger entries because they don’t want to (or can’t) host the contest next year, like Denmark not including Ben & Tan’s ‘Iron Heart’.

Nicolas
Nicolas
7 months ago

This could have worked with a live orchestra.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
7 months ago
Reply to  Nicolas

I miss the live orchestra at ESC. I keep writing this on repeat hoping someone important will notice. 😉

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
7 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I’m sure they do notice but there still hasn’t been a year where none of the acts had any sound issues and we only have up to 6 people on stage. I doubt bringing back the orchestra would make everything sound better. I actually think it would sound messier. Even the best symphonic orchestras (almost) always have at least 1 violin and 1 wind instrument out of tune making our ears bleed. San Remo’s orchestra sounded good this year (I haven’t watched the shows, only at least a minute and a half of each entry), but so many acts hadn’t… Read more »

Zander25
Zander25
7 months ago

EBU really needs to change auto final of Big 5 and make them compete in semis but with a huge leading points instead because even the song was fine it seems they are just sending a profitable song but not a competent song for ESC and such a waste of slot seeing they’re on final automatically. Out of 5 seems only Italy spending effort on their music.

Laburnum
Laburnum
7 months ago
Reply to  Zander25

How is that more fair than them having automatic qualification??

Zander25
Zander25
7 months ago
Reply to  Laburnum

if they compete in semis even with a leading points (as incentive of being Big5 for example) it is still possible they are beatable and they might not be in the final. Imagine those countries with better songs fighting in the semis and only 20 are going to be selected but there’s some others that is way better than the Big5 then thus means another 5 worthy slot will be added rather seeing Big5 song that are just okay but not really meant to win is such a waste of opportunity. But then I know Big5 is the foundation and… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Zander25
AMAAN STORM
AMAAN STORM
7 months ago
Reply to  Zander25

Then it would only be fair for the Big 5 to withdraw the hefty sums of money they invest in the show for it to happen in the first place.