Lesley Roy Maps Ireland Eurovision 2021

Lesley Roy will represent Ireland at Eurovision 2021 with “Maps”.

Lesley was originally due to sing “Story Of My Life” at Eurovision 2020. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, just like several other countries, Ireland opted to retain its singer for 2021. Her entry “Maps” was released at the end of February.

Let’s take a look at 10 facts you need to know about Lesley Roy. Let’s do this!

Ireland at Eurovision 2021: Facts about Lesley Roy

1. She got into music very young

Lesley comes from a musical background. Her mother had been in bands and regularly played records by Fleetwood Mac and Mowtown acts at home. Lesley was about ten when she got her first guitar. And she started to write her own songs almost immediately. This was in the early to mid-2000s, so she was heavily influenced by the rock-pop female artists of the time, like Avril Lavigne. She started entering competitions when she was about 13 or 14

2. She started out the old-fashioned way

Lesley was determined to get a record deal and break into what was then a very male-dominated industry. At the time, shows like Idol were just coming into their own, so she had to do things the old fashioned way. This meant getting to a studio and recording demos. Studio sessions cost money, so teenage Lesley started busking to raise funds.

3. She got her first record deal while still in school

The local talent competitions proved to be good networking opportunities, and soon enough Lesley was signed up to a small independent label. All while still in school. She had her first showcase at 17. This involved her own label inviting all the major labels to Dublin to see Lesley perform. People noticed and liked her music, but she didn’t get signed. She regrouped, wrote some new songs and put on a second showcase about one year later, also in Dublin. And this time, she got picked up by the US label Jive Records, a subsidiary of Sony.

4. She went to the U.S. and Sweden to work on her debut album

No sooner was the ink dry on her new contract, then Lesley was whisked off to New York for yet more showcases. Numerous sessions and meetings followed, and before long she was in Sweden. Once in Sweden, she worked with numerous well-known producers on more demos. But all the time the goal was to work with Max Martin — the world-famous hitmaker, who at this time had just had massive success with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”. However, Lesley’s minders didn’t want to push the matter too much since she was just a new artist. And then a dinner with Max was arranged.

5. Her first meeting with Max Martin seemed to go disastrously

But it wasn’t just Lesley and Max at the dinner. Max’s entire family were there — about 15 people. And all of them spoke in Swedish. Lesley recounts on a podcast that she thought “this is an “f***ing disaster”. She couldn’t join the larger conversation, except when Max would occasionally ask her questions. The meal ended with Max agreeing to listen to her demos. After doing some writing together, Lesley went into the recording booth to lay down some vocals. And Max left. It appeared to be over. Within an hour, he returned and declared that he was doing the whole album.

6. Her album was successful…but not successful enough

The outcome of this work was Unbeautiful, Lesley’s 13-track debut album. Released in 2008, it enjoyed some early successes. The first single was “I’m Gone, I’m Going” — not the song Lesley wanted to lead with, she would have preferred “Unbeautiful”. But “Unbeautiful” took on a life of its own. It began appearing on radio playlists and was on the verge of cracking the Billboard charts. And then her deal was gone overnight. To this day, Lesley doesn’t know exactly what happened, attributing the label’s decision to business reasons. She was 22.

7. She’s worked with some big names

Over the years, Lesley has worked with some of the music industry’s biggest names. One of these was the American popstar Katy Perry. Together they worked on a few songs, but “Slow Goodbye” was the one that saw the light of day, making it onto Lesley’s LP. In an interview with our William, Lesley says Katy was responsible for lyrics like “biting all the black off my nails” and “sitting in the park after dark”. After her record deal fell through, she began to focus more on songwriting for others — creating tracks for the likes of Adam Lambert and Medina.

8. She sings a wrestling entrance theme

Each wrestler on the WWE wrestling show has their own entrance theme. These anthems can be known songs from established acts, but more often than not the programme uses tracks crafted specifically for each “character”. And the female wrestler Ember Moon always marches out to Lesley’s dulcet tones. The song is called “Free The Flame”.

9. She’s been with her wife for over 13 years

Lesley is happily married to her “cookie” Lauren. The couple have been together for over 13 years. In fact, Lauren was there to support Lesley when her record deal fell through over a decade ago. They celebrated their ten-year wedding anniversary in December. They normally live in New York. However, the pair moved to Ireland in early 2021 to allow Lesley to best prepare for Eurovision in the current pandemic scenario.

 

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10. She had her own podcast

Lesley co-hosted the Pop Kitchen podcast with her friend Jeff Johnson. In her own words, the show saw them “obsess over how a writer or producer writes a fantastic song. What makes a great melody? What makes a song a disaster? What are the ingredients?”. If you’re unfamiliar with the podcast, you can dive in to episode 12 — that’s the one dedicated to Max Martin and Lesley’s links to him. It forms the basis for many of these 10 facts. It’s available on Spotify and other podcast listening platforms. However, the series has been on hiatus ever since Lesley was first selected to represent Ireland. The newest episode came out in February 2020.

What do you think of Lesley’s career? Does “Maps” have a clear route to the final? Let us know in the comment section below.

Read more Eurovision 2021 artist facts here.

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noone
noone
20 days ago

I like Lesley, seems like a really nice person, but her music just doesn’t do anything for me. Maps is, however, much better than her last year’s song. It’s quite good, but it doesn’t have the slightest chance of qualifying to the final.

Efraim
Efraim
20 days ago

Minor update: Ember Moon was given a different theme song upon returning from injury late last year.

raylee
raylee
20 days ago

What a lovely couple 🙂

Alex
Alex
20 days ago

I love Lesley, she’s so sweet and down to earth. I also think she’s very talented songwriter.. I hope she does amazing in Eurovision and qualifies to the final. I will vote for her. My only concern is the live vocals, i hope she pulls the notes as it’s a bit difficult song.

A lot of interesting facts about Unbeautiful. I wonder how her record deal ended unexpectedly. There must be a reason? I hope it’s not because of her sexual orientation?

The sound of the album is very Avril Lavigne/Kelly Clarkson, it had potential to do well.

Last edited 20 days ago by Alex
noone
noone
20 days ago
Reply to  Alex

It simply wasn’t successful enough. Record lebels sign hundreds of bands and singers, do a single or album and if it doesn’t perform well enough, immediately drop them. There were sooo many one-hit wonders in the 90’s and 2000’s, that’s why.

Alex
Alex
19 days ago
Reply to  noone

But i guess it must be in the contract so why did Lesley say that it remains unknown why they dropped her?

In order for a single to become a hit, it needs promotion first.

Heath
Heath
20 days ago

I’ve Been really impressed by the amount of LGBTIQ+ representatives: Lesley, Senhit, Montaigne, and so many more. I’ll even include Manizha as she’s an ally. It’s good to see diversity on the world stage.

Darren
20 days ago
Reply to  Heath

Didn’t know Senhit was LGBTQI! FairPlay to her!

acp
acp
20 days ago
Reply to  Heath

Senhit?

Heath
Heath
20 days ago
Reply to  Heath

Yeah I read it somewhere. Tried to find it for citing. If the source was wrong I apologise. I’m aware that she is a LGBTIQ+ Ally at the very least so I’m sure she wouldn’t be offended lol

Sot
Sot
20 days ago
Reply to  Heath

I did some research, Senhit is completely straight. Her shirt wrote “Love is love” last year with “Freaky!” but that was just to spread the message, so no LGBTQ+

Heath
Heath
19 days ago
Reply to  Sot

Then my apologies. I tried to find where I read it but either way my source was wrong. Obviously we can still put her in the ally category. And yeah, still impressed with the larger representation.

Alex
Alex
19 days ago
Reply to  Heath

Senhit has never claimed to be bi or les. I think she’s a very strong ally and just open-minded. Is she single?

Darren
20 days ago

Toxic how?

Darren
20 days ago

Wishing Lesley all the best! “Maps” is a great song and with some great staging and a bit of luck, we can qualify.
Not ruling her out just yet! Ireland definitely has its strongest entry since 2018…or even 2012.
Best of luck Lesley, whatever happens, you gave us an entry to be proud of this year, and that doesn’t happen often.

Sot
Sot
20 days ago

Fingers crossed she qualifies from the bloodbath semi, all this drama has made me root for her! I really think Belgium and Ireland are underestimated by the eurofans. They’ll both qualify 65% (which is a decent percentage for such a difficult semifinal)

noone
noone
20 days ago
Reply to  Sot

Belgium has a much higher chance of qualifying than Ireland to be honest. I think Lesley wll be dead last, followed by Slovenia and North Macedonia. I’d be happy if she qualify, though, seems like a nice girl.

Alex
Alex
19 days ago
Reply to  noone

Slovenia and North Macedonia have locked the last 2 places. No way Ireland is finishing last,

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
20 days ago

And that she identifies as She/They.

Jonas
Jonas
20 days ago

Did Leslie and Lauren get married in Sweden? There was no marriage equality in New York or Ireland ten years ago.

Crystal
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

The Marriage Equality Act became law in New York state in July 2011, a few months after Lesley and Lauren married. I don’t know the details of Lesley’s wedding, but at the time of their wedding 5 U.S. states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont) as well as Washington, DC already had legalized same-sex marriages. If they married within the United States, what likely may have happened is that they married in one of those states (likely Connecticut, which is a stone’s throw away from the New York City area), and then when the Marriage Equality Act became law… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
20 days ago
Reply to  Crystal

Thank you, Crystal. I suppose it’s also possible that they had their own wedding before the law caught up with them, and just tidied up that little detail later.

Crystal
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yep, the anniversary that matters is the one that matters most to the couple. For example, my best friend and her husband had two weddings: a handfasting ceremony that took place on the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Doctor Who (they are both major Whovians, and their whole relationship started when he said “Exterminate!” to her in a public library, and the rest was history), and then a legal ceremony at the local courthouse about 2 weeks later. They consider the date of the handfasting ceremony to be their wedding anniversary.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
20 days ago
Reply to  Crystal

That is so sweet about your friends. Funny enough, I get Doctor Who vibes with Maps, especially with the lyrics “I’ve been searching all the wrong places/I’ve been trying too many faces” (i.e. Regeneration) and when Lesley runs in the music video, she looks like the 13th Doctor from a distance. I’ve actually made a playlist of Eurovision songs for the 13 plus war Doctors https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA1uqDQDSJC8GvJlvq3eGnuB94DEB7Dyn. I might change out Never Give Up on You for Maps for the 13th Doctor at some point, but enjoy. There’s not enough Doctor Who/Eurovision crossover stuff.

Last edited 20 days ago by Badwoolfgirl
Henry
Henry
20 days ago

Lesley is a lovely personality and Maps is a great song, i really hope that the Irish team come up with a memorable staging this year…..

Fionn
Fionn
20 days ago

I really think she’s kindest and most down to earth of all the Eurovision contestants this year. It’s really sad about her record deal but at least she’s going to Eurovision now! I’m sure she’ll do really well

Mikey mata
Mikey mata
20 days ago

So underated
Please bring her to the final ?

Miss Uncongeniality
Miss Uncongeniality
20 days ago

I really like Maps, and Lesley seems to be so sweet and charming… i wish her the best

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
20 days ago

maps bops and lowkey so did soml

sam
sam
21 days ago

honestly i think maps is pretty overrated but leslie is such a ray of sunshine and i love her personality

Jar
Jar
20 days ago
Reply to  sam

Maps is about as overrated as Ireland was in 2018… everyone had them as a sure NQ last in semi… Funny how Ireland ended up making the final and doing quite well. Then the same people who called it a for sure NQ had ‘predicted’ it would pass or said ‘no the two dancers were the only reason.’ No. It was the song. The staging was good but a crap song with good staging still stays in the semi. Based on merit of SONG alone Lelsey should make the final. But her vocals can be hit and miss so. Lets… Read more »