EUROVISON SONG CONTEST 2016: THE 6 FINALISTS BATTLING TO REPRESENT THE UK 0 220

The BBC today confirms the names of the six acts and songs that will take to the stage for Eurovision: You Decide in a bid to impress the viewers at home and the professional panel as they compete for the honour of representing the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2016.

The six acts were announced by Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2 earlier today and are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Bianca Claxton will be performing Shine A Light
Written by Ash Howes, Cass Lowe, Leona Lewis, Richard Stannard

Bianca Claxton is a 25-year-old singer from Nottingham who has previously had chart success with girl group Parade. A classically trained soprano and cellist, Bianca supported the likes of Shakira and The Black Eyed Peas on tour in the UK. She is a massive fan of Eurovision and it’s been her dream to represent the UK.

Darline will be performing Until Tomorrow
Written by Duck Blackwell, Jack McManus, Joshua Wilkinson, Roy Stride

Darline are a country pop duo – Abby Inez, 20 from Worcester, and Càra Beth Beard, 18 from Hertfordshire. Both girls play guitar and have supported The Shires on their UK tour, performing to thousands of people every night. They cite Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift among their inspiration.

Dulcima and Tom will be performing When You Go
Written by Tomas Twyman

Dulcima Showan, aged 23, met songwriter Tomas Twyman, aged 27, when they were both busking together on the streets of Canterbury. Dulcima is a classical violinist who loves to play folk. They will both be performing the original song penned by Tom.

Joe and Jake will be performing You’re Not Alone
Written by Justin J Benson, Schwartz and S Kanes

Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft met during the 2015 series of The Voice UK. Jake was part of team will.i.am but lost out at the Battle rounds, whereas Joe was a finalist for Rita Ora’s team. Jake, aged 20 from Stoke-on-Trent, can play guitar, while Joe, aged 21 from Ruthin, Wales, supported The Vamps on their 2015 tour.

Karl William Lund will be performing Miracle
Written by Karl William Lund

Singer songwriter Karl, aged 29, is originally from Liverpool and began writing the song Miracle while working in Greece as part of a Beatles tribute act. He is self-taught at playing the guitar and his musical inspirations are Tori Amos, Prince, Kate Bush and Rufus Wainwright.

Matthew James will be performing A Better Man
Written by Andrew Fromm, Helienne Lindvall and Peter Kvint

Matthew James has previously had a brush with fame as part of Nineties boyband Bad Boys Inc, and their hit single More To This World. Matthew, now 44, lives in South London and has continued singing for the last 15 years with the band Madhen.

The six songs are available to listen to at bbc.co.uk/eurovision from today.

Hosted by Mel Giedroyc, BBC Music presents the 90-minute UK Selection show to be broadcast live on BBC Four at 7.30pm from The O2 Forum Kentish Town on Friday 26 February, featuring performances by the six competing acts before the voting lines open and the public are invited to choose the song and act that will represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2016 in Sweden.

Current Eurovision champion and Eurovision 2016 co-host Måns Zelmerlöw will open the 90-minute musical extravaganza and will sing his winning song from last year’s contest, Heroes. Former United Kingdom Eurovision Song Contest entry Katrina will also be performing on the night with the winning song from the 1997 competition Love Shine A Light.

As well as the acts battling it out for the public’s votes, the jam-packed 90-minute live show will also feature a special look back at some of Sir Terry Wogan’s unforgettable Eurovision moments over the years.

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BAILEY TOMKINSON CHATS “7 MINUTES IN HEAVEN”, TAYLOR SWIFT & SUPPORTING HER FELLOW FEMALE ARTISTS 0 76

Heavily influenced and inspired by Taylor Swift but with music tastes so varied she loves Sam Cooke, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper to name just three, Bailey Tomkinson has an undeniable passion for music. After releasing her EP Hey Ace last year, she’s recently dropped her new single “7 Minutes In Heaven” and with plans to head back in the studio soon to work on new material, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with her to talk favourite songs, upcoming performance plans and proudly supporting other female artists.

TITL: Who exactly is Bailey Tomkinson?

Bailey Tomkinson: Hi there! I’m Bailey, I’m a 19 year old singer/songwriter from sunny St Ives in Cornwall. I like to write country melodies that hopefully even people that don’t normally like Country Music will want to sing along to! I’m signed to German Indie Label FBP Music and when I’m not performing you can usually find me in the surf!

TITL: At what age did you first realise you wanted to make music a career and what did those closest to you think of said realisation?

BT: I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue a career in music, I watched the movie ‘Selena’, based on the life of the singer Selena Quintanilla, when I was about 4 and from then on all I wanted to do was perform.

The first time I played one of my songs in public was in front of about 300 people in an auditorium, it was a school rock concert in Brussels where we were living at the time, I was about 13. You could have heard a pin drop when I started to play and I just got the bug. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.  I think there is a video of it on YouTube somewhere actually! My family have never been anything other than massively supportive.Their attitude is that we all only get so many trips round the sun, why not spend them doing something you love?

TITL: Which artists and bands are you most inspired and influenced by, and what is it about the music they make that you like so much?

BT: I’ve grown up listening to Taylor Swift so she’s a big influence, obviously very relatable to a teenage girl. But I also admire her for willingness to experiment and innovate across genres; that she wanted to expand the ‘box’. I really admire Kacey Musgraves for the same reason. I listen to Sinatra. I love John Denver because he’s my Grandad’s favourite. Also Sam Cooke, Madonna, Abba, Cyndi Lauper, Jewel – honestly, I just love music.

TITL: Is there a story behind your latest single “7 Minutes In Heaven”?

BT: It was a combination of things really. I love movies like ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ for the sense they have where in one, crazy night anything can happen. I thought it would be interesting to try to capture that feeling in a song. I’m 19 years old, so you know, I love a good party and we have some GREAT parties down here in St Ives, we’ve got the beach, bonfires, surfers and guitars so I thought why not write about some of them!

TITL: Who or what is your biggest inspiration when it comes to music and song-writing? With that in mind, could you choose what you feel is the greatest song ever written?

BT: That’s such a difficult question and if you asked me that 100 times, I’d probably give you a 100 different answers. Today, I’d go with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. The song structure is a work of genius; it somehow manages to link multiple songs into one. Freddie Mercury is a GOD!

I think at the end of the day, I wouldn’t say I have a biggest inspiration as I’m quite fickle with the music I listen to, one minute it’s Sam Cooke and the next it’s Guns N’ Roses. However, that said, I’m pretty sure that if you ask people that know me, they’d tell you it’s Taylor Swift. Hell, at school I was nicknamed ‘Baylor’ Swift.

TITL: As a fairly new artist who made their mark on the industry last year, following the release of your EP, do you ever worry about how you compare to so many of your artistic counterparts?

BT: No, success isn’t cake. Just because someone has some doesn’t mean there’s none for me. There’s plenty for everybody. I have nothing but admiration for people who say, I’m going to follow my passion for making music and if they manage to carve out their own niche then more power to them. It’s hard enough for women in music, we’re all seeking to get equal airtime, festival slots etc, without turning on each other. We all experience the same thing…radio stations happy to put our faces on their posters or Facebook pages but then not spinning our records…I make a point of supporting other female country singers out there, we all want the same thing, a bigger industry and an opportunity to thrive within it.  

TITL: Do you have any performances/tour plans in the works?

BT: There’s lots going on. I’m making my London debut at Luna Lounge in April and in August, I’ve been lucky enough to get a slot at Boardmasters Festival which is one of my favourite festivals. I really want to play the length and breadth of the country, so if any one reading this has slots available, hit me up!

TITL: Given that we live in such a technology obsessed/dependent society, what are your thoughts on social media? How have the likes of Facebook and Twitter impacted your ability to reach an audience, and do you believe that artists can become successful without it?

BT: I don’t know that I have any new startling insight on the subject to be honest. It’s a mixed bag. Social media can be horrible, it amplifies hate and lies, it can make people insecure and antisocial I certainly think it’s important to remember that like television, a lot of it isn’t real. But the flip side is that it can connect people across oceans, across continents in ways we’ve never been able to before. 

In terms of the music, so far my experiences on social media have been incredibly positive, I’ve had other artists reach out with encouragement and advice, I’ve had folks contact me saying how much they’ve enjoyed a certain song and share my stuff with their friends etc. everybody has been really welcoming. Can an artist become successful without it? It depends on how you define success…for some it’s filling stadiums, which I don’t think you can do without a strong social media presence; for others it’s being happy, doing something you love on a local stage. If we were all the same, life would be boring wouldn’t it?

TITL: What does the rest of the year have in store for you? Will you be working on some new material at some point?

BT: Yes, I’ve been in the studio recently to record another single. Then after Boardmasters and festival season, I’ll probably do another EP. I’m writing constantly and definitely want to capture those songs properly. Later in the year, I’d like to do a bigger tour.

TITL: Finally then, what advice would you give to anyone looking to make their mark on the music world as you have? Is there anything you’ve learnt in your short time in the business you’d pass on?

BT: I’d say, make the music you want to make and then surround yourself with as many good people as you can. It really does take a village.

Check out “7 Minutes In Heaven” below and for more information on Bailey, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

LIVE: BLUE PLANET II IN CONCERT – MANCHESTER ARENA 27/03/19 0 82

While Blue Planet and its follow up series continue to delight and astound viewers around the world with the depth and scope to which the team behind it delve into the many wonders of our oceans, the experience of seeing the music that accompanies the programme, scored by Hans Zimmer, Jasha Klebe, and David Fleming, performed live with a full orchestra is something else entirely – but just as breathtaking.

The performance began with the orchestra, led by conductor Matthew Freeman, diving straight into the opening music, the skill and precision of the performance itself causing both smiles and goosebumps to appear on a vast majority of the audience (or certainly those I could see).

Host for the evening Anita Rani was both efficient and enthusiastic as she introduced each section of the show, herself and Freeman working almost fluidly in their partnership, while the visuals which accompanied each segment were as stunning as the music performed during it – the wonders of the oceans around us displayed in captivating detail on a giant 200 square metre screen.

It was not at all hard to feel as if, while the show progressed, that you’d been transported to another world of sorts – the younger members of the audience in particular seemed utterly awed by the sights and sounds they were being introduced to.

Highlights of the evening, in terms of the footage shown to the mesmerized audience, were the hundreds of dolphins surfing on waves and puffins feeding their young, but every scene and every sound brought home the most important sight and message of all – that we need to and must protect our oceans.

A night of awe inspiring sights and sounds left the audience within the Arena spellbound from start to finish and as the show reached its climax, the orchestra falling silent for the final time, the applause directed to Freeman, his musicians and host Rani echoed throughout the venue with many present standing to applaud what had been a truly spectacular night.