Leicester musician Molly Smitten-Downes has been selected to represent the United Kingdom at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest this May.
Smitten-Downes, 26, was chosen as the UK entry following several appearances on BBC Radio Nottingham’s new music showcase “The Beat.”
This year the BBC appointed Executive Producer Guy Freeman to select the UK entry for the contest. Freeman was last involved in the role in 1997, coincidentally this was also the last time the United Kingdom won the contest; Katrina and the Waves collecting a then record 227 points on their way to victory.
The selection of Molly marks a distinct change in the method of deciding on the nation’s entry from the national broadcaster. In previous year’s the BBC had chosen to rely on experienced performers to carry the nation’s hopes; the last two UK entries having a combined age of over 140.
A performer for over a decade, she is still yet to be signed by a professional record label.
It was her support by the BBC Introducing’s new music scheme which led to Molly coming to the attention of Freeman, he having examined BBC Introducing’s pool of talent for several months.
Speaking of BBC Introducing, Guy Freeman was very complimentary of the artists involved.
“It was a real treat to discover these artists, what’s most exciting is the quality of singer songwriters available. The end result is we have a powerful and impressive song.”
The song “Children of the Universe” is an anthemic ballad combining choral notes with an up tempo melody, and has already received a positive reaction across the European continent.
Previous years have seen experienced acts Blue and Englebert Humperdinck represent the nation, while last year Bonnie Tyler flew the flag for the UK in Malmo, Sweden.
Molly previously supported fellow East Midlands’ act Jake Bugg on his 2013 tour of the UK and has performed at many of the region’s music venues.
Local Musician Will Wilson has seen Molly perform and believes she is just one of many talented performers the East Midlands has to offer.
The United Kingdom has failed to impress at the contest in recent years; the best result being a fifth place finish in 2009, delivered by the Andrew Lloyd Webber inspired “My Time”.