Sam Ryder has produced a turnaround in UK fortunes at Eurovision with his song Space Man.
The co-write with Amy Wadge and Max Wolfgang was among the favourites and ultimately came second at the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin on Saturday night (May 14).
Space Man is now set for a huge streaming and sales boost this week. According to early sales and streaming data from the Official Charts Company, the single is set to debut in the Top 10 and is currently at No.8 in the First Look Chart. It would be the first UK Eurovision entry to crack the Top 10 since Scooch with Flying the Flag (For You) in 2007.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the contest in a symbolic show of support across Europe, following the Russian invasion in February.
Sam Ryder secured the best Eurovision result for the UK since 1998. Space Man, which had been among the favourites, topped the jury vote with 283 votes but ended up second when public votes were added to the total.
Tap Music, who were tasked with selecting this year’s song, were instrumental in the success of the UK Eurovision campaign. Sam Ryder was a more high-profile entrant than recent years with a Parlophone label deal and huge following on TikTok. He was the biggest UK music artist on the platform even prior to Eurovision.
“From Sam’s very first TikTok, to his fantastic result at Eurovision, we’ve been fans every step of the way,” said Paul Hourican, head of music operations EU, TikTok. “Our community always knew his star power, his artistic talent and his phenomenal voice, and we’re delighted that the world has seen it too. Congratulations to Sam and all his team on his superb result and, of course, Ukraine as very worthy winners.”
There was also praise from the teams at Tap Music and Parlophone.
Massive congrats to the team on @SamRyderMusic's result at this year’s @eurovision!! Best result for the UK in 20 years - you’ve done us so proud, Sam! ??????????????????? pic.twitter.com/hpRbHKz2EH— TAP Music (@tapmusic) May 15, 2022
Congratulations to @SamRyderMusic! His show stopping performance of SPACE MAN delivered the best UK result at Eurovision in 20 years! ????????— Parlophone Records | #teamSPACEMAN???????? (@parlophone) May 14, 2022
Congratulations to Ukraine ?????????????????? pic.twitter.com/JekkpZFbl1
Ryder told Music Week the song was written 18 months ago with Amy Wadge and Max Wolfgang after the first period of lockdown.
“It was the first time that we'd got together, so it was quite a magic day,” he said. “Since we've become very good friends and we write together as a trio all the time. It was a gorgeous day in London, but we were naturally in a studio with no natural light! But we got lucky because we sat down at this piano and Space Man was written in about 10 minutes. That's my memory of it.
“Any time you're writing a song - and a lot of other people that are songwriters will understand this - you take the credit, but it's really nothing to do with you at all. You're just there, the song's already in the room essentially. And all you need to do is get out of the way of it. Don't try and change too much of what's just happening naturally and what's coming through. We got very lucky that day. There was a lot of magic and we just snatched it out of the air.”
With the single now primed to be a UK hit, Parlophone is working hard with Ryder on his campaign. Victor Aroldoss, Warner Music UK SVP of international marketing, has spoken to Music Week about the global opportunities following Ryder’s European push.
Ryder is also looking ahead to new music as he pursues his career with Parlophone.
“Eurovision is a beautiful, gorgeous moment in time that you've got to move past,” he said. “Just like anything in life, if you dine out on something, it quickly becomes quite sad, doesn't it? So you just need to be present, experience it, live it, breathe it and move on as soon as it's done.
“So I've got singles ready to go. There's tons of festivals I'm playing, I’m even going to South Korea to do a bunch of shows and festivals. Everyone's been so supportive and hopefully it unlocks some other amazing opportunities. I'm just going to enjoy what happens.”
Click here to read our exclusive Eurovision digital cover.