RTÉ today has confirmed the announcement that Nicky Byrne will represent Ireland in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden with the song ‘Sunlight’
Nicky, who has performed in arenas around the world and has sold 45 million records as part of Westlife, will perform the song Sunlight co-written by himself, renowned songwriter Wayne Hector and award-winning composer Ronan Hardiman.
Wayne Hector’s songwriting credits include seven of Westlife’s number 1 singles including Flying Without Wings, Swear It Again and World Of Our Own.
Sunlight co-writer Wayne Hector said, “Nicky is a real talent and after having shared so much success previously, I was looking forward to working together with him again and with my good friend and super producer/composer Ronan Hardiman. We’ve written a song that we all love and believe in, which is a great showcase for Nicky’s voice, so I’m looking forward to the night”.
Listen to the new song here:
Ronan Hardiman has worked as a musician, composer and producer for over 15 years including on Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance and Feet Of Flames, as well as more recently scoring the TV series Neverland.
Nicky Byrne said, “”Like many of us, I have grown up watching the Eurovision Song Contest. It always brought great excitement to our house down through the years and I was lucky enough to see Ireland win it on many occasions.
“I have a great memory as a nine year old, of dancing around our sitting room in a tri-colour sweatshirt when Johnny Logan lifted the trophy in 1987. The Eurovision is a TV show and song contest like no other and for the past three years my Eurovision experience has gotten better and my affiliation grown stronger, as I have proudly delivered the Irish votes live from Dublin.
“This year I go one step further, and actually walk on that stage to represent my country, I am honoured RTÉ have chosen me and believe in this song like I do”.
Nicky continued, “The song is called Sunlight and I co-wrote it with two of the music industry’s legends; producer and writer Ronan Hardiman and songwriter Wayne Hector. I have always felt this song had something different, something special.
“I also look forward to re-visiting Sweden, a country where we had so much success with Westlife over the years and I can’t wait to be a part of what I’m sure will be an amazing show in Stockholm. Ireland, I will give it my best shot. Sweden… here we come!”.
The song was mixed in LA by Serban Ghenea who has mixed 140 Number 1 singles including Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and Uptown Funk from Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.
RTÉ are taking a new approach with this selection moving away from the Eurosong format which for the last 8 years hasn’t drawn such success.
John McHugh, Head of Entertainment RTÉ Television, said, “We have a long and proud history with Eurovision, but we’ve had mixed results over the last few years. Myself and Head of Delegation Michael Kealy took a serious look at our approach, reviewing the entire process and the Eurovision Song Contest itself.
“The competition is constantly evolving and RTÉ has to be flexible in how we approach it in order to put our best foot forward. Direct selection has proven to be a successful method for other countries and we felt that this year it would give us the best chance at success”.
Speaking about Sunlight to be performed by Nicky Byrne, John said, “First and foremost, it’s a great song, written by an internationally renowned team, and with Nicky’s massive breadth of performance experience, along with his huge fan-base and profile throughout Europe, it’s a really impactful package”.
Nicky will perform in one of the Eurovision Semi-Finals in the Globe Arena in Stockholm in early May to qualify for a place in the Final on Saturday 14th May.