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Things have never been more exciting for Irish four-piece Wild Youth. Since their formation several years ago, they have gone from strength to strength. However, a new and exciting chapter has started in their career, as the band recently announced that they were one of six chosen artists to represent their home country of Ireland at the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest. When speaking about the response, member Conor O'Donohoe said that 'people have been incredibly kind and supportive. We're very lucky. I was very nervous, as I always am, about putting any kind of music out, but the response has been amazing and people have been so lovely. We're super excited and want to put on the best show that we can!'

The band are well underway with their preparations for the Eurovision, with Conor explaining that they are taking the time to perfect every little detail. 'We are perfectionists and we put a lot of time into our craft. If you have ever seen a Wild Youth show, you know that it hasn't just been thrown together, but instead, it has been really thought out. We want to do the exact same for the Eurosong. We're focusing now on the performance, the staging, our clothes and everything!'

When speaking about the process of becoming involved in the competition, Conor explained that he 'knew that we were definitely going to be in contention, but we had to submit a song and that song had to be selected by a panel. We found out a couple of weeks ago, but it's been hard to hold the news in! It's amazing, exciting, nerve-wracking and a million different things, but it's mostly exciting.'

The track accompanying their Eurovision entry is 'We Are One,' which embodies what the Eurovision is all about - a sense of unity. 'It's kind of talking and referencing the Eurovision as a moment. Everyone is open-minded free at the Eurovision and allowed to be themselves. Each country supports each other. There is no hatred towards each other. It's a totally open and safe zone, and I love that about the Eurovison!'

'We Are One' was penned the track alongside band member Ed Porter and Swedish song-writer Jörgen Elofsson. 'I feel that if you specifically try and write a song for the Eurovision, it would become very see through that you have just specifically tried to do that. It was always in the back of my mind that there has never really been a band with guitars, bass and drums to represent Ireland in the Eurovision. I'm such a big fan of so many bands from Ireland, such as U2, The Script, Kodaline, The Coronas and Picture This. I'm only scratching the surface naming those bands, but I wanted to try and represent all of the amazing bands and sounds that have happened over the years with this song, while also keeping a Wild Youth sound. If you listen to a lot of Wild Youth songs, I always try and make an anthemic song! That was all I wanted to do! Ultimately, it's a combination of all our favourite Irish bands, but still remaining Wild Youth. It's anthemic and is about the euphoria of those moments of people feeling totally comfortable and at ease and allowed to be themselves.'

Speaking about the possibility of representing Ireland at the Eurovision, Conor has no doubt that if the band win the Eurosong that takes place on RTE on Friday 3 February, that 'it would be a whirlwind and crazy, but we are focusing on the Eurosong and trying to win that. We need as many people behind us as possible! Sometimes people take it for granted that because we're a known act that loads of people are going to vote for us, but that's not always the case. It's when things are sometimes taken for granted that they can go totally wrong. If anyone has ever seen us, heard of us, came to a show, met us or liked a song, please get behind us and support us by voting for us on that night!'

It's evident that there have been many highlights for the band over the past number of years, but when asked about a stand-out moment, Conor explained that their support slot at Ireland's Croke Park for Westlife back in 2019 was the first one that came to mind. 'I grew up around the corner from Croke Park and I used to play gaelic football games there with my Dad, so to think that I could ever be on that stage or played a chord or have a word of a song that I've written sang in that stadium is insane. We also played the Royal Albert Hall, which was incredible. We toured Europe, which was the best time. Selling out the Olympia (Dublin) has been amazing. I'm so grateful and thankful for everything!'

When asked if there is nerves or excitement for their performance on the Eurosong, which will determine if they are representing Ireland at the Eurovision, taking place later this year, Conor said that he is 'really excited, but I'll definitely be crippled with nerves for the few days leading up to it. I've never really taken part in anything where you performance is judged and then there's a vote at the end. I'm hoping that everyone feels that our performance is good enough to be the act to represent Ireland.'

'I write songs for other people as well, but nothing beats the feeling of writing a song, performing it on stage and hearing people sing it back - it's the greatest feeling in the world. I really love this song. I would love to write an album and more songs like 'We Are One.' I want to tour and play more shows around Ireland and Europe. I want to play shows anywhere, as it's what we love doing.'

With a poignant message to everyone who has supported the band and voted for them to date, Conor wanted to express his thanks. 'If you have voted, you could potentially change my life and make me the happiest and proudest person in the world. Please vote. It would mean everything to us!'

Wild Youth's new single 'We Are One' is available to purchase and stream through all major music purchasing outlets. For all the details on the Eurosong and to vote for Wild Youth, click here.

Word & Interview: By Rachel Dempster

Image Credit: Greg Young


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