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It’s only been three years and two contests since the Netherlands took home the Eurovision trophy with ‘Arcade’ by Duncan Laurence. We’ll be taking a closer look at S10, her song ‘De Diepte’ and exploring whether she could score another Dutch victory this year.

Who is S10?

S10 was born Stien den Hollander on 8th November 2000 in Hoorn, North Holland. Growing up, she struggled with her mental health and spent time in hospital for this. Speaking with Dutch magazine &c, S10 said:

I was always extremely sensitive, but in high school it got worse. Too many stimuli, too much pressure, I felt constantly uncomfortable and ashamed of everything. I didn’t dare tie my shoelaces when they were loose and going to school was hell. I didn’t even dare to sit at the dining table anymore. I heard voices in my head and that made me depressed. After a suicide attempt when I was fourteen, I ended up in a mental institution. When I got out of there, I bought a guitar and started writing about what I’ve been through.

S10, &c

S10 has also spoken about these experiences in the documentary ‘Storm om mij heen‘ (Storm Around Me) and is passionate about being an activist for children in similar situations.

When she was just 16, armed with her Apple headphones and a Soundcloud account, S10 recorded her first mini-album Antipsychotica. This led to her being signed to the hip hop label Noah’s Ark in 2017 where she released another mini-album Lithium. Both releases are named after types of psychiatric medication, showing that S10’s struggles with mental illness are a recurring theme in her work.

2019 saw S10 release her debut full-length album Snowsniper for which she won an Edison award, the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy Awards in America, in 2020. Later that same year, S10 released her second album Vlinders, which peaked at number 5 in the Dutch album charts. 2021 saw further success for S10 when she released the single ‘Adem je in’ (Breathe You In), a remix of which peaked at number 3 in the Dutch Single Top 100 and has over 19 million streams on Spotify to date.

A Closer Look at ‘De Diepte’

Like much of S10’s other music, ‘De Diepte’ (which can translate to ‘The Depth’, ‘The Deep’ or ‘The Abyss’ in English) deals with ideas of depression and hopelessness, evidenced in the song’s first verse: “Do you know that feeling, when your dream does not come true?/Are you sometimes scared that it will always stay the same?/Because it rains every day and you don’t see anything at all/You and I together, that would be forever.”

‘De Diepte’ is also the first Eurovision Song Contest entry in Dutch since 2010, when Sieneke entered with ‘Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)‘ (‘I’m In Love’). Unfortunately, she failed to progress to the final, finishing 14th overall. The Netherlands would continue to have a string of non-qualifiers until 2013, when Anouk finished ninth with her song ‘Birds‘.

Despite being in Dutch, ‘De Diepte’ has resonated with many, particularly after S10 performed on the Dutch TV show Matthijs Gaat Door. The performance was simple, yet moving and effective, with S10 and the band performing in front of lasers. Many felt the staging was Eurovision-ready and were disappointed when it was confirmed the staging will not be the same in Turin. You can judge for yourself by watching it below.

How Will S10 do at ESC?

‘De Diepte’ is a favourite among Eurofans and while it is currently ninth in the bookies’ odds to win, it is second in the qualification odds. Therefore, while she may not be a sure-fire candidate to take home the Eurovision trophy, S10 is likely to qualify for the grand final. She is performing in the first semi-final between Bulgaria and Moldova, who have completely different songs to ‘De Diepte’. Could the marked change of pace ensure she stands out for all the right reasons?

Previously, some may have worried that ‘De Diepte’ being in Dutch could have hindered its chances for success. However, with four of the top five sending non-English songs last year, this no longer seems to be the case. Could 2022 be the second year running in which a non-English song is the winner? Could it be in Dutch?

Listen to the Netherlands’ 2022 entry below!

What do you think of ‘De Diepte’? Let us know in the comments below!

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