Image Credit: Twitter @bandwildyouth
Wild Youth came out on top at Eurosong 2023, and will now be taking the short trip to Liverpool to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023 with ‘We Are One’!
Here’s all you need to know about Wild Youth!
Who Are Wild Youth?
Wild Youth are a group who formed back in Dublin in 2016. They’re made up of 4 members – David Whelan (guitar & vocals), Conor O’Donohoe (keyboard & vocals), Ed Porter (guitar & vocals) and Callum McAdam (Drums).
They released their debut single ‘All Or Nothing’ in 2017, and in 2019 they released the EP ‘The Last Goodbye’, which reached #5 on the Irish albums chart. During this time, their music began to be picked up by radio stations in Ireland, catapulting the group to success. After touring their music in small venues, they were invited by Niall Horan to support him on the Irish dates of ‘The Flicker World Tour’ in 2018, following that up supporting Kodaline on tour in Europe and The Script on tour in the UK. The band have become close with The Script, who have helped them create their music, including their aforementioned EP. Their 2018 single ‘Can’t Move On’ was the most played song by a group or artist on Irish radio that year.
In 2019, they joined Westlife in Ireland on the sold out ‘Twenty Tour’ – seeing them play the iconic Croke Park for two nights. Wild Youth also began to sell out their headline shows at the Olympia Theatre, and shared the stage with acts such as Hozier at a concert at 3Arena.
In 2021, their single ‘Champagne Butterflies’ reached #5 on the Irish Homegrown Charts, and the group started to gain slight traction from audiences in the UK, specifically with their single ‘Can’t Say No’.
They released the 6-track EP ‘Forever Girl’ in the same year, heading out on a promotional tour soon after in 2021 and 2022. Wild Youth then supported Westlife once again on ‘The Wild Dreams Tour’, this time at Pairc UI Chaoimh Stadium in Cork for two nights, and Lewis Capaldi in the UK & Ireland on his Summer 2022 tour. After this, they played at Electric Picnic, a music festival in Ireland, before heading back out on tour at the end of the year to promote their singles ‘Live Without You’ and ‘Modern Colosseum’.
Wild Youth entering Eurosong didn’t come as a surprise – Conor had even tweeted back in 2020 that he wanted to write the next Irish Eurovision song.
Before Eurovision 2022, Conor once again expressed his desire to write Ireland’s next song – this time turning it into a full campaign to get Wild Youth involved in some way with the next contest. Irish newspapers began picking up on Conor’s openness to doing Eurovision, especially due to Wild Youth’s popularity in the country.
Towards the end of 2022, rumours began to circulate that Wild Youth had been chosen as one of the six artists entering Irelands national final Eurosong, and it was confirmed on January 9th they’d be joining Leila Jane, Public Image LTD, Connolly, K Muni & ND and ADGY on the show in early February.
Before the contest took place, Phoenix contributor MJ had the pleasure of chatting to Conor ahead of the show. He gave us some background on Wild Youth’s time in the industry so far, and shared his hopes for their entry ‘We Are One’. You can watch that interview below.
On the night, they performed 5th, between Connolly and K Muni & ND, getting a positive reception from the studio panel – Jedward, Ruth-Anne Cunningham, Gemma Bradley and Celine Byrne. In the voting, they recieved 10 points from the international jury, and 12 from both the national jury and televote, ending with 24 points overall – narrowly beating fan-favourite Connolly to the top spot by 2 points and winning the ticket to Eurovision 2023.
Their song ‘We Are One’ is performed by Conor, as David (their usual lead singer) had to take a step back from the main vocals due to an injury he suffered recently. After their win, David posted the following on Instagram:
I can’t even explain how proud and in awe I am of my band and brothers, we’ve been through a lot and to come out on top I am truly emotional, and to say I’m so proud of my best friend [Conor] would be an understatement.
Lastly THANK YOU everyone who voted for us, we love you so so much. See you all in Liverpool.David Whelan, Instagram
Conor spoke to RSVP Live about his view on qualifying for the final this May. Ireland haven’t qualified for a Eurovision final since 2018, however that doesn’t seem to phase Conor:
I think you have to leave your ego behind and just go for it and give it your best performance.
If you deserve to be there, you will be there. If you win or not, it is amazing exposure and you are being written about across Europe.
It is great for every artist. You have to try and look at it in a positive light.Conor O’Donohoe, RSVP Live
At Eurovision, Wild Youth will perform in the first half of Semi-Final 1, alongside Croatia, Latvia, Malta, Norway, Portugal and Serbia. As of now, we don’t know how well ‘We Are One’ will do, but we do know that some changes to the song have been made. In a now deleted Tweet, Conor asked for Eurovision fans help and advice in what they could do to the song to help make it more impactful. The revamp was released on March 8th 2023.
We wish Ireland & Wild Youth the best of luck in Liverpool this May!
You can follow Wild Youth on social media!