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You are currently viewing 🇩🇰 All About Reiley: Denmark’s 2023 Artist Preview

Image Credit: Eurovision.TV

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix concluded on what Eurovision fans call ‘Super Saturday’ back in February, seeing TikTok star Reiley win the opportunity to go to Eurovision 2023 for Denmark.

He’ll be taking his song ‘Breaking My Heart’ to the Eurovision stage in May, so here’s all you need to know about him before the shows begin!

Who Is Reiley?

Rani Petersen – known professionally as Reiley – was born on November 25th 1997, making him 25 years old. There was a little confusion about what his age actually was – at the time of DMGP, it was claimed that he was born on the same date, but in 2002 instead – which would’ve made him 20 years old. However, an image showing him wearing a backstage pass at DMGP noted him as being born in 1997 instead. Reiley himself commented on the confusion, though didn’t really help to clear any of it up – telling Danish newspaper BT:

I am ageless. I have no age. I am like Peter Pan.

Reiley, BT

If you’re wondering why he doesn’t use the name Rani Petersen for his music career, he cites moving to London for college for forming his stage name.

I moved to London […] to do a year of college, and everyone called me Reiley ‘cause my name, Rani, was a bit strange. I wanted an English name closest to my own name.

Reiley, FLAUNT

Aside from this, Reiley is also not from Denmark. He comes from Tórshavn, which is the capital city of the Faroe Islands. This makes him the first ever Faroese artist to represent Denmark at Eurovision – and Reiley hopes to do them proud, telling DR:

When people who don’t know the Faroe Islands, speak of the country, it is often in a negative context […] The Faroe Islands is a really beautiful and interesting country rich in nature, history and not least culture and music. So I hope I can help change the conversation around the Faroe Islands just a little and open people’s eyes to what the Faroe Islands also is about.

Reiley, DR

Early Career & TikTok Success

Reiley began his career on Instagram, before moving over to TikTok in 2019, bursting onto the scene with his song covers and colourful aesthetic, ammassing 10 million views on his first video uploaded to the platform. His most viewed video to date was posted in March 2020, and is a short snippet of his cover of ‘Lose Control‘ by Meduza, Becky Hill and Goodboys. You can watch it below.

Over on TikTok, he boasts 10.7 million followers to date, and is one of the most followed musicians on the platform outside of the Americas. Reiley has remained grateful for the platform TikTok gave him, noting that he probably would’ve had to move from his home in the Faroe Islands in prior years to achieve his dream of being a performer.

Reiley signed to Atlantic Records after gaining success on Tiktok, releasing his first single ‘Let It Ring‘ in 2021, which samples the iPhone ringtone. It’s currently his most successful song on streaming platforms, with 4.3 million streams at the time of writing. He told FLAUNT about how he caught the eye of Atlantic:

When I decided I wanted to be on social media, I was able to create my own videos that represented me as the artist I wanted to be. I always wanted to entertain people on social media, any which way that I could think of. 

When my social media started growing, I started getting attention from labels and found Atlantic who’s been the best home for the past year. Social media was my way of entering the industry. 

[My first video on TikTok saw me go] from 0 followers to 250K in a week or two. I always had a hunch that if I made a name for myself singing there, then I might come across someone like Atlantic. This is the thing about social media: I always made sure to not do the influencer thing, because that’s never what I wanted to do. I’ve always done music, my social media’s always been about music and it still is. 

Reiley, FLAUNT

In 2021, he released his debut EP ‘brb, having an identity crisis’, following it up with ‘Blah Blah Blah‘, which samples Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. Later that year, he saw himself pick up a legion of fans in South Korea after collaborating with K-pop group AB6IX on ‘Moonlight’, which they performed together on the show Simply K-POP CON-TOUR, a TV show which allows performers to promote their musical comebacks. This may help him at Eurovision if his dedicated Korean fanbase decide to get up early to see him perform, as for the first time in history Eurovision will use a vote for the rest of the world – though details on how that will work specifically are yet to be announced.

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023

Danish broadcaster DR announced the 8 artists and songs competing in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix on January 29th 2023. These were:

  • Maia Maia
  • Nicklas Sonne
  • Reiley
  • Frederik Leopold
  • Mariyah LeBerg
  • Søren Torpegaard Lund
  • Micky Skeel

Reiley performed last in the show with his song ‘Breaking My Heart’, and advanced to the superfinal alongside Micky Skeel and Nicklas Sonne. He won the jury vote with 28%, and came joint second in the televote with Micky Skeel – both receiving 15% compared to Nicklas’ 20%. When combined, it was Reiley who came out on top – achieving 43% of the combined total and receiving the ticket to Liverpool to represent Denmark at Eurovision 2023.

Image: Agnete Schlichtkrull // DR

Eurovision 2023

After DMGP, Reiley spoke to Wiwibloggs about his win, and what we can expect from him in Liverpool:

Oh my God, what do I say? I feel so, you know relieved, I grew up being a gymnast so I’m very used to competitions but it never gets easier, it’s always so much pressure so I feel really relieved and just honoured.

It means a lot you know [to also represent the Faroe Islands], no matter where you go in the world and no matter where you perform or anything you always go back to your roots, so I mean that is definitely something I have close to my heart and I’m really excited about that.

You can expect an amazing show [in Liverpool], you can expect what you saw in Denmark but just many times better.

Reiley, WiwiBloggs

‘Breaking My Heart’ underwent a subtle (and unannounced) revamp weeks after DMGP concluded, with an added bird-song opening and electric guitar that can be heard throughout.

Reiley is also documenting his Eurovision journey over on YouTube. You can watch the first vlog below.

At Eurovision, Reiley will open Semi-Final 2 performing before Armenia’s ‘Future Lover’ by Brunette. As of now, we don’t know how well ‘Breaking My Heart’ will do, and despite a mixed reaction from fan’s it’s in what’s being dubbed as the ‘weakest’ of the two semi-finals, which also is the most open – meaning anyone could get through to the Grand Final. Historically, voting patterns suggest that Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Estonia usually vote for each other, but with only Iceland and Estonia in their semi-final, they’ll be relying on those nations for some likely points. However, with a radio-friendly pop song performed well, Reiley may take Denmark back to the final for the first time since 2019 – which would be a positive step in the right direction for the nation who have come close in the last two years to making the Final, just missing out on both occasions (2021 they were 11th in the semi, and 13th in the semi in 2022).

We wish Denmark & Reiley the best of luck in Liverpool this May!

You can follow Reiley on Social Media!

Instagram @Reiley

TikTok @Reiley

Twitter @Reileymusic

YouTube @ReileyPeters

Facebook @ReileyOfficial

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