Friday 26th January will see Ireland select their representative for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest. RTÉ will once again use The Late Late Show as the format for their national final Eurosong. However, there are some notable changes this year: in addition to a new host in the form of Patrick Kielty, the artists will perform on a larger stage which Irish viewers may recognise from The Late Late New Year’s Show. This will hopefully allow the artists to give more of a glimpse into what viewers might expect from them at Eurovision.
Having not qualified since 2018 and with Sweden now matching their record for the most Eurovision wins, all eyes will be on Ireland tonight. Let’s meet the six artists hoping to break the non-qualification streak!
Isabella Kearney – Let Me Be the Fire
31-year-old Isabella Kearney-Nurse, who performs under the name Isabella Kearney, is Irish but grew up in Australia and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. As well as being a singer, she has also acted as a songwriter for a number of artists, including former Australian Eurovision representatives Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy.
Isabella has been a fan of Eurovision since she was a child and will be hoping to perform their herself with her song ‘Let Me Be the Fire’ which deals with the idea of helping a loved one who is going through a difficult time in their lives. Could this resonate with jurors and televoters?
Bambie Thug – Doomsday Blue
Bambie Thug was born in Macroom, County Cork but moved to London to train to be a ballerina. However, a broken arm led them to study musical theatre. Following this, they went on to write and produce their own music and write songs for others. Bambie has gone on to enjoy some success in the United Kingdom, gaining support from music publications such as Kerrang! and Rolling Stone UK and performing at prominent UK rock music festival Download last year.
Now Bambie is hoping to represent their native Ireland with their song ‘Doomsday Blue’. Describing their musical style as ‘ouija-pop’, the song blends a number of different genres to showcase the artist’s style. Speaking to Ray D’Arcy on RTÉ Radio, Bambie said:
It’s why it transports you from alt witchy verses to killer screams, pop choruses, a jazzy middle-eight, before ending in a metallic roar of electro and heavy guitars. It perfectly showcases the different facets of me as an artist. I can be explosive and hard-hitting, but I can also be sweet and soulful.Bambie Thug, The Ray D’Arcy Show
Bambie would certainly mark a shift in style from what we expect of Ireland but will they take the crown? We’ll have to wait to find out.
JYellowL feat Toshín – Judas
Jean-Luc Uddoh, known as JYellowL, is a prominent rapper and hip-hop artist in Ireland. His 2020 debut album ‘D|vision’ received critical acclaim, having been nominated for Irish Album of the Year at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize and having debuted at number two on the official iTunes album charts. As well as having supported ‘Hot In Herre’ rapper Nelly on tour, JYellowL’s music has also been featured on the soundtrack for the video game FIFA and also on the hit TV show ‘Normal People’.
Joined by vocalist Toshín, JYellowL will be performing his song ‘Judas‘ which he told Ray D’Arcy is about:
staying focused and faithful to your vision irrespective of the challenges you face in life, whether it be betrayal, setbacks, set ups – these challenges are personified as ‘Judas’. And it’s about recognising that you have the power to rise above this and achieve whatever goals you have set out for yourselfJYellowL, The Ray D’Arcy Show
Last year saw rappers K Muni and ND place third with their song ‘Down in the Rain’. Could ‘Judas’ be even more successful?
Ailsha – Go Tobann
28-year-old Ailsha Davey comes from a musical family, with her mother, father, brother and sister all being musicians. Although Ailsha initially focused on a career in makeup, she soon found her way back to music, initially making pop music. However, Ailsha then shifted focus to what she described to us in a recent interview as “the kind of music I’ve always wanted to release’: rock and metal. She also composes music for video games as her day job.
Ailsha will be hoping to represent Ireland with her song ‘Go Tobann’ and cement her place in Eurovision history in doing so; ‘Go Tobann’ is only the second Irish entry to feature the Irish language, the first being ‘Ceol On Ghrá’ in 1972. The song deals lyrically with having forgotten key elements of the Irish language, with the Irish phrases in the song being ones most speakers will commonly remember, including the song’s title ‘Go Tobann’ which means ‘suddenly’ and was a mainstay of many essays in school.
To listen to our full interview with Ailsha, check out our podcast Instead We Made a Pod, available on all streaming platforms.
Next In Line – Love Like Us
Next In Line are a five piece boy band consisting of Conor O’Farrell, Nueng Kelly, Harry O’Connell, Conor Davis and Joshua Regala. They were formed in 2022 by Louis Walsh, who will be well-known to music fans for having formed the boy bands Westlife and Boyzone and for his appearance as a judge and mentor on The X Factor. Next In Line have appeared on The Late Late Show before and performed their most recent gig in Abu Dhabi.
The group will be performing their Eurosong entrant ‘Love Like Us’, which is all about finding the one. Given Louis Walsh’s great success with managing boy bands, could he steer this group to success and the chance to represent Ireland at Eurovision?
Erica-Cody – Love Me Like I Do
27-year-old Erica-Cody Kennedy Smith, known simply as Erica-Cody, was born in Dublin to an Irish mother and an American father. Her initial aspirations of being a basketball player were cut short at 18 due to a ligament injury to her knee so she enrolled at stage school and went on to study vocals at BIMM Dublin. She has supported many prominent artists, including En Vogue and Jessie J and in 2022 became more of a household name when she competed in Dancing With the Stars, reaching the show’s final.
Erica wrote ‘Love Me Like I Do’ whilst navigating a breakup and describes the song as “the ultimate feel-good self-love anthem” in her interview with Ray D’Arcy where she introduced the song. We know Erica can sing and dance so could this stand her in good stead and propel her to a Eurosong win?
So there you have the six artists hoping to represent Ireland at Eurovision! Who will you be rooting for? Be sure to let us known in the comments and follow all our socials for the latest Eurovision news.
Our podcast, Instead We Made A Pod, is available to stream on all platforms.