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When Bambie Thug won Irish national final Eurosong 2024, many felt this was the boldest decision they could have made in a Eurovision artist. Having not qualified for a grand final since 2018, could they be the shake-up Ireland needs?

Read on to learn all about Bambie Thug, their career and their journey to Eurovision.

Who is Bambie Thug?

Bambie Ray Robinson, also known by their stage name Bambie Thug, is a 31-year-old singer-songwriter. They were born in Macroom, County Cork to a Swedish father and an Irish mother. From a young age they sang in their secondary school’s choir, helping them to win the All-Ireland Schools Choir Competition. Aspiring to become a ballerina, they moved to London to study dance at the Urdang Academy on a partial scholarship. However, after breaking their arm Bambie switched to studying musical theatre.

They initially made bubble gum pop under a different name but with the changing of their name came their discovery of their non-binary gender identity and a fusion of different genres in their music. Speaking to Gay Times magazine, the singer said:

What changed when I found Bambie was the gender constraints I put myself under. Putting a label on my own genre makes me annoyed which is the same as having to put a label on myself, even as a non-binary person. It’s funny that we’re trying to break free of those labels and still having to label ourselves but I think it’s allowed me to be freer.

Bambie Thug, Gay Times

Bambie has released three EPs to date: ‘Psilocyber’ and ‘High Romancy’ in 2021 and ‘Cathexis’ in 2023, which features their Eurovision entry ‘Doomsday Blue’. Musically, Bambie doesn’t wish to be pigeon-holed into one specific genre, describing their music as a clash of styles culminating in what they deem ‘Ouija-pop’ As they told NME in a 2023 interview, “Creatively, I can do anything. Tell me I can’t do it, I’ll do it anyway.”

‘Doomsday Blue’ and the Road to Eurovision

Bambie submitted ‘Doomsday Blue’ to Eurosong, having decided it was the most fitting for audiences in Ireland and at Eurovision out of the songs on the ‘Cathexis’ EP. The song was written alongside English musician Cassyette, Tylr Rydr, and Sam Matlock who is one half of the electro-rock duo Wargasm. The song deliberately incorporates a number of genres, including metal, pop and jazz, to showcase all facets of Bambie Thug’s music and persona. Speaking to Ray Dโ€™Arcy on RTร‰ Radio when they were announced as a Eurosong participant, Bambie said:

Itโ€™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 Dโ€™Arcy Show

‘Doomsday Blue’ was instantly a fan favourite upon its release and in The Late Late Studio when it was performed, with calls from fans to “send the witch” and high praise from all members of the studio panel. When it came time to vote, although Bambie only placed third with the international jury, they won both the Irish jury and televote portions of the contest meaning they were off to Eurovision!

The song has also drawn praise from former Ireland Eurovision representatives Johnny Logan and Brooke Scullion, both of whom have gone on record as saying they believe the song could win Eurovision. However, Bambie’s presence at Eurovision has also brought its share of detractors, with far right politicans and religious figures criticising their music, aesthetic and gender identity. A petition of 2000 signatures was even created calling for their removal from the competition. Responding to this criticism in a press statement, Bambie said:

If you don’t want to be part of the Haus Of Thug you are not obligated to come on this journey with me… don’t waste your life hung up [on] hate… [and] don’t be mad because I haven’t forgotten the art of play, fun and creation and you have.

Bambie Thug Press Statement, 29th January 2024

Bambie will perform in the first half of the first semi-final on Tuesday 7th May. While this is shaping up to be a very competitive semi, it’s also true that there’s nothing quite like ‘Doomsday Blue’ in the competition which could really work in its favour. Regardless, we’ll be wishing them the best of luck!

You can follow Bambie Thug on social media!

Twitter/X: @bambiethug

Instagram: @bambiethug

TikTok: @bambiethug

You can keep up to date with Phoenix on TwitterInstagramYouTube and TikTok for all the latest Eurovision 2024 news. 

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