Well… I put up a post a few days ago about being invited to enter a song for the ‘Eurovision Songwriting Competition’. So many people including fellow musicians suggested I do… I thought I’d lay out my reasoning why I’ve no interest in doing it.
It’s like getting the compliment “You should go on the X Factor” or “The Voice”, the reason I say “Thank You” and then go on to ignore the advice is… I’ve no interested in going on the X Factor or The Voice to be emotionally manipulated, stimulating the emotions of Saturday night viewing audience in the process.
I’ve a friend that gave me quite an insight into these shows, knowing a previous producer he informed me of the manipulation that’s used to get the best TV results. Examples would be Waking you up at 6am, telling you not to worry about breakfast there’d be food provided for you. You get to work, they’d ask you what type of group you’d like to be placed in. One that’ll best suit your style and voice and they’d then move you into a group that doesn’t suit and creates tension, they’d then not feed you until around 12/1pm by this time you’re exhausted and they start to put cameras in front of your face, asking you difficult questions and basically trying to film some sort of conflict or emotional breakdown. These shows are basically an emotional breakdown porn show.
I see UK & Irish TV shows pitting contestants against each other to be the song that represents your country in the ‘Eurovision’. The problem for me is the TV heat stage, it’s selling a product for entertainment again, rather than try to find the best song. Even if you win and get to go through and represent Ireland on the big stage, geopolitics take control. As a small Island on the outskirts of Europe, Ireland seems to fall further and further down the list of contestants.
A great clause from RTÉ:
“Songs submitted must strictly comply with the rules of Eurovision and RTÉ reserves the right to arrange, produce or otherwise alter any song selected for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.” – see the full list of stipulations here
So is it RTÉ entering the song for the Eurovision or is it me? I wonder how many times RTÉ has changed, arranged or edited an entry. Do they receive a royalty if they do so? If so that’d be a major conflict of interest.
The concept of the Eurovision Songwriting Competition is a fantastic one. It’s just been mutilated by the modern media phenomenon that is the reality TV show. I’m not dissing anyone that feels it’s a good idea to enter the TV show. The Royalty Rate you’d be getting (and maybe RTE) I’m sure would be fantastic. There’s just more to being a songwriter to me than chasing that “HIT” or next big royalty cheque. I’ve said it before, It’s a lifestyle choice, I am a Singer Songwriter, I’m not waiting to be one, I’m not waiting for an affirmation from anyone, the Eurovision isn’t going to make me feel like I’ve stepped up onto a world stage or a notch as a songwriter. There are multiple different avenues on this journey & I’ve found mine. It’s leading me on a wee journey that really excites me. I’ve friends that specifically write to find the next “HIT” and if that makes you happy, more power to you. I’ve just no interest in chasing something like that. My gratification comes from hearing one of my songs finished be released, not on someone selecting my track. Though I know some people love entering competitions and thats kind of their purpose as songwriters, especially if they’re not singers. So… I get it. Don’t think I’m just being flippant, I’m just approaching this from my view point.
Hope that clears things up a bit as to why I’ve no interest in doing the Eurovision or entering ‘The Voice’ or ‘The X factor’ or any other reality TV show shite based around music.