This Friday night (Feb 26), the British public will be invited to vote between six entries to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, during BBC Four’s Eurovision: You Decide. One of those hoping to carry the torch for us in Stockholm is Karl Lund – a Liverpool-born singer and model who appeared in Thomas Knights’ Red Hot campaign – who has been selected from thousands of entrants with his self written track Miracle. He spoke exclusively to Attitude about his hopes for the competition.
How did you come to be a finalist for representing the UK in this year’s Eurovision?
I’m a professional song writer and I work from home – I’ve got my own studio there. I came to know of the Eurovision opportunity in August last year, and it was the first time we’ve ever had a public open submission for tracks. I scanned my catalogue of songs and Miracle was my instant decision. The song has already been on a bit of a journey. I started writing it in 2012 when I was working in Greece – I was in a Beatles tribute band at the time! I started working on it on my iPad, on the GarageBand app. I left the song on the shelf for a few years gathering dust, then decided to revisit it last year with my producer, Ben Haynes. My brother-in-law had lymphoma cancer and watching him go through his treatment, the song came back into my consciousness. I submitted the song for the Eurovision entry and completely forgot about it. They obviously they got back to me just before Christmas and said that, from all the public submissions, my track came top out of all of them. I’m up against 5 established people in the industry, and I think I’m the only one who has written and performed the track.
What do you think about the others in the competition?
There’s no famous faces as such. There’s a couple of people that were on The Voice that have now got together as a duo, so we’re all sort of on the same playing field. There’s no novelty acts, all the songs are really credible. The UK’s contribution in the past has been a bit of a joke but the BBC have gotten really serious in trying to find the true contender.
How do you think your chances stack up for winning the heat?
I think the fact that I’m performing a song that I wrote will give me an edge because my performance will hopefully come across as passionate. The song is quite personal and written in a universally relatable way.
So with this new process of finding a song, do you think the UK might finally be in with a shot this year?
In terms of the UK’s position, I really believe in my song. We’ve tweaked and revisited the production to tailor it to the European and Eurovision market and I can really hear it in places like Stockholm standing on its own two feet. To be fair, I think the whole political excuse that people use for Eurovision is a lazy excuse, because yes you’re always going to get countries voting for neighbouring countries, but at the end of the day the song that appear on the left side of that scoreboard in the top five, they’re all amazing songs. Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to.
As a gay artist, have you got much support on the LGBT circuit?
Yeah, recently I was performing to around 15,000 people in Gran Canaria Pride, that was the biggest one I’ve performed at. I’ve also performed at Liverpool Pride, where I’m from, and I won a competition to perform on the main stage there a couple of years back. It sort of prepared me for this, just on a lot bigger scale.
You were part of the Red Hot campaign too, what was that like?
That was brilliant, that was a couple years ago. I was approached by Thomas Knights, who had seen me on social media and asked me to come down and shoot it, way before it blew up in the press. I think it was the original edition that I was involved with and it ended up being expanded into the Red Hot 100. So I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for at the time apart from dispelling the red-head male stereotype – that we’re unattractive – and I really love the fact that the proceeds were going to anti-bullying charities. It just took on a life of its own, and seeing it grow was brilliant. People still recognise me from that book which is really cool, it shows how much exposure it has had.
So you’ll be doing this for gingers everywhere?
Absolutely, I need the ginger vote. The last time we won in 1997, it was Katrina and the Waves, and she’s a ginger!
What can we expect from the show on Friday night?
The show will be on BBC Four at 7.30pm for an hour and half. There will be the six finalists with an interview before the performances. This will be broken up with a panel who will give advice and say how they see the song being staged. They’ll be quite scaled down performances, but you will be able to envision how it would be performed in May. The public will then be invited to vote for who they want to represent them.
— BBC Eurovision (@bbceurovision) February 22, 2016
You can vote for Karl during Eurovision: You Decide, this Friday, February 26 from 7.30pm on BBC Four.