Watch: Sheldon Riley talks competing for Eurovision in 2022


Sheldon Riley Eurovision The Voice Singer

Sheldon Riley is ready for his next big challenge, Eurovision 2022.

After taking on Australia and the world on our television screens he’s ready to make his next big move.

In February Sheldon will compete in Eurovision: Australia Decides on the Gold Coast.

The talented singer sat down to chat with Michael James about what we can expect from him in 2022.

A long journey of self-discovery for Sheldon Riley

Sheldon Riley has quickly become a household name in Australia.

After growing up on the Gold Coast Sheldon took his dreams of singing to the small screen as he tackled some of Australia and the worlds biggest talent competitions.

Taking his unique voice and style on-screen set him apart and Australia fell in love with watching him blossom into the strong and confident performer he is today.

“I’ve always found that music was the one strong solid thing for me. The fashion kind of intertwined slowly” he says of his experience.

“My whole entire music trajectory has been broadcast on TV. I came out on X-factor, people saw me grow on The Voice, The Voice All-Stars and then America’s Got Talent.”

Sheldon takes pride in where he’s been and the road taken to where he is now and reflects fondly on the journey so far.

“It’s been a very long journey. A long road of finding myself as a human, a performer and an artist. I’m very proud of myself.”

After switching from Australian to international screens Sheldon saw a massive growth in his audience and confidence.

Of his time on America’s Got Talent he says “It was massive!” The sheer mechanics of such a show were overwhelming but positive for the singer.

“I was asked to go on AGT for a few years now. But I wasn’t quite ready mentally.”

The experience widened his audience and his experience exponentially.

“So many people from around the world have been able to see what I do.”

Whilst many who have tread the boards of reality TV before him have walked away disheartened or disillusioned Sheldon is thankful for his time on screen.

“For so many people that hated their reality TV experience I really found myself on it and I’m so grateful for what they were able to create and what version of myself they put out into the world.”

Ultimately his time on television would help shape him for his next chapter, Eurovision 2022.

Sheldon prepares to sing Not the Same at Eurovision: Australia Decides

Being picked to compete for a spot at Eurovision is a dream come true for Sheldon.

Not only is it a dream, but also something he has actively worked towards his entire career.

“Everything from the very start of X-Factor to now has seen Eurovision very boldly plastered in the back of my mind from the very start,” he says.

Although he may be competing for a spot Sheldon views this as vastly different from his reality TV competition days.

“It’s not about how well you interview. It’s about performance and originality and the song.”

Of the song he has selected, it’s a piece of music years in the making that Australia will need to wait just a touch longer to hear.

“I’m releasing it a bit later than other artists who are competing,” he says coyly of his competition entry titled Not The Same.

After sending many different songs back and forth with competition organisers Not The Same was one of the last songs he expected to be performing.

“It’s a very personal song. It was never going to be the Eurovision song, ever.”

“It’s very dark, it’s orchestral, it’s stripped back, it’s everything that I have watched back of myself and said yeah that really worked, that was really strong.”

In true Sheldon style, the song is going to be something very modern and different that is sure to move his audience.

“I’ve taken it all and put it into this James Bond/Billie Eilish very modern Eurovision pop song. I’m so excited for everybody to hear it.”

“It means a lot to me and I never thought I was going to sing it, it was at the back of the list.”

But Eurovision is more than just the music and Sheldon Riley is ready to slay with his outfit as well.

“I’ve been planning this since I was 7”

“I’m so excited about it!” He gushes about his outfit, visibly excited.

Every part of his performance from his song choice down to his outfit has been clearly and carefully orchestrated.

“I think for a lot of people Eurovision is something where if you’re going to participate or put yourself forward you start to think about how you make your brand Eurovision and how you make it that.”

“For me, I’ve kind of always set every performance I’ve ever done as though it’s going to be a Eurovision performance.”

“Whether it’s a rural Aussie festival or the back room of a pub it’s going to be a Eurovision performance.”

Naturally, Sheldon’s performance will be dynamic and dramatic.

“I can’t give too much away but it’s very dark, it’s very cinematic, it kind gives a very post-apocalyptic kind of vibe.”

Sheldon has been hands-on with the creation of his outfit. Creating concepts and collaborating with professional designers will see signature Sheldon outfits on display.

“I collaborated and did sketches and sent them to a designer, Anthony Capon from Et Al and he’s designed and created it.”

“It’s by far one of the most beautiful pieces of fashion I’ve ever seen in my entire life, I can’t wait to wear it.”

But who could forget his signature item, the mask?

“I’ve got a mask by Emanuel” he confirms.

“Everything is so well thought out, but I’ve been planning this since I was seven” he laughs enthusiastically.

“If you’ve loved anything I’ve done in the past, this is the performance to watch, this one I’m really really excited about.”

When can we hear expect to hear Not The Same?

Although a release date for his Eurovision single Not The Same has not been announced Sheldon assures us that it will be out before he performs it.

“It will be out at least ten days before I perform it, I think I can say that” he laughs.

“The song has a very weird surprise in the middle of it which kind of twines together the sound of Sheldon Riley and the aesthetic and it just kind of all comes together and makes sense.”

Previously artists have released their singles for the competition at various stages prior to performing them.

Whilst some like to promote their song ahead of the performance, others like to save as much as possible for the performance on the night.

Sheldon is most excited for people to hear his song live at Eurovision: Australia Decides.

“I think I’m just holding out on people hearing the recorded version of the song for just a little bit longer because it’s really exciting.”

“I get excited every time I hear it, it’s going to be so mindf*cking when people finally hear it, then they have to wait to see me perform to understand why it sounds the way it does.”

You can watch our full interview with Sheldon Riley below.

Eurovision: Australia Decides will take place on the 25th and 26th of February on the Gold Coast.

The live finale will air on SBS on Saturday 26 February at 7.30pm.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    15 January 2022
    Reply

    Sheldon Riley is THE most obvious fit with Eurovision that we have. Good luck with the bid and I can’t wait to hear the new song.

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