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Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder says his new album focuses on hope and faith

by Tola Mbakwe
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Photo Credit: Reuters

Sam Ryder has said the key theme of his debut album is how to keep long-term hope and faith despite difficult times.

The Eurovision 2022 runner-up, who sang his heart for the UK in the song contest, released There's nothing but space, man! this week.

In an interview with the BBC, he said:  "I wanted to focus on the tenets of hope and faith and how to retain those things.

"I've been making music since I was 13 years old, and it was always foot on the gas, full belief, full faith - even though I was absolutely bombarded with failure.

"You start asking yourself, 'What's gonna happen? Maybe I'm finished?' All these stupid thoughts that I know we all have.

"But now sitting here, looking back, I'm thinking, 'Wow, you should have been so excited.' I had no idea what was around the corner. And therein lies the lesson, I suppose. To remain hopeful over a long period of time."

Ryder revealed he was almost killed in a surfing accident in Hawaii four years ago. While spending a week on best rest to recover, he said he spent a lot of time reflecting and realised that his life’s purpose is music.

 "That day was important to me because I wanted to be very good at surfing and ride the big waves - but [the accident] put me back on my true purpose,” he said.

"I was like, 'You can't do the thing you love most, which is music and singing, if you're at the bottom of the sea'."

Ryder was previously a stand-in guitarist for Christian rock group Blessed By A Broken Heart in 2010, and was also a part of two other rock bands over the years. However, he said he didn’t believe he was living in his true purpose.  

After his near-death surfing experience, he moved back to the UK, joined his father’s carpentry business and began singing at weddings.

He shot to fame during the 2020 UK coronavirus lockdown when he started uploading TikTok videos of himself singing, covering songs like Adele’s ‘Set fire to the rain’.

Ryder has performed all over Europe after coming in second place to Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, with his hit song ‘Space man’.

In an interview after the final he said "Eurovision was like being in a church because “there was so much joy and togetherness” in the area.

Ryder has now landed a special New Year's Eve show on the BBC.

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