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Thrice would be Nice for EuroSong Hopeful! Nikki Kavanagh launches Irish EuroSong bid

Having twice been a backing vocalist for Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry, Nikki Kavanagh hopes 2011 will be third time lucky, when she competes to represent Ireland as a solo artiste in this year’s EuroSong competition.

Having twice been a backing vocalist for Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry, Nikki Kavanagh hopes 2011 will be third time lucky, when she competes to represent Ireland as a solo artiste in this year’s EuroSong competition.

The young professional singer from Swords in County Dublin is one of five acts selected by a panel of music industry experts to compete in Ireland’s EuroSong 2011 selection process. Jedward, the Vard Sisters, Don Mescall and "a new boy-girl band" signed to EMI Records are the other performers competing to represent Ireland, with the EuroSong national contest happening on Friday 11thFebruary next, in a special edition of RTE’s The Late Late Show.

Nikki Kavanagh was a backing singer for Niamh Kavanagh (no relation!) at last year's Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, where the Irish entry qualified for the final. She also appeared on EuroSong 2008 as backing vocalist for Marc Roberts.  Nikki is an experienced live performer, with amazing vocal quality, who, in her ten year music career, has sung backing vocals for artists such as Debbie Harry, Cilla Black, Rod Stewart and Dannii Minogue.

For Eurosong 2011 Nikki Kavanagh is being mentored by David Hayes, a well‐known name in the Irish music business, who works as a musical director and arranger with artists like Sinead O Connor, Brian Kennedy, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, and Riverdance. David has a broad background in music, experienced in television, radio, musical theatre, film scoring and theatre production, and says he chose to work with Nikki Kavanagh for EuroSong 2011, on account of her proven ability to deliver an outstanding live performance.

‘The song we’ve chosen is perfect, but, ultimately, Nikki’s vocal quality, her experience, her great looks, and amazing stage presence, will all culminate in an incredible presentation on the night. EuroSong and Eurovision are all about live performance, and that is where our strength lies.’

Nikki, who regularly performs with The RTE Concert Orchestra and The Modern Gospel Ensemble, as well as in The Helix and Vicar Street, feels that her previous experience performing at the EuroVision Song Contest makes her a strong choice to represent Ireland in 2011.

‘I have a fabulous song for the competition, and am working incredibly hard with David on the performance. I know that, given the opportunity, we can deliver an amazing Irish EuroSong entry in Düsseldorf this year. I’ve been there, I’m hugely experienced in live performance, I know the pressure involved, and I’m more than ready for it!’ Nikki says.

The selection of Ireland’s EuroSong entry was changed this year, with stronger music industry involvement, in an attempt to enhance the prospects of the Irish song in the competition. The five mentors, which include Caroline Downey of MCD who is promoting Jedward, and record company EMI, have each sourced their song and their singers, and all five entries will be performed for the first time on The Late Late Show Eurosong 2011 next month.

The Irish winner will be chosen by a mix of tele-voting and regional juries which, according to David Hayes, who has been involved in EuroSong on a number of occasions previously, should help ensure that the quality of the song and the singer comes to the fore.

‘Two years ago Ireland went for the‘fun factor’with our Eurovision entry, and, unfortunately the rest of Europe didn’t get the joke. The winning act must be entertaining, but at the heart of the competition is the quality of the singer and the song, and, on this level, Nikki Kavanagh’s talent and experience should win out’ David Hayes says.

Nikki Kavanagh’s song was written by an experienced quartet of Swedish and Danish songwriters, to suit her vocal range and interpretation, and Nikki is confident it has a fresh, modern style that will appeal to the Eurovision audience.

‘I’m honoured to be chosen to compete for Ireland’s EuroSong, and I just hope the judges and the public will like the song, as much as we do, and that my performance does it justice. We are conscious that it’s not just the song, but the overall presentation that is vital for success, so David’s great experience in developing world-class performance is invaluable’, Nikki says.

Ireland is one of the most successful Eurovision participating nations, having won the grand-prix of song seven times. The 2011competition will be the 56th annualEurovision Song Contest, and takes place in Düsseldorf, following Germany's win in the 2010 contest with Lena Meyer-Landrut's song, Satellite. Forty-two countries are entered this year, and Ireland will compete in the second semi-final on Thursday 12 May, with the final planned for the evening of Saturday 14 May 2011.

When she finishes work on her Eurovision challenge, Nikki plans to record an album with the well-known Swedish songwriters Lina and Marten Ericksson, who co-wrote Niamh Kavanagh’s 2010 EuroSong entry, It’s For You, and who work extensively on Simon Cowell’s Pop Idol TV show in both Sweden and Germany.

A keen golfer, Nikki Kavanagh is also a part-time TV show host, presenting The Irish Golfer on SKY SPORTS, interviewing top golfers and covering the latest golfing news.

For all press information, please contact:

Tara Gilleece, at Gilleece Communications, Tel: 087-2392721



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