While stuck in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, singer Sam Ryder started uploading TikTok videos of himself singing songs to stave off the boredom. Against all odds, he’s since become a social-media sensation and has now been chosen to represent the United Kingdom in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. In case you somehow managed to avoid hopping aboard Ryder’s TikTok train, allow us to introduce him to you – this is the story of how Sam Ryder went from hopeful TikTokker to Eurovision contender.
Listen to our TikTok Trends playlist here.
Who is Sam Ryder?
C’mon, surely you’ve seen his videos all over social media by now? They’re everywhere! Sam Ryder is a 32-year-old viral TikTok singer from Essex, with a spectacular voice that has set tongues wagging the world over. Having played as a session musician in multiple bands throughout the years, Ryder started posting videos of himself singing other people’s songs on TikTok during the first COVID-19 lockdown, in early 2020, and ended up closing the year as the most-followed UK music artist on the platform. Not bad for a lad from Essex, right?
In 2021, Sam signed with Parlophone Records and began working on his own music; after pairing up with Rag’n’Bone Man producer Jamie Hartman, he became one of the musicians to look out for in 2022. In fact, in March, it was revealed that Ryder will be heading to Turin, Italy, to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. Will he be following in the footsteps of Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Brotherhood Of Man, Buck’s Fizz and Katrina And The Waves? Watch this space!
How did Sam Ryder get famous?
It’s all about that incredible voice – that’s exactly what sent Sam Ryder viral in the first place. Thanks to his jaw-dropping cover versions of songs by Adele, Lady Gaga and Sia, Ryder has built a solid fanbase of over 12.1 million TikTok followers, and his impeccable rendition of If I Ain’t Got You impressed the song’s writer, Alicia Keys, so much that she even performed an impromptu duet with the man himself. And then there’s Ryder’s likeable and friendly personality to take into account – he’s attracted a huge amount of social-media support, and his followers are all rooting for him to become a massive success.