Page 3 Profile: Molly Smitten-Downes, musician


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The Independent Online

A musician? What does she play?

If you’re not yet familiar with the sound of Molly Smitten-Downes, you soon will be, with the most prestigious event in European music fast approaching.

She’s performing with the Vienna Philharmonic?

Even better. Here’s a clue: “Hello Copenhagen, this is London calling!”

Don’t tell me Eurovision season has rolled around again…

Douze points. The exalted Song Contest is taking place for the 59th time this spring and Smitten-Downes, 26, will be flying the flag for the UK in Denmark’s capital in front of an estimated global audience of more than 120 million.

National treasure or national embarrassment?

While the UK has a rich heritage of humiliation when it comes to Eurovision, Smitten-Downes may actually be in with a chance. The singer, originally from Lancashire, has been composing and performing her own songs since she was a teenager. In 2012 she was awarded Best Urban/Pop Act at Live and Unsigned, a music competition where new artists perform live. She has also played numerous festivals and last year won Best Song at the Best of British Unsigned Music Awards. She has even supported acts including Jake Bugg, Tinie Tempah, Labrinth and Chase & Status.

How is she planning to dazzle the rest of Europe?

Like Prince, Madonna and Cher before her, Smitten-Downes performs using a mononym, Molly. She describes her Eurovision entry “Children of the Universe” as “an anthemic, uplifting track”.

Is she nervous about hearing the dreaded words, “Nil points”?

If she is, it doesn’t show. She is maintaining a positive mental attitude and has said: “To represent the United Kingdom in such a huge competition, not only as a singer and performer but as a songwriter is an unbelievable honour. I hope I can do us proud.”

When’s the big night?

The semi-finals will be held on 6 and 8 May, but Smitten-Downes can circumvent this round since, as one of the “Big Five” countries, the UK, along with Spain, Germany, France and Italy, will gain automatic access to the grand finale on 10 May. As the incumbent champion Denmark will also enjoy this perk thanks to its 2013 victory with “Only Teardrops” by Emmelie de Forest.