Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival favourite Fash Stewart has set his sights on winning Eurovision 2022 – for Ireland.
The singer-songwriter, who has hosted the Potting Shed Stage at Belladrum for more than 10 years, will release his techno number Wave Your Flags on Friday December 3 ahead of entering it in Eire’s national song contest.
Inverness-born Fash hopes his entry will not only make it through to represent Ireland – where he now lives – but on to claim the Eurovision crown itself.
He said: “I would like to be able to win the whole thing and certainly, I do feel the song has some components which I feel could win the whole thing. But then the same time it could get zero points.”
Fash, who moved to Ireland with his partner in July, said he had originally been asked to write the song for another artist who, unfortunately, had to pull out of the project due to ill-health.
“I was particularly proud of this song, so I thought ‘let’s go with it … let’s go wholeheartedly into it for my new country’,” he said. “That’s very much the story of Scotland and Ireland, both ways – and I am a 16th Irish, so I do have a good claim to do it.”
Wave Your Flags has a positive message
Fash described Wave Your Flags as an upbeat, uplifting dance track with a positive message.
“I hope the positive message, the uplifting spirit of the song, inspires a sort of pride in people. And there’s a lot of people who need that lift up, particularly after the pandemic.
I really want that sort of positive feeling, helping that message of love and co-existence.”
“That’s whether people feel in pride in their community, pride in their family, their community, their sexuality, their achievements, their work … I really want that sort of positive feeling, helping that message of love and co-existence.”
As a techno track, Wave Your Flags is a departure from his usual style of music which is mostly country with a bit of folk, as befits the host of the Belladrum stage renowned for offering the best of Americana, blues and country roots.
But Fash points out he has eclectic tastes, having performed across country, folk, jazz, indie and rock – and he’s a fan of electronic dance music, too.
“I think one of the remits of the song is that it needs to have an intrinsic and obvious appeal to younger viewers, who make up a significant number of people who watch Eurovision,” he said.
Fash Stewart will tour Scotland next year
Wave Your Flags will now go into the Irish national song contest for Europe in February, where Fash hopes it will find favour in a ballot split equally between a TV audience vote, a national jury and a foreign panel.
I would love to and be very proud to win Eurovision for my new country.”
“So, certainly, I’m hoping to represent Ireland and while it is one step at a time, I would love to and be very proud to win Eurovision for my new country.
No matter what happens on the Eurovision front with Wave Your Flags, Fash is planning to return to Scotland for a tour next year, with shows in Edinburgh, Inverness and Dundee in November.
“And hopefully I’ll be back at Belladrum next summer,” said Fash.
You find out more by visiting Fash’s Facebook page.