Eurovision Song Contest 2022: Sam Ryder’s teacher tells what the ‘cheeky’ singer was like at school

Britain’s Eurovision Song Contest representative Sam Ryder was said to have been very cheeky at his old school in Essex, according to his teachers. Maldon singer and TikTok star Sam Ryder will represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with his song ‘Space Man’, written during lockdown.

The 32-year-old singing sensation has racked up 12 million followers on TikTok after entertaining fans with catchy covers of songs by Adele, Michael Jackson and Blondie during the pandemic. He started singing as a child and was inspired to pursue a career in music, after seeing Canadian rock band Sum 41, in concert when he was at school – St John Payne Catholic School in Chelmsford, Essex, which he attended between 2000 and 2007.

Sam is well remembered at his old school in Essex, with many of his teachers fondly remembering his time there. The Maldon singer began showing his talents at St John Payne’s School as well as his band.

READ MORE: Essex TikTok star Sam Ryder to represent the UK with his track Space Man

Jemma Coleman, Head of Grade 7 and Design Technology at St John Payne Catholic School and Sam’s former teacher, told EssexLive about Sam’s time at school. Ms Coleman said: “There are still a few of us here who remember him – he was a nice, cheeky young man at school!

“My colleague and I used to help organize the school’s talent shows and music events and we also remember him from his band – The Morning After – although not all the members were from our school. We remember going to see the band perform in Chelmsford High Street as part of a charity event for The J’s Hospice. Even then they were becoming great showmen.

“I’ve been following his videos online for the last year or so – he has a phenomenal voice. I’m really proud of him. Good luck Sam from the whole St John Payne community!”

Sam was announced as this year’s UK representative for the Eurovision Song Contest in March. This year’s UK entry was co-written by Ryder alongside Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Amy Wadge and Max Wolfgang, who has been involved in projects with Ed Sheeran and BTS.

“Space Man” has been described as a “solidly written” and uplifting pop song, the video of which features Ryder flying over a city of frontline workers and citizens. The otherworldly lyrics are about loneliness and hard times, but there is a hopeful tone to the song.

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