Tayside and Central Scotland

Scots teacher's song in running to be Romanian Eurovision entry

Teodora Dinu Image copyright YouTube
Image caption Teodora Dinu has described the song as "beautiful"

A song written by a Scottish music teacher is in the running to become Romania's Eurovision entry.

Jason Blyth, who works at Kinross High, originally submitted his Tear Up The Dark track to be considered as the UK's song for the 2017 contest.

But after it was rejected he put it on YouTube with a note urging other interested countries to get in touch.

It was then picked up by a Romanian pop star who is competing to represent her country at Eurovision in May.

Pupils from the Perthshire school helped produce and record the backing track for singer Teodora Dinu, who has previously appeared on the Romanian version of X Factor.

She will perform it live on television on Sunday in the hope of being selected to progress to the finals in March when Romania's entry will be chosen.

She said: "Well, a good friend from Sweden sent me the song and I was really interested in it... after a couple of hours Jason sent me a text with an invitation for me to sing the song.

"I was really happy because I loved the song and I had so many ideas for this song and for the final project.

"I like it because in the first part it is like a story, it's very calm and then in the final, the last chorus, it's very explosive and strong, the lyrics are amazing. This song is about power and determination."

Image caption Jason Blyth (second right) originally submitted the track to be considered as the UK song

Mr Blyth told BBC Scotland: "I posted an acoustic demo on YouTube after being rejected by the UK and suddenly I was inundated with emails and YouTube comments from Romanian Eurovision fans who really liked the song.

"It was one of Teodora's fans who was instrumental in putting me in touch with her. To my amazement, she had already heard my demo. She said that she loved the song and it would be a privilege to sing it in the Romanian national selections.

"However, she wanted a "pop rock" twist and that was where my pupils came in."

Mr Blyth, who has been in the music department at Kinross for a year, said he played it to some of his pupils, asking for their input.

He added: "We recorded the new backing track at the school and my music tech pupils helped with the production."

'Catchy hook'

The 32-year-old said he wrote the song about a friend who was told when he was a teenager that he was going to lose his sight. Stephen Campbell went on to represent Ireland as a paralympian swimmer at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

"I feel the subject of the song is something that hasn't really been covered by Eurovision artists. It also has a catchy hook and a live rock drive that is seldom aired in Eurovision competitions."

Romania was expelled from the 2016 Eurovision contest after its national broadcaster failed to pay outstanding debts.

But the competition to select their entry for this year's final in Kiev in the Ukraine is already under way.

Image caption Pupils at Kinross High School helped record and produce the backing track for the song

Teodora Dinu is due to perform Tear Up The Dark for a judging panel and audience on Romanian television this weekend.

On Friday, a clip of Mr Blyth's original recording of the song will also be broadcast on the BBC's Eurovision: You Decide programme as part of a montage of audition tapes rejected by the UK.

All six of this year's UK Eurovision hopefuls are former X Factor contestants.

He added: "There is a massive buzz in the school about our song. I feel that the students have been on the same journey as I have as they have known about this song during its infancy.

"The whole point of me promoting the original rejected demo on YouTube was to hopefully inspire the pupils to not give up when they are told 'no'."

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