Duncan Laurence for The Netherlands 2019

Duncan Laurence for The Netherlands 2019

🇳🇱 The Netherlands 2019 | “Arcade”

Photograph by Paul Bellaart

Grand Final | 1st Place | 498 points | 👑

Semi Final 1 | 1st Place | 280 points | Qualified

Duncan Laurence, who’s real name is Duncan de Moor, was chosen internally by The Netherlands’ national broadcaster AVROTROS to represent his country with “Arcade”.  He competed on The Voice of Holland and was coached by Eurovision alumni Ilse DeLange (of the Common Linnets, Netherlands 2014), who later became a mentor to him. Laurence constantly sent songs he had written to DeLange, asking for her advice, and upon receiving “Arcade” she heavily implored him to allow her to submit the song to the Dutch Eurovision team for possible selection. Laurence was formally announced in January as the Dutch representative, with “Arcade” being revealed two month later in March.

“Arcade” is, at its core, a song that about longing for a lost love that has gone and the burdening pain that comes with. Though keeping the broader meaning of the song universal, Laurence was strongly inspired by a woman he was close to who died suddenly at the age of forty. She had continued to love her husband, even though he had left her, and “Arcade” channels that heartbreak and melancholy. In the music video, Laurence swims nude in a void, presenting himself as vulnerable in a field of seemingly infinite darkness.

Laurence himself was a relatively unknown artist prior to the contest. His main foray into the public was as a competitor on The Voice of Holland in 2014, where he made it to the semi-finals under DeLange’s guidance. Following that, he was a member of  The Slick (at one point called The Slick & Suited), with whom he parted with in 2016. In the intervening years, he attended the Rock Academy, in Tilburg, where he graduated in 2017. Laurence is also openly bisexual and is the third openly LGBTQ+ winner, following Dana International (Israel 1998) and Conchita Wurst (Austria 2014).

He ultimately won the contest with a total of 498 points, coming second in both the professional jury vote and the public vote, and topping Italy by 26 points. Since winning, he has remained prominent in the Dutch public eye and has performed several concerts across Europe and was involved with the planning for Rotterdam 2020.

After winning Laurence later released his second single, “Love Don’t Hate It”, in late October 2019. He was continued to work on his debut EP, stating that he didn’t want to rush something out so soon.

Watch “Arcade” below, and follow Duncan Laurence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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