Not the Same (Sheldon Riley song)

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"Not the Same"
Sheldon Riley - Not the Same.png
Single by Sheldon Riley
Released15 February 2022
Length2:58
LabelSelf-released
Songwriter(s)
  • Sheldon Riley
  • Cam Nacson
  • Timi Temple
Producer(s)Cameron Nacson[1]
Sheldon Riley singles chronology
"Again"
(2021)
"Not the Same"
(2022)
Music video
"Not the Same" on YouTube
Eurovision Song Contest 2022 entry
Country
Artist(s)
Sheldon Riley
Composer(s)
  • Sheldon Riley
  • Cam Nacson
  • Timi Temple
Lyricist(s)
  • Sheldon Riley
  • Cam Nacson
  • Timi Temple
Finals performance
Semi-final result
2nd
Semi-final points
243
Final result
15th
Final points
125
Entry chronology
◄ "Technicolour" (2021)

"Not the Same" is a song by Australian singer Sheldon Riley, released as a single on 15 February 2022. It represented Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, held in Turin, Italy, in May 2022. The song was co-written by Riley with Cam Nacson and Timi Temple and produced by Nacson, and is about "discrimination and exclusion".[2] The song details his experiences with autism.[3]

Following its win at Eurovision – Australia Decides, the song debuted at number 3 on the Australian Independent Label Singles chart.[4]

Background

The song was submitted for the 2022 edition of the annual song competition Eurovision – Australia Decides, which selects Australia's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest, broadcast by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) on 26 February 2022. "Not the Same" came second in both the jury vote and televote, but achieved the most total points, winning the competition.[5]

Riley wrote the lyrics in late 2015 about his experiences growing up, including being diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at age six, living in public housing, and "moving from home to home, unaware of [his] sexuality, among a deeply religious family".[2] Speaking about the track, Sheldon said, "'Not The Same' is the story I never thought I'd ever feel I'd be able to tell. Written from the memories of a child who at age 6 was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, growing up in public housing, moving from home to home, unaware of my sexuality, among a deeply religious family. A path already laid that I would never be able to properly understand or interact with other people. I actually wrote this song back around late 2015, I had sent myself the lyrics on my old Facebook account. It was more of a poem back then though, reflecting on how far I had come, recently having come out to my family and feeling so free to speak my mind more and more each day. I have always connected to Darker Disney Animations, characters that were perceived to be different, evil, misunderstood and weren't given a chance to explain parts of themselves that they ultimately couldn't change. Maleficent, Cruella DeVille, Ursula. It probably explains my dark aesthetic... The song is really a gift back to any one who might be in my position when I first fell in love with Eurovision. Regardless of gender, sexuality, race, financial position, trauma, color, age, shape or size. You're 'Not the Same' but you're not alone."[6]

Reception

Calum Rowe from Sparks Underland wrote that the song "gives Australia a Eurovision entry to be proud of." Rowe said, "The vulnerability of Riley's vocals are evident from second zero of the track. It's so pure to hear someone lay bare their talent in such a raw and emotional way. A moody piano guides the song from start to finish at a volume just high enough to enjoy and just low enough not to engulf Riley. The strings that appear in the middle eight are used in a similar way. The final 30 seconds of the track are split in two which seems like a mistake. The first 15 show Riley's voice at its most naked with the last 15 containing instrumentation that swamps the song in an attempt to top the natural crescendo the track had in the middle eight. 'Not the Same' really is a fine composition. Tidy up the unnatural ending and he'll be onto something."[7]

Michael James from Q News felt that "Deep, rich and powerful vocals are the initial standout of this track. Sheldon's emotive and powerful story is equal to the strength of his voice. Every moment of the song carries the listener on a journey as the song builds to its climax. Rich with character, style and story 'Not the Same' is the perfect Eurovision track."[8]

At Eurovision

Riley performed 8th out of the 18 acts in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Thursday 12 May 2022.[9]

Charts

Chart performance for "Not the Same"
Chart (2022) Peak
position
Australian Independent Label Singles (AIR)[4] 3
Lithuania (AGATA)[10] 47
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 19

References

  1. ^ "Sheldon Riley releases Eurovison song "Not the Same"". Amnplify. 15 February 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Sheldon Riley heads to Eurovision with 'Not the Same'". OutInPerth. 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Eurovision: Why I'm taking off my autistic mask". BBC News. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Singles Chart (Independent Labels) 7 March 2022". Australian Independent Record Labels Association. 7 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  5. ^ McGarry, Andrew (27 February 2022). "Sheldon Riley to represent Australia at Eurovision, after his song Not the Same wins Australia Decides on the Gold Coast". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Sheldon Riley Not The Same". Girl.com.au. February 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Eurovision 2022: Sheldon Riley – Not The Same Review". Spark Sunderland. 10 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Sheldon Riley releases powerful Eurovision entry: Not The Same". qnews.com.au. 15 February 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  9. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Second Semi-Final". Eurovision.tv. 25 January 2022. Archived from the original on 29 March 2022. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  10. ^ "2022 20-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. 20 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker, vecka 20". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 20 May 2022.