Duncan Laurence won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Arcade' for the Netherlands on Saturday 18 May 2019. He scored 492 points in the Grand Final after winning the second Semi-Final with 280 points. Talking about the song, Duncan explains: "I grew up in a town where music was a stranger. Music had no part in the regular school system. But that couldn’t keep me from making music. Somehow I was drawn to its magical ways to express myself and tell my own story. We had a small local theatre and an old music school. I played the piano every single day, wrote my own songs and poems. I remember that time as if it was yesterday. I was certain: I was going to be a musician."
Duncan: "My youth wasn’t always easy. I was bullied a lot and couldn’t defend myself. Music was a safe haven: a place where I was not insecure and where I could let my emotions run free.
"When I was sixteen, I won a talent show and got the opportunity to record my first demo. My passion for music became more serious and I decided to enrol in the Rock Academy. It allowed me to travel and visit London and Stockholm. I was deeply impressed by my peers, my age or even younger, who were making music at a very high level. I learned that you can appeal to a big audience, without losing track of your personal story or your integrity.
"I'm always inspired by stories that move me, real personal experiences from my own life or someone else’s. Arcade was inspired by the story of someone I loved deeply, who died at a young age. The words, chords and melodies came to me automatically as if they fell from the sky. When Joel Sjöö and Wouter Hardy helped me finish the song it got a much larger scope. It changed from a very personal story to a story that everyone can connect to. Arcade is a song about longing… longing for love… longing for something that seems out of reach. And it speaks of hope. Hope, that you will find what you need in life.
"Since Arcade I’ve written many songs, but somehow Arcade feels like the centre of all of them. It started my journey to wanting to write songs that can really mean something to people. My career thus far has mainly been behind the scenes writing for other artists and defining my own sound. It feels good to now step into the light and share my story. I want to reach out to people with my music, possibly even help them. Arcade is a word of advice to myself and who knows… Maybe it helps someone, somewhere… I truly hope so."