In the 26th part of 'Destination Lisbon', our feature counting down to the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, we get to know Waylon, who will represent the Netherlands with the song 'Outlaw In 'Em'.
Waylon, who'se real name is Willem Bijkerk, was born in 1980. When he was 18 years old he received a phone call from his hero, Waylon Jennings, who invited him to come and work with him in Nashville. Unfortunately the country singer died in 2001, after which Waylon returned to the Netherlands.
Waylon caught people's attention with his Holland's Got Talent performance in 2008. One year later he became the first Dutch artist to sign to Motown Label. Wicked Way was his first single on his debut album Wicked Ways.
In 2011 Waylon released his second album, After All, and later he was voted Best Vocalist by popular ratio station 3FM. While working on his third album word got out that Waylon and Ilse DeLange had formed one-off band The Common Linnets and were going to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2014 The Common Linnets finished second at the Eurovision Song Contest and sold over half a million copies of their album worldwide.
In that same year Waylon's third solo album Heaven After Midnight was released and went straight to number one in the Dutch charts. In 2016 Waylon took seat in the jury of the TV programme It Takes Two and became a coach on The Voice of Holland. At the end of that year his fourth album Seeds came out and he performed twice in front of thirty thousand people in Rotterdam's Ahoy venue.
Late last year, it was announced that Waylon would again represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest.
2018 is going to be a busy year for Waylon. From April onwards he will be performing in thirty venues during his The World Can Wait Tour. The album of the same name is also going to be released that month. His Eurovision entry Outlaw In ‘Em is an ode to his own authenticity, as well as to his many heroes who dared to be different.
Waylon's motto — 'it’s okay to be different' — is summed up perfectly by Outlaw In ‘Em, which he explained to Eurovision.tv:
"Ultimately everyone has something he strongly believes in but not everyone dares to stand up for that all of the time. For me it's different because I can't do things any other way. It's in my genes to constantly question everything, with the only goal being to get the very best out of myself in the first instance and often out of others as well. Music is my love and the place where I feel safe and confident. I am going to Lisbon with the song which I feel particularly good about. 'Outlaw In ‘Em’ says something about myself.’’
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Waylon will perform Outlaw in 'em for the Netherlands in the second Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest on the 10th of May.
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