Duncan Laurence is a Dutch singer-songwriter who is most famous for ‘Arcade,’ a song first released in 2019 and later became a part of his debut album ‘Small Town Boy’ (2020).
Duncan was born as ‘Duncan de Moor’ Metro on Monday, April 11, 1994 (age 27 years; as of 2021), in Spijkenisse, South Holland province, Netherlands. He was brought up in Hellevoetsluis, Voorne-Putten, South Holland, Netherlands.
From a very young age, he was intrigued by music. When he reached four, he started playing the piano, creating his music and songs. As a child, he also used to visit an old music school and local theater to play piano and write songs and poems every day. In 2017, he graduated from the Rock Academy, Tilburg, where he studied music. Eurovision TV In October 2018, he announced that he was a bisexual in an Instagram post. Zizo Magazine Shortly after winning the Eurovision contest, he made an official announcement in a press conference, stating,
I am more than just an artist, I am a person, I am a living being, I’m bisexual, I’m a musician, I stand for things. And I’m proud that I get the chance to show what I am, who I am.”
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Family & Ethnicity
His mother’s middle name is Laurentia. In June 2019, he announced that he was dating a man named Gerco Derksen, and in September 2019, he announced his separation from Gerko.
On October 5, 2020, Duncan released a statement, declaring his engagement with the American songwriter Jordan Garfield.
During the first year of his graduation, Duncan played with many bands; the bands ranged from Motown and Hip Hop to Rock and Reggae. In 2013, he formed a five-member band called ‘The Slick and Suited’ as a part of his semester studies. The band debuted at Eurosonic Noorderslag, an annual four-day music festival and music conference that is held in the Netherlands. The band gave its performances at various events such as Fashion Week in the Amsterdam RAI, opening for Berget Lewis in the Mezz in Breda, P3 in Purmerend, and the Gigant in Apeldoorn.
In March 2016, he left his band ‘The Slick and Suited.’
The Voice of Holland & Independent Work
In 2014, he contested the Dutch singing reality show ‘The Voice of Holland.’ In the show, he chose Ilse DeLange, the Dutch singer-songwriter, as his coach. Popularity came to him with the show. He faced elimination in the semi-finals of the show.
Soon after the show, he traveled to London and Stockholm, making music and writing songs for many artists. Laurence, along with Jihad Rahmouni, wrote the solo song ‘Closer’ from Kpop duo TVXQ’s album ‘New Chapter #1: The Chance of Love,’ sung by Max Changmin.
Eurovision Song Contest
In January 2019, Laurence was chosen internally to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The contest takes place annually between European countries and features participants who represent their respective countries. The 2019 contest took place in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Laurence won the contest with 498 points from 41 international juries and public votes, becoming the fifth Dutch entrant to ever win the competition. The contest was canceled the following year, which made Laurence the longest-reigning winner of Eurovision; he held the title for two consecutive years.
Singles & Albums
In March 2019, Duncan’s song ‘Arcade’ saw its release. The same year, Capitol Records signed a record deal with Laurence. In May 2020, Duncan’s first extended play ‘Worlds on Fire’ was released. The EP singles featured singles like Arcade, Love Don’t Hate It, and Someone Else. The album charted at 64 on the Dutch Album Top 100 and 12 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers.
In November 2020, Duncan’s debut studio album ‘Small Town Boy’ was released. The song ‘Arcade’ from 2019 became the lead single of the album. Small Town Boy reached 6 on the Dutch Album Top 100 chart, 94 on the Belgium chart, and 12 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Just three days after its release, the album obtained a Platinum certification for 40,000 sales and streaming.
The song ‘Arcade’ charted at 1 on Dutch Single Top 100, 45 on the Canadian Single, 29 on the UK Single, and 100 on US Single. In the second half of 2020, Arcade went viral on TikTok, a video-sharing social networking platform. This led to the song getting more charts success and an increase in streaming on various platforms. Talking about his Arcade in an interview, he said,
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.”
In January 2021, Arcade grew to be the most-streamed Eurovision song ever on Spotify. In March 2021, he made his television debut in the US, performing “Arcade” on Today. He then performed the song’s duet version with Fletcher on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In April 2021, Arcade rose to become the first Eurovision-winning song in 45 years to be placed in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Awards & Achievements
- National in 2020
- International for the song ‘Arcade’ in 2020
- Marcel Bezençon Awards – Press Award for the song ‘Arcade’ in 2019
- Edison Award for Best Song for ‘Arcade’ in 2020
- Singer(s): Elvis Presley, Alex Vargas, Sam Smith, Adele, Troy Sivan, Allie X, Noah Cyrus, Jessie J, Tom Odell
- Band(s): U2, Queen, Snow Patrol, Coldplay, The Fray, Paramore, Fleetwood Mac, Die Antwoord
- Song: Dance You Off by Benjamin Ingrosso
- Album(s): Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Back To Black by Ami Winehouse
- Book: Harry Potter series
- Film: Harry Potter series
- Even in his spare time, Duncan finds a chance to listen to music and produce songs. According to him, he always carries his AirPods and laptop along while traveling.
- In February 2020, Duncan confessed that at the time of his birth, he suffered a motor disorder affect in his right hand due to oxygen deprivation. Talking about it in an Instagram post, he said,
When I was born, I didn’t get enough oxygen, which caused epileptic seizures during my first few days as a new born child. I’m glad and grateful it only resulted in just some damage on the left side of my brains, causing a -what doctors call- motor disorder. Easiest way to explain it: I can’t move my right hand properly.”
- Due to his premature birth, his parents named him Duncan; Duncan means dark warrior in Gaelic. ESC Today
- In an interview, when he was asked how he chose ‘Duncan Laurence’ as his stage name. Duncan responded that Duncan was his first name and ‘Laurence’ came from his mother’s second name, Laurentia. ESC Today He said,
Duncan is my first name. That was easy. Laurence is from my mother, her second name is Laurentia. […] And I changed it to Laurence to honour her.”
- Duncan grew up in a town that was far away from the concept of music. Music was not one with the syllabus of regular school systems. However, he still found himself inclined towards music at a very young age.
- Laurence faced a lot of bullying as a child and was unable to defend himself. His troubled childhood led him to the world of music, where he felt secure and at peace. Talking about it in an interview, he said,
I was bullied a lot when I was younger. I had a tough time in school from the age of four until I was eighteen. The school wasn’t a safe place for me, but my home, specifically my room, was because I had music. I couldn’t be myself. All that negativity I took home and locked myself up in my room. I would play my piano and write songs. It was a way to dump all that negativity into melodies, chords, lyrics and turn it into beautiful songs. I could be myself, make mistakes and tell my own stories, in a safe world, created by music.”
- In 2017, he made a guest appearance in the song ‘Laat Gaan’ by the Dutch artist Sjors van der Panne.
- There are two tattoos on his right arm.