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Belfast singer Jessica Hammond releases official song for Northern Ireland senior women’s team ‘Girl Got Game’

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Some of the NI senior women’s team with Jessica Hammond (centre)

Some of the NI senior women’s team with Jessica Hammond (centre)

Some of the NI senior women’s team with Jessica Hammond (centre)

It’s the feel-good football anthem that champions female empowerment and is set to be a huge hit with fans of the Northern Ireland senior women’s team this summer.

Ahead of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 finals in July, a Belfast artist, who has been playing football since she was five years old, has recorded and released the official song of the Northern Ireland squad – Girl Got Game.

Jessica Hammond, who began her music career at 14 on Disney’s My Camp Rock performing alongside Demi Lovato, currently plays for Bangor Ladies and as a youngster, played for Glentoran.

So the former contestant on The Voice UK was delighted when her record label Paragon Records invited her to write and record the official anthem for the Northern Ireland senior women’s team, describing it as a ‘privilege and honour’.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Jessica, who has worked with leading producers and songwriters including Amy Wadge (Thinking Out Loud/Ed Sheeran), said: “I grew up playing football for Glentoran, but I got to an age when my mum said I had to choose between football and music.

“I chose music as my career but I’ve continued to play football as a hobby for Bangor Ladies, so to be able to combine my two big passions has been a dream come true.

“It feels like everything has come full circle with my track and it’s a privilege and honour that I’ve been asked to do it.

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“I hope it brings all the fans together and if I hear them singing my song, I know I’ll feel so proud that I came up with that hook.”

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Belfast artist Jessica Hammond

Belfast artist Jessica Hammond

Belfast artist Jessica Hammond

A highly skilled producer in her own right, Jessica self-produces all of her own releases alongside her long-time collaborator Matty Graham from their base at Black Studios in Belfast.

The catchy, infectious two-minute pop track focuses on the message of female empowerment within the sport and features plenty of the Green and White Army sing along lyrics for good measure.

“I wanted to write something that would appeal to the younger generation of up-and-coming footballers,” said Jessica.

“The Northern Ireland women’s senior team have paved the way for local football here and I wanted my track to be quite cool and edgy with a main hook that everyone can chant throughout the stadiums.

“The vibe is uplifting and motivating, and I wrote lyrics using football terminology like ‘always ready to attack’ and ‘don’t take your eye off the ball’.

“But it’s a double whammy really because the terminology is vague enough to be relatable outside of the game, and be a feel-good song for all women, even outside of the sport.”

Jessica, whose growing Spotify audience is sitting at 225,000 listeners a month and over three million streams, admitted she had shed tears when watching the women’s team qualify for the finals.

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Belfast artist Jessica Hammond who has written and recorded the official anthem for the Northern Ireland senior women's team ahead of the Euro 2022 finals.

Belfast artist Jessica Hammond who has written and recorded the official anthem for the Northern Ireland senior women's team ahead of the Euro 2022 finals.

Belfast artist Jessica Hammond who has written and recorded the official anthem for the Northern Ireland senior women's team ahead of the Euro 2022 finals.

And she said she had been thrilled when several of the squad contacted her via social media to say they loved Girl Got Game and were learning it already.

“Some of the girls messaged me on Instagram to say they loved the track and were so grateful for my support, but I feel grateful to have been given this opportunity,” said Jessica.

“I was so emotional watching the team go through. I was in floods of tears. I know how much it meant to them and for me, it’s just an absolute honour to be part of it all, in some small way.”

Jessica said she deliberately opted for a fast-paced vibe to open the track, to promote energy and positivity.

“It’s a very fast beginning, not quite a Nicki Minaj rap but fast enough to get the crowd going,” she said.

“I really hope it catches on with fans this summer, and not just female fans. That would be amazing.”

Angela Platt, director of Women’s Football for the Irish FA, said: “This summer will see levels of interest and excitement in our women and girls’ game at an all-time high.

“Our team has made history by qualifying for the Euros and I’m delighted to have Jessica’s soundtrack backing our team every step of the way.”

The song, released through Paragon Records, is available now on all digital download sites.


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