Being a European singer/songwriter, I always have one eye on the Eurovision each year, but 2015 holds even greater interest for me as the contest hits its momentous 60th Anniversary, with the very 'non-European' Australia joining the line-up as a celebratory one-off for this year only. They're being rewarded for their decades of loyal Eurovision love by being allowed to enter for one year only. But adding extra musical sparkle for me, my home country of Italy, is amongst the 'Big Six' as an automatic qualifier.

Taking place on 23 May, Vienna hosts one of the biggest musical events of the European calendar. Their attention grabbing, Conchita Wurst shook media headlines last year when the gorgeous bearded man in a gown won the 2014 - granting them automatic right to 'host' this contest. With over 40 countries taking part in the celebrations, this year will be a music-fest like none other.

But how important is Eurovision to the music industry today? Is there still a need for a Euro-wide music contest that's almost as old as our grandparents? Hell yes! In my opinion Eurovision is something that's worth preserving at all costs. It gives artists a world-wide platform to showcase their talent for singing and song-writing and, in an industry that's super hard to crack, it gives new artists a passport to debut themselves on a mammoth scale.

Of course, the current phenomenon of reality TV talent shows such as X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and the 'Idol' series eg. American Idol, Australian Idol etc, all contribute to seeking out new grass roots talent that may not otherwise be found. And that's an amazing opportunity for budding music artists within their own countries. But Eurovision takes opportunity onto a wider global platform, allowing performers to step onto a stage that breaks beyond the boundaries of their home turf. That's why former Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian, will be representing Australia this year. For him, Australian Idol was his first step on the ladder, now it's time for Eurovision to take him 'global'. The UK's very own Kitty Empire was also desperate to join the Eurovision ranks for 2015, proof that Eurovision is a very attractive offering for artists looking to expand their fan base beyond their home countries.

In their one-time only chance at the Eurovision title, Australia mean business as they present one of their most popular singers as their representative. Former Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian will be singing 'Tonight Again' and he's already among the top three artists tipped to win the contest. With momentum for him snowballing daily, this could be an extra special Eurovision for the Aussies. That wouldn't be a bad thing for the UK though, because it could become Britain's best chance of staging the Eurovision on home soil next year due to the fact that a 'neutral' venue within Europe would be chosen as host.

Guy Sebastian
Guy Sebastian

These are really exciting times for me as an open musical Europe welcomes new talent with open arms. As an Italian artist who's decided to launch myself in the UK, I fully appreciate the chances that the European stages gives singers such as myself and without opportunities such as The Eurovision Song Contest our avenues for expression would be a lot more limited. Here's to the next 60 years of Eurovision!