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Cyprus has confirmed that Greek star Eleni Foureira will be the Cypriot representative for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest held in Portugal.

Cypriot broadcaster CyBC made the official announcement and the title of her entry ‘Fuego’ (Spanish for “It’s Fire”), is written by Alex Papaconstantinou, or Alex P, a Greek-Swedish producer, well-known in Eurovision circles.

The up-tempo Eurovision track has a distinctive, maybe even innovative, ethnic feel with it sometimes being referred to as “ethno upbeat”.

It is a modern pop song that embellishes the instrument of the clarinet or ‘klarino’ as a familiar ethnicity trait in Greek, as well as Mediterranean music.

CyBC chiefs felt that the Albanian-born singer was right for this year’s contest as the upbeat song compliments Eleni as a singer and dancer.

Eleni, who will be 31 by the time of the contest in May, began her music career in 2007 as a member of the Greek girl group Mystique, before pursuing a solo career after the group disbanded in 2009. She is charismatic, who’s stage-skills are expected to “attack” the Cypriot entry effectively which will no doubt, help this upbeat song.

The staging of the entry has been assigned to the internationally acclaimed artistic director and choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptiste, who has extensive experience at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Cypriot bosses had ditched ideas of a Cypriot sing-off to find their entry’s hopeful and instead made the offer to Eleni’s Panik Records, therefore, internally selecting her for it.

In a statement, the singer said she felt incredibly honoured to sing for Cyprus and is hoping to set the leader board on fire, with her catchy track.

”I would like to say a big thank you to CyBC and all the Cypriot people, for giving me this opportunity. It is a great honour for me to represent this wonderful country which has supported me that much for all of these years.

She added, “My Eurovision song is called Fuego. It is written in English; only its title is Spanish. I am very glad that Alex has composed such a great song. This has actually been the reason for my positive answer to this Eurovision invitation. My promise is that I will do my best.”

Eleni was born in Fier, Albania and is a Greek artist of Albanian origin. She has lived in Greece from a very young age when her family settled in Kallithea, Athens.

Her back-catalogue of successful London Greek Radio hits have included her current hit ‘Vasilissa’, along with ‘To Kati’, ‘Ase Me’, ‘Chica Bomb’, ‘Reggaeton’, ‘To Party De Stamata’, ‘Ston Erota Tin Trela’, ‘Fotia ft. Nevma’, ‘Pio Erota Pethaineis’, ‘Rantevou Stin Paralia’, ‘Anemos Agapis’, ‘Pio Dinata’, ‘Ti Koitas’, and ‘2018 S’agapo’.

Eleni has always desired to be at Eurovision, revealing that it has always been a childhood dream of hers.

In 2016 she proposed ‘Ti Koitas (Come Tiki Tam)’ to the Greek national broadcaster ERT, but they refused it. Greece failed to qualify for the final for the first time that year with Argo.

Eleni almost made it to Eurovision in 2010, when she competed in the 2010 ‘Ethniko Teliko’ with ‘Kivotos Tou Noe’. While she missed out by coming second place, it did not diminish her Eurovision goal, which is lucky for Cyprus as she’s tipped to have a “killer track.”

In the last few years, Eleni has released four successful studio albums and multiple singles. One of those hits was ‘Sto Theo Me Paei’, a Greek cover of the 2015 Eurovision entry of Israel ‘Golden Boy’ by Nadar Guedj.

More recently she has released singles in both Greek and English and in 2017 scored a new international hit with the song ‘Send For Me’, a collaboration with successful producer and rapper A.M. SNiPE.

‘Fuego’ will be released in the coming weeks, with no official date set yet.

The LGR website will have the song on its release date in the weeks leading up to the competition.

The Cypriot delegation will be quietly optimistic about their qualifying chances for a fourth year, following the recent successes by Minus One, John Karayiannis and Hovig.

Cyprus competes in the First Eurovision Semi-Final which airs on Tuesday 8th May, on BBC Four. The Top 10 countries to qualify are assured a place in the final on Saturday 12th May, on BBC One.

London Greek Radio wish Eleni Foureira and the Cypriot delegation the very best of luck in the competition.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

One of the most popular Greek singers of the last 50 years has refused to represent Cyprus at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Claims that Helena Paparizou turned down the offer were made on Cypriot showbiz portal ‘ShowTime’, which soon spread on Eurovision fan websites.

The Cypriot broadcaster has not yet confirmed or denied the rumour, however, ”Cypriot sources” have suggested that long-term negotiations between them and Helena Paparizou’s team have ended, with the star reportedly to have said ‘no’ to the offer.

The Eurovision champion of 2005 was said to have loved the ”up-tempo ethnic-fused track” that was being prepared for the 2018 contest, but decided that she wasn’t ready to make a third appearance at Eurovision.

London Greek Radio has been following the Cypriot selection this year. It was last heard that a Cypriot sing-off final was to air this month. The television final was to have finalist candidates from the Cypriot auditions, held in November. A three member’s judge’s panel short-listed 24 hopefuls from 64 applicants. In order to impress the Cyprus entry author Alex Papaconstantinou, choreographer Charis Savva and Christer Björkman, producer of Swedish Eurovision selection Melodifestivalen.

The composer Alex Papaconstantinou or Alex-P will write our Cypriot song. As previously mentioned on LGR, Alex P is a well-known producer of Greek-Swedish origin and has co-written hits for Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and many more. He is known in Eurovision circles with a few Euro-stompers under his belt, including Ivi Adamou’s ‘La La Love’ in 2012 and Sarbel’s ‘Yasou Maria’ in 2007. His most successful entry to date was for the Azerbaijan duo Aysel and Arash, which came third in 2009.

The Cypriot rules have referred to ditching the Cypriot sing-off – as an option. The other solution is both a singer and song is internally selected without a Cypriot contest after all.

Sources claim an official statement is expected to be released shortly confirming the Cypriot entry’s singer/performance artist, who will be singing the Alex P tune.

Check back for all of the latest developments to find out whose singer name is flying the Cypriot flag for the Eurovision Semi-Final in Lisbon.

Article written by London Greek Radio

Some of favourite festive tunes on LGR…

The definitive Top 10 Christmas Chart of your favourite festive tunes… some of our most loved numbers with your favourite singers. Despina Vandi and ‘Xristougenna’ written by the iconic song-writer Phoebus tops the chart.

Meanwhile, other pop gems by the likes of REC, Stan, Kostas Martakis comprise it…

Anna Vissi zeimbekiko song ‘Kala Xristougenna’ is a sure-fire Top 5…

Article written by London Greek Radio

The island of Cyprus has concluded the first round of auditions that will decide who will represent them in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. The new approach focuses on fresh talent and budding vocalists to see who is right to enter the competition next year.

A limited number of entrants are chosen to audition for the three-member judges; composer Alex Papaconstantinou (Alex P), choreographer Charis Savva and Christer Björkman, producer of Swedish Eurovision selection Melodifestivalen. The first round of auditions was completed in November resulting in the panel’s task of whittling down the number of applicants to 23.

As previously mentioned on LGR, Alex P is a well-known producer of Greek-Swedish origin and has co-written hits for Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and many more. He is known in Eurovision circles with a few Euro-stompers under his belt, including Ivi Adamou’s ‘La La Love’ in 2012 and Sarbel’s ‘Yasou Maria’ in 2007. His most successful entry to date was for the Azerbaijan duo Aysel and Arash, which came third in 2009. He is responsible for composing the song which will represent Cyprus in Portugal next year. Cyprus’ visual director for last year, Charis Savva was responsible for Hovig’s ‘Gravity’ and has been invited to return to plan next May’s Cypriot performance.

The application procedure has triggered a great deal of excitement across Cyprus and from Cypriots living in the UK. The procedure is anonymous and participants are not expected to be revealed during the local heat stages.

Broadcasters CyBc announced that the Cypriot ”sing-off” will air in January 2018 and the judges will select the finalists who will take part in the Cypriot national final which will be aired on TV.

The overall winner, singing the Cyprus entry will be decided by both the public and a selected jury. The combination of these two sets of votes will determine the winner.

The Eurovision song is expected to be recorded weeks after the Cypriot song contest final and is likely to be released in March.

The Cypriot Eurovision delegation has said that they’re hoping that this new contest gets Cyprus into another Eurovision final.

LGR wishes Cyprus the very best of luck!

Picture Charis Savvas (left to right), Alex Papaconstantinou, Christer Björkman

Article written by Tony Neophytou

The island nation confirmed that a singing contest will decide who will represent Cyprus in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. This new approach focuses on fresh talent and budding vocalists to see who is right to enter the competition next year.

All Cypriots can apply, whether they’re island or UK Cypriots. People are saying that this is a brilliant chance for ambitions British Cypriot artists to showcase their talent to the masses as well as giving them the opportunity to fly the Cypriot flag at Eurovision.

Broadcasters CyBc announced that the Cypriot sing-off contest will air in January 2018. At LGR we’ve been looking over the ‘rules’ of the new singing contest. Firstly, each applicant has to submit a video audition via a private YouTube link that only CyBc can see and the singers can choose which song they want to sing. Afterwards, a limited number of entrants are chosen to audition for the judges. The judges will pick the finalists advancing to the Cypriot sing-off which will be aired on TV. The deadline is already looming for acts to enter the competition – all videos must be submitted by the 20th October 2017.

The public will vote for their favourite act and the jury will also decide which artist deserves to win. The votes will be combined to determine who will represent the country at Eurovision.

The Eurovision tune is expected to be recorded weeks after the Cypriot song contest final and will most probably be released in March.

The award-winning composer Alex Papaconstantinou, also known as Alex P, has been asked to compose the song. The Greek-Swedish producer is based in Stockholm and has co-written hits for Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and loads more. Mr Alex P is known in Eurovision circles with a few Euro-stompers under his belt. He was responsible for Ivi Adamou’s ‘La La Love’ in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and Sarbel’s ‘Yasou Maria’ in 2007. His best result, which placed in the top 3, was for the Azerbaijan duo Aysel and Arash.

The Cypriot Eurovision delegation has said on Facebook that they’re hoping this new contest gets Cyprus into another Eurovision final.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

YOU all know them best as our Cyprus entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Minus One rocked the Stockholm stage with their hi-tech killer set, which included computer-generated ‘wolfs’ and barred cages, which both still linger in our memories.

Minus One visited London Greek Radio during the Eurovision warm-up tour and demonstrated to show our listeners what they’re made of.

The ‘Alter Ego’ band put out an April announcement stating that both their lead singer Francois Micheletto and bass player Antonis Loizides would be leaving the group at the end of May. In turn, the group have invested in making essential changes and welcomed new lead vocalist Andreas Kapatais, as well as bassist Max O Matic. Despite the band’s shake-up, the changes looked seamless. However, as the boys have wasted no time getting back into the recording studio and indeed have recorded their new song. To sum it up, Andreas and Max have joined existing band-mates Christopher Ioannides, Harrys Pari and Constantinos Amerikanos.

Their new track, ‘The Other Side Of The Mind’, unveils this new exciting line-up. The overall style is definitely a mix of up-front electric-rock and ‘dramatic’ hook-lines to one that creates a more ‘laid-back’ tune. In this reviewer’s opinion, it is a charming song… and a bouncy little number for sure. It’s a touch of sublime simplicity, and the ‘hook’ instantly grabs the listener’s attention. The lyrics are overtly positive in substance stating life is to be lived absolutely joyfully, stating happiness is everywhere.

Check out the video with the lovely elderly couple bopping away while vacuuming and boogieing down the street. I’m sure you would agree with us this is resolutely a feel-good number that will make you smile…

London Greek Radio would like to wish Minus One the best of luck with their brand new song and looking forward to future successes.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

Arleta, the iconic singer songwriter of the New Wave Movement of the 1960’s ‘Neo Kyma’ has died at the age of 72. She passed away in the intensive care unit of an Athens hospital where she had been receiving treatment after suffering a severe stroke.

Arleta was born in Athens in 1945. Her real name was Ariadne Nicoleta Tsapra. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts. She published her first album of her own creation (A Hat with Songs) in 1960. She is well-known for the songs ‘Mia Fora Thimame’, ‘Serenata’, ‘To Leei Kai To Tragoudi’, ‘Ta Mikra Paidia’, ‘Ta Isiha Vradia’, ‘Bar To Navagio’, and ‘Tsai Giasemiou’.

Amid the early 1960’s launching her music career, she had collaborated with famous Greek composers like Mikis Theodorakis, Giannis Spanos, and Manos Hatzidakis.

Her songs have been performed on the alternative Greek music scene ‘Bouat’ in Athens.

Article written by London Greek Radio

The X Factor Greece Final, which aired on July 20th on Skai Greek Television, produced this year’s series winner; he is Cypriot singer Panagiotis Koufogiannis. He landed a recording contract with FeelGood Records and he drove away on the night, with keys to a brand new car. Well, that’s an extra perk, you won’t ever likely see on the UK’s X Factor…

The host, pop legend Sakis Rouvas announced the result, which coincidentally turned out to be an all ‘Cypriot’ Top 2 finalists line-up, between fellow Cypriots Panagiotis and the second-placed Soula Evaggelou; trailing third were the group Deevibes.

The judges comprised famous Greek singers Tamta, Giorgos Papadopoulos and Bambis Stokas – but Panagiotis had the winning coach, in the shape, of none other than acclaimed Greek artist Giorgos Mazonakis. He managed to beat his coach rivals upon making his debut as a mentor on the X Factor programme.

Born to Cypriot parents in Strovolos, our victor underwent his music studies at the well-known, prestigious, favourite to many Cypriot artists and locals musicians, the Berklee College of Music in the States.

The 28-year-old first competed at the Cypriot Eurovision heat stages in 2015, finishing as the runner up to John Karayiannis. He would one day like to fly the Cypriot flag at the Eurovision Song Contest. We guess then, achieving a very famous X Factor victory will certainly, be a very good thing for his chances…

Here at London Greek Radio, we would like to congratulate Panagiotis on being crowned the X Factor champion and wish him all the very best for the future.

You can watch his X Factor performance here, with Panagiotis giving us a cover rendition of ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ by The Weeknd:

Article written by Tony Neophytou

With the dust barely settled to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest since the elapse of a few months, the Cypriot broadcaster CyBc is expected to be announcing very soon the launching of a nationwide song contest, as a way of selecting our Cypriot tune, at 2018’s Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

The drawing up of the specific rules for our Cypriot national final will be soon to be officially released, and it’s believed, this will be as quickly as August or in the autumn. We here at London Greek Radio have also learnt some information about what shall comprise the local competition. The public contest will be applicable to Cypriot singers, ‘maybe’ also songwriters and composers… We ‘insert’ here… another option… the powers that be are seriously thinking of appointing a well-known ‘composer’, to pen our Cypriot tune. Our very own UK Cypriot songwriters, producers and singers of Cypriot origin, will have eligibility to be entering the race (only in the case of an ‘open’ final). In years gone by, our talented British Cypriot artists have noticeably left a strong impression on it, taking advantage of their chance to be entering Eurovision finals on the island.

Now, as Cyprus regroups and looks towards the future let’s take a moment to reflect on the last couple of successful years. This year’s finalists ‘Hovig’ came 5th in the semi-final, continuing the qualifying streak, as we cannot forget the achievement of the up-beat Cypriot band Minus One in 2016. In 2015 John Karayiannis with the song ‘One Thing I Should Have Done’ – written by UK Cypriot Mike Connaris won the only Cypriot final we have seen, in the last three years.

The local Eurovision delegation is certainly looking to make it a fourth qualification Cypriot entry in a row, from the selection procedure they are about to embark on.

With the prospect of having a national song contest to choose our next entrant, the country’s Eurovision strategy for 2018 is starting to take shape.

Head back to the London Greek Radio website for all of the latest developments including the release of the formal rules and regulations for the Cypriot Final, outlining the steps that must be taken to submit your potential entry to the Cypriot song competition.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

Giannis Kalatzis, the voice behind the late 60’s and 70’s hit songs like ‘Delfini Delfinaki’ and ‘Kyra Giorgena’, died on Thursday. He was 74.

Songwriter Ilias Philippou announced the passing of the chart-topping singer on his Facebook page.

Giannis Kalatzis was born in Thessaloniki in 1943 and his career as a singer began in the early 1960s when he was a member of Trio Moreno in Thessaloniki. Later he settled in Athens and made his first major collaboration with composer Giorgos Mitsakis.

His rise to fame happened after he began collaborating with some of the most famous Greek composers: Manos Loizos, Mimis Plessas, Stavros Kougioumtzis, Giorgos Katsaros, Yannis Spanos and Tolis Voskopoulos.

He has also participated in music records of many other famous Greek pop singers, such as Giorgos Dalaras, Haris Alexiou, Giannis Parios, Mariza Koch and Litsa Diamanti.

During the 1970s he collaborated with composer Nikos Karvelas while in 1981 he released a record with songs by Tolis Voskopoulos.

In 2013 Giannis Kalatzis was honoured in the Greek version of the television programme Your Face Sounds Familiar broadcast by ANT1 with actor Konstantinos Kazakos impersonating him and performing one of his most famous songs – ‘Delfini Delfinaki’.

His well-known songs – many classic songs during the 1980’s on the London Greek Radio air-waves such as ‘To Palio Roloi’, ‘Paramythaki Mou’, ‘Isoun Oraia’, ‘Tzamaika’.

He released solo albums including the self-titled ‘Giannis Kalatzis’ in 1968, ‘Kyra Giorgena’, ‘Paramythaki Mou’, ‘Ena Taxidi’.

He retired from his singing career in 1984, but in 1985 he took part in a concert dedicated to Manos Loizos.

Kalatzis is considered one of the best singers of the time and his songs have been performed by many artists of the younger generation.

Article written by London Greek Radio