A young 16-year-old British Cypriot singer representing Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 took to the stage in Konstantinopouli.

Lisa Andreas from Gillingham, Kent, was the Cyprus act on May 12th 2004. 17 years later and in June 2021, ‘Stronger Every Minute’ is released globally for the first time. It will feature an extended mix and the never heard English/Greek version, which Lisa sang only once at one of the rehearsals in Istanbul.

Mike Connaris, a London-Cypriot producer and composer wrote the song, at his Mcasso Music studios in Soho, in London’s West End.

“I’m excited that Stronger Every Minute will be available on all streaming platforms and will give all the people that voted, and all the people that watched the performance, a chance to hit play and travel back to this time whenever they want.” Lisa Andreas told London Greek Radio.

This year was the very first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final, and Lisa was one of 22 contestants competing for just 10 places in the Final, held in the magnificent Abdi İpekçi Arena.

What can be revealed now, on the morning of the semi-final, Lisa had awoken with a sore throat and was in great discomfort. It was going to be a challenge for her to hit the highest notes of the song, so together with her producer, Mike Connaris, they hastily arranged a rehearsal in the hotel to change the melody of certain parts of the song.

The semi-final went well, but with 9 countries already announced as proceeding to the Final, there was only one envelope left to open. The tension in the green room was unbearable, but when “CYPRUS” was announced as the last of the 10, the Cyprus delegation went wild. Being announced 10th, meant that Cyprus took the last available spot of 21st in the Final, and Lisa went on to achieve 5th position, with Cyprus also receiving the Marcel Bezençon Award for composition, the first year this category had been introduced.

“My time at the Eurovision was truly magical. It’s difficult to encapsulate the entire experience into words. When I think of that time, it’s like a huge Eurovision bubble. I think back through meeting Mike and hearing Stronger Every Minute for the first time and recording the song (with hopes of being selected). I think of the months of preparation that came before and to the competition in Cyprus. I remember crying and being overwhelmed and shocked that I had been chosen by the entire country to represent them. My mum heard them say it first and I didn’t believe her! It was such an honour; a proud and humbling experience. I remember how proud my family and friends were and that is something that will always stay with me. There are so many stories- that we still tell – immense joy and many pivotal moments from that time that shaped who I am as a person and as a performer.”

“Everyone should attend the Eurovision Song Contest at least once in their life. You have to attend the Eurovision to really understand how wonderful it is. How much love there is. Love that is just pouring out everywhere. It affects the whole place. There is a buzz of excitement in the air that you can feel the moment you arrive and it just doesn’t stop until you leave. To have all of these people attending for their love of music and for the fun of it all, is wonderful. I made many special connections with people because of Eurovision.”

“There is a level of happiness and inexplicable comradery among the artists that is a reflection of how music itself makes you feel. It doesn’t feel like a competition at all.”

“Everyone was just thrilled to be there and be experiencing this ‘once in a lifetime’ music event together. It was like one huge music family. I feel incredibly grateful to have experienced that with artists from across the world and with my parents by my side too.”

The ‘Stronger Every Minute’ EP will be released through Mcasso Digital on June 4th, 2021 across all streaming platforms including Spotify, iTunes & Amazon.

Article written by London Greek Radio, Mcasso Music