Cyprus: Nicos Evangelou to participate with a “surprise” performer

by Stella Floras 207 views

Nicos Evangelou won the 2008 Cypriot final with Femme fatale, a song composed by him and performed by Evdokia Kadi in Belgrade. Now, he returns once more in the Eurovision race with a new song which, according to the composer, will be performed by a surprise artist. A true Eurovision follower, Nicos spoke to esctoday.com about his new song but also about Femme fatale in Belgrade.

«I'm gonna break up with you is a catchy tune that combines techno-house sounds with retro 70's mood." says Nicos Evangelou in the exclusive interview with esctoday.com. " It was composed especially for Eurovision, but this time (unlike last year) not especially for a particular singer. The lyrics were written by Tefkros Neocleous and they talk about a man who breaks up with his girlfriend. The lyrics though have a comic character and can also be applied on anything a person wants to break-up from."

Who is going to perform I'm gonna break up with you in the Cypriot final?

The performer (I like to use this term for this song – rather than singer) is going to be a big surprise. The performer of my song, in my opinion, is what the song needs and what can make the difference on the Cypriot final. We heard many great voices in the past, in Cyprus and all over the world, that took part in Eurovision and it‘s hard to compete with those. My song doesn't only need a great voice, but a good performer, what you'd call a "show performer". You will understand better what I mean once you hear the song.

The voting system is different this year. Local juries will have a 50% of the votes in the final. Have you taken into account those changes when composing the song? Do you think there will be a difference in the outcome based on the different voting system?

Of course once you participate in any competition, the goal is to get the first place. Changing the voting system for me doesn't make a big difference. Still many countries will continue to vote for their neighbors, but this is absolutely normal, since those countries share common mentalities, cultures and many times even language. So, the participants should – in my opinion – be concerned about their songs and making them unique and authentic. In a few words, our concern should be to take the Eurovision Song Contest every year a step forward.

You wrote Femme fatale which represented Cyprus in Belgrade and you are teaming up with Tefkros who was on stage, so he can bring in his own experience. What has last year's experience taught you, do you have a clearer idea now? What do you feel it takes to do well in the contest or even win it?

Tefkros is just the lyricist of my song but will not participate in any other way in the song. What's important for us is to do what's best for our songs.

To win this contest, I believe is a dream come true for many. But I have to say again, that we should take into consideration the contest itself. How to maintain Eurovision, and develop it. With good songs and good/memorable performances… In the past I don't only remember the songs that won the contest. But there are some amazing performances that I will never forget… and some of them ranked very low. For example Poland in 1995 Justyna Steczkowska with the song Sama took 18th place. Or Mia Martini for Italy with the song Rapsodia in Malmo which, if I remember well, took the 4th place. I believe Femme Fatale was memorable and Evdokia Kadi has left a great impression.

Regarding the outcome in Belgrade, what do you feel went wrong and Femme fatale did not make it to the final?

I think we can start blaming anything… from the voting system, to the costumes, or even the song, or the performance…. But looking back and watching it again, I feel that the whole experience was what should matter and not the outcome. And having that in mind this year, I am sure I will be enjoying it more (even the national final). Because the journey is what matters and not the outcome (like the famous Greek poet Kavafis said). Sometimes when you are stressing too much for the results, it takes away from the greatness of the experience. And I want to enjoy the most of that experience again without any distractions and negative waves.

Which are your favourite Cypriot and international entries so far?

God, there are so many… Cypriot entries: Mono i agapi (Vissi), Sti Fotia (Alex Panayi, who also competes this year in the Cypriot final), Stronger every minute (Lisa Antreas), and of course Evridiki's performances- especially Eimai anthropos ki ego.

International entries: the two I mentioned above (Sama by Justyna and Rapsodia by Mia Martini), also Shara Barkhovot by Rita for Israel, Ne partez pas sans moi by Celin Dion for Switzerland, Si la vie est cadeau by Corinne Hermes for Luxembourg, Abba's Waterloo for Sweden, I treni di Tozeur for Italy 1984, Gente di mare for Italy again… Azucar moreno with Bandito for Spain, Sertab for Turkey, Rock ‘n roll kids for Ireland… Greece 1992 with Cleopatra.
There are so many and I am sure I am going toregret itfor not mentioning many of them.

Do you have a message for the readers of esctoday.com?
I would like to wish them a happy new year and every year to enjoy music more and more giving it the respect and significance it deserves. The Eurovision Song Contest should always be the event that brings people and artists together. It has been such a wonderful competition with amazing songs, performers and production. It's up to us to keep it big and real. We should all contribute to that by doing the best we can for our participations. And the same time we should respect the other participants by being a good and open minded audience.
A big thanks to esctoday.com for this opportunity. Keep up the good work!

Stay tuned to esctoday.com for more interviews by the Cypriot final participants.

Nicos Evangelou is a self taught musician who started playing the piano at the tender age of 2 and composed his first song at 4. He participated in various contests and festivals in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and France, representing his country as a choir member, pianist or composer. Nicos went on to study at the University of Central Florida and was a member of the Jazz Band at Valencia College in Orlando. He studied Contemporary Classical Music Composition at Columbia College Chicago under the tutelage of Dr. Gustavo Leone and had the chance to take seminars and lessons and meet with with Pierre Boulez, George Crumb, Ilya Levinson, Sebastian Huydts and other important contemporary classical composers and musicians. Nicos has composed the score for two short films as well as a theatrical production in the States. He worked with the Cyprus National Orchestra, several television stations and night clubs as a composer, arranger and pianist. He teaches music theory, music history, piano, orchestration and composition to students of all ages.

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Stella Floras

Thanks to Johnny Logan and Hold me now I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest, a love that's been going strong ever since with undiminished passion. My first memories date back to 1977 and the lyrics of Rock bottom, Dschinghis Khan and A ba ni bi are still engraved in my brain.

I joined esctoday.com in 2006 as a junior editor after being invited by Barry Viniker, I soon became Senior Editor and during the 2007 contest in Helsinki I was appointed Head of Communications. Today I hold the post of Head of Human Resources and I am proud to be working with the best editorial team in the world.

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