Cyprus: Kat Neocleous in with the underdog's anthem

by Stella Floras 221 views

Last but not least in our series of interviews with the Cypriot finalists this year is Katerina Neocleous, who will be performing her own song, I believe, ninth on 7th February. Katerina spoke to us about her song, her ispiration, the message behind it, her thoughts and hopes.

Katerina's entire life revolves around music. The young artist, who has been singing since she was seven years old, claims that music and song-writing have always provided a vehicle for repressed frustrations, elevating joy and all those things in between. When not performing on stage, Katerina aka Kat hosts her own DJ show, Scandalous, on London Greek Radio and also writes the weekly Music Column 'Exclusive' for Cypriot newspaper The Parikiaki published every Thursday.

I Believe, your song in the 2009 Cypriot Final for the Eurovision Song Contest. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

The inspiration from the song actually came about while watching TV! Reality shows particularly talent competitions are big in the UK like X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing, and in these shows there seemed to always be one contender who would get ripped apart by the judges and told to give up their dream yet they'd be back every week fighting strong. I admired that tenacity and belief despite all odds, and wanted to write a song that celebrated the underdog – the one who perhaps has to struggle at first but makes it in the end and finds that belief inside… I like to think of it as the underdog's anthem.

What style is it?

It's a ballad – with punch! One thing that is great about the Eurovision Song Contest is that it provides a platform for all genres. Personally, I always enjoy the passionate numbers irrespective of genre or style.

Was it composed especially for the contest?

I was writing several different songs at the time the Cyprus Eurovision was opened for entries. When I finished I Believe I thought it could be a good contender and decided to send it off. I'm absolutely thrilled that it has been selected as one of the 10 songs for the Cyprus National Final. I will be performing the song myself for the National Final. As a singer/songwriter I think there's nothing quite like performing an original song that comes from the heart. I have quite a lot of experience performing but this will be my first solo performance on live television in Cyprus and at an event of this magnitude. I'm really excited at the prospect, and can't wait to go to Cyprus and give it my best! I would love to represent Cyprus, and give something back to my family both in London and Cyprus for their continual and unwavering support.

Have you taken into account the recent changes in the voting system of the contest (that is the introduction of the jury vote in the final at a 50/50 split) when composing the song? Do you think there will be a difference in the outcome based on the different voting system?

That didn't enter my mind while writing the song – for me it was about producing the best song I could. It would be such a privilege to represent Cyprus, I hope the public enjoy I Believe as much as I did writing it- it would be a dream come true to be voted through. The changes in the voting system will hopefully ensure the best song wins on the night in Moscow.

Have you been following the Eurovision Song Contest? What do you feel it takes to do well or even win it?

Eurovision is great entertainment – there is always such diversity amongst the different entries and always appears to be a lot of fun. To do well I think you first need a great song that speaks universally to the public, a situation or emotion that we can all relate too. A great vocal delivery and sense of purpose on stage also is important. Something that sets you apart and is memorable whether that is a catchy hook or the costumes worn on stage…

Which are your favourite Cypriot and international entries so far?

Some of my favourite past entries in Eurovision include Mana mou – a great entry for Cyprus. I still love Aspro Mavro performed by Alexia in '87, it's a song I heard while growing up and loved! Internationally Elena Paparizou's Number 1 for Greece definitely stands out for me it was great pop song and entertaining to watch.

Do you have a message for the readers of esctoday.com?

I would like to say a big thank you for all the support I've received from the readers and contributors of esctoday.com and hope that when they are able to hear I Believe they will love it as much as I do.

For more information on Katerina check out her websites:
Kat's MySpace
Kat's website
Facebook Group: Katerina Neocleous I Believe

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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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