Over the past few months, the search for the Cypriot act for Eurovision 2021 has been one of the hottest topics of the pre-season. CyBC are one of the few broadcasters to be internally-selecting a new artist. As a result, they’ve seen an unprecedented level of interest from big names in the Greek music scene. Now, a familiar name for Eurovision fans has thrown her hat into the ring.
Back in 2019, Leea Nanos competed in the inaugural Australia Decides national selection. She placed 9th with the song “Set Me Free”. Now 18, Leea has told INFE Greece that she is interested in representing Cyprus at the 2021 contest. Leea, who is of Greek decent, named Cyprus 2018 representative Eleni Foureira as an inspiration.
My family is Greek and my culture means the world to me. Going to Greece a couple years ago, I felt like I was home. I would be honoured to represent Cyprus. I saw some of the acts like Eleni Foureira who represented and she has inspired me so much as an artist, I would love to follow in her footsteps. The love I have received from Cyprus and Greece online has been so overwhelming and I’m so grateful, I would love to make them proud.Leea Nanos
‘I am reaching out to the broadcaster’
Earlier this year, she had released a music video for her track “Bad Girl” and announced her interest in representing Greece at the contest. Now, she has confirmed that she will be submitting her music to the Cypriot broadcaster.
I do have new songs and projects in the works that I am very excited about. The vibe of the new music is different to what I usually do but 100% where I want to go with my music. It’s empowering and upbeat. I am reaching out to the broadcaster and to many people and hopefully they will hear my music.Leea Nanos
‘Exploratory discussions’ began last month
However, they did not begin negotiations with singers and labels until last month. As we’ve seen from Panik Records with Eleni Foureira and Minos EMI/Universal with Tamta, record label backing is an important component for the Cypriot representative at Eurovision
RIK has accepted proposals from both artists and composers and will not take hasty action but will proceed rationally in order to make the best possible choice.Spokesperson from RIK in July
As of July, it was stated that CyBC were aiming to publicly announce the artist/act in November. Following that, the song, clip and stage concept will be developed.
Cyprus at the Eurovision Song Contest
Cyprus made their Eurovision Song Contest debut 37 years ago, back in 1981. The island nation has participated in every contest since, with the exception of 1988, 2001 and 2014. Prior to 2018, Cyprus’ best results had come in the form of three fifth place finishes. These came courtesy of Anna Vissi’s “Mono i agapi” in 1982, Hara & Andreas Constantinou’s “Mana mou” in 1997 and Lisa Andreas’ “Stronger Every Minute” in 2004.
While Cyprus secured seven top 11 finishes in the 1990s, the nation’s form dipped as the contest entered its semi-final era. Cyprus failed to qualify in six out of eight occasions between 2006 and 2013, withdrawing in 2014 for financial reasons.
In 2018, following a string of three qualifications, Eleni Foureira brought them to second place for the first time with the iconic “Fuego”. The following year, Tamta brought them their fifth consecutive qualification with “Replay”.
In 2020, CyBC selected ‘Sandro’ to represent Cyprus at the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “Running”. Sandro was set to perform 13th in the first semi-final of the 2020 contest, which was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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