Argo fly the Greek flag at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm with this year’s entry ‘Utopian Land‘, which has a very positive message to the song’s concept, which represents Hellas, at the annual music competition.
The new group from Thessaloniki is made up of six members with vocalists Cristina Lachana, Maria Elbrus, Hip-Hop artist/song-writer Vladimiros Sofianides, Kostas Topouzis, Elias Kesides and Alekos Papadopoulos, who collectively are playing Pontic Lyra, percussion and tabor. Argo was quickly assembled by a few members of another group ‘Europond’, to specifically write and perform this entry.
Dancer Vasilis Roxenos will step in for Elias, and beefs up the songs live staging concept, this full quota of six people therefore, will give us the Greek feel and identity and style, to our song.
Maria Lyrakaki, will choreograph the song’s staging concept, with lots dancing and movement, which fuses Pontiaka elements and modern dance, it’s quite effective and very Greek obviously, that’s something which this ‘LGR jury’ review, approves.
The up-tempo track fusing Modern and traditional Pontiaka music elements, definitely stands out as a very Greek, Eurovision song. The instrumental intro of the song, sounds really, really good and sort of mysterious, introduces Christina to give us a solo ‘amane’. There’s also the bridge part 2:01 to 2:20 which gives us the very loud beating of the drum, its intensity only works to emphasis the raw ethnicity of the track’s feel.
It feels very brave as an effort and entry, mostly, because it tries to fuse a lot of things, rap, hip-hop, ethnic, linguistic switches, with the meaty hip-hop parts sung in Greek and Pontiac dialect, to English chorus changes…
The song’s positive message fights for an optimistic future or, ‘utopia’, and calls on our collective will really, to battle amongst other things, the refugee crisis.
Those Hip-Hop verses are sung entirely in Greek & Pontiac dialect, they have a purpose, to give us that message and the rapper certainly, believes in his song. The English chorus feeds the optimistic line of the song’s ‘fight for a utopian land’ and asks you to go with them on the ‘fun’ adventure.
Interestingly, the band’s members are refugee descendents of Pontus, Sukhumi, Abkhazia, and Georgia.
The official video which accompanies our song embodies the full ethnic Pontiac costume and dance, helping to emphasise music roots to our ‘Elliniki simmetoxi’.
We are the rise of the rising sun, dance with us and have some fun.
We are the rise of the rising sun, fight with us for a utopian land (Chorus)
The video’s positive message is of looking only to the future with optimism, and constantly moving forward. This concept, sees, athlete type aka Apostolos Lazaridis running, he gives his glance back and continues his forward movement, to the ‘rising sun’, which is the groups’ ultimate route with this song’s theme.
The powers that be ERT Greek Television and the channel President Dionysis Tsaknis internally picked Argo, which favoured local produced Greek song, to represent the nation this year.
The UK will not be voting in the first semi-final but instead will be voting, in the second of the semi-finals. Only the host Sweden, France, Spain and other first semi-final nations will get to vote including Cyprus, which also competes alongside the Greek song for those qualifying spaces.
Argo competes at the Eurovision First Semi-Final which airs on Tuesday 10th May, performing early in the 2nd slot at the incredible Ericcson Globe Arena.