ENTERTAINMENT

As Eurovision season gears up, Cyprus have finally revealed the song title for their upcoming entry at this year’s contest. The song, which will be performed by 17-year-old Australian born rising star Silia Kapsis, will be flying the flag high at Malmö with “Liar”.

Vasiliki ‘Silia’ Kapsis was born in Sydney to Cypriot singer Giorgos Kapsis and Greek lawyer and former dancer Despina “Rebecca” Saivanidis from Thessaloniki.

CyBC made the official announcement on 25th September 2023 by stipulating Silia Kapsis’ song is written by Dimitris Kontopoulos, a Greek songwriter, composer, and producer, well-known in Eurovision circles. He also collaborates on the track with lyricist Elke Tiel.

The up-tempo Cypriot entry “Liar” is being teased as a dance-pop banger, addressing themes of misplaced trust, deception, self-worth, and truth in a world of fake news and lies.

Silia is a super-talented singer, dancer, and actress, making up a solid Eurovision entrant and will be very promising for Cyprus’ chances. The CyBC hierarchy believe that the singer is the perfect entrant for this years contest.

Cypriot chiefs confirmed choreographers Kelly Sweeney and Guy Groove shall be crafting the lively choreography. The involvement of the Los Angeles creatives highlights their ambition to impress at the competition.

Kelly Sweeney is a professional dancer and choreographer with an impressive track record of collaborations. She was lead choreographer for NBC’s Dancing with Myself with Shakira, Nick Jonas, and Liza Koshy, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, and for the Troll Movie by Dreamworks.

Guy Groove is a professional choreographer, dancer, teacher and creative director whose acclaimed career includes TV shows such as The Middle, The Goldbergs and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He has also choreographed for Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa, and worked on The Kids Choice Awards, Slime Fest, Halo Awards, Live with Kelly and Ryan, and many other major performances for major shows.

Meanwhile, Silia has recently flown to Los Angeles for the first rehearsals. This month, she arrived in Cyprus to shoot the video clip for her official Eurovision “Liar” song. The music video, directed by Kostas Karydas, was filmed in Limassol during her location at the City of Dreams Mediterranean hotel. Elsewhere, SIlia will be back in Athens to step up the rehearsals, with vocal coach Victoria Halkiti.

Adding to the excitement, Silia has recorded the final version of her Eurovision song. The date for the release of the song has not yet been specified for listeners, but it leaves fans in eager anticipation.

LGR’s ‘Eurovision fanatic’ Tony Neophytou said: “In Silia we have a likeable soul and a promising act. Without knowing the song just yet, we know that Silia is a youthful, exuberant, energetic, emphatic, lively dancer, these traits which help the upbeat song. Her Tik Tok videos are next level, she’s skilful at the urban street dance which is current and very now. Silia impresses with the skills-set and assets which a Eurovision song requires. It’s all positive vibes, we’ve been following the young Silia since last year, and are excited to hear the song!”

“The all singing-dancing combo, Silia has the potential to bring her x-factor stage craft to this act.

“I have my fingers crossed it will be a strong pop tune, that is dynamic and edgy enough to do very well. Eurovision competitive song-wise. It feels as though a visually captivating treat is on-the cards,” Mr. Neophytou says.

I’d like to say on-air: Silvia Kapsis’ super-slick staging helps to elevate our Cypriot “Liar” on the Eurovision stage.”

Cyprus has a lot of potential with the creative package they’ve got which bodes well for Cypriot chances for sure.

Follow Silia Kapsis on instagram at: @silia_kapsis.

Cyprus competes in Eurovision Semi-Final 1, on Tuesday 9th May at 8pm GMT. The Top 10 are tele-voted through to the Final on Saturday 14th May at the Malmö Arena in Sweden.

London Greek Radio wish Silia Kapsis and Cyprus the very best of luck in the competition.

Picture: 📸 @monseeworld

February 2024

Cyprus confirms Silia Kapsis as Eurovision 2024 Singer (ARTICLE)


Article written by Tony Neophytou

Marina Satti, renowned Greek singer/songwriter, is set to represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Sweden at the Malmö Arena. The 36-year-old Greek artist, born and raised in Heraklion, is the daughter of a Cretan mother and a Sudanese father.

ERT bosses announced the artist on 25th October that Satti will be their next act at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, marking the 50th anniversary of Greece’s first participant in 1974.

The song has not yet been chosen as the final song is yet to be chosen, but will be distributed by ERT and Marina’s record label, Golden Records and Minos EMI (a Universal Music Company). From 25th October, writers were invited to submit songs (in accordance with Eurovision Song Contest rules) for Satti by email with the deadline just passing on December 1st.

Satti is a singer/songwriter with roots in alternative ethnic, merging Greek, Balkan, and Middle Eastern influences. She mixes traditional and ethnic elements with pop and urban, hip-hop rhythms and electronic and is one of Greece’s most exciting artists today.

In terms of a Eurovision song Marina is favouring an ethnic modern song that is very relevant and cultural. She hinted that it will be an effective and intuitively catchy song for the Eurovision fan-base and wishes it to resonate with both young Greeks and peers of her generation.

Satti told Greek TV, “I believe a Eurovision entry should champion the culture of the country it represents” (translated). Furthermore, Satti wishes to smash through stereotypes about Greek music by illustrating Greek music can be both diverse and alternative yet still appeal to a wider audience. Her statement reveals that it will be an innovative Eurovision song with cultural and ethnic traits.

The OGAE Greece website, the official Greek fan-site for Eurovision on the selection of Marina, stated that Greece is reinventing its Eurovision identity by reverting back to the ethnic formulae of past years. Ogae said: “Greece re-defines its Eurovision identity by reverting back to its ethnicity roots and heritage.” Furthermore they stated: “On the 50th year of Greece’s Eurovision participation at the contest, the country is precipitating a change in momentum and recreating the Greek and ethnic formula which served them well in the contest for many years.” (translated).

Interestingly, Greece have always gained strong results whenever the contest was held in Malmö, particularly when sending ethnic-conscious songs: with a Top 5th and Top 6th finish for Kleopatra (1992), and Koza Mostra feat. Agathonas (2013).

Satti’s biggest hit so far in her career is undoubtedly ‘Mantissa’, a radio friendly super hit on LGR back in 2017, exceeding with over 50 million youtube hits. Other hits have included ‘Spirto ke Vinzini’ and ‘Koupes’, to name a few.

Her successful debut album, ‘YENNA’, was released in 2022. She also released the short documentary ‘FLABOURO’ as well as ‘TOCUTUM’, a song-commentary on Balkan trap, which became viral in the summer of 2023.

Satti holds a scholarship at the Berklee College of Music, with a creative and diverse background in music. She founded Fones, a female vocal group, as well as Chores, a choir of about 200 young talented women.

She also represented Greece in the EBU’s Euroradio Jazz Orchestra with works by Peter Herbolzheimer; singing at the John F. Kennedy Center, in Washington with the World Jazz Nonet; and participating in the a cappella vocal group The Singing Tribe in collaboration with Bobby McFerrin.

The Eurovision Final will take place at the Malmö Arena on Saturday 11th May with Semi-Finals on Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th May.

London Greek Radio wish Marina Satti and Greece the very best of luck in the competition.

December 2023


Article written by London Greek Radio

The UK’s first and only 24-hour commercial Greek radio station to hold a FM license in London is celebrating 34 years of success this month, weeks after its unofficial 40th anniversary.

London Greek Radio exists to enlighten, amuse and improve the lives of our community both in the UK and abroad. In preserving our Greek and Cypriot heritage and bringing together London’s vibrant Greek community, the LGR brand is thriving by celebrating its Greek and Cypriot roots.

On 8th October 1983, LGR began transmitting to the Greek and Cypriot community as a pirate radio station and officially joined the FM airwaves on 13th November 1989. Based in North Finchley the station began its official broadcasting in November 1989. However, LGR’s origins stretch back to the early 1980s, when Akis Eracleous and Chris Harmanda launched the pirate station. It was the first-ever British station to target an ethnic minority group with its pioneering service to the Greek and Cypriot communities.

Chris Harmanda entered broadcasting to give the London Cypriot community a voice, which he and Mr Eracleous indisputably achieved.

Akis, who DJ’d under the name ‘George Power’, later became a co-founder of Kiss FM. Before this however, he and Mr Harmanda decided to launch LGR in 1983, broadcasting from Finsbury Park to North London with a Greek music format. Programmes initially came from the studio above the Quality Fish Bar in Finsbury Park, owned by the Harmanda family, and the offices in Akis’ house in N4 Grenville Road. Eventually the station spread its wings across the city, with help from friend and engineer Pyers Easton. They moved transmissions to above a Cypriot delicatessen in Muswell Hill, where LGR’s tall aerial mast took it’s programmes to the whole of the North London area. Even in the early days of its arrival on the airwaves, LGR gathered a dedicated following very quickly.

In 2018 we tragically lost both Akis and Chris, but they left with us their incredible legacies. The perseverance and bravery of these men, who scaled the rooftops of sites, ensuring each morning we all awoke to the sound of LGR, can never be forgotten. At the Haringey office, there was an iconic image that proudly hung of its founders and DJ ‘Kokis’ putting up the FM aerial for the pirate station on a rooftop.

The staff and volunteers endured great adversity and went to great lengths during the 1980’s to keep London Greek Radio on the air.

“Growing up in North London in the 90s, the whole family was listening”. Ask a Greek or Cypriot and this is what they will tell you. LGR’s real timeless traits, which helped trigger a sense of nostalgia and a connection to their culture. This is where LGR plays to its strengths and is the reason why London-born Greeks and Cypriots come back to it. This is the modern legacy of London Greek Radio.

LGR presenter Tony Neophytou mentions that “the Greek speaking community have a penchant for radio because of the strength of their attachment to back home. Whether they come from Cyprus, Greece or the Diaspora, anything that recreates a sense of their roots stirs them emotionally. That’s partly due to the music of course, with its lyric content, but it’s also about the culturally relevant topics we talk about.”

For Mr Neophytou, “family and community” is what comes to mind when thinking about LGR. For many London Greeks and Cypriots, the station has provided “a safe space” to go to, affirming roots and heritage and comforting its listeners 24/7. It’s a ‘safe and secure space’ of a trusted-family member, he describes.

In the mid-1980s, tens of thousands of people signed a petition demonstrating the need for LGR to have a real presence within the community. The signatures were handed to the relevant authorities which subsequently contributed to the station being licensed by the radio authorities.

A number of fundraisers with community artists and DJs, i.e. at the Camden Electric Ballroom had thousands come out in support of the beleaguered illegal pirate station. It took a great deal of documentary evidence, correspondence, press campaigns, and petitions to eventually convince the radio authorities that LGR should be granted a licence.

The pirate LGR left the air at the end of 1988 having decided to apply for one of the new incremental radio licenses. They decided to work together with Afro-Carribean station WNK to share a frequency, winning the North London license with a 12-hour daily allowance.

LGR returned to the air legally as London’s first Greek community radio station in November 1989.

The book, ‘London’s Pirate Pioneers‘ (2015) by Stephen Hebditch tells the story of the capital’s pirate radio stations and the people who helped change the British broadcasting system. He writes about LGR’s undeniable legacy in the eighties and the intense pressures it faced to shut down.

However, London Greek Radio became one of Britain’s first-ever licensed ethnic radio stations upon being awarded its license.

On November 13th 1989, LGR opened its doors as a fully legal station, with offices and a studio located on Vale Road, Haringey. In 2003, LGR purchased a freehold in Finchley and moved to its current studios at the LGR House.

One of London’s first-ever licensed ethnic radio stations began official broadcasting on 13th November 1989 upon being awarded its license, breaking ground in changing the landscape of UK radio.

John Kyriakides, Chairman of London Greek Radio, described the twists and turns in the station’s turbulent history.

“It was a difficult and protracted journey. George Eracleous and Chris Harmanda, two young men who intended to launch a Greek-language pirate radio station in the early 1980s, are credited with founding the station. Eventually, the station became a target for the authorities, who prosecuted the founders and repeatedly threatened to arrest them. Though we had to share the frequency with an Afro-Caribbean channel, Eracleous and Harmanda never gave up, and with the help of the Greek and Cypriot communities, a few directors, and myself, the radio station was given a licence at the end of the decade.

“We were only permitted to broadcast for twelve hours at first, however after five years, the Afro-Caribbean station disbanded, and London Greek Radio was then granted a 24-hour radio licence and became an independent radio station.”

Over the years, LGR 103.3 FM has become steadfast to a wide range of listeners; from maturing-settlers-to-the-UK to the coming-of-age London Greek-speakers – connecting listeners to their roots through a carefully balanced programming of music, speech, entertainment and news.

The LGR DJs who went on-air during the Covid pandemic, felt the responsibility to be not only informative but be a form of escapism. Its enduring qualities during the tough times is a testament to the powerful connection it holds within the community.

It also serves advertising for many Greek and Cypriot run businesses in and around North London. LGR has recently increased its English language airtime encouraging more Greek-speaking young people to listen in, particularly during the daytime, drive time and evenings as part of the schedule. LGR is also recruiting younger presenters, who combine Greek music with discussions on everything from cultural identities to chart trends.

The station is an integrated part of the communities’ social lives, including the organised Greekology events. Mr Eracleous suggested launching LGR nights at a local club, which helped to boost the credibility and impact of the station. In 2012, its debut at the Marquee Club with most notably, Cypriot Eurovision star Ivi Adamou, was sold-out with over 500 people in attendance. LGR Club Nights are currently the station’s biggest event, with more than a few dates in London taking place each year.

Today it is the go-to station for the championing of up-and-coming Greek/Cypriot music talents and recently launched its own LGR Productions. It has provided a platform for young music talents, while welcoming big-name guests such as Konstantinos Argiros, Stan, Nikos Vertis, Helena Paparizou, Giannis Ploutarhos and Michalis Hatzigiannis. The attendance of music stars in recent years sprinkled some stardust at the LGR studios.

LGR has supported charities including Radiomarathon, London Autism Group Charity, UK Thalassaemia Society and Alkionides UK Charity. The Leukaemia Cancer Society even gives the credit to LGR in inspiring the creation of the cancer charity. The charity’s website acknowledges this fact.

In 1994 London Greek Radio (LGR) put out a mother’s appeal for her son. Flushed with success the group decided to carry on recruiting new donors, raising awareness of blood cancers, and supporting patients with the disease. Within a year of hearing the appeal on London Greek Radio, the group had formed a committee and registered the charity.”

The station gives a voice to charity fundraising initiatives with its scheduling of specialist shows. LGR recently organised National Thalassaemia Day in partnership with #UKTS and its patrons, raising awareness of an issue which affects many Cypriots today.

LGR is a commercial station and survives on the income generated from its loyal and valued customers and whilst this is the case, it offers a free service to local charity and community interests.

The LGR brand is alive and thriving to this very day. In addition to serving the Greek and Cypriot communities on air, LGR has broken into 21st-century broadcasting by joining the Digital Radio platform.

LGR can now be heard in two major cities on DAB+ (digital radio), namely London and Birmingham.

Furthermore, listeners extend worldwide at lgr.co.uk and the station has a free app for mobile devices which listeners can download from the App or Play stores embracing the ‘on-the-move’  audience.

The audience base of LGR, which includes listeners from the Italian, Spanish, Arab, Jewish, Armenian, Bulgarian, and Turkish Cypriot communities, is well-established and diverse.

LGR’s Managing Director, Tony Jay, said, “More listeners are discovering the ever-growing London Greek Radio family every day, not only Greek-speaking listeners but English, Jewish, Albanian, Arab, Bulgarian, Turkish, Russian and many more that frequently tune in.

He added, “LGR is undergoing a revamp with fresh ideas to attract an even wider audience. Exciting times ahead ‘onwards and upwards’.”

LGR’s Chairman John Kyriakides, added, “With LGR’s edgier playlists of the biggest Greek and Cypriot tunes, Modern Laika, Greek Pop, Entehna, Golden-Oldies, Alternative, Folk and Current Chart Hits, we continue to serve the listener. It’s this enigmatic reason that the station remains the preferred choice in most Greek and Cypriot homes, offices, shops, factories, workplaces, vehicles and venues.

In conclusion, he states that “our multilingual programmes–English and Greek–reach a large and diverse audience on a global scale. It broadcasts music, interviews, announcements, community events, local news, Greek and Cypriot news in addition to church services. While catering to the lively lifestyle of one of London’s prosperous communities, the wide range of programmes are made to appeal to all age groups.”


Article written by London Greek Radio

Cyprus has confirmed that rising star 16-year-old Australian Cypriot singer Silia Kapsis will be the Cypriot representative for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest held in Sweden.

Cypriot broadcaster CyBC made the official announcement on 25th September by stipulating Silia Kapsis’ song is written by Dimitris Kontopoulos, a Greek songwriter, composer and producer, well-known in Eurovision circles.

Australia’s Cypriot diaspora will be responsible for the talent for two years in a row, following in the footsteps of Andrew Lambrou, whose entry, ‘Don’t Break a Broken Heart‘ finished 12th at the contest this year.

Silvia is a multi-talented singer, dancer, actress and TV presenter. Her CV looks impressive.

The Eurovision song has been described as an ‘up-tempo dance banger’.

CyBC chiefs felt that the Australian-born Greek and Cypriot singer was right for next year’s contest as the up-tempo song compliments Silia’s full skills-set as stage-performance person.

Cypriot bosses having firmly nailed their colours to the mast, are confident about their chances and believe she is the complete package as a Eurovision entrant.

Silia, who will be 17 by the time of the contest in May, is fresh, youthful, contemporary and her multi-talented skills have the potential to do well for Cyprus at the contest next year.

Next year will mark 20 years since a British Cypriot diaspora act, 16-year-old Lisa Andreas who performed the ballad ‘Stronger Every Minute‘ at Eurovision, finished 5th for Cyprus. With Cyprus’ successful history with diaspora acts, we at LGR think that this could be a good omen as Silvia embarks on her Eurovision journey.

Vasiliki ‘Silia’ Kapsis was born in Sydney to Cypriot singer Giorgos Kapsis and Greek lawyer and former dancer Despina “Rebecca” Saivanidis from Thessaloniki.

Details about her song will be released at a later date.

“Silia is a singer of Cypriot and Greek descent, born and raised in Sydney, Australia. She has been performing since the age of 4, and has had extensive training with elite artists at the top of their respective fields.”

“Silia has been awarded numerous accolades, including the Bobby McCloughan Creative Arts Award (130 Anniversary Award) at Claremont College, The St Vincent’s College Madame Christian Scholarship for Singing and more recently, been a recipient of the Village Nation Performing Arts College Scholarship for an all-round triple threat performer.”

As a singer. Silia has been the lead singer for the Australian Youth Performing Arts Company (AYPAC) and recurrent lead singer at numerous high-profile events worldwide, including being the solo performer for Hollywood Star, Alex Russell at his exclusive 30th Birthday Event in Los Angeles.”

“Performing however, was just the beginning. Her love for music flourished into releasing her debut song, Who Am I?, which she primarily wrote and composed at the age of 12. Silia then went on to release her second song, ‘No Boys Allowed‘ in March 2023 with her latest song, ‘Disco Dancer‘ being released in May 2023. Her next single ‘Night Out’ is set to release on November 2023.”

As a dancer. Silia has danced with world-renowned choreographers, performing in their global dance showcases in Australia and the USA, was selected for the ImmaBeast Dance Company in Los Angeles, danced with Stephen tWitch Boss on the Jennifer Hudson Show and was featured in a dance documentary produced by Taboo from the Black-Eyed Peas. Throughout her dance career, Silia has also been awarded numerous awards and scholarships including the prestigious BuildaBeast 2019 Sydney Scholarship.”

As an Actor. Silia was cast as the lead role, Zoe, in her debut short film, Pearly Gates, has worked on various television projects for Nickelodeon. More recently, Silia has been one of Nickelodeon’s regular Nick News Hosts, which saw her team get nominated for a Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award in 2023.”

The Eurovision Final will take place at the Malmö Arena on Saturday 11th May with Semi-Finals on Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th May.

London Greek Radio wish Silia Kapsis and Cyprus the very best of luck in the competition.

Picture: 📸 @monseeworld

October 2023


Article written by London Greek Radio

LGR first joined the airwaves as a pirate in October 1983, it became licensed in November 1989 and in May 1994 LGR’s license was renewed and extended to broadcast 24 hours a day seven days a week to the greater area of the capital from its North London studios.

Akis Eracleous and Chris Harmanda launched LGR on 8th October 1983, the first Greek pirate radio station in London. The first-ever British station to target ethnic minorities with its pioneering service to the culturally diverse Greek and Cypriot communities.

Chris Harmanda entered broadcasting to give the London Cypriot community a voice, which he and Mr Eracleous indisputably achieved. 

This month, LGR celebrates its 40th unofficial birthday. Now it is a legal service and the first 24-hour independent Greek radio station to hold the FM frequency license in London. 

Akis, who DJ’d under the name ‘George Power’, was a co-founder of Kiss FM later. In 1983, he and Mr Harmanda decided to launch LGR broadcasting from Finsbury Park to North London with a Greek music format. Programmes initially came from the studio above the Quality Fish Bar in Finsbury Park, owned by the Harmanda family, and the offices in Akis’ house in N4 Grenville Road. Eventually the station spread its wings across the city, with help from friend and engineer Pyers Easton. They moved transmissions to above a Cypriot delicatessen in Muswell Hill, where LGR’s tall aerial mast took it’s programmes to the whole of the North London area. Even in the early days of its arrival on the airwaves, LGR gathered a dedicated following very quickly.

However, sadly in 2018 we lost both men, leaving behind their incredible legacies. The perseverance and bravery of the men who scaled rooftops of sites, ensuring the next morning we all awoke to LGR. At the Haringey office, there was an iconic image that proudly hung of its founders and DJ Kokis putting up the FM aerial for the pirate station on a rooftopThe staff and volunteers endured great adversity and went to great lengths during the 1980’s to keep London Greek Radio on the air.

Akis Eracleous hosted the very first show of the unlicensed station. He and George Gregoriou, known by his nickname Kokis and Aliki Michael, graced the airwaves. Kokis, LGR’s longest-serving DJ recounted: “I was collecting Greek records because I was learning the bouzouki. I’d go up the Greek Lanes and buy 45s.”

When the station began, LGR called rag trade factories with big Cypriot workforces. “We said:Put it on you’ll hear Greek music to work by“, says Kokis. “Factory to factory, the station became known by word of mouth.”

LGR quickly soared in listening numbers and was not long after was followed by a flood of competitors i.e. GCR, Foni ton Apodimon, Foni tis Parikias, Londino ’88 and others. Despite its rivals, LGR’s reputation as the original Greek-Cypriot broadcaster garnered the kind of loyalty which out-performed its rivals. By 1987 85% of Cypriots were tuning into the unlicensed station every week.

“Growing up in North London in the 80s & 90s, the whole family was listening“. Ask a Greek or Cypriot and this is what they will tell you. LGR’s real timeless traits, which helped trigger a sense of nostalgia and a connection to their culture. This is where LGR plays to its strengths and is the reason why London-born Greeks and Cypriots come back to it. This is the modern legacy of London Greek Radio. 

LGR presenter Tony Neophytou mentions that “the Greek speaking community have a penchant for radio because of the strength of their attachment to back home. Whether they come from Cyprus, Greece or the Diaspora, anything that recreates a sense of their roots stirs them emotionally. That’s partly due to the music of course, with its lyric content, but it’s also about the culturally relevant topics we talk about.”

In the mid-1980s, tens of thousands of people signed a petition demonstrating the need for LGR to have a real presence within the community. The signatures were handed to the relevant authorities which subsequently contributed to the station being licensed by the radio authorities.

The pirate LGR left the air at the end of 1988 having decided to apply for one of the new incremental radio licenses. They decided to work together with Afro-Carribean station WNK to share a frequency, winning the North London license with a 12-hour daily allowance. LGR returned to the air legally as London’s first Greek community radio station in November 1989.

The book, ‘London’s Pirate Pioneers‘ (2015) by Stephen Hebditch tells the story of the capital’s pirate radio stations and the people who helped change the British broadcasting system.

He writes about LGR’s undeniable legacy in the eighties and the intense pressures it faced to shut down. As quoted:

“The biggest action ever taken by the authorities against LGR came in 1988 when the police raided LGR’s offices, yet again, only this time they confiscated all paperwork related to the station. In a case at Highgate Magistrates Court in July, companies and staff associated with London Greek Radio were fined £13,900 plus £10,550 in costs and expenses.”  

Thousands of listeners to LGR had come out in support of the beleaguered illegal pirate station, at a Camden event. “We were faced with closure, so we held a LGR night at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town,” says George (‘Kokis’). “It sold out twice over and we did it again the following week for those who had missed out.”

LGR even stirred some Parliament airtime, responding to a question by a certain Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP, that asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Mr Atkins how many times his Department has confiscated equipment held by LGR.   

My department’s radio investigation service has seized equipment being illegally used by London Greek Radio on 151 occasions. The equipment when seized is held in a secure store and disposed of in accordance with section 83 of the Telecommunications Act 1984. (Hansard archive, 10th January 1989). 

However, London Greek Radio became one of Britain’s first-ever licensed ethnic radio stations upon being awarded its license.

On November 13th, 1989, LGR opened its doors as a fully legal station, with offices and a studio located on Vale Road, Haringey. In 2003, LGR purchased a freehold in Finchley and moved to its current studios in LGR House.

One of London’s first-ever licensed ethnic radio stations began official broadcasting on 13th November 1989 upon being awarded its license, breaking ground in changing the landscape of UK radio.

John Kyriakides, Chairman of London Greek Radio, described the twists and turns in the station’s turbulent history.

“It was a difficult and protracted journey. George Eracleous and Chris Harmanda, two young men who intended to launch a Greek-language pirate radio station in the early 1980s, are credited with founding the station. Eventually, the station became a target for the authorities, who prosecuted the founders and repeatedly threatened to arrest them. Though we had to share the frequency with an Afro-Caribbean channel, Eracleous and Harmanda never gave up, and with the help of the Greek and Cypriot communities, a few directors, and myself, the radio station was given a licence at the end of the decade.

“We were only permitted to broadcast for twelve hours at first, however after five years, the Afro-Caribbean station disbanded, and London Greek Radio was then granted a 24-hour radio licence and became an independent radio station.”

LGR 103.3 FM, celebrates 34 years of broadcasting as a radio station on 13th November 1989, becoming the UK’s longest-serving ethnic station to hold an FM license.

Over the years, London Greek Radio has become steadfast to a wide range of listeners; from maturing-settlers-to-the-UK to the coming-of-age London Greek-speakers – connecting listeners to their roots through a carefully balanced programming of music, speech, entertainment and news.

It serves advertising for many Greek and Cypriot run businesses in and around North London. LGR has recently increased its English language airtime encouraging more Greek-speaking young people to listen in, particularly during the daytime, drive time and evenings as part of the schedule. LGR is also recruiting younger presenters, who combine Greek music with discussions on everything from cultural identities to chart trends. 

Over the years, LGR 103.3 FM has been known for its diverse musical offerings, covering a wide range of genres, including classic and modern laika, pop-laika, entehno, elafrolaiko, and many more. It also features a mix of music news, celebrity interviews, community chest shows and cultural content designed to appeal to its demographic.

The station is an integrated part of the communities’ social lives, including the organised Greekology events. Mr Eracleous suggested launching LGR nights at a local club, which helped to boost the credibility and impact of the station. In 2012, its debut at the Marquee Club with most notably, Cypriot Eurovision star Ivi Adamou, was sold-out with over 500 people in attendance. LGR Club Nights are currently the station’s biggest event, with more than a few dates in London taking place each year.

LGR played a huge part in radio history, by giving Greek and Cypriot musicians the chance to discover a space for themselves in the music scene. Today it is the go-to station for the exploration of up-and-coming artists and homegrown talent and recently launched its own LGR Productions.

LGR has supported charities including Radiomarathon, London Autism Group Charity, UK Thalassaemia Society and Alkionides UK Charity. The Leukaemia Cancer Society even gives the credit to LGR in inspiring the creation of the cancer charity. The charity’s website acknowledges this fact.

“In 1994 London Greek Radio (LGR) put out a mother’s appeal for her son. Flushed with success the group decided to carry on recruiting new donors, raising awareness of blood cancers, and supporting patients with the disease. Within a year of hearing the appeal on London Greek Radio, the group had formed a committee and registered the charity.”

The LGR brand is still alive and well today. Today, in addition to serving communities on 103.3FM, LGR has been taken into 21st-century broadcasting by joining the Digital Radio platform.

LGR can now be heard in two major cities on DAB+ (digital radio), namely London and Birmingham.

Furthermore, listeners extend worldwide at lgr.co.uk and the station has a free app for mobile devices which listeners can download from the App or Play stores embracing the ‘on-the-move’ audience.

The audience base of LGR, which includes listeners from the Italian, Spanish, Arab, Jewish, Armenian, Bulgarian, and Turkish Cypriot communities, is well-established and diverse.

LGR’s Managing Director, Tony Jay, said, “More listeners are discovering the ever-growing London Greek Radio family every day, not only Greek-speaking listeners but English, Jewish, Albanian, Arab, Bulgarian, Turkish, Russian and many more that frequently tune in.

He added, “LGR is undergoing a revamp with fresh ideas to attract an even wider audience. Exciting times ahead ‘onwards and upwards’.”

LGR’s Chairman John Kyriakides, added, “With LGR’s edgier playlists of the biggest Greek and Cypriot tunes, Modern Laika, Greek Pop, Entehna, Golden-Oldies, Alternative, Folk and Current Chart Hits, we continue to serve the listener. It’s this enigmatic reason that the station remains the preferred choice in most Greek and Cypriot homes, offices, shops, factories, workplaces, vehicles and venues.

In conclusion, he states that “our multilingual programmes–English and Greek–reach a large and diverse audience on a global scale. It broadcasts music, interviews, announcements, community events, local news, Greek and Cypriot news in addition to church services. While catering to the lively lifestyle of one of London’s prosperous communities, the wide range of programmes are made to appeal to all age groups.”

October 2023


Article written by London Greek Radio

The third film of the Big Fat Greek Wedding franchise is to hit cinemas worldwide on 8th September.

As the release date draws nearer, the excitement among fans has become palpable, reverberating through social media platforms with LGR playing ‘Opa’ of course, to mark the film event.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 official trailer released earlier in the year, teased a former Greek Eurovision entry.

The timeless Eurovision tune was a 2010 Eurovision Song Contest hit with Giorgos Alkaios and Friends, ‘Opa’, and ranked 8th in the music event. The tune could be described as a Greek-language up-tempo with the iconic, Pontiac Lyra instrument.

The catchy Greek number is a popular song with Eurovision fans, and 12 years later, is featured in trailer in the beloved franchise. The official club remix to this song, could be heard on London Greek Radio in recent weeks.

The architype Greek Eurovision song with its ethnic elements, is regarded as Greece’s strength and its super-asset, in Eurovision terms, particularly in the noughties and early 2010’s.

It is a fun song which in 2023 still sounds exciting. It is the ethnic banger, which stands the test of time.

The official trailer released earlier in the year, teased the fun-filled family reunion.

‘A lot has happened since my big fat Greek wedding…,’ Toula says in a voiceover. ‘My father passed away and his last wish was for us to visit his childhood village and reconnect with our roots, so we’re having a reunion.

‘And by we, I mean the whole family.’

As she greets several of her family members, she continues: ‘My father passed away and his last wish was for us to visit his childhood village and reconnect with our roots.’

After the family boards a plane to Greece, Thiea Voula, played by Andrea Martin, offers the group souvlaki, after which Nick Portakalos, portrayed by Louis Mandylor, asks: ‘Anybody by the name of Sue Vlaki on this flight?’

Toula’s daughter Paris, played by Elena Kampouris, then awkwardly encounters her prospective romantic partner Aristotle, portrayed by Elias Kacavas, and Thiea comments: ‘They had an amazing date. She ghosted him.’

Once the family lands in Greece, they are greeted by an eccentric cousin, who describes herself as ‘related through your pappou’s pappou, who was married to your great-yiayia’s sister’s sister-in-law.’

The family’s long-lost cousin then tells Toula that her deceased father’s friends will return to their hometown to participate in the family reunion, although when she is asked if she knows the group specifically, she dejectedly answers: ‘No.’

After the Portakalos family spends the night in the same room and are rudely woken up by a stray goat, Vardalos’ character remarks: ‘This is one reunion we’ll never forget.’

Thiea later goes out on a fishing trip and comments that ‘I am surprised, but I am not surprised, because I’m never surprised.’

Martin’s character later tells Paris that she ‘dreamt about Aristotle last night’ during a group dance, and after she is asked about how she found that out, Thiea quips: ‘Greek voodoo! Bam!’

When Toula tells her husband Ian, played by John Corbett, that she really wants to reconnect with her father’s friends, her sister Nikki and their Cousin Angelo, played by Gia Carides and Joey Fatone, rush off to complete the task.

After the Portakalosn family runs into the Mediterranean Sea, Nick, recognising Toula’s role in bringing the family back to their homeland, proclaims her to be the new ‘head of the family.’

Vardalos’ character then starts day-drinking with Thiea, and her husband becomes amused after she drunkenly struggles to hop on the back of a donkey.

The trailer ends after Ian encounters an old farmer who encourages him to pick one of her chickens to be slaughtered for dinner, and after he describes himself as a vegetarian, she flatly replies: ‘No.’

My Big Fat Greek Wedding became one of the most successful indie films of all time after its release, raking in $368.7 million (£302.2 million) worldwide, from just a $5 million budget (£4.1 million).

September 2023


Article written by London Greek Radio

The third film of the Big Fat Greek Wedding franchise is to hit cinemas worldwide on 8th September. The excitement surrounding the film is palpable, and fans are eagerly looking forward to its release.

The official synopsis reads: “From writer and director Nia Vardalos, the worldwide phenomenon My Big Fat Greek Wedding is coming back to cinemas with a brand-new adventure. Join the Portokalos family as they travel to a family reunion in Greece for a heartwarming and hilarious trip full of love, twists and turns. Opa!”

The official trailer released earlier in the year, teased the fun-filled family reunion.

‘A lot has happened since my big fat Greek wedding…,’ Toula says in a voiceover. ‘My father passed away and his last wish was for us to visit his childhood village and reconnect with our roots, so we’re having a reunion.

‘And by we, I mean the whole family.’

Γάμος αλά Ελληνικά 3, in Greek.

The new single “Oli Mazi” (We Are All Together)” from the film threequel is performed by Rita Wilson and Christos Mastoras (Melisses, lead-vocalist), co-written by Rita Wilson and Diane Warren.

All of the cast are reprising their roles, including Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Elena Kampouris, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Louis Mandylor, Gia Carides, Gerry Mendicino, Joey Fatone, Stavroula Logothettis, and Elias Kacavas as Aristotle.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of the most successful indie films of all time and star-of-the-film Nia Vardalos is the scriptwriter and director, who will reprise her “Tula” character.

Fans of the noughties film will be delighted to learn that Nia, 60, has reunited with on-screen husband John Corbett in scenes shot in Rafina.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 has been confirmed since April 2021, although production had been slowed down due to the pandemic.

The film will be dedicated to Michael Constantine, who played Toula’s father Kostas “Gus” Portokalos and who passed away in August 2021 at age of 94.

According to a post Vardalos wrote on her Instagram, Constantine knew he wouldn’t be part of the third film. “He had told me he wouldn’t be able to join us for the third film and his wish was that we go on. I wrote the screenplay to reflect Michael’s decision and will always treasure his last messages to me, hoping we were filming soon,” she explained. “We miss you Michael, thank you for bringing my words to life with such passion and accuracy, you will always be with us.”

“He was a beloved friend and a brilliant actor/writer who taught me so much about my craft and LIFE,” Lainie Kazan, who portrayed Gus’s wife Maria Portokalos, wrote on Facebook after his death.

“We shared a make-believe marriage for over 20 years in the movies My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1 and 2 and soon-to-be 3. What a beautiful relationship. Michael you will be missed. Heaven has gained another angel.”

In addition to her social media video, Vardalos used her caption to thank production companies Playtone, Gold Circle, HBO and Focus, as well as devoted fans for “much love and gratitude” as the team waited to film in Greece.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding became one of the most successful indie films of all time after its release, raking in $368.7 million (£302.2 million) worldwide, from just a $5 million budget (£4.1 million).


Article written by London Greek Radio

The Cyprus Week free event at Theatro Technis at 26 Crowndale, starts today. The 6-day event which runs until 22nd July, celebrates the talent and creativity of Cypriot and Greek artists.

The arts venue is founded by George Eugeniou in 1957, he is the Artistic Director, with the help of Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE as its new Creative Director.

Cyprus Week has taken place at Theatro Technis for over 55 years, created originally as a cultural response by Cypriots in London to events in the 50’s, and renewed again with greater intensity after the Greek Junta Coup and Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

Monday 17th July at 7pm (Raising the flag of the Republic of Cyprus at 6pm approx.)
Cypria written by Elena Pavli and performed by Lucy Christofi Christy. A satirical play about the unrealised dreams and the historical erasure of Stasinus, known as the ‘lost poet of Cyprus’.

Cypria – [A minor retelling of the epic life of the semi-legendary Stasinus, lost poet of Cyprus], is a satirical play about the unrealised dreams and the historical erasure of Stasinus, known as the ‘lost poet of Cyprus’. Written and directed by Elena Pavli and performed by Lucy Christofi Christy, this segment is an excerpt of a longer play.

Elena Pavli is a playwright, TV writer and actor. Her nomadic childhood included moving between England, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and Australia.  Her first full-length play, THE BAD, THE SAD & THE BROKEN-HEARTED, was performed at Soho Theatre and the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles.  She has also written on several television series, including SNATCH for Sony/Crackle TV.

Elena is a graduate of The Central School Of Speech and Drama and has performed in theatres as geographically distant as The Globe and The Sydney Opera House. She is currently working as a staff writer as well as writing her own television series.

Lucy Christy is a character actress that enjoys the more challenging roles.  UK born of Greek and Cypriot origin, London educated and trained in theatre and screen. She has spent my time working between the UK and Cyprus. Lucy has a long history working with Theatro Technis.

Tuesday 18th July at 7pm
OUR JOURNEY My Dog Azur. The Actors Touring Theatre presents in collaboration with EKA.

A story about a dog called Azur and the village Sichari on the Pentadactylos mountain. A one-act short play by Vasilis Panayis.

With Panos Savvides, Georgia Georgiou, Markos Xenophontos, Avgi Fasoull, Perristera Toumazi, Chriso and Peter Panayi.

Assistant Director Menios Grammenos. Directed & Produced by Vasilis Panayis. Music by Stalo Georgiou. Featuring live traditional music by Eleftheria Georgiou.

Wednesday 19th July at 7pm
A Lobby for Cyprus and Famagusta Association of Great Britain debate and seminar. Famagusta: Shattered lives seminar.

49 years since they were forcibly uprooted from their homes and other properties in the Turkish-occupied northern area of the Republic of Cyprus, lawful residents of Famagusta will share their agonising experiences, their shattered lives and their longstanding desire to return to where they belong.

Speakers and presentations by Philip Christopher, President of PSEKA (by videolink), Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots (by videolink), Andreas S Kakouris, High Commissioner of Republic of Cyprus to UK, Dr Vassilis Mavrou, President of Famagusta Association of GB, Dr Theodora Christou, Lobby for Cyprus executive, The refugee perspective, and a musical performance by Nikos Savvides.

Thursday 20th July at 7pm
The Suitcase by Lorna Eleonora Vassiliades. Directed by Pedro Perez Rothstein. What do you take with you when suddenly you have to leave your home?

On the anniversary of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, performance Artist Lorna Eleonora Vassiliades creates a ritual of grief and mnemonic resistance through the suitcase and items her family grabbed when they were forced to flee from their home in Famagusta.

Everyone with experience and/or a heritage of forced displacement is invited to bring an item with them.

We will end dancing a Greek circle dance together as a symbol of unity.

Estimated running time: 60 minutes.

Lorna Eleonora Vassiliades is a journalist-author turned performer and PhD researcher investigating solo performance and the heritage of displacement at Queen Mary University of London.

Friday 21st July at 7pm & Saturday 22nd July at 7pm
Pan Metron Ariston, a play reading by George Eugeniou. A Theatro Technis production.

A new political satire written by the founder of Theatro Technis, George Eugeniou.

Come and listen to this new play in development, by multi award winning published playwright and director Geroge Eugeniou.

Friday 21st July Act One & Saturday 22nd July Act Two.

Estimated running time 1 hour 20 mins.

A free event as part of Cyprus Week.

For more information visit: Theatro Technis.


Article written by London Greek Radio

The first-ever Greek Arts Festival takes place, this week at Millfield Theatre. The 3-day event, set to run from 28th to 30th June, promises to be “an amazing mini-week of Greek and Cypriot culture and entertainment!”

Talent contest, children’s play, paintings, books and other exhibitions. Also Byzantine, Greek and Cypriot traditional and folk music by professionals and participation of students from Greek Community schools.

Wednesday 28th June at 7pm
Dances from Walker Greek School. Traditional music & songs.

Byzantine Music brought to you by the School of Byzantine Music of our Holy Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, under the direction of Father Iosif Paliouras.

A children’s play coming from Athens by Evaggelia Gkioni “Mia grammi ke mia telia” (“Μια γραμμή και μια τελεία”).

A children’s theatrical play by Omilos Eksipiretiton (The Servers’ Society), Athens, Greece. If you search the Fairytale Map, two ice creams up and one somersault to the right, somewhere near Wonderland, you will discover a Land truly worthy of wonder. It is the Great Land of WoWs! It is there that our hero, the Little Miracle, lives. One morning, the Little Miracle wakes up from a really strange dream… what dream did it have? And what has our hero been seeking to find since then? Does anyone know the answer?

The Little Miracle’s adventure will lead it to the House of the Wise Man. Will our hero go in? And anyway, what role does the Fairy Godmother play in all this, and what about that stumbling, blundering Exclamation Mark? It is all this and much more that you will discover in our play.

Thursday 29th June at 7pm
Talent Contest “Show Me Your Talent” (singing, dancing, comedy, acting, magic, or any other talent you have). We will find talent through local newspapers and social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. The Lewis Sisters and Elizabeth Chapman have been confirmed as the judges, on the night.

PRIZES ON THE NIGHT

1ST PRIZE
1 WEEK HOLIDAY FOR 2 IN CYPRUS
FIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATION INCLUDED
SONG PRODUCTION BY LGR TEAM
TV AND RADIO EXPOSURE

2ND PRIZE
2X FIGHTS TO CYPRUS FOR 1 WEEK
SONG PRODUCED BY CYPRUS COMPOSER – PRODUCER
TV AND RADIO EXPOSURE

3RD PRIZE

A MEAL FOR 4 AT A TOP LOCAL GREEK RESTAURANT
TV AND RADIO EXPOSURE

All Contestants will perform on the evening and judges will give professional industry feedback then it’s your chance to vote.

Winners will be selected by judges and Audience votes.

Friday 30th June at 7pm
Dinner & Dance. Live orchestra music with Mixalis Theodosiou, Giorgos Yerasimos, Sophia Pechlivani, Mihalis Minas (Bouzouki), & Spyros Paisios (keyboard).

Tickets £50 including a 4-course meal.

MENU
STARTERS:
mezze

A selection of traditional Greek dips, bread and olives.

MAIN COURSE:
Lamb kleftiko
Traditional Slow roasted lamb shank scented with cinnamon and herbs served with delicious Cyprus potatoes
Horiatiki salad
The classic Greek salad – served with feta

VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTION
Moussaka
A popular Greek dish with layered roasted vegetables topped with a flavoursome sauce and oven baked for Perfection.
Horiatiki salad
The classic Greek salad

DESSERT:
Loukoumades
Freshly made crispy dough balls
Served with Tea or coffee

FRESH FRUIT PLATTER

If you are vegetarian or vegan please let us know by emailing nina@platinumperformingarts.co.uk

The producers have the right to make changes to the programme & cast if needed.

There will be paintings, books & photographic exhibitions during the festival.

Head on over to the Millfield Theatre website and secure your tickets now before they sell out! Whether you’re a die-hard Greek and Cypriot culture enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, the Greek Arts Festival 2023 has something for everyone. Don’t wait, book your tickets today and join us for a cultural extravaganza that you’ll never forget!

Media sponsors: LGR & Eleftheria Newspaper
Gold sponsors: Built it Builders Merchants and A&P Skips
Supporters: Autumn Gardens and Anastasia Lodge


Article written by London Greek Radio

Well done Andrew Lambrou came a highly respectable 12th out of 26 countries at the Eurovision Song Conest final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, on Saturday night, the 13th of May 2023.

The Cypriot artist has written himself into Eurovision immortality, with one of the best Cypriot results in the event.

Cyprus broadcaster CyBC confirmed that up-and-coming Cypriot Australian star Andrew Lambrou would fly the flag at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool last year.

After weeks of teasing the world with only the singer and a snippet, “Break a Broken Heart”, the Cyprus Eurovision entry by Mr Lambrou was finally released.

We were promised a strong mid-tempo song and Andrew has certainly lived up to that script, releasing his Eurovision music video for “Break a Broken Heart” in March.

The Cypriot song is certainly catchy and a radio friendly number, which has already entered London Greek Radio playlists.

Born in Sydney to Greek Cypriot parents, Andrew learnt piano, and at 5-years-of age he won 1st place in a school competition. He originally sung his way to relative stardom, covering the likes of Evanescence, Harry Styles, Camilla Cabello and Sam Smith.

In 2015, when Andrew was just 17 years old, he finished in the top 20 in The X Factor Australia. This included a stopover in London at the five-seat challenge with his mentor, singing legend, Chris Isaak where he performed in front of music mogul Simon Cowell and pop star Rita Ora.

That same year, he was noticed by Sony ATV and was signed by Maree Hamblion. Since then, he has released a string of singles, “Throne”, “Lemonade”, “Confidence” and “Electrify”.

Next stop, Liverpool. Tony Neophytou caught up with Andrew Lambrou while in between soundchecks and tours of the press circuit at the arena.

Q. You’ve finally made it to Liverpool, and you’ve been rehearsing on the stage, it must be a special feeling, right?

A. Yeah, it really is. It’s so special, to be finally on the stage and to see what it all looks like has been mind-blowing for me. And there is so much anticipation when it comes to Eurovision. Such a build-up and so to finally get up on stage… I could picture it; I could picture all the people in the crowd. And I could picture what I will all feel like special and mind-blowing.

Cyprus will be staged with the help of Austrian artistic director Marvin Dietmann and Ross Nicholson from London’s world-renowned directors Black Skull. The involvement of the Austrian and British creatives highlights the Cypriot ambition to impress at this competition.

A. Yeah, sure did, Marvin and Russ are absolutely amazing at what they do, and I really feel like I’m working with the best in the world and that’s something really encouraging for me for an artist to feel that support, to feel that level of expertise on the team. I can’t fault a single thing that Marvin and Russ they know what they’re doing and for me that’s extremely special because I know I am in great hands.

Q. The Cypriot entry ebbs and flows constantly with a built-up, excitement throughout the song. The visuals are matching the growth and dynamics and elevates the song’s strengths and it culminates with fire-lit stage!…

A. Yeah for sure, I really wanted to build when it comes to the song, I want the end to have built up to a point where it is just the big explosion at the end you know, and I’m really proud of the song and I’m excited to get on stage and deliver that for everybody. The most important things for me are the ability to connect to the song. I want people to feel what I am singing. I want people to feel the lyrics, the passion coming out of my body through the tv screens, to the people in the arena. And if I can execute that plan than I’m over the moon.

Q. “Break a Broken Heart”, why was this the song which spoke to you?

A. It is a big decision when it comes to a Eurovision song, I wanted it to be something authentic. I wanted it to be something I could relate to personally. Because I feel that really shines through on stage and I want people to connect to it. And the song has such a great impact for me it did anyway. When I first heard it and I heard that big Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh… note at the start, it just captivated me. And I said ok, what is this song, and then I just wanted to listen to it more and more after that. So when it comes to Eurovision there are so many fans who keep up to date with what’s happening in the Eurovision world, but there are many people who tune in and don’t actually listen to the songs beforehand. They are just ready to watch the show. So, for me I wanted it to grab you quickly and I feel that this song did that for me, so the goal was to do that for the people at home.

The song was written to suit Andrew’s vocal and is a rather vocally demanding song, requiring his full skills as a singer to be on-point.

Q. Impressive vocals Andrew, did you want a song that would actually stretch you vocally?

A. Yes, I did. I wanted a song’s that gonna be impactful and to show what I am capable of on the biggest stage on the world. Although it might be a bit daunting with such a big vocal. I have really worked as hard as I can to make this song really comfortable myself and I feel comfortable at this point, which is great.

Andrew Lambrou delivers an impassioned vocal performance that gives voice to anyone who has felt like at the lowest point. Because of a break-up and lyrics speak of perseverance and strength developed through strength.

The vocals are on-point and sung with emotional intensity and sincerity.

A. Yeah, thank you so much that’s probably one of the greatest compliments I have gotten so far, and people are really loving my vocals, and that all comes down to how hard I’ve been working and practicing this song and feeling as comfortable as I possibly can. It’s just trying to compliment the visuals with the audio.

Q. What is the ambition, Andrew? It’s your 25th birthday in May, what would be a lovely birthday gift, qualification, I am guessing reaching the final? I am sure you will do just fine; you won’t be breaking Cyprus hearts (to coin a phrase).

A. (Laughs) 100% correct that would be the ultimate birthday gifts for me, I don’t think anyone has to get me birthday gifts for the rest of my life after that (laughs).

Q. I’ve been following your Eurovision journey for quite some time, with Australia Decides 2022, looking back on it, do you think that gives you much needed Eurovision experience?

A. Yeah, I believe everything happens for a reason and to introduce me to the Eurovision world and going on to the stage it gave me some experience and it also taught me a few lessons too and now that I am fortunate enough to be in this position now, I am using all the knowledge I’ve got from the past into play now.

Q. There is a minor tradition with diaspora artists in Eurovision, such as Lisa Andreas and Andy Paul, former UK Cypriot acts of past Eurovision editions. What was the reaction from fellow Australians and Aussie Cypriot diaspora to your act?

A. It’s been fantastic, I can’t really complain at all. The love and support I’ve been getting over in Australia from the Greek Cypriot community has been something giving me so much motivation, so I am a very happy man with a big smile on my face. I can’t wait to make as many people as proud as I can.

Q. Was time taken aside for Greek Easter, amidst the rehearsals…

A. I had a typical Greek Orthodox Easter making flaounes and pafkia which is a version of flaouna with meat inside it that only comes from Paphos where my grandparents come from in Cyprus. So, we kept with the traditions, and we went and saw some family and it was really great just to unwind and to forget about things for a minute, and just to spend time with loved ones.

I can see from Instagram you were ‘baking’ flaounas, in terms of keeping up with tradition and culture I heard you love modern Greek music, Laika and zeimbekika…?

A. That’s for sure, at any event you can see me dancing the kalamatiano to all the classics and I’m not as good as my dad at doing the zeimbekiko that’s for sure. My dad is the professional but I’m trying to follow in his footsteps.

Q. What do you think about before a performance?

A. For me it’s about staying calm. To stay calm I think about what is important to me. I think about things outside the Eurovision world, I think about my family, my loved ones, my passion for music, and grateful I am to be here right now. I’d like to take a deep breath and understand I’m here to do what I like to do. So that’s my goal, my little ritual beforehand. It’s all about staying calm for me.

Q. Post-Eurovision, any thoughts…

A. I want to travel, and I want to release more music…

Thank you, Andrew Lambrou and the best of luck, to you and the Cypriot delegation.

The Cypriot star absolutely smashed that performance, absolutely fair play to him!

You can follow Andrew on Instagram @andrew_lambrou, where he already boasts almost 500k followers. Andrew was doing impressive TikTok numbers before announcing Eurovision, now at 700k followers and climbing.

May 2023


Article written by Tony Neophytou