If you want to get the PR machine in motion before Eurovision, then releasing a Beyoncé cover is a great place to start.
And on Tuesday Hovig — the soulful voice representing Cyprus at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine — did just that with a simple-but-atmospheric video cover of “Running” by Naughty Boy feat. Her Royal Highness of Pop Queen Bey!
Hovig brings a raw and inviting quality to the song, originally titled “Runnin'”, by stripping it back and getting rid of the beats and forward push of the original. His steely vocals carry so much vulnerability, which also extends to his eyes and manner. It’s a sexy sadness that is undeniably Hovig.
The simple video — Hovig, lights, keyboard — works well for this version of the song. It properly introduces us to the Cypriot singer and shows us he can take any song and make it his own.
Late in 2016, Cypriot broadcaster CyBC selected Hovig to represent Cyprus at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Borng Hovig Demirjian, he previously placed seventh on the Greek edition of X Factor in 2009. He fought to represent Cyprus at Eurovision in both 2010 and 2015, finishing third and fourth respectively. His 2015 song “Stone In A River” was a fan favourite, perhaps paving the way for CyBC to choose him this year.
Hovig’s song for Eurovision will be released in the coming months, and will be written by the one and only Thomas G:son — the Swedish hitmaker behind Loreen’s “Euphoria” and last year’s Cypriot entry “Alter Ego”.
The original version “Runnin’ (Lose It All)” was performed by Naughty Boy featuring Beyonce and Arrow Benjamin.
It charted across Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia.