A few weeks ago we learned that Greek hip hop band Argo would sing for Greece at Eurovision 2016, and today they finally revealed their song “Utopian Land”.

The song tackles the country’s financial difficulties and the ongoing refugee crisis, and suggests we can overcome any and all challenges. It’s sung in Greek, Pontic Greek and English, and in spite of the pessimistic subject, has a cheery, soulful vibe.  Genre-wise it mixes funk, R&B and traditional Greek sounds.

Argo – “Utopian Land”

Following the release the band’s members Christina Lachana, Maria Venetikidou, Vladimiros Sofianides, Kostas Topouzis, Elias Kesides and Alekos Papadopoulos headed to the set of Studio 3, where they were set to discuss their song, their ESC participation and much more.

We also know more information about what will happen in Stockholm. The staging of the act will be taken care of by Maria Lyraraki, who also staged the Greek entries in 2007, 2013 and 2015. In addition, the Eurovision live shows will again have commentary by Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis, the regular commentators since 2013.

It was back in August that Greece confirmed they would participate in Eurovision 2016, but the process of getting there has been anything but smooth sailing. After a marathon of proposals and rejections and a lot of rumors, ERT finally found their Eurovision 2016 representatives on February 9th — and it was the band Argo.

So what do you think? Can Greece surprise us all in Stockholm? Share your thoughts below…

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JohnnyB
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JohnnyB

II’m greek and I state here that I HATE this horrible, terrible, awful and unprofessional “sound product”. This is nothing but “sound pollution” and I refuse to call it a “song”. You see, I’ve been listening to MUSIC ever since I was a baby and now I’m 49… I’m very sorry that here in Greece the subculture called “hip-hop” has so many lovers that even the president of ERT approved this “thing”. I just wish that, even in the last moment, Greece re-thinks and rejects this rubbish thing and decides for some real SONG to represent our country decently. (forgive… Read more »

loukas76gr
Guest
loukas76gr

Mixed feelings when I first heard it.
When I actually LISTENED to it, I have to say YES. I like it!
It’s different to all other entries. Just unique.
As much culture needed, as much of modern style as well.
It doesn’t make you feel bored. (the least you can do is to hate it. But I don’t.)
I wouldn’t change it a bit. Not even the vocals.
Good Luck Greece!

Afrivision
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Afrivision

OMG I actually love this lol

Random.sage2.6
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Random.sage2.6

With everyone using projection screens and copying Måns, even Russia and Armenia, the few that stand out will do well. Top 10, maybe depending on staging & performance, but don’t count it out.

Remember, all the Balkans are back this year. This may be Greece’s “Watch My Dance”.

Slightly Biased ESC Fan
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Slightly Biased ESC Fan

LMAO this pretty much a two cent knockoff of “Gangsta’s Paradise”. Total hot mess.

Digital Style
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Digital Style

I wish songs didn’t have a date they had to be released after. I mean, if they sent Mose Senora, they could have won the whole thing!

antihate
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antihate

@Hebbuzz, country-bashing has no place in this blog. We are here to discuss the songs, not use them as an excuse for making inflammatory political statements.

David Who
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David Who

Hmmm. It appears that my response to some of you have been moderated away from this blog. Free speech would appear to have limits!

Basically I don’t think the video is intended to be what you think it is – the song isn’t as racy as Poland 2014, for example! I think the video images are supposed to have meaning when all put together, i’m just not entirely sure I understand it.

Hebbuzz
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Hebbuzz

Horrific entry, together with Georgia, Montenegro, Slovenia, San Marino and Armenia, this is NOT what Eurovision needs. Please replace the singer, remover the rap and come up with some melody. Actually the only good thing about this song is the arrangement with ethnic instruments. Calling your entry Utopian Land while your own country led Europe into a crisis, and is being overlflood by Refugees, is a bit weird. Hopefully Greece cannot reply on their usual diaspora fanbase and will quality in semi 1 prevail.

Dan Stanescu
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Dan Stanescu

I don’t like it but It’s catchy!

JDR
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JDR

Is it me or does anyone else get Germany 1999 vibes? Reise Nach Jerusalem…Join With Us For a Utopian Land.

AM Casablancas
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AM Casablancas

and now a quick sketch of what happened during the creation of the song Member No. 1: Hey we need to make our eurovision entry Rest of members: Yes, WE DO Member No. 1: Today I came up to a Hobo playing some ethnic song and I think we can use this as a base to create our song. Member No. 2: that’s ok, but I’ll also add some rap Member No. 3: and some drum beat Member No. 4: Do you remember the guy from Moldova 2010 let’s add him Member No. 5: Yes but I also like this… Read more »

Aaron GR
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Aaron GR

I like it – it’ll stand out this year, for better or worse.

Anybody else getting a “Reise Nach Jerusalem” (Germany ’99) vibe from the chorus?

irish esc
Guest
irish esc

2013 alchol is free greece hate it.

2016 utopian land greece hate it.

why have you given up on Eurovision greece why?

George
Guest

@ Bag Well, about the critetia… One of the female singers of the group is allegedly related to the ex-wife of the Public Broadcasters’s President. That’s pretty much about it. Basically, nobody has ever heard of this ”band” in Greece. I mean they aren’t ”relatively” unknown as if they have some fans, but they aren’t popular at the majority of Greeks. There is actually nobody aware of their existence. We NEVER heard them singing live or giving an interview on national TV. Some claim they don’t exist.They’re a state of mind(JK). Now seriously.ERT has desided to internaly select some artists… Read more »

Bag
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Bag

Strange and awkward choice from Greece this year.
What were the choice criteria?!

Richard
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Richard

What a departure for Greece, or is it? Certainly very different to their pop entries, it’s their most ethnically flavoured song for some time, although it’s true there is generally a smattering in there somewhere. Rap never does terribly well, but there’s so much else going on here that you might overlook it. Not keen on the rhyme of sun and fun, but you can’t have it all. I like it.

Alex
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Alex

Hey, this one is interesting. Nice job, Greece.

Charles
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Charles

@oooops: You should be happy if Samir & Victor performed at any Gay Pride concert schedule this year in Sweden and that’s it. More fitting! Specially since there is no musical substance attached to it and nobody seems to care about it … Ohhh and by the way, ask to Sergey to undress himself and show his torso with Samir & Victor at those same events … far more adequate than coming to ESC with the the fake intention of seducing the gay audience in the name of the “Mother land” 🙂

Tom
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Tom

I’m actually not mad about the rap but that chorus is jarring. Awful lyrics and harsh vocals. This song is unpolished and kind of messy, which I’m sure is what the songwriters were going for, but I think it needs improvement.

MarceloN
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MarceloN

Greek people seem to be the most welcoming and heroic in these tragic times. Even when they have been put through a lot themselves. They do deserve well (just like any other individual who has managed to grasp the horrors of displacement and constant threat). That said, we are discussing the ESC here, so off we go. This entry strikes me as undercooked in various ways. The overall concept (if it is about refugees, displacement, etc.) is there if you want to find it, but it is just so half-baked that it comes across as nearly a parody. It’s not… Read more »

anonymouse
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anonymouse

I’m feeling mixed. The chorus is good, but the production is underwhelming and the rap is annoying. Good luck to them.

Ern
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Ern

Better than “One Last Breath.”

It should make the final, but it won’t make top 15.

Nikos
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Nikos

@ct_greece

I know,

Den tous yposterizw kai o Tsaknis prepei opos dipote na fygei, mazi me tous syrizeous. Makari na mporousa ws Ellhnas ths diasporas na psifiza. 🙂

ct_greece
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ct_greece

@ esc1234 I may agree with you on the government (they definitely could have sent something stronger if they really believed in it) but come on, in Greece people trash the song we send every year. I think their musical effort is not without merit but the chorus lacks some oomph, the girls’ voices are weak and colourless and the english lyrics ridiculous. @ Nikos Pontian immigrants were also coming in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. But the pontians were greeks coming to Greece, which is totally unlike the situation we have today. These parallels that… Read more »

esc1234
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esc1234

Just for the record, nobody in Greece likes the song and everyone are laughing. The left goverment have destroyed everything, even eurovision who is still the most watched show in Greece…

Bastian
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Bastian

Crappy entry. Im quite sure they will stay in the semi, thank god.

Nikos
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Nikos

I was expecting worse but still this proves why national final worked better for us… Personally I think they needed more singing verse and less rap, because we all know rap never works in Eurovision. I like that the song uses traditional elements and Pontian dialect which stands out amongst so many English songs. This is sort of like Jamala’s entry. Both use important historical events to parallel today’s problem. I am not Pontian so some of the dialectic words I don’t get, but I can try to explain for non-Greeks to understand. 100 years ago Pontian Greeks were murdered… Read more »

ct_greece
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ct_greece

@ David who

I guess he runs and runs because he is supposed to be a refugee. A refugee that just got out of the gym apparently because they need the gay vote.

MMs
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MMs

I do not like it, sorry. Actually it is one of the few entries this year that I just don’t like.

I hope the results will be fair. If a song sung in a non-English language, involving rap and is ethnic has to pass it is definitely Bosnia and Herzegovina.

David Who
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David Who

So… This is highly experimental. There are time signature changes, and non-diatonic scale structures being used – which produce the effect of sounding like it’s actually two records that got accidentally mixed together! The rap contains lyrics that seem to be borderline political, so i guess we’ll see if the ESC accepts this one or not. The one thing I didn’t understand at all was the video – i’m not a visual arts critic, so perhaps someone can explain all that imagery to me? This one again creates a headache with the “Top” list, as it is musically a lot… Read more »

EUROFAN MEXICO
Guest

DEPRESING, IF YOU WANT TO SEND ENYBODY DIRECTLY PLEASE SEND KOSTAS MARTAKIS, HE IS A WINNER OF EUROVISION CONCEPT WITH ENY SONG. NOT THIS CONFUSED EXPERIMENT

marie
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marie

Sorry but it’s not my cup of tea!

Amiciness
Guest

It’s…. interesting to say the least. I don’t actually have much of a problem with the rap. It’s the vocals on the “chorus” and the time signature changes that’s more jarring to my ears.

DenizNL
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DenizNL

Not THAT bad, but absolutely not the best. Lyrically not very good, but very cultural and I like that in songs.

Denis
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Denis

I don’t think it’s bad at all. In fact I think it’s the best entry Greece has had in years. It’s a typical Eurovision entry with everything that comes with it, rap included. Like Bosnia’s entry but slightly above.

tom
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tom

thats nothing going to nowhere

Digital Style
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Digital Style

I feel like people are going to vote for us, not because the song is good but because we’re Greece.

Ian
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Ian

I think these comments once again prove my theory that people just want more of the same in Eurovision. This isn’t even that different than the typical Eurovision entry, but “oh it’s so horrible!!!”
It’s fine, although rather average.

Bård
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Bård

Good and bad elements mixed into a strange cocktail which I actually quite like

Theo
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Theo

In my opinion it’s one of the best songs from Greece in ESC of the last decade. Don’t like the English part of lyrics, but still, it’s a good song, not plastic and overproduced.

Leaf
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Leaf

And I agree with people saying it is different and original.

I can turn on voice recording in my laundry room turn on the machine and scream my brains out ….. That is quite an original/different sound too, but that doesn’t make a song pleasant, listenable or GOOD.

Adam87
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Adam87

It’s a good song in the terms of lyrics, they are deep and ironic at the same time. I perfectly understand the message, we also could be refugees someday, who knows what will happen in the future. But as for audience, it could be hard to explain to them the meaning of the song.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

Who will flop ……. Romania or Greece?

I have a feeling it might be anyone’s “game”.
2/10

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

I quite like this actually. So glad they went for something different than the other countries and something kind of traditional.
However I really wonder if this will make the final.

MGR
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MGR

Greek song means as many as song from Georgia and Armenia, it means nothing. Mix of Leonard Cohen and Justin Bieber is much more special and I hope San Marino will qualify to final, because they deserve this.

Pastora Soler haha!
Guest
Pastora Soler haha!

Horrible

I don’t understand this internal choice. They are not famous and they have a bad song.

I guess is a question of €€€

MGR
Guest
MGR

Of course this is not the same level as Leonard Cohen / Justin Bieber from San Marino / Turkey.

Leo M
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Leo M

San Marino have some competition for last place in the first semi. I like the first 30 seconds but it all goes downhill from there. The rap is just awful and the girls singing isn’t great either. Surely Greece’s 100% qualifying record is gonna end.

ct_greece
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ct_greece

?k for starters, I always thought the greek selection by the people who run greek public TV (and the country) nowadays would be a nightmare. Nevertheless I was curious to see what they would come up with. My thoughts right now is that the idea is not that bad (at least when it comes to featuring some sort of ethnic sound) but the execution is. The girls obviously can not sing, the production is sloppy and amateurish and the hot guy in the video is a very cheap shot at the gay vote. As for the lyrics the “We are… Read more »