Sandro was due to represent Cyprus at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with “Running” — a current club track with a unique drop.
Cypriot broadcaster CyBC stuck to its process of recent years. An internal selection has been used since 2016 and brought four grand final qualifications to the island.
However, the outcome differed from the last two years. Instead of a female-led party-banger with hair flips, Cyprus chose a young, up-and-coming male singer named Sandro Nicolas.
His deep-house-pop song “Running” dropped in March.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Sandro. Let’s do this!
Cyprus at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Sandro
1. His heritage is diverse
Sandro may have been chosen to perform for Cyprus but he has connections to many countries. Talking to our William, he took us through it. While Sandro was born and raised in Germany near the Dutch border, his mother has roots in Greece. His grandparents are from the Greek island Zakynthos. His father is German but has strong ties to America, as his family lives in Florida. That’s one reason for the tattoo of the American flag on his arm.
2. His name changed over the years
Sandro Nicolas sounds like a pretty cool name for a guy from Germany, right? Well, that’s not exactly how it always was. This is actually his artist name. His real name is Alessandro Rütten. However, he did not simply pull a fancy-sounding name out of thin air. Nicolas is his mother’s maiden name, while Sandro derives from Alessandro. Knowing that he was going to pursue a musical career outside of Germany, he eliminated the hurdle of the umlaut ü very smoothly. At Eurovision, things became even simpler as he released his video as just Sandro.
3. He built his own studio
Sandro has the appearance of a pop star, so it’s easy to forget that he’s only 23 years old. And singing isn’t his only musical talent. At the age of four, he was given his first drum set. A few years later, a guitar was added to his collection of instruments. Talking to a newspaper, Sandro said he doesn’t even know when exactly he started singing. When he was 15, he wrote his first songs. But where can you produce these? His simple solution: He worked part-time jobs to finance and build a recording studio in the basement. He spent countless hours improving his songs and gained a lot of experience.
4. He is connected to Cyprus culturally
Looking at his CV, Sandro’s connection to Cyprus isn’t instantly recognisable. He stresses the cultural similarities between Cyprus and Greece, where his mother is from. He speaks Greek and has no problem in connecting with the local media. Back in December 2019, when travelling was an option, he visited Cyprus. He felt incredibly welcome there and received support from the people he met.
5. He competed on The Voice of Germany
The 2018 season of The Voice of Germany can be considered as Sandro’s breakthrough. However, it wasn’t his first appearance on German television. He participated at Das Supertalent, the German edition of Got Talent, in 2015. He convinced all the jurors to send him into the next round. On The Voice, he became one of the early favourites with his performance of Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood”. Belting out the high notes perfectly, it was no wonder that all four coaches fought for him to join their team. His audition video has reached more than eight million views and is one the most-watched videos of the 2018 season. He proceeded to sing “Dusk Till Dawn” by ZAYN and “Hotter Than Hell” by Dua Lipa before he was sadly eliminated. By the way, Germany’s 2020 singer Ben Dolic finished second in the same series.
6. Eleni Foureira was his first Eurovision experience
Sandro currently lives in Düsseldorf. The city which, of course, hosted Eurovision back in 2011. He did not attend the show and hasn’t watched Eurovision for many years. That changed when he saw Eurovision for the first time in 2018. Coincidentally, this was Cyprus’ most successful year ever when Eleni Fourera came second with “Fuego”. He immediately fell in love with the show. Just two years after watching it for the first time, he was due to take part in the contest.
7. He isn’t the best dancer
In recent years, Cyprus has built up a reputation for its impressive dance routines. However, things were set to change with Sandro’s participation. He describes himself as “probably the worst dancer on earth”. Apparently, it isn’t a lack of interest, but more a lack of dance talent. The performances of Eleni Fouera and Tamta impressed him nevertheless. Unfortunately, he has yet to meet either of the ladies.
8. He has ambitious plans outside of music
Despite his talent, Sandro knows that a plan B makes life easier. From early on, he had ambitious plans, like becoming a pilot. After graduation from his hometown of Heinsberg, he joined the German army to become an officer cadet. But he did not pursue a career as a fighter pilot, focusing on his music instead. A good idea as we know today. But the music industry is more than just being an artist. That’s why he studies business administration. No matter what the future brings, he seems to be prepared.
9. He represented the United States at New Wave
Cyprus won’t be the first country represented by Sandro. Last August, Sandro took part in New Wave. He represented the United States of America. The festival is one of the most important dates in the Eastern European music calendar and took place on a huge stage in Sochi. Other artists involved with the festival included Sergey Lazarev, Phillipp Kirkorov and Rita Ora. Azerbaijan’s Aisel was among the competing artists, who Sandro describes as a friend. Ultimately, Sandro finished sixth.
10. His musical idols include Chester Bennington
Sandro was raised with a strong rock influence. His first band also focussed on rock songs, which explains his raspy and powerful voice. Talking about his musical influences, he becomes emotional. Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, died in 2017. This had a major impact on Sandro. Linkin Park is the reason why he wanted to become a singer. Other idols include James Arthur.
Eurovision 2021 update
To date, the Cypriot broadcaster CyBC has yet to comment on its participation and selection process for 2021. Sandro hinted interest on an Instagram post he released shortly after the announced cancelation — saying he hoped to see everyone next year.
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Hey guys, I guess most of you heard the news already. The Eurovision 2020 got officially cancelled due to the current inevitable and escalating spread of COVID-19 as this virus has already disrupted many other major events but also people’s life ! With this ongoing crisis it legitimately feels like music had become even more important and connecting than ever ! We are in this together and we can and will overcome this as long as people put measures in place and follow instructions. So stay home, take care of each other and support each other amid this outbreak. Keep smiling in lieu of being upset and sad don’t let this thing feed off your negativity! I know these are tough times but we will get through this I am a hundred percent sure about that. Massive Thanks to anyone who supported me from the jump on and throughout this incredible journey. On the real tho I appreciate every single one of you and all the love you have been showing me from the start up till now ! I keep on grinding and hustling and I hope to see you next year. I love you very much. Here is a sneak peak of me sitting in the studio recording some new music for you ! God bless you all ! Peace ! S A N D R O ?? #Eurovision #cyprus #love
What do you think about Sandro? Do you want to see him next year? Tell us In the comments below!