Elena Tsagrinou will represent Cyprus at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The 26-year-old artist will sing “El Diablo”, a song about falling in love with someone as bad as the devil.
It comes from a heavy-hitting, international songwriting team with vast experience inside and outside the world of Eurovision: Jimmy “Joker” Thornfeldt, Laurell Barker, Oxa, and Thomas Stengaard. The staging will be overseen by the internationally acclaimed artistic director Marvin Dietmann. Among other stage shows, he directed Conchita’s winning performance at Eurovision 2014.
In short, Cyprus has lit a match and is ready to set Europe on fire.
Elena Tsagrinou will sing for Cyprus at Eurovision 2021
If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of Greek music, then you know Elena Tsagrinou is one to watch. In fact, people have been watching her for a dozen years. She’s signed with Panik Records, the same label behind beloved Eurovision acts like Ivi Adamou, Demy, Eleni Foureira, and Anna Vissi.
Born in Athens in 1994, she made the semi-finals of Ellada Eheis Talento (Greece’s Got Talent) when she was just fourteen years old. Building on the buzz, she was appointed lead singer of the group OtherView in 2013. During their five-year collaboration they released hits like “Again” and “We Together”.
Elena went solo in 2018, kicking things off with “Páme Ap’ Tin Archí” (Let’s Go from the Start), written by Eurovision maestro Dimitris Kontopoulos and Nikos Moraitis. The Greek-language song announced her arrival as a pop princess standing on her own. Amid slinky synths and a strong retro vibe, Elena shows off her distinctive voice: lightly husky, deeply resonant and fuelled by passion. Just as her voice can work it low, the video shows she can dip it low too — this package comes with choreography and attitude. Say it with me now: Get it, gurl!
Other singles have followed. From the dramatic ballad “Paradise” to the sultry and thoroughly contemporary “Amore”, Elena thinks visually, bringing high-end music videos with each release. They’ve generated millions of views and led to invitations to perform on the biggest music shows in both Cyprus and Greece, where she’s worked with big-time artists like Konstantinos Argyros and MELISSES, among others.
She doesn’t just sing on camera — she also talks, too. From 2014 she was a coach on the TV music show Just the 2 of Us and in 2016 and 2017 she co-presented The Voice of Greece. Since October of 2020 she’s presented her own show K-POP Stars on MAD TV.
Eurovision isn’t a random gig for Elena: She’s a fan who understands the significance of what she’s about to undertake. Over the summer, Elena went public with her love of the contest, telling HELLO! Cyprus that she would love to go — but only if she had the right song.
“Eurovision is an institution and I’ve been following it for several years – it is amazing to see so many artists and so many different types of music in one big and spectacular celebration,” she said. “If the right song is found, it would be a great pleasure and honour for me to take part in the competition.”
Elena is in good hands. The Cypriot team has called on Marvin Dietmann to oversee the staging. He’s been the artistic director of over 180 TV shows across Europe and has a lot of experience at Eurovision. In addition to staging Austria’s winning Eurovision entry in 2014 for Conchita Wurst, he was also behind their 2016 and 2018 entries – “Loin d’ici” by ZOË and “Nobody But You” by Cesár Sampson. The latter won the jury vote in Lisbon, even topping our beloved queens Eleni and Netta.
About the “El Diablo” songwriters
Owing to Cyprus’ strong track record at Eurovision in recent years, there was no shortage of songwriters who wanted to throw their songs into the ring. In the end, a fab foursome won the honour. Hailing from Sweden, Canada, Brazil and Denmark, they honour the #OpenUp spirit Cyprus is known for.
Jimmy “Joker” Thornfeldt
If you dive into Jimmy Joker’s discography, you’ll be there for a very long time. He’s a Swedish music producer and songwriter, and the winner of multiple Grammy Awards. He’s topped the charts worldwide working with artists including Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee and others. Melfest fans will appreciate his work with Love Generation on “Dance Alone” And for those of you who love Baywatch, he even wrote “Piña Colada Girl” for David Hasselhoff!
Platinum certified, Juno-award-wining Canadian singer/songwriter Laurell has penned hits in over twenty countries — and that’s just in the last three years! She’s reached #1 in countries from South Korea to Sweden, working with artists like TWICE, Girls Generation, Nico Santos, Hanna Ferm and Oh My Girl.
She’s also become a major force within the world of Eurovision. In 2019 she famously became the first and so far only female songwriter to have three songs compete in a Eurovision final: Michael Rice’s “Bigger Than Us”, S!sters’ “Sister” and Luca Hänni’s “She Got Me”. Among her Melodifestivalen hits are Hanna Ferm’s “Brave” and Margaret’s “Tempo”.
Oxa is a Brazilian-born songwriter, singer, dancer and artist. She understands rhythm better than most: In 2012 she performed as a dancer for Jennifer Lopez’ Vegas show “Q’viva the chosen Live”. Since then she’s performed in musicals all around the world, including The Lion King (Brazil), Tarzan (Germany) and Kinky Boots (Broadway). German viewers will recognise her from The Voice of Germany in 2019.
Denmark’s Thomas Stengaard is a multi-platinum selling songwriter and producer. He’s known among Eurovision fans for winning Eurovision in 2013 as a writer on Emmelie de Forest’s “Only Teardrops”. At Eurovision 2018 he placed fourth, having co-written and produced Germany’s entry “You Let Me Walk Alone” from Michael Schulte. He’s also worked with Nico Santos, Adel Tawil, Alvaro Soler, Carpark North and many more.
Which genre springs to mind when you hear the phrase “El Diablo”? Do you think this is leaning more pop-dance or more dramatic ballad? And do you expect The Devil to bring the fuego? Let us know in the comments box down below!
And here’s some bonus footage. Elena is so high-fashion that Yves Saint Laurent once called on her to help promote their fragrance Libre. Smells good to us…
View this post on Instagram
I think Elena has most wonderful voice ever she will began Europes biggest ever artist when she wins eurovisip. Song contest 2021 we had abba now we got elena
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks8siZCA8vw I want something like ”Amore”.
I like that music style of Elena
I have a feeling it’s gonna be the poor man’s Fuego.
You knew this before, didn’t you? You couldn’t have written this article 5 minutes after the name was revealed.
Definitely feels like they’re trying to repeat the success of Fuego (even the Spanish title lol)
I’m all in for another hit! Good luck!
But nonetheless, I’m concerned that even if the formula works it didn’t change anything for Cyprus (the country) other that their pride in good results. It won’t improve their ‘music industry’ and CyBC will probably be on debt for spending tons of their budget, while it all looked good and professional in front of the media. They are a pretty small country and I guess getting resources for such a huge competition could be a hassle sometimes, but is it okay to pass them if they’ll keep up with this behavior?
Based on the writer, singers and title I feel like they might be rehashing the Fuego formula. It worked amazingly well for them in 2018 and they obviously intend to squeeze every drop out of this Latin lemon. It can get old really fast, though. Seems like they’re in it to win it, which is a good attitude for a broadcaster competing in Eurovision, but I do wish songs had something to do with the country they’re representing. Not to say that countries should necessarily send local folk music, but it is a competition between countries – where’s the fun… Read more »
I have a serious question: is Cyprus a real country? Has anyone been there to verify? Asking because they’re sending a Greek singer to sing a Latin song in English, written by Swedish/Brazilian/Canadian/Danish people and staged by an Austrian guy. Unless I’m mistaken it’s *at least* the 3rd year in a row there’s nothing Cypriot in the Cypriot act.
It’s the biggest conspiracy in the world: Cyprus does not exist.
There is something Cypriot: The broadcaster itself aahahhahahaha :p
Since I’m seeing another Laurell Barker, the song can either sit on podiums or belong in the B-side. But since Oxa is here… probably the former?
The song title sounds absolutely amazing! A modern Western-country-pop with sass and attitude maybe? I would go for it 😀
I’m excited for Elena, hope they will bring quality BOP 🙂
Yes she amazing talented a d best performer tonight and again on Saturday night she will win by a landside and be the next massive artist that the world will fall in love with with her music
I like Elena, good voice and presence. But I’m not very confident about the songwriting team/song title/evil lover concept. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though.
I am thinking in a similar way on this one. I like her presence, but I think that them doing another Replay by another name is not beyond the stretch of imagination. At least I hope it’s a good standalone song. For example, Mirud’s Nese vdes is following the footsteps of Me tana, but it has an identity on it’s own and if someone didn’t hear Elvana’s song, they could still enjoy Nese vdes on it’s own right. On the other hand, there are some pale copies which don’t have any personality. I hope that El Diablo isn’t one of… Read more »
More than another “Fuego”, I’m fearing another “Wild”, which in my books is already the go-to example of how to try to replicate Eleni’s success in the cheapest fashion possible (absolutely NO shade on Raylee though, she did great, the song and concept were the problem for me). “Replay”, for example, suffered by comparison, but it was a solid pop song, which is probably the same situation for Mirud when compared to Elvana. Let’s hope this time Cyprus has something that’s the crowdpleaser they aim but also some clever piece of music.
yep “Wild” wasn’t it. it looked and sounded quite cheap
The issue was that Replay at times, sounded EXACTLY like Fuego. They had divergent production, but the melodies and rhythms at times were eerily similar. Wild at least sounded different if still generic. Had the two Cypriot songs not been written by the same team, a copyright claim could have been made.
The structure was very similar indeed. I would even say that as a song (putting aside the performers and the stagings) “Replay” was better written and produced. But it came right after Cyprus almost winning with “Fuego”, it was impossible to ignore how they were playing the same card. Plus they ignored that the real power behind “Fuego” was Eleni’s charisma and energy. Tamta did well, but had to fight all those notions.
Fuego was written to Eleni’s strengths, whereas Replay wasn’t tailored to Tamta. The production needed a darker Milanov touch to it for her to make it her own IMO
Alternative title: Ogeuf. Read that backwards to understand.
None songwriters or producers who actually would be from Cyprus, sigh
I smell yet another attempt at recreating “Fuego” by Cyprus.
The reaction to Sandro’s song was pretty underwhelming and negative so I guess Cyprus is responding to that by choosing the safe option and going back down the route of doing pop/dance bangers like they did with Eleni and Tamta.
How many 2021 entries do we think Laurell Barker will have written? I say nine.
Not a good start. Switzerland obviously off limits this year but at least we know that El Diablo will not be representing Germany, Malta or the UK. I wish someone would put a stop to this.
I totally respect that some people don’t like Laurell’s music. But it’s almost bullying how people constantly attack her for, frankly, being successful. Her songs make the cut because they do in fact appeal to many people. Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t into the Sisters or Michael Rice songs — but Hanna Ferme and Margaret and Luca had strong entries. I almost feel a lot of the comments here and elsewhere try to cut her down for being prolific and good at her job. It’s unfortunate.
I think if Laurell was involved in one country, people wouldn’t mind. But people see her as a major symptom of one of modern ESC’s main developments at the moment- songwriters who pen the same generic material for broadcasters to be slapped onto random artists. It has helped elevate the quality of the contest in terms of ensuring less countries are sending gimmicky nonsense, but has made the contest more homogenous in terms of song style. Personally, I don’t mind a country doing this a couple of times, especially if they’ve not qualified for a long time, but it’s not… Read more »
@Azaad But Jamala, Salvador, Netta’s songwriters (since she didn’t want that song) and Duncan can still exist even with Laurell Barker. If Cyprus had a mega songwriting talent then they would have won the domestic internal selection? But they didn’t!
Again, the problem isn’t that this practice is happening. The problem is the scale of this practice occurring in several countries.
Yeah, and this type of takeover doesn’t exactly encourage local talent. It keeps them down.
Yes, Nancy, she is very successful – at turning the contest into her own private industry. She has no loyalty or allegiance to any one country and that is the part I don’t like.
Um, she’s Canadian, so should she only write songs for Canada? That’s crazy. Eurovision music is a marketplace just like the music industry is at large. She’s not making a “private industry”. She’s creating and submitting and competing like everyone else. It’s called merit.
Are you suggesting that songwriters need loyalty and allegiance to one country, Jonas? That sounds almost parochial, if not awfully and restrictively nationalist.
Eurovision isn’t about “staying in your lane”, it’s about opening up, building bridges, and coming together — something Laurell’s been abundantly good at with her songwriting commitments.
No, that is not what I am suggesting. I hate nationalism.
First of all I have to admit that I was one of the few that liked Sandro’s Running and I got upset that Cyprus ditched him. But ‘Running’ seemed hopeless in terms of qualifying actually. About Elena, Páme Ap’ Tin Archí is really indifferent to me, but Paradeisos is quite interesting. But I think that El Diablo will be completely different than both of them. The first two songs that come to my mind when I hear El Diablo is Foureira’s El Ritmo Psicodelico https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDui-5pCv3Y and Tamta’s Unloved https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjLT1nde_UM . Hopefully El Diablo will be something like these 2 songs.… Read more »
Cyprus is the new Ibiza.
Per usual, cultural appropriation of Spanish by the Cyprus broadcaster and it’s entrant. If Spain sent a song called Opa, I’m not sure how they would feel. With Laurell at the helm I’m sure it will feel similar to her She Got Me and Raylee’s Wild. I’m sure the fandom will love and will be an improvement of last year’s letdown selection which failed to make much an impact with the bubble and the bookies. I’m sure it’s why Sandro was sent packing and the broadcaster went back to square one of copying Eleni.
Have in mind that raeggeton-ish and Spanish-influenced music is topping almost every chart in Greece and Cyprus for the last 5 years (Hello Foureira). There is a huge trend in these countries that is still alive. It’s absolutely normal to send songs that reflect the current trends in their music industry.
If it’s about “their” music industry, why isn’t there a single Cypriot in the team behind their act? Cyprus has become just like Sweden and Azerbaijan: they have no culture of their own, so they just import.
What do you mean? Elena herself is greek. You cannot separate cypriots from greek singers cause they share the same industry, greeks go for cyprus and cypriots for greece since always. And in Cyprus and Greece nobody cares cause they consider themselves one nation in two countries.
I mean exactly what I wrote: not a single person involved in this act is from Cyprus. The singer’s Greek, the songwriters are Swedish, Danish, Canadian and Brazilian, song is in English, staging director is Austrian. Cyprus is a country that doesn’t bring any proprietary culture to ESC, and worst part is that it’s not even working: besides a 2nd place in 2018 they’re still one of the least successful countries in the contest.
And where is the proprietary Swedish culture in Swedish entries like “I can’t go on” or “Dance you off”? Successful or not, their entries don’t have a 0,0001% of Swedish culture.
You’re absolutely right, that’s why if you read my comment here above you’ll see that I wrote that Sweden and Azerbaijan are also the same. No culture.
They at least use Swedish songwriters though.
I mean songs performed by artists in Greece and Cyprus , influenced by reggeton music or combined with Greek elements, lyrics etc.
so only ONE cypriot thing in this: SINGER, the rest 0% cypriot
The singer is greek, but for us is the same! That’s why most of us greeks vote for Cyprus, is like we can vote for our country!
Well she was born and raised in Athens, Greece and claims Greek citizenship so She’s Greek (many will say Greeks and Cypriots are the same and i agree)
Even worse haha. 0% cypriot. I like when there is 50% from the country. Whats the point to have a 100% team from another country? dont get it. Its like Sweden should have a american singer and 4 american song writers. NO
I like her voice but I am not waiting for another song like “Fuego” again. As I look to the names who wrote her song, I am afraid of it
At first sight, she is giving me Maruv’s vibes. To be seen …
When Will we get to hear the song? Is there a relese date?
Probably early March
Wait, why does my previous comment need approval? Okay
I don’t know what to expect from this really, so I’ll have to wait for the song. I’m kinda intrigued by the title of the song
So, Laurell Barker is basically like Sacha Jean-Baptiste. Every time a song- or staging idea from Barker or Baptiste is born, the gods toss a coin and the Eurovision world holds its breath for what’s coming. Good they’re not hiring Baptiste after “Replay”, following the pattern of other broadcasters who thinks it’s a good idea to just hire her and then she kinda forgets that they exist
But regarding the singer, I don’t know what to expect. I’ll have to wait for the song
It is going to be another “Fuego” or “Replay” kind of song..
It took me a while to read all the names of these famous authors and personalities. Seems they are writing an entire opera.
Hope it wil not be to much rumor for nothing.
I’m not very keen to this kind of songs written and taylored just for Eurovision.
Anyway good luck to her, and to her team
As a Cypriot, I’m disappointed that for yet another year, nothing about the Cyprus entry has to do with Cyprus. Why is CyBC overlooking Cypriot talent and always betting on artists from other countries? It’s one thing to have collaborators from abroad, but not even one Cypriot element? What makes this a Cypriot song/entry? It’s quite sad, considering that some of the most established artists and fresh talent in the Greek music scene hail from Cyprus. Seems like CyBC is just going to keep trying to replicate Fuego’s success until Cyprus wins. No consideration for artistic merit or celebrating Cypriot… Read more »
Well, choosing an entry is up to the broadcaster and those conservative bureaucrats haven’t been scoring that bad lately. Cyprus doesn’t have an industry so you should take your complaints to those two biggest greek record companies that Cybc has been consulting lately.
Cyprus had the chance to boost their industry and they blow it for the sake of looking good in front of the media. I guess that sums it up.
It would be great to see Cyprus remaining their recent success in the contest – or even winning – next year. Excited to hear the track.
A very unpromising act and a guaranteed non-finalist.
So not a Cypriot then. Okey…
More Cypriot than Sandro though
yeah why not Hatzigiannis again, i mean he had a huge summer hit this year ”horevo”
I don’t know this artist at all. She looks like she has a confident, “couldn’t care less” attitude, which is appealing. I am expecting something edgy – the most important thing is that the entry has authenticity. She might not have written the song but she will need to deliver it like she’s living it – I am going to have to believe what she will be delivering.
Honestly not even close to Sandro. Cyprus amazed me from 2016 to 2020 every year sending an amazing song that deserves top 10. I may be wrong but I think this year they will gonna flop and stay in the semifinal and I think that is so deserving after not inviting Sando back. Really not fair to select a new artist and not even give a chance to this year’s artist to preform after pandemic. It’s really not his fault. I hope their desire to win over being fair to contestnat will not give them a chance to go to… Read more »
Sandro’s song was something to be forgotten instantly. Not a big loss.
you might be among the 10 people on earth that miss Sandro and his song.
I think we should all appreciate the hard work they put into it- from forming a team of Worldwide talent to even finding an established stage director. Nevertheless, it feels like they are trying too hard to replicate the success of Fuego. I will wait to see the final product before I pass on my final judgement, but so far, I see some hope, at least for a left hand side of the final scoreboard.
Tastes differ. For instance, I really liked three out of four songs Barker has sent to ESC thus far. 🙂
It might not be the most original thing to turn to Swedish or British songwriters, but original =/= good in every single case. There are some pretty ”in the box” songs I loved and some pretty ”out there” I did not. So, personally, I’ll wait and see.
That said, I am afraid of another Fuego-ripoff. 🙁
I see your point Tibor, but at least they are trying their best given their constraints. Many countries with vast resources do not give us half the effort. (UK, yes, I am looking at you).
I would say that in 2020, the UK put in some effort. My Last Breath felt more genuine to me than Running.
Cool to have one more name added to the pack. I have no idea how this one will go, but last time they had a Spanish titled song, it was a banger. But then they already had a Replay, so this should stand on it’s own. I don’t expect it, but the whole song being in Spanish would be distinctive if she has the accent for it. I mean, Cyprus was one of the first ones to break that barrier with Come ci, comme ca back in 2007.
If this is the case, then I hope that Elena’s spanish accent will be far more better than Evridiki’s french accent, but I am a fan of Comme ci comme ca anyway.
good choice, also that title is hot
Nothing about this announcement is unexpected or indeed, surprising. It’s the sort of artist that Cyprus are comfortable sending and the sort of songwriters that can produce the sort of (sorry) plastic song that they’re looking for and a staging director that’s not going to bring anything too original to the table.
There’s the chance that I could like this but it’s not looking particularly likely.
Glad you shared
A yeah a yeah a yeah el diabloooo
Pretty much how it will go.
Ayy we have our first new artist for Eurovision 2021! She seems to have potential for a good act and I’m hopeful the song will sound great (Laurell Barker could go either way as in “She Got Me” or “Bigger Than Us” and “Sisters”). Not gonna lie, this year will be so interesting with all the previous and new artists.
Very promising! After “Fuego” comes “El Diablo” .P
i was hoping for an Alex P. song.. but still this has potential (even tho I usually don’t like Laurell’s material…, but brave was good!) We’ll see, but I’m sure this will be better than Sandro.
She looks like an established act but I wish they’d gone for an actual Cypriot- although given how her surname ends, she may be of Cypriot heritage? I’m not sure
It’s just a Greek surname, Cypriots are basically Greeks.
Don’t know how many Cypriots would agree to that statement. Kosovar Albanians and Albanians from Albania aren’t synonymous for example.
Elena is a legitimate force in the Greek-Cypriot music industry, which does overlap between the two nations, but in other respects, they are separate entities.
I think most Kosovars consider themselves Albanian.
I mean the Albanians from Kosovo. Cause yeah there are minorities in Kosovo as well.
Kosovo’s Albanians are the same as the ones in Albania.
I’m Albanian hailing from Kosovo btw.
Ethnicity and nationhood are a bit different than statehood and notions of citizenship though, right? Tamils in South India and Sri Lanka no doubt feel some affinity for each other, but even Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka want their own state in northeast Sri Lanka, not to join Tamil Nadu because in terms of statehood and citizenship they don’t feel united. This is just one example. In Flanders, some Flemish Belgians feel the desire for independence from the Francophone part of the country, but they would rather form their own state than join The Netherlands. I’m not going to cite… Read more »
Not all Cypriots. Remember there are also Turkish Cypriots.
Hovig sends his regards.
It’s gonna be a BOP. Yay
Nicosia 2022 is not happening y’all!
No, it’s gonna be Limassol 2022 instead y’all! GO CYPRUS!
Looks promising! If it has more identity than the last two Cypriot entries, all the better. Strong team.
Looking at the songwriters, “identity” is not a word I’d use to describe the expected entry.
She seems to be fitting quite well in eurovision she has good voice and looks, the song we just have to wait and see.
So once again Cyprus sends a dance- pop song and once again nothing about it is from actual Cyprus? Let me guess Sacha- Jean Baptiste will choreograph it too?
They literally mention the staging director
Eurovision season has officially started. <3
And all the gang seems to be back on wiwi for it!
The song title sounds a bit trashy and since it’s a Laurell Barker song, I don’t expect much. But could be more fun than this year’s song from Cyprus.