In recent years Cyprus has turned up the volume and its ambition at Eurovision. From the successful rock offering of Minus One in 2016 to Tamta’s “Replay” in 2019, the island nation has been serving sound, stage and sun. Now, in 2021, Elena Tsagrinou will bring a new form of heat with “El Diablo” — a big pop number with a memorable chorus and plenty of scope for epic staging.

Scroll down for the “El Diablo” lyrics

Cyprus in Eurovision 2021: Elena Tsagrinou “El Diablo”

Like many Cypriot entrants at Eurovision, Elena Tsagrinou is actually Greek. Born in Athens in 1994, she first came to public attention when she competed on the popular television show Ellada Eheis Talento (Greece’s Got Talent) when she was just fourteen years old. However, she wasn’t just a flash in the pan. She built on the momentum and, in 2013, was named lead singer of the group OtherView. During their five-year collaboration they released hits like “What You Want” and “Around The World”.

Since going solo in 2018, she’s signed with Panik Entertainment — the same label behind successful acts like Anna Vissi. Eleni Foureira and Demy.

What do the “El Diablo” lyrics mean?

As a starting point let’s confirm what the vast majority of people already understand: This song is not in any way about worshipping the devil.

Responding to claims from a religious group after the song’s release, the Cypriot broadcaster spelled out the true intentions of its songwriting team. They say it “tells the tale of this girl that has found herself entangled in a relationship with someone as bad as ‘El Diablo’.”

“It regards the eternal struggle between good and evil,” the broadcaster wrote. “Through this problematic relationship with signs of the Stockholm syndrome — and despite the paranoia she is experiencing — she is seeking help towards freedom. In the end, as they say, the truth always shines. Especially these days, we hope the song and its proper interpretation will inspire not only women but also everyone who faces similar situations.”

Elena told wiwiblogger William something  similar during our pre-contest Zoom interview in April. “It’s not about the devil,” she said. “We all fight — this song takes me inside of this position. When the song ends, I [get out] of the relationship.”

Laurell Barker, one of the song’s co-writers, tells us more.

“‘El Diablo’ takes the idea of falling for the ‘typical’ bad boy and twists it into falling for the ‘ultimate’ one. The verse focuses heavily on enjoying the rush of breaking the rules, perhaps amongst others who feel the same way, and moves into more of an inward, whisper-like prayer asking for help because it’s too late to turn back.”

The whisper-for-help comes when Elena seems to chat with her mother: “Mama mama cita, tell me what to do,
lola lola loca, I’m breaking the rules.”

It comes with sounds of panting, which help convey distress. Laurell continues:

“Songwriters use all kinds of noises, sound effects, screams, and whispers to support the emotion of a lyric. Because the pre-chorus in ‘El Diablo’ is a panic-driven moment of trying to regain one’s composure, we used rhythmic breathing to get that feeling of escalating adrenaline across.”

“This is followed by a full blown confession in the chorus…only by this point we aren’t certain anymore that this no-no behaviour is actually such a bad idea after all. Essentially the song is a wrestling match between self-control and passion.”

It’s appropriate, then, that the opening verses include references to food and hunger — an urge, like love, that’s at once essential to survival but which can become an indulgence…and sometimes for the worse: “Tonight we gonna burn in a party, we wild as fire that’s on the loose, hotter than sriracha on our bodies, t- taco – tamale – ya that’s my mood.”

The chorus is at once a confession, but also a cry for help: “I fell in love, I fell in love, I gave my heart to El Diablo”.

El Diablo lyrics — Elena Tsagrinou (Cyprus ESC 2021)

V1:
Tonight we gonna burn in a party
We wild as fire that’s on the loose
Hotter than sriracha on our bodies
T- taco – tamale – ya that’s my mood
All this spicy melts my icy edges baby it’s true
Tonight we gonna burn in a party
It’s heaven in hell with you

PRE:
Mama mama cita
Tell me what to do
Lola lola loca
I’m breaking the rules

CHORUS:
I fell in love I fell in love I gave my heart to El Diablo El Diablo
I gave it up I gave it up because he tells me I’m his angel, I’m his angel
Oh, El Diablo, El Diablo
I fell in love I fell in love I gave my heart to El Diablo, El Diablo

V2:
Tonight we gonna dance in the moonlight
Droppin’ our lashes on the floor
Hair flip flip made ya look twice
Touch me touch me mi amor
All this spicy melts my icy edges baby for sure
Tonight we gonna dance in the moonlight
And then we gonna do it some more

PRE:
Mama mama cita
Tell me what to do
Lola lola loca
I’m breaking the rules

CHORUS:
I fell in love I fell in love I gave my heart to El Diablo El Diablo
I gave it up I gave it up because he tells me I’m his angel, I’m his angel
Oh, El Diablo, El Diablo
I fell in love I fell in love I gave my heart to El Diablo, El Diablo

(I love El Diablo
I love El Diablo
I love El Diablo)

CHORUS:
I fell in love I fell in love I gave my heart to El Diablo El Diablo
I gave it up I gave it up because he tells me I’m his angel, I’m his angel
Oh, El Diablo, El Diablo
I fell in love I fell in love I gave my heart to El Diablo, El Diablo

(I love El Diablo)

El Diablo

Are you excited to hear “El Diablo” at Eurovision 2021? What do you think of the lyrics? Do you like the music video? Sound off in the comments section below.

Photo: Courtesy of CyBC and PANOS GIANNAKOPOULOS

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Aiden de Villiers
Aiden de Villiers
30 days ago

Honestly I love the song just wanted to get everyone’s opinion do you think she will make it cypresses first win at Eurovision this year by taking out Italy and Malta

Kas
Kas
1 month ago

Not sure if she deliver the needed vocals live.

London Boy
London Boy
1 month ago
Reply to  Kas

You are not bored yet to comment everything regarding the Cyprus and Greece. Find another hobby maybe? Plus you clearly not watching all the live singing shows now where she clearly has amazing vocals. Before you accuse someone at least do your home work. They are at least two videos out with acoustic live versions of the song.. I get tired all these 12 year olds talking s..t!!!

Kas
Kas
1 month ago
Reply to  London Boy

Should I ? After the todays preparty I’ve still the same opinion for Helenas abilities. Not sure. Live with that…londoner and leave others to have their hobbies (12 years lol).

Roodi
Roodi
1 month ago
Reply to  Kas

Let me guess you said the same comment against her also back in 2018 to Eleni

Kas
Kas
1 month ago
Reply to  Roodi

Lol…Exactly the opposite.

I’m in love with Fuego 4ever and ever and beyond…

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

I think only Lady Gaga could make art from these kind of songs…

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago

So tiring that people have such a strong need to prove they are #qualityqueens and critisise pop songs like Cyprus all the time.

Ende
Ende
1 month ago

Or she just wanted random lyrics with the word “love” and rhyming like “fuego”…

123
123
1 month ago

Probably the worst lyrics of the year…

Batkas
Batkas
1 month ago

I have also heard the rumours that Lady Gaga is coming to Rotterdam.
Well, that’s not a surprise to me.
I guess one of the songs that she will perform live is El Diablo

Marios
Marios
1 month ago
Reply to  Batkas

Oh my god!!!! You are such a joker!!!!get a life!

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago

https://youtu.be/aNOpT9Prcsk

Quite a good vocal, sounds like…

karworld
karworld
1 month ago

Superficial great entry for a party with friends and a fantastic Lady Gaga’s production imitation, but, in the end, empty in essence for a music contest where we should value cultural exchange and artistic compositions. Cyprus tries again the Fuego pattern and will surely obtain a decent result.

Sputnik75
Sputnik75
1 month ago
Reply to  karworld

Superficial entry in Eurovision? how the hell did that happen?
I had to stop laughing for a minute to write this, you made my day!
You value cultural exchange and artistic compositions? Stop watching eurovision!
Awesome. By the way I don’t support this song. Eurovision is a fun way to spend a few hours, nothing more.

karworld
karworld
1 month ago
Reply to  Sputnik75

You laughed ay my comment and I was laughing ay yours! ESC is more than an hour of fun with friends, it’s a musical and artistic contest. Thanks to opinions like yours is that the contest is becoming so superficial and globalised (if you have an idea of what that is)

Sputnik75
Sputnik75
1 month ago
Reply to  karworld

If you expect Netta, Eleni Foureira, Conchita, the Roop, or any Eurovision entry to enrich you cultural and artistic horizons, then I think you should ask for a refund honey

karworld
karworld
1 month ago
Reply to  Sputnik75

That’s why we have artists like Pravi, Duodato and so many others in da house, my dear! You might get some musical enlightenment and get the taste from other cultures, if you know any other than yours. So just remove the trash from the concert and the ticket will be well paid.

Last edited 1 month ago by karworld
Sputnik75
Sputnik75
1 month ago
Reply to  karworld

That’s obviously the difference here, you feel you get Enlightenment by Pravi and that’s why your comment is so funny. As she said about the song “I often think that ‘Voilà’ is the end and the beginning of something,”.
If you change the word Voila for any other song you get the majority of Eurovision entries.
All the best in your journey of Enlightenment

London Boy
London Boy
1 month ago
Reply to  karworld

Go back to the 70’s my dear with your time machine and send us a letter… Let the rest of us enjoy our current times where what is defined as quality is so objective.. Stop attaching songs and find a hobby!!!

karworld
karworld
1 month ago
Reply to  London Boy

There is not much to say to your comment. You take for granted that disliking these type of simple songs is because we are old and you feel yourself certain we all must like what you like. Just widen your cultural and musical horizons and grow up, London boy. I enjoy today’s quality ESC entries very much, I wasn’t even born in the 70’s .

London Boy
London Boy
1 month ago
Reply to  karworld

Well you clearly had a lot to say to my comment!!! You didn’t dislike the song you called it superficial, copy, empty of essence and so on.. Trust me, my cultural and musical horizons don’t need your judgment. You judged enough in your comments..!!! A person, self proclaimed, culturally and musically educated, who just bitch and judges.. And obviously who has no clue about Eurovision which is all about fun, colour,quality, kitsch etc etc..

karworld
karworld
1 month ago
Reply to  London Boy

About fun and colour, you say? I get that in the clubs. That’s the difference between you and me and what I expect from a musical contest at a European scale. I want to see artists, not Queens wanna be. Queens in music are Vissi, Alexiou or Elefteria, if you ever heard of them. Listen to them and then you may understand the difference between quality and superficial in a musical contest.

Marios
Marios
1 month ago
Reply to  karworld

Tha fact that you still compare this song to fuego is w.t.f dude!!!

karworld
karworld
1 month ago
Reply to  Marios

I’m not comparing it to fuego. I’m criticising Cyprus following the same pattern again and again… Sexy female singing pop such as Fuego, La la love you, etc A change now and then would be appreciated.