Cyprus’ song is bound to raise a few eyebrows. Frontman Jon Lilygreen is Welsh. How does a Welshman end up representing Cyprus for God’s sake? How does a Welshmen end up not representing the UK and singing a decent song at Eurovision? Have the sands of time started shifting? What next?
The eyebrow-raising evidence doesn’t end there. The band’s fan page details his postal address. It even has his mobile phone number on it. Even the biography of the two people running Gold CD productions details their strong connections with Wales.
The story of the song’s genesis is a journalist’s dream. It demands little of any PR man either.
Written by two Cypriots, Nasos Lambrianides and Melis Constantinou ‘found’ Wales-based producers Jon Gregory and Sylvia Stand on the internet who in turn produced the song sourcing student and pit band guitar Jon Lilygreen to record the track.
Where the song misses out on a strong melodic line, it makes up for it in terms of chord progressions and production. Lilygreen pulls off an authentic act with his guitar even if the song quickly becomes bland on repeat listens.
The promo video does look a little on the cheap side, but really that isn’t the point.
The appeal of Cyprus’ this year is its authenticity. I can think of only a handful of acts which have made a point of highlighting the genuine international links which brought the song into being. It’s also an act which will undoubtedly raise the profile of a great many people who have clearly bucked the usual UK reticence at using Eurovision to promote themselves. Their obvious grasp of social media – highlighted by their management of the fan page is also a good sign.
All of that is a good thing. If producers Gregory and Stand do well, that means more UK based producers (and, who knows, maybe even writers) will feel suitably encouraged to step forward in future years. And if they can get through to the final, there’s bound to be a significant vote from the UK on account of Jon Lilygreen’s nationality.