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Greece: A mix of hip hop and folk

02 May 2011 at 19:18 CEST

Yiorkas and Stereo Mike have already had a chance to make themselves comfortable in Düsseldorf. Loucas adds "We arrived two days ago and have had some rehearsals in our gym. We also met a few members of the large Greek community here in Düsseldorf,"  They both came to the arena with great anticipation, looking forward a lot to their rehearsal.

 "I think this is the most important thing at this point. All the vocals and dancing are done, the important thing now is to do it with the same equipment, stage and sound as on the big night. Or two nights, hopefully!" Stereo Mike says.

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Greece needs a lift

Loucas comments on the deliberate decision to enter something very different in the Greek national selection. "This is the first time in a long while that Greece doesn't send an up-tempo pop act. That was our choice from the beginning, to mix hip hop and Greek folk music. The song more than anything has a universal message. It's about surviving and standing up full force. Greece needs a lift at the moment," 

There are some changes in the performance and choreography from that seen in the Greek national final. The LED screens display ancient ruins against a blue and black background. It is a very effective backdrop.


Loucas appears at the front of the stage, whilst Stereo Mike moves around the stage during the performance. There are four male dancers who expend a lot of energy with a combined classic and modern choreography. Flames rise from the stage during the last chorus.

The performance certainly succeeds in what it sets out to deliver, combining traditional Greek folk music with modern hip hop. Loucas is vocally very strong throughout all of the run throughs.

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Once in a lifetime opportunity

Greece opened the last press conference of the day by introducing their team. Loukas told the press that he feels that the Eurovision Song Contest is a great opportunity for him, he sees that it is an experience an artist gets usually just once in their lifetime. Stereo Mike made a spontaneous rap for the assembled press while the moderator Branislav did beat box for him!. 

Stereo Mike explains a little more about the song saying "We took a risk, it's a new combination even for the Greek audience to mix the traditional Greek sound with hip hop. The message is about survival, it has a close relationship with what Greece is going through at the moment, the reason we chose to mix the two styles, we wanted a rap at the start in English to make the message more universal, before Loucas then takes it to the sky in the chorus. We are very happy with how the composers have organically mixed the two parts and not just tried to put two styles together."

Sakis Rouvas gives Loucas words of advice

Loucas worked with Sakis Rouvas, the Greek representative in the 2004 and 2009 Eurovision Song Contests on the X Factor show.

Sakis did offer him some advice as Loucas recalls "Sakis said that we have to have fun, and to give all of our soul and energy to the song and performance. He also said that wehave to ignore the speed of the days, that it will go too quickly and we won't see or meet enough people." 

Stereo Mike explained that his fellow rap artists in Greece were sceptical about his decision to enter the Greek national final. He adds " They are quite critical usually of Eurovision, I completely understand, I got quite slaughtered by my scene, but that was before they heard the song, when they heard it  it was quite different, we got a lot of respect from both folk and hip hop singers." 

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About Loucas and Mike

After graduating from high school, Loucas went to Greece to study Biology at the University of Patras but his dream to become a singer led him to audition for the X Factor 2008/09, where he was the overall winner and received excellent reviews on his vocal abilities and his stage presentation. Following his victory, he has been performing live with many famous Greek artists such as Helena Paparizou, Natasha Theodoridou, George Mazonakis, Dimitris Mitropanos and Peggy Zena.

He has also formed his own band which performs in various music halls around Greece. Born in Piraeus, Mike Exarchos, known as Stereo Mike starts his musical journey as a kid. In 2007, he releases the first album from his trilogy, featuring many internationally acclaimed Greek artists and in 2008, he won the Best Greek Act and receives a nomination for Europe's Favourite Act at the MTV European Music Awards. Stereo Mike enters 2011 having completed the second part of his album trilogy.