In the spotlight: Sandro
In the spotlight: Sandro Photo: (L) Michael Kyprianou (R) Panik Records

In the spotlight: Sandro

With his song, 'Running', Sandro was chosen to represent Cyprus in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.

Sandro was internally selected by the Cypriot public broadcaster, CyBC, to represent the country at Eurovision 2020 with his song Running. Sandro was set to perform in the second half of the first Semi-Final in Rotterdam on 12 May.

Who is Sandro?

Sandro, born Alessandro H. Ruetten, has a German, American and Greek background and can speak fluent English, German and Greek too. He was born on 2 August 1996 in Germany, where he currently resides.

Music has been a part of Sandro’s life from a very early age. The multi-instrumentalist was influenced by his very musically inclined family. At the age of 4 he started to sing and play the drums, by the age of 8 he began playing the guitar and at 15 he founded his first band. This was around the time that he started to write and produce his own songs, largely of the rock and pop genres. At 19 years-old, Sandro could also add the piano to his repertoire.

Sandro’s favourite styles of music include Pop, Rock, R&B, Soul, Hip Hop/Trap, Alternative, Funk and Blues - just to name a few. His voice has been described as distinct and colourful and he is known for his natural ability to connect with the audience and convey the emotions of the songs he performs.

The artist has had previous experience in performing and competing on big stages. His cousin filed an application on his behalf for The Voice of Germany in 2018 and his time there inspired him to represent the United States at the 2019 New Wave Festival in Russia.

Sandro, Cyprus' Eurovision 2020 representativeMichael Kyprianou

READ MORE: Sandro's participant profile

The Eurovision 2020 song for Cyprus was written by Alfie Arcuri, Sebastian Metzner Rickards, Octavian, Sandro and Teo DK. Sandro. Sandro believes that music must be authentic, truthful and reach peoples’ hearts.

These sentiments are reflected in his song Running, which centres around the struggle against adversities and the difficulties we have to endure in life. Sandro has experienced depression himself and his performance emphasises the importance of running through such stormy times but also the strength needed to weather it.

Sandro teased the official video clip of an unplugged version of his Eurovision song on his Instagram: "Running | Unplugged Official Video Clip coming soon! Can’t wait to share it with y’all..." The song is now released and you can listen to it here:

You can also follow Sandro on Instagram.

LISTEN: Stream Running and other Eurovision 2020 songs on Spotify

Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest

Cyprus has not had the most successful record at the Eurovision Song Contest. It entered the competition for the first time in 1981 and as of 2019, holds the record for the most times participating without winning. In 2018, Eleni Foureira finished in second place which is currently the country’s best placing to date.

Cyprus reached its second-highest position - fifth place - in 1982 with Anna Vishy, 1997 with Chara and Andreas Konstantinou, and 2004 with Lisa Andreas. While it hasn't won the competition yet, Cyprus did host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Lemesos in 2008.

READ MORE: Cyprus's country page

Tamta represented Cyprus in the Contest in 2019 with the song Replay which took the country to 9th place in the First Semi-Final. Tamta actually mentored the Georgian Eurovision 2020 representative, Tornike Kipiani in the first season of X Factor Georgia in 2014, which he went on to win.

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