A local band’s song called ‘Heaven’ is going head-to-head against ‘El Diablo’, Cyprus’ controversial Eurovision song for the first place in the national music charts.
The Ayia Napa pop rock band J67 released their single Heaven on May 16 and has since been number 1 in the Cyprus iTunes chart. The song recently climbed to the second place in the country’s top hits by musiclist.com, in which El Diablo by Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou has the lead.
“When we released the song, we completely forgot about ‘El Diablo’,” the 60-year-old guitarist and co-writer of ‘Heaven’ Pete James Denton told the Cyprus Mail.
But locals cannot help but compare the two songs, due to the references in the lyrics.
The duet’s song talks about someone feeling close to Heaven, or God, while in the mountains, whereas the Eurovision song clearly states, “I gave my heart to El Diablo” to suggest her partner is a ‘bad guy’. Religious groups protested a number of times against Cyprus’ Eurovision participation this year, arguing that the song was ‘blasphemous’ and ‘satanic’.
“The battle in Cyprus between good and evil intensifies,” the band wrote on social media while presenting the official Cyprus’ charts data.
J67 singer, Julie Infanti, drew inspiration for the lyrics of the song after a trip to the mountains last Christmas, where she felt close to her recently deceased grandmother. This experience is reflected in the lyrics, where it says, “I can nearly feel it…Feel the wind blow in my hair is that your perfume in the air”.
‘Heaven’ remained high in national charts even after Elena Tsagrinou’s performance on Tuesday night secured a spot in Saturday night’s final in Rotterdam.
The Greek singer performed before Norway’s ‘Fallen Angel’ by TIX, who wore chains and white wings while singing for rejection and comparing the battle with depression to “fighting with demons inside a hole in my heart”.
“When I realised El Diablo passed through the finals, I thought Elena Tsagrinou would depose us from our top spot,” Denton said.
Asked to comment on Tsagrinou’s song, Denton said “It’s kinda funny because we are kind of competing against each other…but to be honest, I like the song”.
Denton said he understands the song does not refer to the devil, but it is an allegory for a toxic relationship. Cybc, in charge of choosing the country’s participation in the song contest, also issued a statement earlier this year explaining the lyrics citing the Stockholm Syndrome, “the psychological condition when a victim of abuse identifies and bonds with their abuser – who seeks help to get out and the truth always shines.”
But the band highlighted the importance of their achievement, going against “a famous Greek singer with a massive record label and the marketing machine that is the Eurovision”.
J67, best known as the cover duo “Jules & Pete”, started writing their own music towards the end of 2020. Julie Infanti and Pete Denton, both born in the UK are permanent residents of Cyprus, living in Liopetri.
The name of their band originated from the junction 67 for Liopetri.
Future projects include an original song written by Denton’s son, Peter, former member of the Kooks.