GREECE’S entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is first and foremost a teacher who enjoys what she does Mum of three, Maria Elena Kyriakou, was born in Cyprus, and even at the age of 12 showed promise by winning a top singing competition in 1996 but never followed up on a professional singing career until 2014.

When Maria Elena is not looking after her three boys she works as a professor in Greek literature and humanities.

Although based in Greece, she spends half her time in Cyprus taking care of her kids and running an after school programme for students who need extra help with their studies.

And although teaching dominates her life, she has never forgotten her love of music and in 2014 entered and won the Voice of Greece television show.

As winner of the show she signed a contract with MINOS EMI and her first album was released in July 2014. She has recently started performing at the prestigious Posidonion Concert Hall of Athens.

Before she took to the stage for Tuesday’s first semi-final we caught up with her to ask her about life and her music background.

She explained: “When I was a little girl, I did some vocal courses for one or two years and also the piano and I entered a competition in Cyprus and won, but then I stopped completely because of my studies.

“Then I got married, had three children, got divorced and I had this chance to go the Voice of Greece and I won the competition to come to represent Greece at the Eurovision.”

She co-wrote the song One Last Breath after a painful breakup from her partner .

She adds: “The melody of the song is very meaningful for me. I co-wrote it in a period of my life that was very intense emotionally and I think the melody reflects how I felt at the time.

“It's a song about love, which I think is relevant to anyone and something that everyone connects to, but at the same time it is also a personal song for me, because dealing with love and heartbreak has played a big role in my life.

"Being a part of the Eurovision Song Contest family was always a dream for me. I think it is exciting to have a contest in which there's always a little room for everyone, and it's a wonderful opportunity for people from different countries and cultures to meet, exchange ideas and to bond.”