Saturday, January 21, 2012

The notes about Nikos Economopoulos’ interview at “Mousiko Kokteil”, Radio Grevena

The recent interview with Nikos Economopoulos,hosted by DJ Dimos (“Mousiko Kokteil”, Radio Grevena) shed light on many aspects of life and work of this remarkable singer.

The range of topics was really wide and the responses were very deep.
For the start Nikos wished everybody and himself health in the coming year, as he believes that it is the main condition of life.

He also expressed his thanks to his many fans, including those who lead his numerous fan pages in Facebook, for supporting his every step.

Speaking about himself, Nikos admitted that he does not like the fact that he is nervous, sensitive and moody person.

Here we will make our first note on the margins These characteristics named by Nikos are the very peculiar qualities of the artists and to deal with them can be just as successful as up tilting at windmills, like Don Quixote.

Regarding whether he has any regrets, Nikos said that he had no regrets about anything. Mistakes are happening in this life, but in any case he has no regrets about what has been done, especially about the choice of songs in his albums. He loves all the songs, recorded by him.

He did not take great risks in his life but he is afraid of nothing except a hospital bed, where he would not like to be.

Here we note: Nikos on stage proves he is a brave man, but no less important that he is not afraid of difficulties and hard work as we learn it from what he does and what he says.

The negative reaction and the superficial criticism irritate him, because he believes that those who judge usually can not achieve anything, they just want to come across, showing whatever was hidden within them.
Never the less, Nikos believes, that if we want people to become better, each of us must start with themselves.
He sees a lot of lies around, some people, especially in show business, are “stepping over the corpses” to achieve their own goal. There is no sincere friendship and love there.
That's why Nikos stressed he does not like to be around “fake” people and work with them. Even though, as he said, they can do nothing to him.
We note: When the honest and sincere person like Nikos, starts judging possibilities of the opposite type of humans, he can be mistaken. The best idea is to stay aside from the mentioned by him sort of people, that what we think about it!

What else concerns and what matters for Nikos Economopoulos? He named poverty and hunger as the biggest problem in the world, alongside with diseases.

In this shattered world, full of jealousy, envy and evil, the family, homeland and religion are the priorities Nikos believes.

He thinks the real friendship is very rare in our time, when people try to gain something out from each other.

In women he likes the external appearance, but the most important is the chemistry between the couple.

He is lead by his own feelings, not by suggestions of other people.

Sometimes nerves take on him and he can be excessive in his reactions.. Mainly this applies to his work. But he believes, his colleagues understand him, as he wants the job to be done.
At the same time his work is more complicated than ever before, it has many obligations and sometimes he has to say "I can not do everything and do it perfectly."

We may note: The fact that Nikos admits he can’t do many things perfectly is an evidence of his maturity. We must have a commitment to excellence, but should not be upset if something we do can not reach it. After all, the essence of perfection is not attainable same as the horizon.

The show at “Fever” with Despina Vandi and Elli Kokkinou goes well and he is glad that people are happy and have a good time there.

Small details about Nikos to make the picture fuller:
He loves to drive fast, he likes the speed.
He has one little thing to keep on him all the time – this is his rosary he wears on the wrist.
He is not that interested in food, but fricassee is one of the dishes he likes.
He would dream to go to the village of Agios Vasilis ( Greek Santa Claus) , even though when he was a child he did not believe in Santa.

Many thanks to Eirini Eusebi for translation

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nikos Economopoulos answering

A journalist Ioanna Mamai ( asked Nikos Economopoulos some questions backstage at “Fever”,which is one of the biggest nightclubs in Athens, where this tremendously popular young singer works together with Despina Vandi and Elli Kokkinou.
The topic touched different aspects of his creative life and personality.

The most complete answer Nikos gave to the question regarding the track # 14 from the CD (P**t*na stin psychi)

"First I must say that I took this song not for to be known by people. I’ve recorded 4 albums, people have appreciated my songs, they know them, they are coming to the venue to listen to me and for five years there was no any
need for me to approach the public. I don’t know if it is possible at all. But if it is so, maybe I should do something like that every time? It is not so easy to find such a thing as this song

However, when I first have heard this song, I thought : "It is a very nice, very true thing." “The whore in the soul” - this is not only about women...
This song was of a great interest, that's why I do not want to do the same things, I always want to make one more step, to say something else.
Singing is something special. You are expressing both feelings of people and your own. It does not matter that this song has nothing to do with me, that this is not my personal story...I never called a woman "A whore in the soul." But this is for now, because anything can happen in this life."

Talking about his collaboration with Despina Vandi and Elli Kokkinou, he said:

“ Earlier no I was that demanding to myself, neither others (partners on stage) to me. Now the fact that I am a signed artist is tightened things. Earlier while we sang, we were more comfortable. Now we think of everything we do, about each detail, because it can cost us . "
"If you become popular, then you will not be left alone ... I would go somewhere quiet. I have done it in the past and I do it now. Who said that I do not go out? Just you do not need to talk about it. Otherwise there is no opportunity to be with someone to share some moments."

But generally Nikos prefers to have relationships with girls outside of the business.

"My people are more comfortable, more spontaneous and more honest, and I like it. But the relationship is generally difficult for me. From my side though. Usually it is my fault. My job is such that I can not spend too many hours with my girlfriend. I try to do my best. But it is never enough."

Nikos Economopoulos has got a very good contact with the public at his shows, basically they say positive comments at his performances, as he said.
Despite the fact that he lives mostly at night, Nikos doesn't like dark qualities in people, such as deceit.

Many thanks to Eirini Eusebi for help with translation!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Νέο cd με τίτλο “Θα είμαι εδώ” από το Νίκο Οικονομόπουλο!

( κριτική του άλμπουμ του Νίκου Οικονομόπουλου "Θα είμαι εδώ", EMI Greece, 2011)
Η κριτική του μουσικού άλμπουμ πρέπει να είναι αμερόληπτη όπως μια ιατρική διάγνωση. Γι' αυτό, μην ξεχνάμε ότι το CD "Θα είμαι εδώ" του Νίκου Οικονομόπουλου, που κυκλοφόρησε από την ΕΜΙ, έγινε διπλά πλατινένιο μέσα στις δύο πρώτες ημέρες κυκλοφορίας του. Ας μη μιλήσουμε για τις προηγούμενες επιτυχίες αυτού του τραγουδιστή, οι οποίες ήταν τόσο μεγάλες που έκαναν τον συντάκτη αυτού του άρθρου να ενθουσιαστεί τόσο πολύ.
Ας φανταστούμε ότι δεν έχουμε ακούσει ποτέ τις συνεντεύξεις του γι' αυτό το άλμπουμ και ότι δεν είχαμε ποτέ τη δυνατότητα να διαβάσουμε κάποιο διαφημιστικό άρθρο σχετικά με αυτό.
Ας προσπαθήσουμε, απλά, να ανακαλύψουμε τι κρύβεται στον τίτλο του άλμπουμ; Τι έχει στο μυαλό του ο τραγουδιστής όταν λέει, "Θα είμαι εδώ";

Λοιπόν, η έρευνα αρχίζει.

Έχουμε στα χέρια μας ένα CD, το οποίο περιέχει 14 κομμάτια.

Αρχικά, ας ξεκινήσουμε με τους δημιουργούς που έχουν το μεγαλύτερο αριθμό τραγουδιών στο CD. Το δίδυμο Χριστόδουλος Σιγανός (μουσική-στίχοι) και Βαλεντίνο (στίχοι) προηγούνται στη λίστα. Υπάρχουν 4 τραγούδια τους στο άλμπουμ (τα κομμάτια # 3,7,10,12), εκ των οποίων το ένα (το κομμάτι # 10, "Όλα πληρώνονται εδώ") είναι σε συνεργασία με τον Μάριο Ψημόπουλο.
Το τελευταίο είναι μια δραματική λαϊκή μπαλάντα με μία δυνατή μελωδία, που μας μιλάει για μια θλιβερή ιστορία αγάπης. Αυτή η εικόνα της ραγισμένης καρδιάς αντικατοπτρίζεται επίσης και στο τραγούδι # 7 "Ποια ζωή να ζήσω", το οποίο ανήκει σε άλλο τύπο λαϊκής μπαλάντας και έχει τη μεγαλύτερη φωνητική έκταση σ' αυτό το άλμπουμ.
Το τραγούδι από το ίδιο δίδυμο δημιουργών με τίτλο "Καλή καρδιά" # 3, μας δίνει κάποια ελπίδα με τα ελαφρά λόγια αποχαιρετισμού και με το ρυθμό χασάπικου.
Τέλος, αυτοί οι δημιουργοί μας μεταφέρουν στην πολυαναμενόμενη ευθυμία με το τραγούδι # 12 "Εξαρτημένος". Η μουσική εικόνα αυτής της "εξάρτησης" εκφράζεται με ένα είδος τσιφτετελιού. Τώρα ας σκεφτούμε: τι κοινό υπάρχει μεταξύ όλων αυτών των τραγουδιών; Η απάντηση είναι εύκολη: το ότι ανήκουν στο λαϊκό στυλ.

Ένα άλλο όνομα, το οποίο βλέπουμε αρκετές φορές στο CD είναι της στιχουργού Ελένης Γιαννατσούλια. Σε δύο κομμάτια συνεργάζεται μαζί με τον συνθέτη Γιώργο Σαμπάνη. Μάλιστα το τραγούδι τους "Θα είμαι εδώ" # 2 είναι αυτό που έδωσε και το όνομά του στο άλμπουμ. Αυτό το τραγούδι μας εντυπωσιάζει από την αρχή. Ξεκινά από μια υψηλή νότα στη μελωδία και με έντονα συναισθηματικές λέξεις: "Όλα τα ωράια κάποτε τελειώνουν". Η δεύτερη σύνθεσή τους, το κομμάτι # 8 "Που θα με πας;", αναδεικνύει ένα επικό ύφος ποίησης και ταιριάζει ιδανικά στα χαρακτηριστικά της μουσικής. Αυτά τα δύο τραγούδια κρύβουν μια εσωτερική επέκταση τω ορίων του λαϊκού στυλ.
Η τρίτη επένδυση της Ελένης Γιαννατσούλια στο άλμπουμ γράφτηκε σε συνεργασία με το συνθέτη Γιάννη Φρασέρη. Το τραγούδι # 5 "Δευτερόλεπτα θα μείνω" είναι μια ανάλαφρη μπαλάντα, που απεικονίζει τη μοναξιά καλυμμένη από μια μάσκα επιπολαιότητας.
Αυτή είναι μία από τις πιο τυπικές εικόνες του λαϊκου στυλ.

Η συνεργασία του Βαγγέλη Καρατζάνου (στίχοι) και του Βασίλη Δαραμούσκα (μουσική), η οποία εμφανίζεται δύο φορές σε αυτό το άλμπουμ, μας δίνει δύο διαφορετικά είδη κομματιών. Το ένα είναι ένα βαρύ ζεϊμπέκικο με τίτλο " Ήρθε η ώρα να φύγω" και το άλλο τραγούδι, με τίτλο "Ψάξε με" # 9, είναι βασισμένο σε ρυθμό ροκ/χιπ χοπ μπαλάντας και έχει ένα θετικό μήνυμα στους στίχους του. Το ρεφρέν του τραγουδιού φέρει λαϊκά χαρακτηριστικά στη μελωδία του. Τι κοινό υπάρχει μεταξύ των δύο αυτών τραγουδιών; Η μόνη απάντηση που θα μπορούσε να δοθεί: το λαϊκό στυλ.

Υπάρχουν τώρα και κάποιοι δημιουργοί που έδωσαν ένα μόνο από τα τραγούδια τους στο άλμπουμ.
Ας δούμε τα κομμάτια τους. Το κομμάτι # 1 "Και τι έγινε;" ανήκει στο Φοίβο. Είναι μια δραματική μπαλάντα, που μπορεί να ενταχθεί στο λαϊκό στυλ λόγω της ενορχήστρωσής της. Ταυτόχρονα, αυτό το τραγούδι έχει και κάποια σύγχρονα ηχητικά εφέ.
Μια παθιασμένη μπαλάντα ακούμε στο νούμερο # 4 του cd, με τίτλο "Με πειράζει" του Χάρη Γαλανού, που έχει λαϊκά χαρακτηριστικά όχι μόνο λόγω των μουσικών οργάνων που εμπεριέχει, αλλά επίσης λόγω του πολύ βαθιά κρυμμένου βαλς ρυθμού του και της καλά αναπτυγμένης μελωδίας.
Το γνωστό δίδυμο δημιουργών: ο Αλέκος Χρυσοβέργης (συνθέτης) και ο Σπύρος Γιατράς (στιχουργός), προσφέρουν σε αυτό το άλμπουμ το νούμερο # 11 "Χανόμαστε", το οποίο είναι ένα καθαρό δείγμα ζεϊμπέκικου, με μοναχικές εικόνες από την απώλεια αγάπης.
Για άλλη μια φορά, στο κομμάτι # 13 "Μάτωσα για σένα" συναντάμε την καθιερωμένη συνεργασία του συνθέτη Παναγιώτη Μπρακούλια και του στιχουργού Nίκου Βαξαβανέλη. Η μπαλάντα τους είναι ένας εξαίσιος συνδυασμός μπλουζ και ρούμπας, με μελωδία και λέξεις, οι οποίες είναι φανερό ότι βασίζονται στις λαϊκές παραδόσεις.

Τέλος, φθάνουμε στο κομμάτι # 14, το τραγούδι με τον πολυσυζητημένο τίτλο "Που**να στην ψυχή". Ο ιδιαίτερος τίτλος του μας φέρνει πίσω στις ρίζες των παραδοσιακών λαϊκών τραγουδιών, οι οποίες προέρχονται από τις πιο φτωχές περιοχές και μετέφεραν αρκετή τραχύτητα, αντανακλώντας τη ζωή των μεταναστών(όπως στη jazz μουσική, για παράδειγμα).
Οι στίχοι του τραγουδιού είναι γραμμένοι από τον Παναγιώτη Μανδηλάρη. Και με μια εξαιρετικά, θα μπορούσαμε να πούμε, διαμορφωμένη μελωδία από τον Δημήτρη Παρασκευόπουλο, είναι προφανές ότι αυτό το τραγούδι έχει την εκρηκτική δυνατότητα μιας πραγματικής μουσικής βόμβας.

Λοιπόν, τι διαπιστώσαμε κατά τη σύντομη έρευνά μας; Είναι προφανές ότι όλα τα τραγούδια, σε διαφoρετικό βαθμό έντασης το καθένα, είναι συνδεδεμένα με το λαϊκό στυλ.
Αλλά υπάρχει και κάτι ακόμα εδώ, το ίδιο σημαντικό, που συνδέει τα πάντα με τους πάντες. Αυτό είναι η εξαιρετική εκφραστικότητα της φωνής του τραγουδιστή που αποδίδει απόλυτα την έννοια της κάθε λέξης και που εύκολα συμβαδίζει με τα δύσκολα -φωνητικά- τραγούδια. Η φωνή αυτή, με το φυσικό πλούτο και την ομορφιά της, φαίνεται ότι είναι σχεδιασμένη από τη φύση της για το ελληνικό λαϊκό τραγούδι.

Σύμφωνα με την επιλογή των τραγουδιών και το πώς ερμηνεύονται, ο τραγουδιστής μιλάει στο άλμπουμ του για την αγάπη και την αφοσίωση του στο λαϊκό τραγούδι.
"ΘΑ ΕΙΜΑΙ ΕΔΩ!"-αυτή είναι η απάντηση που δίνει ο Νίκος Οικονομόπουλος στην ερώτηση σχετικά με το πού, σε ποιο είδος μουσικής, τοποθετεί τον εαυτό του ως τραγουδιστή στο προσεχές μέλλον.

Translated by Eirini Eusebi

Friday, January 13, 2012

We want to say a huge thank you to Nikos Economopoulos!

Recently, radio Aquarius FM was broadcast live an interview with two authors of the most disputed song from the new double-platinum album by Nikos Economopoulos. Dimitris Paraskevopoulos, composer, and Panagiotis Mandilaris, lyricist, shared their thoughts about this song and its performer.

Paraskevopoulos: The first few days, people rushed to judge, without having realized the meaning of the song, just because it was something unusual. There were some negative reactions and criticism, but slowly the spirits calmed down. Many of those who did not like it first, later started liking it.
As for me, since I write the music to a song, it means that I approved its lyrics. While it is harsh, it is very truthful.

Mandilaris: This song is addressed only to a very special group of women who, without any barrier and hesitation, could do anything to achieve their goal, culminating with selling their very soul. This is the worst thing. This piece is addressed to women, but, of course, the same actions could be found in men.

Paraskevopoulos: Nobody expected such a song from Nikos. His artistic profile until now was such that no one expected him to sing a harsh and realistic song like that. On this occasion we want to say a huge thank you to Nikos Economopoulos, for the courage to show this song, because it was a big risk. But this risk was justified. Of course, it is still a bold decision and good on him. Just for that I appreciate and thank him very much..
Mandilaris: This song would be a bit harsh for the album title. The 14th position it has taken on the CD suites this song perfectly. It is the grand finale of the album.
Paraskevopoulos: People in the countryside take things for granted. Here in Athens, radio stations are very cautious. They may like the song, but they afraid to play it, because of fear that somebody will tell them something. After all, even at home, we’ve heard words even stronger. But there is a madness happening at the ‘Fever’ nightclub with this song, I was there and saw it.

Paraskevopoulos : I think that Nikos Economopoulos is, probably, the best singer of his generation, a singer with a future. I got to know him better and realized that he was a really honest guy, humble, very polite and a very pure artist. He has not become conceited and I can see it easily, being in this area for years. If he will keep doing the right things, he is going to have a great career and to stay high for ages. Firstly, his voice is flawless. It has an awesome tone, great vocal skills, nothing is missed there. Beyond that it is his personality which will make him to be able to continue and remain in the place. Nikos has the maturity, more maturity than it is common for his biological age. He has got a big life experience, started to work from his childhood, which gave him this maturity. So, he has got a good background to make an amazing career.

Mandilaris: It is very important to have good new laika singers in our time… The last 5-10 years there is generally a crisis in laika song. So it is very important to have representatives of the new generation to support it. I think Nikos Economopoulos is the best singer of our time.

Paraskevopoulos : You can not accomplish anything in life if you do not believe in you with such a force …and it seems form the looks and aura of Nikos Economopoulos, he believes and has a desire to do what he is doing.

( Panagiotis Mandilaras and Dimitris Parakevopoulos know each other for 3 years and apart from being colleagues they became good friends. Dimitris Parakevopoulos is working for years in the big music field and previously he was a member of the band "Zig Zag".
Panagiotis Mandilaras is newer than Dimitris in the music area, he collaborated with composer Panagiotis Stergious, the band "Ηθικόν Ακμαιότατον" and with Georgos Taschounidis. He said that together with Dimitris Parakevopoulos they have written many good songs and hope that one day they will give them to the appropriate artists. They will not write the song with such lyrics as “P**t*n* stin psychi”, it was done for the only one time.)

Many thanks to Eirini Eusebi for providing us with the full text and an audio file of the interview.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

CD album "Θα είμαι εδώ” (I’ll Be Here) by Nikos Economopoulos

(review of the album by Nikos Economopoulos "Θα 'μαι εδω”, EMI Greece, 2011)

The review of the musical album must be as unbiased as a physician’s diagnosis. That's why let us forget that the CD "Θα είμαι εδώ” (I’ll Be Here) by Nikos Economopoulos, released by EMI Greece, became double platinum in the first two days of sales. And let us not speak about the previous successes of this singer, which were big enough for the author of this article to become too enthusiastic.
Imagine we never heard his interviews about this album and never had chance to read any promotional articles about it.
Just let us try to find out what it is hidden in the title of the album? What it is in the singer’s mind when he is saying, "I'll be here."?

Thus, the investigation begins.

We have in our hands a CD, which contains 14 tracks in it.

For a start, let's take the authors with the biggest amount of the songs invested to the CD. The tandem Christodoulos Siganos (music-words) and Valentino (words) are leading the list. There are 4 of their songs in the album (tracks # 3, 7, 10,12), with one of them (#10, Όλα πληρώνονται εδώ – All paid here)composed together with Marios Psimopoulos.
The last one is a dramatic laiko ballade with a soaring melody, which tells us an unhappy love story. It seems like this broken heart image is also reflected in the song # 7 Ποια ζωή να ζήσω (What life should I live), where it is shaped in another type of the laiko ballade with the biggest in this album vocal range melody.
The song of the same authors tandem “Καλή καρδιά” (Kind Heart), track # 3, gives us some hope with its light words of farewell and a hasapiko dance rhythm.
Finally, these authors lead us to the long-awaited gaiety in the song # 12 “Εξαρτημένος” (Addicted to you). The musical image of this "addiction" may be found in a well veiled tsiftseteli (a female oriental style dance). Now let us think: what is common between all these songs? The answer comes easily : their affiliation to the laika style.

Another name, which a few times appears on the CD is Eleni Giannatsoulia, lyricist. And twice she comes along with Georgos Sabanis, the composer. It is their track # 2 gave the name to the album. This song strikes us from the start, as it begins from a high note in the melody with strong emotional words: "All good things must come to an end”. Their second composition, the track # 8 Που θα με πας ; (Where will you take me to?) brings out an epic style of the poetry and ideally suiting the ethnic nature of the music. These two songs are like pushing the limits of the laika style from within.
The third investment by Eleni Giannatsoulia to the album was written together with a composer Giannis Fraseris. The song #5 Δευτερόλεπτα θα μείνω (I’ll stay for a moment) is a light ballade, which portrays the loneliness, covered by the easy going mask. Which is one of typical ‘laiko”style images.

A collaboration of Vangelis Karatzanos (words) and Vasilis Daramouskas (music), which comes twice in this album , gives us two contrasting in genre pieces. One is
a strong zeibekiko Ήρθε η ώρα να φύγω (It's time to go) and another song , #9 Ψάξε με (Search me), is based on the rock/hip-hop ballade rhythm with a very positive message in the words. The chorus of the song carries laika features in its melody. What it is common in these two songs? The only answer could be: the style of laika.

Now we have some authors who gave only one of their songs to the album.
Let us see what we have in their tracks here.
The # 1 in the CD belongs to Phoebus, it is a dramatic ballade “Και τι έγινε” (And What’s Happened ?) , which can be attributed to the laika style due its orchestration. At the same time this song has got some modern sound qualities.
A passionate ballade by Haris Galanos “Με πειράζει” (It Concerns Me), which is #4 on the CD, has got laika features not only due the instruments involved , but also in it’s deeply hidden rhythm of waltz and well developed melody.
The well known tandem of authors: Alekos Chrisovergis (composer) and Spiros Giatras (lyricist) are offering to this album track #11 Χανόμαστε (We Are Lost), the pure sample of zeibekiko, with its devastating images of the lost love
Once again, in the track # 13 Μάτωσα για σένανε (I Bled For You) we meet an established collaboration of the songwriters: composer Panagiotis Brakoulias and lyricist Nikos Vaxavanelis. Their ballade is an exquisite fusion of blues and rumba with the melody and words, obviously based on the laika traditions.

Finally, here it is #14, the song with a controversial name “ P**t*na stin psychi” (Whore In The Soul). The very title of it brings us back to the roots of the traditional songs "laika", which originated, (same as jazz, by the way) in the most poverty-stricken environment, and carried a lot of rudeness, reflecting the life of outcasts. (The lyrics of the song is written by Panagiotis Mandilaris) Add to this an excellently contoured, we might say, noble, melody by Dimitris Paraskevopoulos and it becomes obvious: this song has an explosive potential of a real musical bomb.

Now, what have we found during our short investigation? The first and obvious thing is that all the songs are, with varying degrees of intensity, tied to the style of laika.
But there is one more, no less important phenomenon there, which is connecting everything and everyone. This is the exceptionally expressive, wafting perfectly the meaning of each word and easily keeping up with the vocal complexities of the songs, voice of the singer. This voice, which is, with its natural richness and beauty, seems designed by nature to perform the Greek song "laika".

According to the choice of songs and how they are sung, the singer talks in his album about his love and devotion to the laika style of music.
“Θα 'μαι εδω - I’ll be here!” -this is the answer Nikos Economopoulos gives to the question about where, in which area of music, he pictures himself as a singer in the foreseeable future.

Lucy Vaganova

Bachelor of Music (Honours),University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Πάντα θέλω να κάνω ένα βήμα παραπέρα στη δουλειά μου"

Μία μεγάλη και ειλικρινή συνέντευξη έδωσε ο Νίκος Οικονομόπουλος στην δημοσιογράφο του Ριάνα Κουράκου στις αρχές αυτού του έτους (στις 4 Ιανουαρίου), η οποία περιείχε πολλά νέα στοιχεία που προστέθηκαν στο πορτρέτο αυτού του εξαιρετικού τραγουδιστή, που διαθέτει μια από τις πιο όμορφες φωνές της εποχής μας. Χάρη στις πολύ σωστά τοποθετημένες ερωτήσεις της Ριάνας και στις πλήρεις και περιεκτικές απαντήσεις του Νίκου, η συνέντευξη ξεπέρασε τα όρια της και η συνομιλία έγινε σε επίπεδο αναλυτικού διαλόγου.

Η Ριάνα, όπως και άλλοι δημοσιογράφοι, αναφέρεται στον Νίκο σαν νεαρό τραγουδιστή, αλλά την ίδια στιγμή τονίζει την σοβαρότητα του. Ο Νίκος αισθάνεται ευτυχισμένος να είναι πάντα νέος και μιλά για την διαφορά μεταξύ του να είσαι νεός και να είσαι μικρός:
"Δεν είμαι καθόλου μικρός. Το "μικρός" είναι μια δικαιολογία που έχουμε βρει για να κρύβουμε τις σκέψεις μας και τα λόγια μας. Μικρός μπορεί να είναι κάποιος μόνο στο μυαλό".

Μιλώντας για το επάγγελμά του, ο Νίκος παρουσιάζεται όπως ένας πραγματικός καλλιτέχνης, τονίζοντας ότι αυτός αναζητά πάντα μια αλλαγή - αυτό είναι ίσως το πιο δημιουργικό χαρακτηριστικό ενός ανθρώπου. Αυτά είναι τα λόγια του: "Πάντα θέλω να διαφέρω και όπως έχω πει πολλές φορές, θέλω να κάνω και ένα βήμα παραπέρα στη δουλειά μου, δε θέλω να μένω στάσιμος και να κάνω συνέχεια τα ίδια πράγματα".
Παρόλο που ο Νίκος Οικονομόπουλος είναι ένας νεαρός καλλιτέχνης, έχει ήδη αναπτύξει μία ώριμη επαγγελματική συνείδηση. Για παράδειγμα, αυτό είναι εμφανές στη στάση του απέναντι στους νεότερους καλλιτέχνες και δημιουργούς. Ο Νίκος υποστηρίζει μετά χαράς νέους δημιουργούς, βάζοντας τραγούδια τους στο άλμπουμ του, ή λέγοντας εγκωμιαστικά λόγια για κάποιον νέο συνάδελφό του, όταν είναι πάνω στη σκηνή: "Πες αυτό που νιώθεις βρε αδερφέ μου! Εγώ, όταν κάποιον τον γουστάρω, βγαίνω στην πίστα και το λέω".

Η συνομιλία διήρκεσε αρκετή ώρα και έθιξε πολλά σημαντικά ζητήματα. Ανάμεσα σ' αυτά ήταν η συζήτηση για κάθε ένα τραγούδι του άλμπουμ ξεχωριστά, λαμβάνοντας ως σημείο αναφοράς κάποιους στίχους απ' το καθένα. Επίσης, μιλά για τη συνεργασία του με τη Δέσποινα Βανδή και την Έλλη Κοκκίνου και δηλώνει την αγάπη του για τον "καλλιτεχνικό πατέρα" του, τον Γιάννη Πάριο.

Αλλά αυτό που είναι σημαντικό: ανεξάρτητα από το τι ερώτηση τέθηκε, πίσω από κάθε απάντηση του ήταν εμφανής η εξαιρετική προσωπικότητα του τραγουδιστή, η αφοπλιστική ειλικρίνεια, η μετριοφροσύνη του και η αφοσίωσή του.
Λοιπόν, τι θα ήταν επίσης καλό να πούμε για το Νίκο Οικονομόπουλο ως άνδρα και ως τραγουδιστή;
Πιθανότατα αυτά τα λόγια που λέει σχετικά με το πλέον επίμαχο του τραγούδι "Π@@τ@να στην ψυχή", θα καλύψουν το μεγαλύτερο μέρος των προσόντων του τραγουδιστή:
"Ποτέ μου δε θα κάνω κάτι με σκοπό να προσελκύσω τα φώτα της δημοσιότητας. Τραγουδάω τραγούδια που μου αρέσουν και πιστεύω να αρέσουν και στον κόσμο!"

Guido d’Arezzo

translated by Eirini Eusebi

Sunday, January 8, 2012

“I always want to go a step further in my work” (Nikos Economopoulos confesses to

A large and candid interview Nikos Ekonomopoulos gave the journalist Riana Kourakou of at the beginning of this year (on the 4th of January) contained many new features to add to the portrait of this outstanding singer with one of the most beautiful voices of our time. Thanks to the accurately targeted Riana's questions and to the complete and comprehensive answers by Nikos, interview overstepped the scope of the genre and the conversation reached the level of an analytical dialogue.

Riana, same as other journalists, refers to Nikos as a young singer, but at the same time she points out his seriousness. Nikos feels himself happy to be always young, also he speaks about the difference between being young and being small: “I am not small. ''Small'' is an excuse we find to hide our thoughts and our words. One can be small meaning his mind”
He speaks with a professional grasp about the songs he sings. While answering Riana’s question regarding the large vocal range in the song: "Poia zoi na ziso", Nikos reveals one of the secrets of the great masters of singing. He says: “When you really like a song you can exceed your limits!”
In addition, Nikos talks about his caring for the style of music laika, for example, he points out one of the technical features that enable him to display it brighter: “The radio producers do not play songs with the prominent bouzouki sound. And what do I do? I put bouzouki ahead!”
Surprising is the fact that through the “love songs” Nikos Economopoulos can express his political position or his philosophy.
For example, while speaking about the song "Hanomaste" he goes on the high level of generalization: "We all share the responsibility for what happens” , and adds: “We blame only three hundred in the parliament, but we have our hands in it”
Or, in other case, discussing the song “Ola plironontai edo”, he unveals: “I strongly believe in God, but there is no hell and heaven, all will be paid here.”
Speaking of his profession, Nikos reveals himself as a true artist, emphasizing that he is always looking for a change - it is, probably, the most creative feature of a human. Here are his words: “I always want to do something different, and ... I want to go one step further in my work, I do not want to stay stagnant doing the same things.”
Being a young artist, never the less, Nikos Economopoulos has developed in himself the mature professional ethics. For example, it is visible in his attitude towards the younger artists and authors. Nikos is happy to support beginners by taking their songs for the album (it is in case if they are songwriters), or by coming on stage to say a few laudatory words about a younger performer. “Say what you feel, my brother! Say:-I love this kid, because he sings well, I see that the audience like him!,- and the singer will go ahead. Say it finally!” – he exclaims.

The conversation was lengthy and touched upon many important things. Among them were the discussions of individual songs from the album and harping on their names, the story of collaboration with Despina Vandi and Elli Kokkinou and a declaration of love to the “father-in-arts” Giannis Parious.
But what is important: no matter what question was raised, behind the each answer there was clearly visible extraordinary personality of the singer, his captivating sincerity, modesty , his devotion.
So, what would be a good line to say about Nikos Economopoulos, a man and a singer?
Probably these words, he says about his most disputed song "Poutana stin psychi", would cover the biggest amount of this singer’s qualities:
“ I would never do anything to attract the spotlight. I sing songs that I like and, I believe, people like too!”

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nikos Economopoulos talks to Riana Kourakou ( Part 3

R: Previously, the CDs of laiko singers were compiled of zeibekikos, chasapikos, tsiftetelia, rumbas and a fewer amount of ballads and other modern genres. In your CD now, for example, no one tsifteteli included, while there are a lot of ballads there. As for me, I like the ballads a lot, but, still, why does it happen?
N: There is no special reason for that, just I did not find any tsifteteli I liked. I do not want to put a song if I do not like it, just for a tsifteteli sake. So far, in all my CDs I relied firstly on the lyrics and secondary on the music.
For me the seventy percent of importance goes to the words and thirty percent to the music. However, I like to have not too modernized sound. I want to keep the features of laiko style as much as possible. Not to lose it, not to leave the song without it. That's what I said earlier on the radio. I listen to many artists’ songs, in which bouzouki sound is very soft , it is hidden in background, to the point it is impossible to hear. The radio producers do not play songs with the prominent bouzouki sound. And what do I do? I put bouzouki ahead! I want to be the antipode in this system because I do not like it (this system)! My basis is a laiko song, no matter if they like it or not. And singers first of all should understand it and continue to work in this direction. If you want to keep on working, it does not mean that you need to do the things they demand and they want you to do. I follow my heart, so I am singing laika songs.

R: It looks like Greeks are having fun in bouzouki night clubs, but , at the same time, they listen on radio only pop, right?

N: Exactly! And how is that possible? Ask radio producers!

R: Is it the song that makes the singer or it is the singer who makes the song? Can a mediocre song being sung by a good singer become acceptable, or opposite, a very good song being sung by a bad singer, can it be lost?

N: I think it is fifty - fifty. A singer must give a good performance to get through a song and bring it out to the world. But to achieve that, a singer must believe in the song. If you do not believe in it, you will not do anything! I try songs that I do not like a lot of times when I am in the studio, I can change my mind. Change songs, and do the same with who is going to sing!

R: We talked a lot about the songs, but we have not said anything about your collaboration this year ...

N: With Elli and Despina? It is all right, fine! I hope it will be so until we reach the end (of the season in “Fever”)

R: So, till when you’re there?

N: Up to March.

R: Do you feel an economic crisis in the venue?

N: Look, I'm not lying, the shop is full. But we feel the crisis in other areas. For example, it is happening with the issue of consumption. We have people, but they don't order as much as it was earlier. They would not take the second bottle, they do not have money to throw flowers, but, thanks God, we have job and people come and have fun!

R: And it was a big surprise of the year - your collaboration with two''Chicks'', as you said in one interview and upset girls!

N: Upset? Never mind, I was not saying it in a bad way, this is the way we say in Patras and we do not mean bad.

R: How have this collaboration happened? Phoebus was the missing link?

N: No, there is no connection there! Nothing to do with that.

R: What it is like your relationship with Despina and Elli?

N: A joy! Look, what can be heared: those who cooperate, they are in the dressing room together and love each other, and all the time are kissing - all this is not right! I never had it earlier and it does not happen now. We come to the club, we are meeting out the door, the girls can come to my dressing room, or I go to theirs, but that all. Nothing we do purposely. But I want my colleagues to be near. Now this can be done, but done by others, because to me it is feasible, this concerns them, so you may ask them. However, I can not say that I run backstage and follow them. Only with Parios I was always together.

R: At the Double Platinum Award night you called Parios “my father”

N: Yes, I said that he is my artistic father. I love him very much, Giannis. And he loves me very much and believe in me, but this is true,it is not made neither for TVs, not for sale. We never went out to drink coffee to show it. I love him! I'll go into any job with him and if he will come to me - what an honor! He shows he respects a new singer and supports. In essence, to have a singer of the size of Parios on your side is a great thing. I personally would do it, I'd show it in whatever way I can. And this put young people to work through, this exposure. Because when someone is nice why not to tell? Why not to say this is a good singer and, as a result, he will go ahead. Say what you feel, my brother! Say: "I love this kid, because he sings well, I see that people like him", and the singer will go ahead. Say it finally! If I like someone, I go on stage and say. This was with Nino, with Paula, with any new kid- if I sang together, a thousand times I was saying it on stage.. It is nice to honor a colleague so, you go to say it. No matter how big you are, just leave your complex aside to say this simple thing.

R: It depends on what sort of man you are in general and what things you have lived in your life before to become famous. That is to say, if you were important to others even before becoming a singer, if you were the soul of the group, for example, or you had any woman you wanted, or anything else, then there no reason to have a complex as a singer

N: I agree, but can I tell you something? What you are saying regarding women is not true. Do not think that when you a singer all women fancy you. As for me, I had many times an experience to like a girl and not to get her. Let’s say the truth! I am not wanted by all the girls, I say! And do not ask for more details, I will not tell you. (laughs)

R: OK, I do not ask anything more, let leave the conversation here and other things we will discuss the next time we meet, at the Meet & Greet in January, so we will jump for some exclusive news (laughs). We said, after we make you the omen for 2012 with this interview, you’ll be the first Meet & Greet of the year, to make the double good and give us a chance to announce it officially here.

N: So yes, I will do for you this good sign as well.

R: Wish you to spend a good time and thank you very much!

N: And I thank you very much for always being next to me! And whenever you want, whenever I am useful to you, I will be here for whatever reason!

Nikos Economopoulos talks to Riana Kourakou ( –part 2

R: In your new CD there is a song ''Psakse me”, which is a bit in contrary to your style ...

N: There is a bit more rock orchestration there, but the lyrics are very “laiko”, very understandable!
R: The laika-song, however, is facing a trouble, is not it?

N: No, the problem is not in the “laika” music, it is the radio producers who are creating it, let's say! What can we do? We keep on singing !

R: Why, do you think, this has happened? How come that after having a laika song on the top, suddenly the radios do not want bouzouki in orchestration, they prefer a more European sound, what’s happened, finally?

N : Dear Riana, here in Greece we like everything foreign. I don’t know why it is like that. We don’t like our own things, I can’t understand it!

R: However, people, when they like something very much, would create a success by themselves, they play what radios don't play. Besides, now there's a Youtube there and anyone can choose the music they like and not to listen to what is foisted. Although in general, they are trying to brainwash us!

N: Exactly! And not only on radio, but also on television . They play only what suits mediocrity, everything is to do with money! TV has nothing for you to show. I turn on my TV and I do not know what to watch... News? They lie! Every day they say the same things! Serials? Greek productions are not there and instead we find the cheap product of Turkey. It doesn't matter, why do they show Turkish, the matter is why don't they have in mind to do something for us! Everything is a copy!

R: In every your interview with, we were playing with the lyrics and, you know, people like it a lot and ask to do the same, so, let us do it today! And let's start with the most wanted…

N: “Poutana stin psychi”?

R: (Laughs) You got it, eh? Does it bother you, if I ask about this at all?

N: No, this does not bother me at all! After I sang it, why to hesitate to talk about my songs? Whatever we say and whatever we do in our live, is turning into the songs, is not it right? So, is this song a lie? May be something like that has not happened in my life, I have not lived such a story, but for some people this song expresses what they feel about their life experience. Others have not lived it and therefore it does not express what they feel. Were all my other songs bad? Of course not! Some are good for some people, and some are not. So, when I’ve heard this song, I kept it for three weeks at my house and was thinking a lot, because it had a swearing in it.. After all, everybody sometimes can swear, is there somebody who does not swear? Are we holy people? I I strongly believe in God, I've said it many times, but does it mean I should not swear? Even though it is not right,I am one of those who swear! I am the one of those people who has nerves, I can be pissed off and swear, and this time I took this song. This song is a story of a man who wrote it, who lived this story and also it expresses what the part of the public feels. I, however, did not put this song to the CD in a purpose. I would never do anything to attract the spotlight. I sing songs that I like and, I believe, people like too!

R: Do you sing this song at “Fever”?

N: Yes, sure!

R: And how does it go?

N: (laughs) Better not to talk about it! It is madness happening there!

R: You have a song titled ''Kali kardia'' (“Kind heart” – an idiom, which means “to forgive from the heart” – G.). Do you use this phrase?

N: Many times! I think we all use it. When we try not to grieve over something, we are saying: ''Kind heart'' and “Don’t be bothered”

R: ''In "Don’t be bothered” we are finally surrendered”, as you say in one amazing zeibekiko “Hanomaste” ( We are lost) from your CD.

N: Yes, this is both social and love song. It is about the couple lost in everyday life, but also it is about all of us, lost as a society in general. ''In "Don’t be bothered” we are finally surrendered, in our selfishness was desire for a knife fight” Unfortunately we let all be hanged in the air and think that everything will take care by itself, that we have no responsibility. But everyone must look first how to make themselves better to build things up and not only to look to others, to judge them and blame them. We all share the responsibility for what happens. We blame only three hundred in the parliament, but we all have our hands in it.

R: You have a song titled "Me peirazei" (It concerns me). What concerns you daily as Nikos Economopoulos, a person?

N: I will respond with verses of the song that has provoked debates ... ''Lies and hypocrisy, and selfishness ...''! And a sham, a quasi-ness , which nowadays prevail especially in this business. I abstain from that. I carry my cross, I have my own problems and I do not want to deal with this quasi-ness.

R: Have you ever got “a knife in the back”?

N: Yes, but what have they had accomplished ? They did nothing to me! And I am not afraid to say, if they will try to do it again, what can I do? After all this is the work ...

R: Can you say in particular?

N: I do not want to, I'll never say! I keep it for myself to become better too!

R: The song " Irthe i ora na figo" ('It's time to leave).'What makes you want to go, is it when you feel uncomfortable or bad?

N: It is when I have nothing in common with those who I talk or have a company. If it does not work, I go. If I don't like something, I change it! When I don't like to watch a TV channel, I change it, so if I do not like to be together with somebody, I change them!
R: "For a moment I will stay, and then you'll be burnt in my mind" that’s what it is said in one of your songs. How easy it is for you to burn somebody in your mind.

N: Now it's easy! I have a big experience in my life.

R: You do not give yourself to people, right?

N: I became like that. Not what I was before. It is wrong of course to not allow people into your life, not converge with others. Hate this point in myself, but I have to do it!

R: You prevent yourself from being hurt later, by using the “safeguards”?

N: I guess, yes, I do so

R: You are a typical sensitive little cancer!

N: Yes, the miserable one! (laughs)

R: In the song “Pou Tha Me Pas” you are saying “Where will you take me to, will you love me, or will turn my life into struggle”. How easy it is for you to answer to this one and to cover your insecurities?

N: First of all, this song is about someone who has given (paid) and left. Someone who is answering by actions, not words. There is no other way the one can answer me!

R: The song “Ola plironontai edo” – For everything you pay here - Do you believe in that?
N: Of course! And in many ways, from where you least expect it! I believe in God very much, but there is no hell and heaven, all will be paid here. One thing if you make a mistake and another thing if you hurt somebody in purpose. Important is: when you do something wrong, try to avoid repetition. And I make mistakes, I have to say, and I try not to repeat them, I try to become better. However, and your mistakes and risks you take you have to pay! All to be paid by the same currency and with a small overpayment, sometimes.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nikos Economopoulos talks to Riana Kourakou ( –part 1

When you really like a song you can exceed your limits!

When you really like a song you can exceed your limits!

Each year it is Nikos Economopoulos' new album what makes a good occasion for our meeting with him.. And there are a lot of reasons for it! When you have a disarmingly sincere artist to talk to, the discussion can go everywhere! Without too many words ... Nikos Economopoulos!

R: Happy New Year, Niko! You are the first our interview of the year once again, same as it was in 2011 and 2010. You were our good sign, that’s why we prefer you for that case! (laughs)

N: -Happy New Year everybody! Thank you very much for liking me (laughs) and it seems I am really a good omen, for your business goes very well!
And personally for you I wish a good health to be able to do the work you love, because you love it and you are fitting it, and to have success with something new that I’ve learned you are prepared for! I wish all the people love and happiness!

R: Let’s start our discussion about your new CD “Tha Eimai Edo”! Niko, on this record, I think your voice is more mature than ever!

N: With so many DEMOs I've done, it is logical.

R: So, you have many "flight hours", right?

N: Too many!
R: Besides, as you grow the voice matures more, yes?

N: Of course!

R: I was very impressed by the range of your voice in the song “Poia Zoi Na Ziso''. I think that your older albums were not showing this your quality so strongly …

N: It is the song that helps. I liked this song, so as a result, it became more comfortable for me. When you really like a song you can exceed your limits!

R: In this CD you surprised us with many things. One of those is your collaboration with Phoebus. The truth is that this collaboration we did not expect ...

N: Once I see a nice song, no matter who gave it to me, I take it. It has nothing to do with who has written it. But I do not like to talk about someone individually. I am saying it not in a bad way, but it is not nice to hear only one name, Phoebus, there are many authors within this work, I can’t speak only about Phoebus. There are Alekos Chrisovergis and Spiros Giatras, who are many years is in this area, Eleni Giannatsoulia, Nikos Vaxavanelis ...

R: But these are the partnerships you have had before, so we are not surprised... Phoebus, however, is a special case. And your song "Kai Ti Egine" has divided your fans, if you see the comments in you tube. Usually they embrace all your songs because they love you very much. The song “Poutana stin psychi”, which we will comment shortly, also caused the big deal of debate, and it has a reason to be discussed. But “Kai Ti Egine” is a simple song; still half of your fans loved it and the others wrote that you did not need this song, that this is one of the typical Phoebus’ handicrafts and so on and on….

N: This song is not one of the row, it is a dynamic song, if someone else have had written it, no one would say anything. However, I liked the song and since I liked it , I put it in the CD, thinking it would be liked by people too. But neither us nor our songs can be liked by everybody!

R: Another thing that struck us is that you have a song “Defterolepta tha meno” written by a young composer. This clearly shows what you said before, that if you like the song you will get it no matter if the composer is a name of the range of Phoebus or a newcomer ...

N: Exactly! This song is by Giannis Fraseris. This guy is very talented. By the way, with me he has done the first steps. And the kid who wrote "Poutana stin psychi” di not have any other song we know, it was the first one coming big. He was there at the Platinum Award night and was very excited and happy. The guy was crying there. Sometimes, out of nowhere, you can do the great things!
I enjoy working with young people, young people also have to get down the track one day, because they have things to give. Although the elders have written their story, but young people also can write, and if I will not let them make this step nobody will. At least I want to give them a good start and to help young people. I've done other collaborations with Haris Galanos and Georgos Sabanis in this CD, I recorded two songs by Georgos, which were co-written with Eleni Giannatsoulia.

R: What you say is very important, because in general in this business it is not a typical way.

N: Let us not talk about this business, it doesn’t bother me at all. I am not into PR, this is not for me, I work only for people, I was saying and I keep on saying that!

R: I think the lifestyle you have is saying a lot! We don't see you going form one party to another or doing a photo after photo ...

N: I do not like these things, they are not for me!

R:For your age is a very unusual to be like that! You're too young to think so!

N: But I am not small! At my age my father had two children, had a family. ''Small''is an excuse we find to hide our thoughts and our words.
One can be small meaning his mind.

R: In an interview you gave recently, you were asked how do you feel, being a young artist and doing so successfully and you answered, that even years pass, you will be forever a young artist! Did you hide some bitterness behind those words? Does it bother you to be called “a young artist”?

N: Not at all! I said it without this meaning…I like to be called “a young artist”, because I started young, and it means, I have a lot of time ahead.
It is your work which counts, not how old you are! Usually they say, although I do not like to say so about myself, that I'm from the best artists of the new generation, and this can confuse the situation a bit, but again, I thank them, because it is very important for me they say it! However, like they say, it is important that my songs and my personality have a positive impact on people, so far, and I hope this to be continued! I always want to do something different, and as I have said many times, I want to do one step further in my work, I do not want to stay stagnant stagnant doing the same things. I do not mean that at some point I will be singing pop songs, because I do not know how to sing them, neither anything else. I know only how to sing good laika songs.

(to be continued)