CULTURE

Know this song? From bouzouki to bossa nova

For years, his friends would comment that his work was good, but not commercial. As for his mother, she believed that he should be interpreting more popular songs in his live performances, so that his public could have fun. How could Giorgis Christodoulou – the singer who once shared the stage with Arletta and composer Notis Mavroudis, who interpreted Manos Hadjidakis songs – ever foresee that his third album would feature hits composed by the doyens of the popular Greek scene, Nikos Karvelas and Foivos? Life is full of surprises. Yet for all of us catching ourselves humming hit songs like Anna Vissi’s «Ola ta Lefta» and «Nychtolouloudo» (turned into a hit by Despina Vandi) by Christodoulou over and over again, Christodoulou’s take is quite different. The rhythm slows down, becoming more nonchalant, and as the lights go dimmer, hands go in search of dry Martinis. «I came across ‘Ola ta Lefta’ and it reminded me of ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’» says the singer. «And if you got rid of the bouzouki, it sounded like a bossa nova.» If «Ola ta Lefta» has a Latin flavor, «Nychtolouloudo» brings to mind a lovely bolero. In any case, Christodoulou’s album «Des to ki’ Allios» (released by V2 records) is a small tribute to postwar Greek and European easy-listening tunes – songs which are above all dear to the singer. Another popular song is Michalis Rakintzis’s «De to Pistevo,» which Christodoulou interprets in a way reminiscent of «The Pet Shop Boys,» based on idea inspired by Morcheba. It is the kind of music that, until recently, Christodoulou was not keen on: «On the contrary,» he says. «I would always ask taxi drivers to kindly change radio station!» Today he realizes that one of the reasons that led him right into the arms of Karvelas and Foivos was his own need to come to terms with it. «I believe that, in the end, what lies behind the labels is our need to judge and categorize everything,» says the singer, who is already promising new arrangements of foreign hits. Watch out, Britney Spears!