Exporting Sakis?

Was last Saturday’s Eurovision song contest such a significant cultural event that it was watched by nine out of 10 Greeks? To be fair, the Greek entry – performed by the extremely presentable Sakis Rouvas – was the best, based on the criteria of the international competition. If we add to this the fact that England – the mecca of popular music – awarded Sakis the top mark of 12, we can conclude that Greece has prospects in this area. Irrespective of the widespread conviction that the Greece is characterized, musically, by entechno (a more refined version of the popular song), there exists a domestic «pop» scene which – thanks to globalization – is able to push its products into a larger, international market. Meanwhile, «ethnic music,» featuring characteristics of particular nations, continues to gain popularity. But can Greece compete in this market? Certainly, songs such as Sakis’s «Shake It» have little in common with the aforementioned entechno. But they are extremely popular and receive much more air time than their «artier» counterparts. So it seems that Greek pop and ethnic music exists and is listened to. After his performance in Istanbul, Sakis may embark upon an international career. And he will do this as a Greek in a sector with no borders which does not care whether «Greek songs» have Spanish or English lyrics, but is focused on rhythm and melody, as well as the looks – and voice! – of the performer.

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