Stelios Kazantzidis: The Greek singer who gave a modern spin to rembetika


Stelios Kazantzidis was one of the most beloved Greek music performers of the modern era. The singer was mostly known for his heavy voice which gave a modern spin to the traditional rembetika, seeing him quickly rise in popularity and spark a whole new wave of musicians.

Some of his most well-known tracks include “Afti I Nihta Menei” (“This Night Remains”), “To Poukamiso”, (“The Shirt”) and “Prosefhi” (“Prayer”). Written below are six of the most important facts that you should know about the artist.

1. He was born on August 29, 1931, and raised in the Athenian suburb of Nea Ionia, where he began working at a local factory. One day, his boss, who believed in young Stelios’ vocal skills, gifted him with a guitar for his birthday and that was all it took for his musical career to take off. One day, a local tavern owner heard Kazantzidis play the organ while singing and recommended he come and play at his restaurant to entertain the customers.

2. His first track recording was entirely unsuccessful. It was a song for Columbia Records dubbed “Gia Mpanio Pas” (“You’re Going For A Swim”). It was his second, a song written by Giannis Papaioannou called “I Valitses” (“The Suitcases”) that helped elevate his career as an artist.

Kazantzidi was best known for his modern spin to traditional rembetika.

3. Kazantzidis was also quite popular with the opposite sex. In the late 50’s, he was engaged to fellow musician Kaiti Gkrey, while further down the line he would tie the knot with Marinella. Neither of those relationships were meant to last however, yet his third marriage with Kyra-Vasso, was the one meant to last.

4. At 1965, while Kazantzidis was at the highest point of his career, he made the decision to pull away from all live performances and acts, something that he stuck with until the end of his life. He continued to release albums however, which remained highly successful.

5. Kazantzidis was a musical icon for the people of Israel, with many of his tracks being translated to Hebrew. As some journalists from the country have pointed out, the reason behind this was the performer’s impeccable ability to combine joy with sorrow in his songs. Kazantzidis also sang in Turkish.

6. He passed away on September 14 2001 due to a brain tumor, with the entire nation mourning his loss.

Source: Sansimera and Wikipedia




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Second year, same spirit: Zeibekiko Festival Australia returns by popular demand

The second Zeibekiko Festival Australia will return with a bang from September 27 this year thanks to Ventouris Productions.

Psihosavato: Remembering loved ones with prayers, prosphora and kolyva

Devout followers of the Greek Orthodox faith will attend a special church service known as ‘Psihosavato’ on Saturday, June 22.

South Australians commemorate Cretan battle with proud cultural display

The Cretan Association of South Australia commemorated the 83rd anniversary of the Battle of Crete with a proud cultural display.

Samian Brotherhood of Sydney acquire new Kingsgrove property for $3.9 million

The Samian Brotherhood of Sydney & New South Wales ‘Lykourgos’ have acquired a dual-level property located at Kingsgrove for $3.9 million.

Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia & NZ to hold 15th Biennial Conference

The Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand will hold their 15th Biennial Conference from December 6 - 7 this year.

You May Also Like

Greek Welfare Centre offers free telephone counselling and support service to tackle mental health issues

The GWC Community Services NSW has introduced a free Special Mental Health Telephone Counselling and Support Service to combat growing mental health issues.

Greek PM reveals same-sex marriage bill, proposing no surrogacy

Greece’s Prime Minister has revealed what the government's proposed bill on legalising same-sex marriage in Greece will entail.

Parliament passes extension of JobKeeper scheme at lower rate

Federal parliament has agreed to extend the $100 billion JobKeeper program with changes, meaning people will receive a lower amount.