1 Jun 2002

Handsome as a Greek ~ Vogue, June 2002

He has ten years of presence on the Greek stage. With aggressive tones, eight personal albums all gold, loads of awards, friends and enemies of all kinds, all sorts of publications concerning him and a surprisingly large fan – club, Sakis is making his move abroad. He signs a contract with Pepsi for the third year, his next five albums will be released from Universal France, his campaign for “Disco Girl” produced by Desmond Child is aired by French radio stations since the middle of March, Sakis Rouvas, (Protégé of Nana Moushouri and “Handsome as a Greek” is becoming popular in Paris. Nana says that he is the only Greek talented enough to have a career abroad and he is learning French, looking for a house, divides his time between television and discography studios, and hotel suites and the sato of the designer Valentino – who quotes “I loved Greece through Jackie Onasi and Sakis Rouvas”. The French media are havig a riot with Sakis, calling him ‘the Greek God”, the video clip of Disco Girl – product of a collaboration between international names from the USA and filmed in Cape Town, is aired this month. Sakis is preparing to leave Greece behind. Like he was ready for it since forever. I saw him live last year on stage of the club “Apollon”. Until then his songs were indifferent to me, his kind of music was not intellectual enough for my tastes, the echoes of his fans adoration was not my concern and I considered his success disproportioned compared to his value. I went, prejudices and prepared to see a glittering piece of meat and talk to the autistic singer and “before the rooster crows’ make an ass out of him on paper. I found myself watching a showman that if he was born in Minneapolis instead of Corfu would have been the rightful successor of Elvis. Backstage – through the mirror with the round lights – I understood that I was a victim of an “Image” and wasn’t trained enough to be able to see beyond it. Sakis is everything I thought he would be. The “lover” on stage, the eternal teenager that attracts attention, the dazzling product of showbiz that is looking for kings of entertainment, the creation of his fans that find a subject for their fantasies, the perfect body and roman nose and the glance innocent enough to seduce. But he is not just that. He is also a very demanding professional with high targets, supports what he does with a vengeance and lives for the feed back of his fans. He is also an extremely gentle person with “taste” and vision, simple pure and hard working. His enigmatic armor is forged by the chronic exposure to the media and the insatiable for “bread and entertainment” arena of the showbiz who wish to see him follow his destiny as a star and self destruct. He prefers to communicate through what he creates, keeping for himself his inner thoughts and turmoil.

I was surprised by my discoveries so I asked Natalia Germanou, Greek songwriter/lyricist/news reported that interviewed him ten years ago. “I remember a very shy and gentle boy who despite all these was shining. But, although most people hadn’t taken Sakis seriously, he was very serious about his job, right from the start. Despite his gift he works endlessly, he is always having vocal lessons; he plays the piano, reads a lot and has iron discipline. He is not involved with schemes etc and he is different from everybody in showbiz like a fly in a bowl of milk. In Greece he is one of the kind but abroad he will encounter fierce competition from boy bands and solo artists. I give him a lot of chances to succeed though. He is a star and stars don’t know any borders”.

Since then I have interviewed him a couple more times but not in the hopes of becoming a manager in a recording studio. I kept some of his words:

* The stage is a part of my life. When I’m performing this becomes evident.

* My relationship with the audience is without a doubt erotic and in any relationship of this kind there are always two parts. I become a mirror of the audience and the audience reflects back at me.

* I hear rumors every day all the times. It’s like living next to an airport. At first the noise is driving you crazy but after a while you don’t even notice. If I paid attention I wouldn’t be able to do anything.

* Time becomes your friend when you don’t waste it. I don’t waste my time means I’m doing something that I consider important.

Finally, I asked about him a friend of his, Lakis Lazopoulos. He told me “He has the talent to make something of himself abroad. That is something that is evident right from the start. He carries some weight, he has aura and can dazzle people but he has something else: His attitude says I’m not here to cause problems I just want to leave my mark, create beautiful music and entertain you. He works endlessly and he is a professional. I don’t like his songs but when I watched him on stage I appreciated him as an artist. I believe that he can and will do better. He has a weak point when it comes to choosing lyrics and lyricists but he is working on it and is becoming better. Sakis is not a “phenomenon”. These things don’t last very long and Sakis is here to stay. Sakis has a face that could cause Joconda’s smile.”

VOGUE, 01/06/2002