The death of singer-songwriter Pantelis Pantelides in February this year shocked Greek music lovers around the world. The much loved artist, who was taken too soon, touched the hearts of many with his powerful and meaningful song lyrics.
The void left behind by Pantelides affected many, amongst those our community’s very own singer-musician Tony Panayi. Hearing the news of the singer’s passing, Tony contacted hit songwriter Harry K requesting he pen a song for him, but not just any song, one that would pay tribute to his favourite singer. The track, To Kalitero Pedi, was released last month.
I caught up with Tony to ask him all about it….
You’ve just released your new single ‘To Kalitero Pedi’. What inspired the single?
I was actually in the process of having another song produced but when I heard the news that my favourite singer had sadly passed away, I called up songwriter-producer Harry K and told him to abort that track and instead write a tribute song for Pantelis Pantelides.
The song is titled To Kalitero Pedi; Harry K wrote the lyrics and produced the music and I also had the honour of Stavros Pazarentsis playing clarinet on the single.
The video clip to the single was released earlier this month, where was it shot and how was the experience for you?
I worked with a suburb company called Screen Riot, who catered for everything from finding locations around the UK down to the make-up artist. They were professional every step of the way, right from the beginning to the final production. I would also like to say a big thank you to Wayne Bird who kindly allowed us to use his premises for filming.
Are there more singles in the pipeline?
Yes, there sure are more on the way J
You are known in the community as a singer/bouzouki player and have performed at many weddings. How is singing at weddings different to singing solo?
Performing at weddings is great and I enjoy it as it’s up to you and your other team members to make that day special for the couple and entertain their guests. Singing solo however is a new dimension, depending on the song and type, emotions come into play. For the record, I was actually tearful whilst recording the song in the studio.
Tell us a bit about how you first became involved with music.
It all started at the age of 6 when I discovered my cousin’s bouzouki in Cyprus. My uncle Stelios, God rest his soul, inspired me to learn. At the time, my parent’s finances couldn’t afford to buy me a bouzouki and I went to learn Greek dancing instead, and excelled in that.
At the age of 15, I turned pro and was dancing in all the top restaurants on Friday and Saturday evenings and on Sundays I was dancing at weddings. This in turn meant I now had money coming in so I bought my first bouzouki.
What instruments do you play?
I play the bouzouki and drums and will now venture into playing the guitar but like a bouzouki, so guitharobouzouki style!
Where can people see you perform live?
I have performed at a few weddings in Cyprus at the Lordos Beach Hotel and Le Meridian Hotel to name a few, however in the UK, I perform every Friday at Mum’s Bistro in Myddleton Road, Palmers Green.
What are your future plans?
I am looking to have an official release in the near future at a large venue – date and location to be announced so watch this space!
I would like to thank Parikiaki and personally thank you Andrea for this interview.
To Kalitero Pedi is available on all major digital download stores including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
Catch an interview with Tony on Tuesday 29 November at 6pm on Hellenic TV.
Watch out for this rising star! Wishing you all the best Tony.