Panagiotis “Notis” Sfakianakis, one of the most successful singers of his era, was born on the 2nd of November 1959.
Sfakianakis began his career in 1985, opening at nightclubs for other artists. He was discovered by Sony Greece and released his debut album ‘Proti Fora’ in 1991.
Of his early works, his most notable release was “Opa Opa” which was written by Giorgos Alkaios and later covered by Despina Vandi and Antique in a more pop oriented manner.
He followed this with high-profile tracks such as “Den Se Hreiazome” (I Don’t Need You), “Soma Mou” (My Body), “Gyftissa Mera” (Gypsy Day), “Na Hareis” (Cherish) and “Oi Skies” (Shadows).
Sfakianakis released a series of multi-platinum albums that are among the best selling albums of all time in Greece including: ‘Notioanatolitika Tou Kosmou’ (1994) (Southeast of the World), which included “O Aetos” (The Eagle). This acclaimed single was the catalyst that propelled him to domestic superstardom and remains his signature song until today.
Sfakianakis was the best selling artist of the 1990s and stands as the best selling Greek artist of his generation. However, in the 2000s he faced a significant commercial decline.
In November 2007, Sfakianakis released a new album, Mnimes (Memories). The songs which have become hits are “Ta Klemmena” (The Stolen), a grim reflection on the hardships faced by Greeks in Asia Minor, and “Par’ Ta” (Take Them).
In late 2009 and early 2010, after more than two years break, Sfakianakis released ‘Kinonikon’, the first part in a proposed trilogy of seven song discs called ‘Matomeno Dakry’. The most popular songs from Kinonikon are “Den Ypohoro”, “Akou file” and “Mpogias”. The second part, Erotikon was released in early 2010 and includes several successful songs, in particular “Kleinw tis kourtines”, “Esti Ine O Erotas” and “Akouse Me Kala”. The third part, ‘Horeutikon’, focusing on upbeat dance songs which released in December 2010. The most popular songs are “Ellinas” and “Den Yparxeis”.
One of the more popular of his 21st century tracks is “Genethlia” (or “Gennethleia” as it was spelled when it featured on later albums and compilations). This song (the title of which translates as ‘Birthday’) was originally performed by Cretan lyra player and singer Stelios Mpikakis.
Solomos was a Greek Cypriot refugee who was murdered on 14 August 1996, after being shot in the head by a Turkish officer while trying to while trying to climb a flagpole in order to remove a Turkish flag from its mast in the United Nations Buffer Zone near Cyprus. The killing occurred in the aftermath of the funeral of Solomou’s cousin Tassos Isaac, who was also murdered a few days earlier by Turkish nationalists.
In 2009, Sfakianakis released the song “Itan Trelos” to pay tribute to Solomou who is considered a national hero in Greece and Cyprus and protested against Turkey’s military occupation of northern Cyprus.
Xronia Polla to Notis, who turns 61 today!