Machairitsas died suddenly in September 2019 after suffering a heart attack during his sleep, at the age of 62. His death shocked the Greek artist community, who spoke cumulatively of a terrible loss for the Greek music scene. For many, he is considered one of the most important and influential songwriters of his generation. His songs will always stay close to heart whilst transferring us to faraway places and states of mind.
As a person, he stood out for his carefreeness, liveliness, humour, directness and kefi (the Greek word that stands for “the spirit of joy, passion, enthusiasm, high spirits, overpowering emotion, or frenzy”). Machairitsas started songwriting in his early 30s and continued doing so restlessly, expressing common experiences and feelings in a simple but not trite manner. Every single of his songs tells a story – whether a romantic or a socio-political one. These stories might sometimes express despair, confusion, anger even, but always carry a grain of hope.
Lavrentis Machairitsas was born in 1956 in Volos, a seaside town in Thessaly. Growing up, he was an unruly youth – he disliked school and managed to get expelled and excluded from all high schools in the area. He went through countless jobs, starting at a record store. One would think that his love for music would help him keep this one, but he managed to get fired for being late constantly.
At the age of 20, he formed a band with three fellow Greek musicians and moved to Paris hoping for an international career. They released their first album “Armageddon” as P.L.J., which went widely unnoticed. For their second album, they changed their name to Termites, started to sing in Greek and began gaining in popularity. They toured together with Giorgos Ntalaras, another very famous Greek musician and singer, which helped them get on more people’s radar.
What many people might know is that he’s also written music for the poems of Greek poet Manos Eleftheriou, the majority of which were released in the album “Mia Tripa Ston Kairo” (“A Hole in the Weather”).
Some of his most well-known songs include “Poso Se Thelo” (“How Much I Want You”), “Petheno Gia Sena” (“I’d Die For You”) and “Enas Tourkos Sto Parisi” (“A Turk in Paris”). Below you can find the lyrics to the song “Ela Psihoula Mou” (“Come On, My Little Soul”) from the album “To Dialeimma Krataei Dyo Zoes” (“Recess Lasts for Two Lives”) which was released in 2001
Some of his most popular songs include “Poso Se Thelo”, “Petheno Gia Sena” and “Enas Tourkos Sto Parisi.”