This religious Israeli singer broke TikTok by singing in Greek

Udi Seleas

Udi Seleas never imagined that by singing classic Greek hits, he would captivate the Greek users of TikTok.

Religious Israeli singer Udi Saleas wanted to open a TikTok account two years ago, but his kids disapproved because they were worried he would embarrass them. He honoured their wishes until recently, when he finally started an account, uploading a video of him singing one of the songs of one of the biggest and most popular and beloved Greek singers, Paschalis Terzis, who stopped performing 12 years ago.

The song received thousands of likes and views, with hundreds of positive reactions from both Israeli and Greek viewers, who couldn't understand how a kippah-wearing singer had such precise diction or how it arrived on their feed.

Comments praising his singing and calls for him to perform in Greece were just some of the encouraging responses for Seleas, who lives in Givat Ada with his wife, Avital and three children.

"I realized there was a demand for this music, which has all but disappeared in Greece," Seleas recounted. "The responses I got encouraged me to make more videos, and in one of them, I sang with Terzis himself when I visited Greece 12 years ago."

He also said that "Another video got over 250,000 views. Later, I uploaded other videos that had plenty of reactions, most of them astonished. In addition to the compliments, I received several calls for me to perform in Greece and many others who want to come to Israel to see me perform here."

He also uploaded a video of singing alongside Greek singer Eleni Vitali when she came to Israel, which managed to accrue hundreds of positive comments and thousands of views.

"I was happy to get such heart-warming responses," Seleas continued. "It's empowering to be so appreciated for my singing and hard work."

A life-long love of Greek music

Seleas was born and raised in Jerusalem to a very musical family, with a twin brother who plays flamenco and a brother who plays rock. He had been drawn to Greek music from an early age, devoting most of his free hours to playing bouzouki and singing.

Even as a young adult, he would sing in clubs and play the bouzouki.

In 2000, Seleas released his first album, Greek Magic, which included many beloved cover songs and saw him accompanied by the Ra'anana Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2003, he released his second album, The Best Hits from Greece, which saw him collaborate with singer Kobi Peretz. Two of his songs on that album later received Hebrew covers from Nati Levy and Fini Hadad.

Seleas released his third alum in 2003, which saw him duet with singer Avner Gedsi, which resulted in a successful music video.

During his extensive career, Seleas also released an album of songs by Stelios Kazanjidis, one of the greatest Greek singers who died in 2001.

So is there a chance you will go on tour in Greece?

"I perform throughout Israel at different Greek pubs and parties. If I ever get any concrete offers to perform in Greece, I'll strongly consider it," Seleas said. 

"I would love to perform in the country whose music I have been singing for years and which I love so much."

Follow Seleas on TikTok here.


Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024