ATHENS – Musician Panagiotis Kolokotronis spoke with The National Herald about his life, his musical family, and his first solo album as a singer, titled Apla ke Laika, which is now available.
Born in Athens, Kolokotronis grew up in a musical family. His grandfather was Christos Kolokotronis, one of the most successful and productive lyricists of all time in the Greek music industry. “From the early 1950s to the early 1990s, he wrote about 2500 songs,” Kolokotronis told TNH, adding that his grandfather “was also a composer even though he didn't know any music theory or didn't play any instruments. He composed songs by singing and whistling the melody and was also a successful singer and owner of nightclubs.”
Christos Kolokotronis wrote the music and lyrics for many hit songs made famous by the legendary singer Stelios Kazantizidis, including Exo ap’ Adiko, H Koinonia, Yparhoun kai kala pedia, Ego me tin Axia mou, and H Katastrophe. He also wrote the lyrics for Thessaloniki mou (music by Manolis Chiotis), Katastrophes kai Symphores and Kathenas me ton pono tou (both with music by Thodoris Derveniotis).
“My parents were both musicians,” Panagiotis Kolokotronis continued. “My mother was a singer and my father was a drummer. They met at one of my grandfather's nightclubs.”
Of his own music training and career, Kolokotronis said that “at the age of 8, I started playing the piano. In 1997, and for the next four years, I started learning bouzouki and singing with Themistoklis Papavasileiou (a very famous teacher in Greece). However, I started working as a professional musician a year earlier as I was already playing guitar (self taught).”
“Up until now, I have been playing and singing professionally in various bands and night clubs,” Kolokotronis told TNH. “In 2003, my interest in music expanded in the recording studio and producing music field. So, in 2007, I built my own recording studio (Temple Studio) where I record my songs but also work as a sound engineer and producer for other projects.”
“In 2015, I had the honor of playing bouzouki for the most famous Greek singer, Anna Vissi,” he noted, adding that “I am still a member of her band.”
“A few days ago, Protasis Music released my first solo album as a singer, named Apla ke laika,” Kolokotronis said. “It includes nine new songs in collaboration with composers and lyricists George Tsakarakas, Dimitris Dalavagkas, Christos Grigoriou, Costas Troumpoukis, and Stamatis Pantazopoulos. I am the composer of the title song.”
“The album has two highlights: First is the cover of the great success of Costas Kollias ‘Ise egoistria poli’ created by Takis Soukas and Iraklis Papasideris,” Kolokotronis told TNH. “The other, which makes the album unique, is the unreleased song by Christos Kolokotronis, titled To parelthon. I found it in some tapes with studio demos by my grandfather.”
When asked how long the album took from idea to realization he told TNH: “Well it all began in March 2018… Three years from the selection of the first songs until the digital release on May 10, 2021.”
Kolokotronis’ album Apla ke Laika is available online.
Follow Panagiotis Kolokotronis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pkolokotronis