Top Ten…Mihalis Hatzigiannis Songs

28 Mar

Ah, Mihali! My favourite Greek singer and perfect for writing to – listening to music with English lyrics can interfere with my thought patterns, so something in a foreign language is great. Today I’d like to celebrate and share my top ten Mihalis songs, which is an extremely difficult list to whittle down (was aiming for five but I can’t do it).

Although I lived in Greece for almost a year in 2009-10, I actually didn’t know much about Mihalis back then. One of my private students told me he was her favourite popstar, but for a long time I was confused between him and Kostas Martakis (who is ridiculously good looking but musically nothing special).

It was back in England about six months later that I discovered the Hatzigiannis magic via Spotify. I’d been browsing lists of Greek artists and songs when I came across the theme tune to I Polikatoikia, ‘The Apartment Block’, a comedy I’d watched almost every day. Its catchy title song was sung by Mihalis and included on his album ‘7’, which I went on to fall in love with after many repeat listens! I bought the album, took it to Greece on holiday, listened to it several times a day and subsequently became a bit of a Mihalis addict. Watching his videos on Youtube just cemented my love. He’s ridiculously adorable, especially when he tries to dance, but the main attraction is his amazing voice. He has a whole range of song types and most of them have gorgeous melodies and lyrics that just get better the more you listen to them. The fact that he started as a Eurovision singer shouldn’t count against him…

A slight annoyance in searching for his songs is that his name can be transliterated several ways – Mihalis Hatzigiannis, Michalis Hatzigiannis or even Mixalis Xatzigiannis. Perseverance is worth it, though.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten must-listen Mihalis songs:

Kati Dinato (Something Strong) – 2013

I love the video for this. It’s very Athenian.

I Agapi Dinamonei (Love Gets Stronger) – 2013

It’s all about that hook.

Emeis I Dio San Ena (Us Two Like One) – 2008

A slice of upbeat pop. I mainly like this one for the snapshot of Greek life it provides (‘at the festivals, at the beaches, at the stadium, on the train!’).

Heria Psila (Hands High) – 2006

The sound quality on this official vid is terrible, but the highlight of this is his awful dancing so needs must.

Mia Nixta Treli (One Crazy Night) – 2007

Sweet clarinet and a typical, yearning Mihalis ballad.

Mi Me Koitas (Don’t Look at Me) – 2008

This is more typical of Greek pop, with its ‘Eastern’ feel and dramatic guitar.

Thalassa (The Sea) – 2008

Moody, dark and romantic. There’s a terrible English version called ‘Kiss on the Breeze’, but why you’d want to listen to that, I’m not sure.

Anapoda (Upside Down) – 2008

This is such a fab song. I just love it – it’s so catchy.

Pio Poli (Even More) – 2007

What a cute video! This is probably Mihalis at his dorkiest, but it works.

Kaneis (Nobody) – 2004

I think this one has superseded Anapoda as my #1 song. This live version is even better than the album version – the emotion in his voice is just…wow…and the little dweeby wiggle he does with the mic is cuuute. I also like the fact that this song makes for a great Greek revision tool with its list of opposites (e.g. ‘yia poion ezisa? yia poion pethaina?’ –> who did I live for? who did I die for?). I could seriously listen to this song all day.

And, just to commemorate my first discovery…

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