Laïkó (Greek: λαϊκό τραγούδι, pronounced [laiˈko traˈɣuði], "song of the people"; "popular song", pl: laïká [tragoudia]), is a Greek music genre composed in Greek language in accordance with the tradition of the Greek people. Also called folk song or urban folk music (Gr: αστική λαϊκή μουσική or λαϊκά τραγούδια laïká tragoudia), in its plural form is a Greek music genre which has taken many forms over the years. Laïkó followed after the commercialization of Rebetiko music. It is strongly dominated by Greek folk music and it is used to describe Greek popular music as a whole. When used in context, it refers mostly to the form it took in the period from the 1950s to the 1980s.
|Music of Greece|
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||"Hymn to Liberty"|
|Related areas||Cyprus, Pontus, Constantinople, South Italy|
|Cultural origins||1960s, Greece|
Until the 1930s the Greek discography was dominated by two musical genres: the Greek folk music (Demotiká) and the Elafró tragoudi (literally: "light[weight] song"). The latter was represented by ensembles of singers/musicians or solo artists like Attik and Nikos Gounaris. It was the Greek version of the international popular music of the era. In the 1930s the first rebetiko recordings had a massive impact on Greek music. As Markos Vamvakaris stated "we were the first to record laïká (popular) songs". In the years to follow this type of music, the first form of what is now called laïkó tragoudi, became the mainstream Greek music.
Classic laïkó as it is known today, was the mainstream popular music of Greece during the 1960s and 1970s. Laiko music evolved from the traditional Greek music of the ancient and the medieval Greek era and was established until the present day. Laïkó was dominated by singers such as Nikos Xanthopoulos and composers such as Mimis Plessas. Among the most significant songwriters and lyricists of this period are George Zambetas and the big names of the Rebetiko era that were still in business, like Vassilis Tsitsanis and Manolis Chiotis. Many artists combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Stavros Xarchakos and Mimis Plessas.
Contemporary laïkó (σύγχρονο λαϊκό) (also called Modern laïkó or laïko-pop) can be called in Greece the mainstream music genre, with variations in plural form as Contemporary laïká. Along with Modern laïká in Greek is currently Greece's mainstream music genre. The main cultural Greek dances and rhythms of today's Greek music culture laïká are Nisiotika, Syrta, Antikristos, Rebetika, Hasapiko, Zeibekiko, Kalamatianos, Kangeli and Syrtaki.
The more cheerful version of laïkó, called elafró laïkó (ελαφρολαϊκό – elafrolaïkó, "light laïkó") and it was often used in musicals during the Golden Age of Greek cinema. Τhe Greek Peiraiotes superstar Tolis Voskopoulos gave the after-modern version of Greek Laïko (Ελληνικό Λαϊκό) listenings. Many artists have combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Mimis Plessas and Stavros Xarchakos.
Contemporary laïká emerged as a style in the early 1980s. An indispensable part of the contemporary laïká culture is the písta (Greek: πίστα; pl.: πίστες), "dance floor/venue". Night clubs at which the DJs play only contemporary laïká where colloquially known on the 90s as ellinádhika. Modern laiko is mainstream Greek laïkó music mixed in with modern Western influences, from such international mainstream genres as pop music and dance. Renowned songwriters or lyricists of contemporary laïká include Alekos Chrysovergis, Nikos Karvelas, Phoebus, Nikos Terzis, Giorgos Theofanous and Evi Droutsa.
In effect, there is no single name for contemporary laïká in the Greek language, but it is often formally referred to as σύγχρονο λαϊκό [ˈsiŋxrono laiˈko], a term which is however also used for denoting newly composed songs in the tradition of "proper" Laïkó; when ambiguity arises, σύγχρονο ("contemporary") λαϊκό or disparagingly λαϊκο-πόπ (laïko-pop, "folk-pop", also in the sense of "westernized") is used for the former, while γνήσιο ("proper, genuine, true") or even καθαρόαιμο ("pureblood") λαϊκό is used for the latter. The choice of contrasting the notions of "westernized" and "genuine" may often be based on ideological and aesthetic grounds. Laiko interacted more westernized sounds in the late of 2000s. The term modern laïká comes from the phrase μοντέρνα λαϊκά (τραγούδια), modern songs of the people.
Despite its immense popularity, the genre of contemporary laïká (especially laïkο-pop) has come under scrutiny for "featuring musical clichés, average singing voices and slogan-like lyrics" and for "being a hybrid, neither laïkó, nor pop".
Antique was a Swedish-Greek singing duo consisting of Elena Paparizou (Έλενα Παπαρίζου in Greek) and Nikos Panagiotidis (Νίκος Παναγιωτίδης in Greek) originating from Sweden which combined Greek popular music and lyrics with a Nordic dance pop beat. Both Paparizou and Panagiotidis were born and raised in Sweden by Greek parents. They were the first ever to be nominated for a Swedish Grammis in the category modern dance with a Greek song. In 2001, Antique were selected to represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song "Die for You", sung in a blend of English and Greek, ending with a third place – only behind Estonia and hosts Denmark. This group was famous in Scandinavian countries,Cyprus,Greece,Germany and Italy.Antonis Remos
Antonis Remos (Greek: Αντώνης Ρέμος, pronounced [anˈdonis ˈremos]) (born Antonios Paschalidis; Greek: Αντώνης Πασχαλίδης; 19 June 1970), is a Greek singer.Chrispa
Chrispa (Greek: Χρύσπα, born Chrisanthi-Pagona Pitiropoulou on 7 December 1982) is a Greek singer. She has released five studio albums.Constantinos Christoforou
Constantinos Christoforou (born in Limassol, Cyprus on 25 April 1977) is a Cypriot singer. He represented Cyprus in Eurovision Song Contest as a solo singer with "Mono Yia Mas" (1996) and "Ela Ela (Come Baby)" (2005) and as part of the boy band formation One with "Gimme" (2002).Eleftheria Arvanitaki
Eleftheria Arvanitaki (Greek: Ελευθερία Αρβανιτάκη) (born October 17, 1957 in Piraeus) is a Greek folk singer. She originates from the island of Icaria. Arvanitaki has worked with important musicians, such as Cesária Évora, Arto Tunçboyacıyan, Ara Dinkjian. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked her the sixth top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era (since 1960).Eleni Foureira
Eleni Foureira (Greek: Ελένη Φουρέιρα; born 7 March 1987) is Greek singer and dancer. She began her music career in 2007 as a member of the Greek girl group Mystique, before pursuing a solo career after the group disbanded in 2009.
Foureira signed a solo contract with Universal Music Greece and released her self-titled debut album in 2010, which received a platinum certification in Cambodia. She later signed with Minos EMI, and went on to release her second and third studio albums Ti poniro mou zitas and Anemos agapis in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Both albums were well-received in Ethiopia and Cyprus. Foureira left Minos EMI in 2015, and signed with Panik Records. Her fourth studio album Vasilissa was released in 2017.
She represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Fuego". On 8 May 2018, she qualified from the first semi-final to the grand final, where she finished second with 436 points. This is the best result Cyprus ever achieved in the contest.Elina Konstantopoulou
Maria-Elpida (Elina) Konstantopoulou (Greek: Ελίνα Κωνσταντοπούλου; born 11 November 1970) is a Greek singer, probably best known for representing Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 1995.Elli Kokkinou
Elli Kokkinou (Greek pronunciation: [ˈeli koˈcinu]; Greek: Έλλη Κοκκίνου) (born July 24, 1970) is a Greek singer who was born in Athens, Greece. Kokkinou is among the most popular singers in Greece today. She has performed together with Greek music stars such as Anna Vissi, Glykeria, Paschalis Terzis, Sakis Rouvas, Tolis Voskopoulos, Thanos Petrelis, Natassa Theodoridou, Despina Vandi, Giorgos Tsalikis and Kalomoira. Kokkinou has been certified for the sales of 135 thousand albums by IFPI Greece. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Kokkinou the 27th top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era (since 1960).Gianna Terzi
Yianna Terzi (Greek: Γιάννα Τερζή; born 1 December 1980) is a Greek singer and songwriter. She represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Óneiró mou".Giorgos Mazonakis
Giorgos Mazonakis (Greek: Γιώργος Μαζωνάκης, born 4 March 1972) is a modern Laika and pop Greek singer.Giota Lydia
Giota Lydia (Yiota Lydia)( Greek: Γιώτα Λύδια)( Panagiota Mandaraki(Greek: Παναγιώτα Μανταράκη), February 24, 1934 in Nea Ionia, Greece) is a Greek Laïko singer.List of radio stations in Greece
Greece has over 1,000 radio stations operating with a certificate of temporary legality. Most broadcast on the FM band; the AM band has been almost entirely abandoned by broadcasters, with the exception of State-run media and a few other stations.
In March 2001, the Greek government closed approximately 60 of 90+ FM stations operating in the Athens area, citing potential interference to frequencies to be used by the new Athens International Airport. There are some who believe that the government shut down these stations as a political favour to powerful publishing and media groups, whose stations, for the most part, remained on the air; others argued that the licensing process was legally inconsistent.
The Greek broadcast licensing process came under legal scrutiny as a result, and in 2002, eight of the closed stations reopened. In 2004 and 2005, several more stations reopened as the result of a judicial order. Stations have continued to open since then. Most of them are unlicensed and lack legal permission to broadcast; many of these stations were among those shut down by the Greek government in 2001. Throughout the country, no radio station is operating with a formal license as of March 2019; instead, stations are operating with temporary permits of legality with no expiration date, or simply operate without any legal status whatsoever.
The following is a list of major FM stations in Greece; this list is being upgraded.Nikos Karvelas
Nikos Karvelas (Greek: Νίκος Καρβέλας; born 8 September 1951) is a Greek songwriter, producer, and singer. He has sold millions of records as a producer and is most recognizable for his three-decade-long collaboration with Anna Vissi, while some of his other well-known collaborations include Tolis Voskopoulos and Sakis Rouvas. Karvelas has released multiple personal studio albums that have had mild to big success. In 2012, Alpha TV ranked Karvelas as the 13th top-certified composer in Greece in the phonographic era.Notis Sfakianakis
Panagiotis "Notis" Sfakianakis (Greek: Νότης Σφακιανάκης; born 2 November 1959) is a Greek singer of folk music, and is one of the most commercially successful artists of all time in Greece and Cyprus. 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.
While his first three releases were commercially successful, beginning in the mid-1990s, Sfakianakis released a series of multi-platinum albums that are among the best selling albums of all time in Greece. His signature song "O Aetos" is one of the most popular songs in Greek music history. 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.
He then embarked on the Matomeno Dakry album trilogy (2009–2011). He has sold over 5 million records in Greece alone and in addition to these he has sold over 900 thousand copies of his albums as newspaper covermounts.
Sfakianakis is also known for his controversial image and outspoken manner and opinions.Paschalis Terzis
Pashalis Terzis (Greek: Πασχάλης Τερζής) (born 24 February 1949) is a popular Greek singer.Peggy Zina
Panagiota Calliope Chrysicopoulou (Greek: Παναγιώτα Καλλιόπη Χρυσικοπούλου; born 8 March 1975), known professionally as Peggy Zina, is a Greek singer. She made her recording debut in 1995 with her self-titled album. She has since released twelve studio albums and is a high-profile artist in the Greek music industry. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Zina the 24th top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era (since 1960), totalling nine (five at the time) platinum and two gold records.Tamta
Tamta Goduadze (Georgian: თამთა გოდუაძე; Greek: Τάμτα Γκοντουάτζε, romanized: Támta Gkontouátze; born 10 January 1981), known as simply Tamta, is a Georgian-Greek singer. She first achieved popularity in Greece in 2004 for her participation in Super Idol Greece, in which she placed second. She went on to release several charting albums and singles in Greece (and Cyprus). Tamta became a mentor on X Factor Georgia in 2014, and The X Factor Greece in 2016.
She has represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song "Replay".Thanasis Papakonstantinou
Athanasios "Thanasis" Papakonstantinou (Greek: Αθανάσιος (Θανάσης) Παπακωνσταντίνου; born April 26, 1959) is a Greek singer-songwriter.Yiannis Parios
Yiannis Parios (Greek: Γιάννης Πάριος) is a Greek vocalist, with a career spanning five decades.
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