He divides his time between Greece, Los Angeles, New York and London. He is attending concerts and shows; he meets people and makes contacts with those that will help him achieve his goals. In spring he will be the presenter of the greatest music event of the year: Eurovision Song Contest in Athens. In his personal life he is surrounded by people who love and care for him. Sakis is at his best. And as he says “How can I not be happy?”
Saki the last time we had a chance to interview you was in February 1999. That’s about seven years ago. Lots of things have changed since then …
Wow, has it been this long? Well then we have a lot to talk about! Indeed lots of things have changed. Where do I start? New albums, more live appearances, more concerts and travels, ESC 2004 … Lots of pleasant developments and new experiences. Every day brings something new.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the public’s preference. You were the No 1 Greek singer then and you still are. How do you feel about it?
(Smiling) I feel wonderful! To me it’s like oxygen, it’s energy and power. That crowd, my fans, has a very special place in my heart. That’s why I never lose a chance to be near then, whatever I do.
Let’s start with Eurovision. You have raised the stakes pretty high and we finally achieved the un – achievable. How do you feel now that you will be presenting the next competition here in Greece?
I am truly thrilled that I will be presenting Eurovision next year. Greece is a country with a huge past in music and – I’d like to think – with great future in music. I hope that the first time Eurovision is hosted in Greece won’t be the last. It will be a new page for Greek music. I am very excited that I will be hosting the event. I am determined to give 100% of myself so we can achieve the best possible result: a huge advertisement of the Greek songs, the Greek art and Greece’s in general through the million of viewers that will watch the event.
We can’t wait to hear you say “douze points”! How are your French anyway?
Pas mal! (laughing). The presentation will be in English (the official language of Eurovision) and Greek because Greece is hosting the event.
Do you have any ideas about who is going to be tour co-host? Who do you believe is going to be a good choice for the part?
There are lots of ideas and contestants but I am not going to reveal anything, I want to keep you guessing. We have made contact with many celebrities both Greek and international. Some of the names mentioned in the papers are true and some aren’t. The certain thing is that the final choice will be a huge plus for Eurovision 2006 and one more reason why this time it will be different!
Do you think that we are going to make it? We have achieved bigger things (i.e. the Olympics) but there is always anxiety …
I believe that everything will be perfect this year. Look, we always “had it” but the Olympics proved that if we take something seriously we can achieve anything and better than everyone else. All the factors of the event, starting with ERT are determined to work hard to be daring and original. And you are right there is always the possibility of things going wrong, that’s why we are all at our toes, attending to every little detail so that everything goes on as planned: perfect!
You spend most of your time abroad. Is everything better outside Greece?
(laughing) I spend most of my time in Greece! I just travel abroad very often. You have to realize one thing: If you have lived in Greece and loved it, you can’t be happy for long anywhere else no matter how nice it is.
Currently you are in L.A. What exactly are you doing there?
To be precise I move around L.A. New York and London all the time. I meet new people and make contacts with those that will help me achieve my goals. I attend concerts and great shows like the one that Rolling Stones gave in Las Vegas.
What are your plans? You are not excluding the possibility to be an actor. That would be a very good idea and a way to broaden your horizons …
I am not excluding the possibility of becoming a movie actor. It’s something I find fascinating …
Do you think you won’t be able to sing forever? Is there an expiration date that you have set to your career as a singer?
I don’t like setting expiration dates in my future. I constantly evolve myself through my work and that fills me with energy and joy. Change and evolution thrill me and give me strength for the future.
Career wise I believe that your latest album “S’eho eroteftei” is your best album ever. What do you think?
The album “S’eho eroteftei” is one of my favorites and I am glad the public thinks so too. All those who worked for this album did so with immense love and enthusiasm and that was evident in the result. You know I think that my latest album is the best of my career until the next one is released! (laughing).
What are your next steps in singing? Or is too soon to speak of a new album?
I am waiting for the New Year to come so I will have a clearer idea of my obligations. After that, it won’t be long before I am back in the studio.
We know that you don’t want to talk about your personal life and you are right to want to protect yourself and those close to you. But we like you and care about you and want you to be o.k. all the times. We suspect that you are at the best time of your life but we want to hear it from you…
I am truly fine. It’s a great deal to be surrounded by those who love and care about you. I am supported by the people in whatever I do. How could I not be happy?
Saki what are your hopes for the New Year?
I want the New Year to bring hope and smiles to everyone. It’s not very original I know but we all need those too so much. I believe that a smile is the best antidote to life’s bad turns.
We thank you for your time. While concluding our interview, what would you like to wish for you?
I leave that up to you. For my part I want to wish all a happy and productive year full of success, romance and love!
Mag. SUPER KATERINA, January 2006