1 Jan 2006

“I strive for perfection” And he has accomplished it! ~ Votre Beaute Jan 06

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Sakis with his sweet smile and bright eyes is the artist that has it all: talent, success and at the same time he is the personification of health, serenity, harmony, contribution to others and joy of life! All that in to one! Too good to be true? No! At least that’s what we found out when we tried to understand the phenomenon Sakis, an afternoon at his home (a mansion and a garden with lots of trees and flowers). The house had a view of the sea. At the back yard there was a comfortable pool with a wooden deck and lazy chairs. The insides of the house are particularly tasteful, comfortable, and quiet like any bachelor’s house. There are relaxing sofas in earthy colors, books, CDs and DVDs everywhere. Sakis is a “gadget guy”. While he prepares my espresso, I have time to look around: 50 inch TV screen, DVD player, video home cinema, cable TV and a cell phone of the latest technology that rings very often until he turns it of… He declares that he is “slightly addicted to his laptop that he keeps permanently connected to the cables internet”. While I enjoy the first ships of my coffee he drinks water from a bottle. He is particularly polite and we stop speaking formally after I insist. We talk about his life in L.A. and the “New York – London” angle that defines his new artistic activities. Our conversation warms up as soon as I mention his philanthropic work: “Recently the Greek Anti – Cancer Organization has asked me to be the new representative for their new campaign. I accepted, loved and embraced the cause. I want to offer as much as I can. This campaign focuses on the stages of prevention of cancer, the otherwise called four circles of life: healthy diet, protection against the sun, clear environment, personal fitness. I find that attitude optimistic and full of love for mankind and life”.

How did you feel when you held the Sakis doll in your hands?
I felt that I am holding, not simply a toy, but a very original way to help those in need. You see part of the profits will be given to the Olympic village, a philanthropic organization that offers support to handicap children and their families. Both of my recent concerts have been given for the same cause. Children, whether they are healthy or not, are defenseless and need our protection and care.

Do you want to have kids?
I love children! Having them is one of my life’s major goals though not immediate ones. I would like to have a large, warm family with many noisy, happy children!

Has your childhood played a part in your desire to have children?
I think that everyone is affected by his experiences. As a child I had the privilege of having a “full life” in Corfu and that has definitely shaped my life. My memories of these years are full of music, teenage friendships lots of fun and games at the sea and sports …

You have already set the bases for an international career. How determined are you to promote it?
Next year I will have completed 15 years in the music industry and I think that the best move I could make is … going back to school! I have very ambitious plans. The idea of “settling down” with a successful career does not suit me. I like toughies, so I decided to set new targets and go to acting school in L.A. This is something I have always wanted to do, like a “bug” that has been eating me. I like learning new things next to people who are very accomplished in their field. I am very optimistic about the future and totally committed to my new goals.

You are a beloved pop idol. Have you dreamt of this since your childhood? Did you ever believe you where going to go this far?
I believe in my potentials but I am also at a constant struggle with myself. From the moment I decided to become a singer I was looking high! I am very strict with myself and with the people I work with. If I don’t achieve what I have set out to do I can’t find rest. I want everything done right and professionally without compromises.

How do you combine strictness and perfectionism with the joy of life and warmth that you seem to have?
That is a game of balance between my professional and personal life. Work is work and the details make the difference. I pay close attention to the details, all these elements that you don’t notice at first. The optical angle that you use to watch things is the one that makes you different. But when your job is done, your personal life, your friends and having fun becomes a priority. That’s how I keep the sensitive balances and manage to feel good both in my personal life and career wise.

Are you one of these guys that go to bed early?
I take good care of myself and sleep plays a big part both in mental and physical rest, but that doesn’t mean that when I am out having fan I will drop everything at bedtime according to schedule. If I am partying with friends, I will stay out all night without a second thought!

Do you work out regularly?
Yes I do! Exercising is a way of life for me. It’s a habit I acquired when I was an athlete. It has never become tiresome or a burden.

Do you smoke?
Never! Like I said I was an ex – athlete. I like healthy living and tasty but clean food. The joy of life for me is expressed through health, love and contribution to others.

How much do you like fashion and to what extend are you creating it?
I like clothes that make me feel comfortable. It is common for a public figure to create or affect fashion even if it happens unintentionally. Something that he does, something that he wears, something that he says can become a trend. Speaking for myself, although I like fashion, I would never pick an outfit just because it’s some designer’s clothes without making certain that they look good on me.

For some people the story of your life sounds like a fairy tale. Are you truly “Prince Charming”?
Everyone who is dreaming a fairy tale life must be prepared for a struggle, hard work and sacrifices. Everything I have accomplished so far have been a result of hard work, I didn’t find them ready so I appreciate them twice as much. What I have learned all these years is that success and recognition comes after hard work, being a professional and having respect for others and mostly self – respect. That’s the only way to make our “dreams” come true.

Do you believe?
Yes, ever since I was a little boy. Every day life gives us dozens of reasons – sometimes pleasant, sometimes not – to believe, appreciate and love …

Does time scare you? Does it bother you that some day you won’t be young?
Time at least so far has treated me kindly. I grow up and grow old consciously. Every professional makes plans so that time won’t pass him by! That’s why I want to stay ahead, find new ideas and evolve. My goal is to be as complete as I can be. To expand my knowledge and horizons constantly. While I can still do that, I am certain that time will be an ally not an enemy. That is the reason I decided to host Eurovision and not participate in 2006, something that has also been proposed to me. I thought about it and have decided to take a step further.

What does participating in Eurovision as a host instead of a contestant mean to you?
I like to try new things. During my contacts with ERT before accepting their proposal I realized that I would assume a very important new role. Being a host for Eurovision 2006 is a very big honor and challenge. I intend to give the best of me and contribute to something that will leave a mark in Eurovision history and music.

Do you sing when you are home alone?
Music and singing is in my blood, a huge part of me! I whistle and sing a lot and not necessarily my own songs! Sometimes a song gets stuck in my head when it is connected to something that has made an impression on me. For instance, after a concert when a song is very popular with the crowd I get excited and it might stick on me. It happened to me recently in Istanbul during a show: I sang “Hilia Milia” (= A thousand miles), a song from my latest album and the audience loved it because it is a song with very evident ethnic parts and very lively beat. The show was over but the song stuck to me and I was singing it during the drive from the studio to the hotel. A little while back, in summer, I was in Corfu for a video shoot and I met my old schoolteacher. When the director asked me to sing an old traditional Corfu song, I asked her and we sang together the song: “Here in this neighborhood, a block away / a little grouse has made her nest”. Do you know it? Well, anyway I had a flashback from my childhood and I caught myself singing it endlessly until the whole crew went to a restaurant by the sea, where we had lunch.

What does love mean to you?
It means, life, inspiration, passion, magic, creation, beautiful emotions in the good times and the bad. Love is always sweet even when it hurts…

And at that point our interview was over. He showed me out and I left smiling – it seems Sakis smile is contagious!

Magazine: Votre Beaute, January 2006

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