Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

My infatuation with Dimitris Basis

basis.jpgSome people may be thinking, “Who?” Others who know he’s a medium-known singer in Greece are asking, “Why?”

Fair enough. He doesn’t have the showmanship or perceived $ex appeal of Sakis Rouvas, the smooth voice of Antonis Remos or boyish charm of Michalis Hatzigiannis, but that’s what I like about him.

He’s a normal guy — he chants liturgy at Easter like he did when he was 9 years old and performs songs of the mostly laïkó genre. He doesn’t fly into a crowd on a wire, hire flashy dancers or hop around on stage with a guitar. He sings with other artists I favor, such as Yiannis Kotsiras, Dimitra Galani, Eleni Tsaligopoulou and Dimitris Mitropanos (RIP as of 2012). He’s modest and unassuming. I like that, too.

Some may look at him and say, “Hey, he’s not that good looking.” Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I adore him. And I think many would agree that he hasn’t had the success and recognition he deserves.

So what does my Greek counterpart think of this infatuation with the German-born Greek? Well, he knows that I downloaded all the Basis videos I can find, own two CDs and watch him whenever he’s on “To Party,” “Stin Hgeia Mas” or “Koita Ti Egine,” but I don’t have everything he’s ever done, and I’ve never met him or seen him perform live. The latter is on a bucket list I’d like to finish, before leaving Greece.

Oh yes, my Greek partner. He seems OK with it because I’m not giddy or ridiculously obsessed, but I doubt he’ll help me dump a tray of flowers on Dimitris’ head. :)

“Kleino ki erxomai” (I’m closing, I’m coming)
Sung by Yiannis Kotsiras and Basis

“Paraponemena Logia” (Words of Grievance)
sung by Basis

“Ερωτικό/Erotiko” (Erotic/Passionate)
sung by Mitropanos, Basis, Adamantidis

Ψίθυροι καρδιάς/Psithyoi Kardias ( of the Heart)
— incorrectly called ‘Saranta Kimata’

sung by Dimitris Basis

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23 Comments »

  AntigoneSis wrote @ October 15th, 2007 at 04:22

Ah, Kat, I can totally empathize! See my blog for postings on the guys I love. I haven’t written anything about Kotsiras, but I am totally crazy with him, too. But I saw some recent videos of him, and it looks like he cut his hair short. Bummer!

  Thomas wrote @ October 15th, 2007 at 10:25

Basis (maybe we should spell it Bassis to avoid mispronunciation in English) is a very good singer, one of the best in Greece. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to go after good material often enough.

  The Scorpion wrote @ October 15th, 2007 at 14:13

I have not heard of this person. Then again, the type of Greek music that I have stuck in my head for 20 years (einay gata, einay gata, o kontos xoris patata or something like that) won’t go away. Greek music on my radio now is limited to the stuff I hear quite briefly as I’m channel surfing to arrive at the BBC on 104.4 (Air Fm)

But, if someone else is playing it, I certainly find it pleasant. It’s just not something I’d actively seek out on my own.

  yiannos wrote @ October 15th, 2007 at 16:39

LMFAO @ Sakis Rouvas. if that’s not the definition of corny, i don’t know what is.

i’m not fond of much Greek pop music; it sounds like cheap euro-trash pop with a bouzouki to me. But what i’ve never understood is the ‘realness’ factor that people assign to this music; time and time again i’m reminded of how ‘real’ these Greek pop singers are in comparison to American pop artists. From where i stand, they are all corny and manufactured, but at least the U.S stuff can be inventive at times. the greek stuff lamely appropriates tends from the u.s, u.k and wider europe, merging with their own ‘tradition’, and the end result is usually lame.

each to their own i guess. i like a few of the traditional artists, but the pop stuff? nah, not for me. whenever i complained about this stuff, girls just told me i was ‘jealous’. yeah, that’s right. i’m jealous of corny pop artists with minimal talent. c’mon! i’m a musician myself. i’m jealous of people with real talent. get it right!! ;-)

  graffic wrote @ October 15th, 2007 at 22:00

Well before reading the post, the first thing I did was open the dictionary and look for “infatuation”. Even if it comes from “latin” (the cheap trick of guessing the meaning latin-spanish) I didn’t know the meaning.

The main problem for me is that I’m totally lost about Greek music. But after listening to those videos, I heard a nice voice and also nice songs.

Yiannos: Every country has that problem, and I believe the U.S. “stuff” is the most repetitive. But I’m totally a beginner…to me, it sounds different, it sounds nice!

:)

  spyros wrote @ October 16th, 2007 at 07:41

You should have seen the concert at Heridium theatre, about a week ago, singing byzantine music and also songs of Mikis Thedorakis, together with opera singer Marios Fragoulis.

Dimitris Basis is one of the best newcomer in the “laika” area of greek music, with amazing vocal capabilities.

  photene wrote @ October 16th, 2007 at 15:07

Had never heard of this guy, living in the States I’m totally disconnected, I’m a Dalara fan, Parios, etc…the old guys. But thanks Kat, I love this guy.

  AntigoneSis wrote @ October 17th, 2007 at 20:50

I felt kinda bad for poor Sakis when he fell on his popo at the Olympics, but I did look to see if there was a smirk on either Remos’ or Hatzigiannis’ face!

  xristina wrote @ October 17th, 2007 at 21:09

Thanks for the tip, he seems very good! He is one I hadn’t heard of, unsurprising since I am outside of Greece. One of my all-time favorite singers in any language is Alkinoos Ioannidis – not only does he have a fabulous voice, but his music has the most beautiful lyrics.

P.S. I think it is “einai gata, einai gata, o kontos xoris kravata” (not patata) . . . .yes, we all have fond memories of Greek pop music from 15 years ago . . .

  Kat wrote @ October 17th, 2007 at 22:25

A – I did see Kotsiras and barely recognized him without his flowing mane! Thanks for leaving a comment today — I’ve been to your site before (months ago) and seen your name at MGO and Ted’s former site.

T – Good note on pronunciation. I didn’t include it because I figure those who know him, or know how the Greek language works, already know or could figure it out. I love his voice.

The S – One of the only things I had when I first came here was a cheap radio, and only channels with pulsing trance or Greek music came in clear. I opted for the latter. It was “different and difficult” at first, but something about it connects with me because although I couldn’t understand the words, I could feel the emotion, with some songs bringing tears…and I didn’t know why. I know now, only because I know the words. Music connects on so many levels.

Y – LOL! In another post, I’ll post the clip of Sakis falling down during closing ceremonies for you. There’s a funny story that goes with it.

Anyway, I’m a bit “skilou” but you know it’s a good way to learn Greek phrases because they say them over and over again, which is much like any music really. (I’m always told I’m jealous, as well, if I point out someone’s had some work done on their face or body, but I don’t know why I’d be envious of stretched skin and silicone bags hanging at my knees by the time I”m 50.)

G – Expand your vocabulary and music range, come to Kat’s site! haha

S – After listening to people like Bocelli and Pavarotti in Italy, Austria and the USA, Fragoulis sounds a bit like amateur vanilla to me. I know that’s not fair, but I can hear the difference. Too bad I missed Basis though. Last week wasn’t a good week for me, I could have used a dose of something.

Basis isn’t really a newcomer. He was signed to Warner in 1997 when he was 20, performed with Alexiou the next year, and the video of him and Kotsiras is from 1999. Maybe what you mean is, “isn’t hyped.” I’d rather have longevity as a singer/musician than trendiness in the fickle mainstream any day. He’s only 30 – he hopefully has a long career ahead.

P – I used to keep in touch with the Greek music scene while I was in the USA by listening to Greek stations filtered over the Internet and visiting the local Greek music store. The older stuff only comes into my realm when someone “new” does a cover.

A – LOL! I think the women were more concerned when he fell than the men. I couldn’t see any smirks, but a bunch of us laughed. After attending the closing, all my co-workers asked me was, “did you see Sakis fall down?” :D Nothing about if I had a good time or how amazing it was to see it in person.

X – “Patata” is somehow funnier, isn’t it? I don’t know the song, so I’m lost.

  Tommy wrote @ December 17th, 2007 at 06:11

Im trying to find the song saranta kimata by basis does anyone know what album its from or where i can find it.

  Kat wrote @ December 17th, 2007 at 06:59

You can’t find it because it’s not called “Saranta Kimata.” The song is called, “PSITHYROI KARDIAS.” You can take a look at his discography on http://www.mpasis.gr — it lists every album and every song on each.

The video is above in the article.

  KT wrote @ July 16th, 2008 at 00:25

I find mpasis attractive and I like al ot of his songs.

  Christina wrote @ January 14th, 2009 at 23:28

Hi Kat,

I thought of you and this post when I saw Mpasis on ‘Sthn Ygeia Mas’ on Christmas Eve. I later found the show on VEOH TV and downloaded it. If you cannot find it, I will send you the link.

Mpasis has a great voice, and he makes really difficult stuff look/sound very easy. I also thought that particular episode of ‘Sthn Ygeia Mas’ was very entertaining with lots of kefi.

  Eleni from No Cal wrote @ June 20th, 2011 at 03:23

Kat, I just read your post on Basis. “Infatuation” might be a mild word. I received his two CDs about a month ago, and haven’t taken them out of my CD player yet. I don’t get tired of him…on the contrary, I can’t get enough of him. I’m about to search for more of his CDs at greekcity.com, where I get most of my Greek music. He is amazing, and yes, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or in this case, the listener! Thanks for sharing my “infatuation”…or mild obsession! LOL!

Kat Reply:

So we have a few things in common: We’re both from No Cal and like Basis. Not to torture you, but Basis, Kotsiras and Mitropanos are performing together at Lykavitos on Monday.

Thank you for saying hello and sharing my infatuation/obsession :)

  Three Greek Singers « Cyprus Times wrote @ July 27th, 2011 at 18:33

[…] The Elysium Hotel was delighted to play host to the press conference to announce the music concert held at the local Paphos Stadium on the 22nd July 2011.   The headline acts for this event were, Yiannis Kotsiras, Dimitris Mitropanos & Dimitris Basis. […]

  Milica wrote @ June 22nd, 2012 at 14:24

I Love Dimitris, too! I would like to know WHEN he was born??
Great hello from Serbia!!

  Three Greek Singers – Stademos wrote @ October 29th, 2012 at 12:43

[…] Blog Toggle Three Greek Singers The Elysium Hotel was delighted to play host to the press conference to announce the music concert held at the local Paphos Stadium on the 22nd July 2011.   The headline acts for this event were, Yiannis Kotsiras, Dimitris Mitropanos & Dimitris Basis. […]

  Seyma wrote @ November 30th, 2012 at 18:43

When I started to listen to Greek music,the first song I heard was “Savvato eklapsa gia sena” of Giannis Ploutarxos.But Mpasis is also one of my favourites.He sings and touches my heart.

Kat Reply:

Ah, a kindred soul! I love Ploutarxos also, but Mpasis is number 1 with me.

  Stavros wrote @ August 25th, 2014 at 10:32

I am also a huge fan of Mpasi and I don’t understand why he never became as famous as he should have. I saw him a few years ago in Nea Artakh with Yiota Negka, My cousin wanted to leave but I told him he was crazy and that we aren’t going anywhere. Ti na peis, I don’t get it.

Kat Reply:

My impression is that Mpasis did not push for notoriety, despite his immense talent deserving reward. He’s soft spoken, and public life and fame do not suit everyone.

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, as it’s always nice to meet someone with similar musical tastes. I’ll take the place of your cousin next time ;) There’s no way I would leave!

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