Yah that’s right, Phenomenon I am. Vasilis Karras is hands down one of the most prolific Greek singers and artists of our times. This guy has been around since the 70’s and is still kicking, coming out with new songs, constantly performing around the world and does it in style. His voice, his style, and his swag all play a part in what drives him and his fanatic fan base. He was born with the name Vasilis Kesoglidis on November 12, 1953 to a refugee family with Pontian roots in Kokinohori, Kavala and has two siblings. He made his start in 1969 at club Prosfygas (refugee) in Evosmos and never stopped from there. His first album came “Alismonites Ores” came out in the spring of 1980 and became an instant hit. From there it was a straight shot to the top.
Karras has released many hit songs throughout the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and created a genre of Greek Laiko music that wasn’t always the most popular. His songs express feelings of deep love, loss and sadness while at the same time portrays other aspects of Greek male as well. Vasilis Karras is, to sum it up in one word, a classic MANGKA. It’s a word that has no meaning but all the meaning one can need. My good friends can understand what I mean, since they too share the same fanaticism for his music as I. So he has a raspy voice now, but who cares? That is what makes him so distinctive and recognized. I for one would kill to have just 1% of that man’s talent.
He also as built the careers of many of the other top Greek artists that are at the top of the charts today; namely Christos Dantis, Eirini Merkouri, Despoina Vandi, Kostas Karafotis and others. He has also shared the stage with many musicians of his style such as Zafiris Melas and Stamatis Gonidis. These guys really hit home when they perform their songs. Besides all that Karras has a philanthropic side to his persona as well. He is well known for creating an orphanage in Northern Greece to help battle child negligence and abandonment.
Now back to his music. From hits like Apoklistika (1986), Den Pao Pouthena (1992), Nychta Kselogiastra (1993) to Fenomeno (1998), Karras has experienced a sort of revival like no other artists has in Greek music. He is constantly collaborating with up and coming artists and being featured in their songs. Prime example, Logia Filika (2011) with the Greek band I Alchimstes. He shows that his is not only a laiko style singer, but can perform ANYTHING. My personal favorite song that is out right now by Karras is called Pringipessa (the princess). This is an original Sokratis Malamas song and was recently recreated by Karras on his CD Opos Palia (2009).