Anna Vissi

Anna Vissi was born on December 20th, 1957 in Cyprus. Totally unsuspecting of the rock tornado they have brought in the world, her parents, Nestoras & Sofoula Vissi, welcomed their second out of their three daughters in total. They soon noted that because of this child they found themselves playing in their own “One star is born” when their little Anna obliges them to sign her up for piano and dance lessons in the National Conservatory at the tender age of six. As expected, at the turbulent age of thirteen, Anna convinced them to let her participate in a song contest of RIK TV Station where she certainly triumphs. The stubborn and gifted girl starts piano concerts along with her talented sister Lia and they both conquer the audience. “First we take Cyprus, then we take the world..” they would say if they could fast forward in the future.

In 1973, the family moves to Greece where Anna deplanes as a music comet in Athens. It takes no long for the concerts to come along with cooperations with the bright stars of the time such as Giorgos Dalaras and Charoula Alexiou. They will preeminent the Athenian clubs and she will sing in the historic Rainbow Theater of London. Anna is now surfing on the New Wave and in 1973 signs her first contract with Minos Record Company while she is still a high school student. She immediately stands out with her participation in great albums such as “18 Lianotragouda tis pikris patridas”, quatrains of the Nobel Prize nominee Giannis Ritsos and set to music by Mikis Theodorakis. Four years later since her arrival to Athens, in 1977, she wins the first place in the Song Festival of Thessaloniki with the song titled “As kanoume apopse mia arxi” written by the Cyprian Doros Georgiadis and releases her first album. The brunette girl from Cyprus has wore the glass pump of art song and she is more than ready to be stepped princess. And then come the 80’s..

Waddings, chevrons, fluffy hair, studs, fluo and more disco influences flood the studios of Greek discography. The full of smokes landscape gets swept by the windstorm called Nikos Karvelas, an eccentric musician, singer, composer and a personality which comes to take the lead part in Anna’s life, in and out of the studio. They together will be one of the most explosive couples of greek showbiz. On May of 1983 in Larnaca they get married by then President of Democracy Spiros Kyprianou. Their daughter Sophia will be born later in the same year. In 1992 they will get divorced but they will remain friends and partners for life. The musical prodigy of Nikos Karvelas will be the helm that will lead Anna to other music waters. As a composer competent to tumble among different music styles he urges Anna to dare and together they create even music hybrids. The chemistry between them but also the fact that they both are perfectionists leads them to the establishment of their own record label, CarVi which brings them at odds with EMI and finally leads them professionally to the arms of CBS, which later will become Sony.

Anna Vissi is not afraid of change and proves this throughout the 90’s, from album to album, changing music style, hair, looks or even record label. Her performances and shows let era in the athenian nights. Tireless as a performer, songwriter and composer she decides to get tested on the scene. In 1991, at Attikon theatre gets launched the rock opera “Daimones”, in music by Nikos Karvelas, libretto written by Stavros Sideras and additional lyrics by N. Karvelas. Anna in a double leading role, with Giannis Samsiaris, Bessy Malfa and John Modinos co-starring, makes once again all Greece talking about her. Everything around her is changing except one thing: her fans, who follow her closely, sending her albums straight to No.1 and “dressing” her each time in gold and platinum. The “Antidoto” is the first album in the history of Greek discography which got platinum in the very first week of its release, a record that got exceeded a bit later by “Kravgi” which got platinum in one day (it got totally 6 times platinum in Greece and 7 in Cyprus). The same year, 2002, Anna’s first Engilsh- language album “Everything I am” gets released.

At the dawn of ‘00’s Anna is ready to go against all odds once again. In 2002, almost 10 years after “Daimones” launches at “Pallas” theatre the musical “Mala- H Mousiki tou Anemou” in music and lyrics by Nikos Karvelas. She is framed by 60 actors and directed by Giannis Kakleas. The decade rolls with frenetic hits and, while the country is in the middle of world interest, Anna with her appearance in the Olympic Games Closing ceremony places her name next to the definition of groove by singing the “Misirlu” and sexy by performing “Eisai”. The great moment of her worldwide recognition comes in 2005, when Anna Vissi becomes the first artist in Greece who reaches the No.1 of Billboard Dance Club Play Chart with the single “Call Me”. One year later, she will represent Greece in Eurovision with “Everything” with music by Nikos Karvelas and lyrics of hers. It’s the third time Anna participates in the contest since 1980, with the “Otostop” for Greece and in 1982 representing Cyprus when she got the fifth place with “Mono i Agapi” written and composed by herself. After her huge success with “Nylon” (2005), she prepares the “Apagorevmeno” (2008), a super-production album edited by -the great producer and prematurely deceased- Greg Ladanyi as well as a tour viewed by more than 200.000 spectators. For more than 30 years she’s been touring in Greece, Cyprus, Australia, Europe and USA in sold out concerts such as the memorable Millennium Show which got sold out in 2000 at the Royal Albert Hall of London.

In 2011 with a certain mood to look back Anna provides her audience the rockumentary “Oso exw fwni” presented by Alpha TV. It’s actually the recording of her life for three years running. The material gathered is presented in six episodes in which the absolute Greek star of ‘00s deposits her soul. It’s already 2012 and Anna announces her plans with Nikos Karvelas to bring again on stage the “Daimones” on Spring 2013. One more circle, one more beginning..

At the threshold of her 40-year career Anna Vissi is standing covered in platinum. She counts twenty five Greek- language albums, one English-language, two live albums, two operas, one musical, eleven collections, twenty three participations in different album collections, two music DVDs, more than seventy nominations and last but not least forty eight awards.

And she never stops.. first rocking and then counting..

(Bio courtesy of the Anna Vissi Offical Website:

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