Thursday, 2 August 2012

Alex Panayi

Alexandros Panayi, also known as Alex Panayi was born on June 24 1970 in Nicosia, Cyprus. Alex is a Cypriot singer, composer, lyricist, producer, vocal coach and vocal arranger, best known for having represented his country twice at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 and 2000.

Alex Panayi grew up in a family of musicians and artists, and took his first musical steps under the guidance of his father Panayiotis Panayi (founder of the first symphony orchestra in Cyprus), and his mother Klairy Panayi (acclaimed Cypriot pianist). By the age of 18 he had already established himself as one of the leading singers and songwriters of his country, moving on to study music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Fulbright Scholarship. During his five-year stay in the United States he had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Gary Burton, Peter Erskine, The Manhattan Transfer, The New York Voices and Billy Joel. He also toured the USA as a member of The Vocal Summit – an a capella free improvisation vocal group – gaining the Outstanding Musicianship Award from the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Alex's involvement with the Eurovision Song Contest:
  • 1989: backing vocals for the Cypriot entry Apopse As Vrethoume (11th place);
  • 1990: performing the song Pistevo in the first Cypriot national Final (3rd place);
  • 1991: backing vocals for Elena Patroklou in the Cypriot entry SOS (9th place);
  • 1993: performing the song Gia Sena Tragoudo in the Cypriot National Final (3rd place);
  • 1995: soloist and composer for the Cypriot entry Sti Fotia (9th place);
  • 1998: performing the duet Fterougisma with Marlen Angelidou in the Cypriot preselection (2nd place);
  • 2000: performing the duet Nomiza with Christina Argyri for the Cypiot entry Nomiza (21st place);
  • 2005: vocal director and backing vocalist for Helena Paparizou in the song, My Number One which won the contest.
  • 2006: stage director for Fabrizio Faniello, Malta, with the song I do (24th place) and vocal coach for the Greek entry Everything for Anna Vissi (9th place);
  • 2009: performing the song There Is Love in the Cypriot National Final (6th place) and vocal director and backing vocalist for Sakis Rouvas in the Greek entry This Is Our Night (7th place);
  • 2011: producer for the song Hamogela by the group Triimitonio in the Greek National Final (2nd place);
  • 2012: vocal director and backing vocalist for the song We Are The Heroes by Litesound for Belarus at the ESC (16th in semi-final 2);
Alex currently lives in Athens, Greece where he coaches and performs with the country’s leading artists including Peggy Zina,  Kostas Martakis and Anna Vissi. He is also a vocal producer and vocal coach in other European countries working with performers such as Helena Paparizou, Philippe Kirkorov, Kamaliya and with producers such as Bruce Lowe and Uwe Fahrenkrog.

He has performed on many occasions at the Herodion Theatre of the Acropolis and is a Regional Music Supervisor for Disney, Buena Vista. Alex is the official Greek voice of many Disney characters such as Tigger and has starred in more than 40 movies such as Tarzan, Mulan, Brother Bear, and many TV shows - he has the role of Johnny in the Greek production of Disney's Johnny and the Sprites, Captain Monogram, Dad, Irving, Buford, Norm, Roger in Disney's Phineas and Ferb. He has also performed in Musical Theatre productions in Athens such as Grease in the role of Kennickie, and the Nikos Karvelas musical Mala in the roles of Moses & Abraham.

Alex was producer and manager of the group Triimitonio releasing the album Triimitonio and the single Hamogela. He is also the lead vocalist and co-producer of the album Native Hue (arranged by Matheson Bayley), featuring several classic Eurovision songs reinterpreted through different genres. Alex was a teacher of vocal arts at the Fame Studio free study music school in Athens, and assists various TV and live music shows as artistic director. He has participated in many TV shows in Greece and Cyprus as a vocal coach, judge and panelist like X-Factor, Get on Stage, DanSing For You. He has written the script to, directed and written music and lyrics for the hit musicals Feggaromberdemata, Esmeralda, and Mia Mera Tou Dekemvri, all staged in Cyprus.

He has been commissioned by UNESCO to write a new musical to celebrate the presidency of Cyprus to the EU. The musical Dimentia will premiere in Paris on October 16, 2012, and then go on a European tour. He is currently filming a new TV music game The Music Box where he is appearing as a judge and co-presenter. His big new project is opening his own music school with close collaborator and friend Katerina Christofidou in Cyprus in collaboration with MTV Cyprus in October 2012. Together they have also founded an international production company (A.Panayi & K.Christofidou Productions) offering services ranging from composition, staging, direction, choreography, organization, artist management, big band and symphonic orchestration and recording, to full music and theatre production.

Alex is also known in Cyprus for his active role in fundraising for charity. He is a permanent volunteer for the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society with many of his productions' proceeds going to their fund, and has acted in the official 2012 TV spot. His experience with his mother's condition has also made him a vehement spokesman for Alzheimer's awareness.

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