1. T.N.S featuring Oge & Demy, “Mono Mprosta”
The best translation of this I could find suggests it’s a love song featuring lyrics like, “I feel your vibes while I’m next to you.” T.N.S. is a Greek rapper whose name is an acronym for “Take No Shots.” He dresses like shady guys the world over; in Adidas warmups, gold chains, narco Polos, and dark locs. This chorus has been stuck in my head nonstop.
Best YouTube Comment: “AFRICAN WITH GREEK HERITAGE..LOVING IT IN MINNESOTA ~ ~ ~” —cba712 1
2. Giorgos Mazonakis, “Min Pas Pouthena”
Giorgos Mazonakis is a Greek singer specializing in modern laïká, a genre dating from the ’60s that combines the sounds of Greek folk music with more current Western ones like pop and rock. Traditionalists slam modern laïká as mere skiladiko, but it’s not going anywhere, much like this song, whose title roughly means “Don’t Go Anywhere.”
Best YouTube Comment: “spastaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!” —nikos199kl
3. Despina Vandi, “Girismata”
Despina Vandi’s song “Ipofero (I Suffer)” from 2000 went platinum six times, making it the highest-selling single of all time in Greece. She is currently on a label called The Spicy Effect, informally known as Spicy. Vandi is another laïká artist, one with diva looks and a pop-rock bent.
Best YouTube Comment: “SAGAPO DESPINA” —DestinyChrissy
4. Antonis Remos featuring Goin Through, “Entaxi”
Remos is best known for performing the title song from the movie I Agapi Einai Elefantas (Love Is an Elephant). Greek rapper Goin’ Through is rocking a style I can only describe as “weekend dictator.” Remos is not the most dynamic presence in a music video, but he has a great voice. Welding traditional folk music to mainstream pop makes more sense than it seems like it should. The synth parts in this are so ’80s retro they sound cutting edge.
Best YouTube Comment: “muy bueno! 1st comment muy buena Musica Good Job!” —yankale
5. REC, “To Leei H Kardia Mas”
From what I can tell REC is two bald, bearded guys and a hot chick, and the music they make floats somewhere in the moat of electro-house, dubstep, and reggaeton. Again, this makes more sense than it ought to. Maybe the secret to subgenres is to play them all at once. I like when Euro-house is straight-up corny in a non-self-conscious way, because then it can become transcendentally camp — just like this group with its Greek-flavored Fergie threatens to be.
Best YouTube Comment: “t-t-t-t-teleiooooooo” —ivifanatiki
6. Nikos Vertis, “An Eisai Ena Asteri”
Nikos Vertis is from the Netherlands, but moved to Greece at age 7 and took up the bouzouki. While I have no idea what this bittersweet love song is about, it was still affecting. Vertis looks like he should be the next Bachelor.
Best YouTube Comment: “Another night with her in my mind and this song playing over and over… Beautiful song for the people they understand the meaning of it…GR I love you… Eros from Chicago with Love!!!” —ChicagoEros
7. Nino, “To Refren”
Nino is also a Spicy artist. This is a power ballad in any language — and if uplifting chord progressions are clichés, they’re clichés for a reason. The video has a lot of weird Jesus imagery and a ’70s downer ending.
Best YouTube Comment: “paintball!? wtf?” —TheRoom548
8. Despina Vandi, “Mou His Perasei”
Another Despina Vandi jawn. While she looks really cool in the video walking around in a spiked leather jacket dragging a chiffon train through the snow and even if the folk guitar parts reminded me slightly of R.E.M. circa Automatic for the People. I have to admit this song ultimately didn’t do too much for me. Sorry, Despina!
Best YouTube Comment: “Please put on a little weight. Not for beauties sake, but for health’s sake. Coming from a Greek woman, I think you are so so beautiful, but 2 or 3 kilos will make you look healthier. Anyway, that is just my humble opinion. I love your music always, YOU ROCK” —hoopla646
9. Nikos Oikonomopoulos, “Kalh Kardia”
Nikos Oikonomopoulos looks like he should be the spoiled rich kid on a boarding school soap opera, possibly one about secret vampires.
Best YouTube Comment: “super bravo)))))))))))))))” —VARDAN0402
10. Giannis Ploutarhos, “Maria”
WATCH FOR THE HOOK!
Best YouTube Comment: “axooxaoaxooaxoaxoaxoaxoxoaxoaoxa” —agapiponaei