Sarbel

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Sarbel
Image-ESC 2007 Greece - Sarbel-Yassou Maria.jpg
Background information
Native name Greek: Σαρμπέλ Μιχαήλ,
Arabic: شربل مخائيل
Birth name Charbel Michael
Also known as Sarbel
Born (1983-05-14) 14 May 1983 (age 31)
Southgate, London, England
Genres Pop, modern laika
Labels

Sony Music Greece (2004–2008)
4Music (2009–2011)

HoneyBel Music (2011 – present)
Website www.sarbel.com

Sarbel Michael (Greek: Σαρμπέλ Μιχαήλ) (Arabic: شربل مخائيل‎) (born 14 May 1983) known professionally as Sarbel, is a Greek Cypriot pop singer of partial Greek Cypriot and Lebanese ancestry. He is well known in Cyprus, Greece and parts of the Arab world for his debut single, "Se Pira Sovara", and his subsequent albums Parakseno sinesthima, Sahara and Kati san esena. Ηe represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 with "Yassou Maria" which peaked at number one in Cyprus and Greece[citation needed], and appeared on the UK Singles Chart[citation needed].

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Sarbel Michael was born and raised in Southgate, London, England, to a Cypriot father, Elias, himself a singer and bouzouki player, and a Lebanese Maronite mother, a lawyer. Sarbel's family made frequent summer trips to Greece and Cyprus. He received a Jesuit education at St Ignatius' College in Enfield. Sarbel studied music (voice), drama, and performing arts. From the age of 5 to 16 he performed at the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and has recorded Tosca in English for Chandos Recordings as the shepherd boy.[1]

He was named after the Maronite Saint Charbel and his name is correctly pronounced "Sharbel", but since standard Greek lacks a "sh" sound, it is pronounced "Sarbel" according to the Greek transliteration ("Σαρμπέλ").

Sarbel sang yearly at St Ignatius and other talent shows.

Music career[edit]

At the age of 18 Sarbel went to Crete, where he sang at the Heraklion Palladium.[2] At the age of 21, still living on the Greek island of Crete, he was signed on by Sony BMG (Greece) on a six-year recording contract.

2004–2005: Parakseno sinesthima (Παράξενο Συναίσθημα)[edit]

He shot into the limelight in 2004, when he recorded the oriental hit "Se Pira Sovara" featuring Greek singerIrini Merkouri, which first introduced the young singer to fans in Greece, but also across the Middle East (especially Cyprus and Lebanon)[citation needed]. [3] The song is based on an Arabic song called "Sidi Mansour" by Saber Rebaï. On the same CD (a CD single) he released a second duet with Merkouri called "Agapi Mou Esi". In 2005, he released his first solo album, entitled Parakseno sinesthima (in Greek Παράξενο συναίσθημα). This album went Gold and was re-released with the Wella-sponsored song "Thelo na Petaxo" and a bonus track of "Boro Boro", which he made famous during his MAD Award Ceremony appearance. The songs "Se Pira Sovara", "Sokolata", and "Thelo Na Petakso" are some of his notable songs.

2006: Sahara[edit]

In July 2006, he released his second album, Sahara. That same year he recorded a duet with Greek singer Natassa Theodoridou called Na' Soun Thalassa which was also included as a bonus song on the album. Some of his notable songs are Taxe Mou, Sahara and Enas Apo Mas.

2007: Eurovision and Sahara: Euro Edition[edit]

Sarbel at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007
Sarbel at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007

Seeing his growing popularity, Greek television ERT asked Sarbel to compete for a ticket to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, Finland. Sarbel had to compete against established singer Christos Dantis and fellow newcomer singer Tamta. Sarbel enlisted the help of popular Greek-Swedish composers Alex Papacostantinou, Marcus Englof, and Mack to write his song, who are responsible for many of popular Greek singer Elena Paparizou's hits. They wrote the song "Yassou Maria", which is performed in English with only the word 'ya sou' (and the name 'Maria') being Greek. There is also a version released in a mix of Greek and English.

On 28 February 2007, Sarbel performed the song live against the two singers for the ticket. Although the performance had some sound problems, he went on to receive 39.69% of the combined televotes and jury votes, winning the contest.

In an interview in March 2007, Sarbel made it clear that he doesn't want an international career by saying "I don't care either being famous abroad or starting an international career. I only care for Greece. I grew up abroad but choose to live in Greece. I can't tell you whether Eurovision helps my career or not, because I don't know. It's very dangerous. However, it is an experience I want to live. I want to have fun in the Contest and do my best.".[4] Following the win, Sarbel toured Europe to promote his song. He also filmed the video clip for the song and changed the scene performance around a bit. The song eventually placed 7th at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007.

On 12 March 2007, Sahara was re-released as Sahara: Euro Edition and feature the "Yassou Maria" CD single as a bonus. The CD single for "Yassou Maria" was released on 7 March 2007. The CD single includes "Yassou Maria", Yassou Maria (Greeklish version), Enas Apo Mas (Special Holiday Mix) and a duet with Persian singer Cameron Cartio called Mi Chica. Mi Chica is recorded in a mixture of Greek, English, Spanish and Persian and is Latin in style with Greek pop elements.

2008–Present: Kati san esena[edit]

Sarbel started singing at Votanikos club in Athens, at 2008, along with Natassa Theodoridou and Nikos Kourkoulis.[5]

The new single "Eho Trelathei" was introduced at the Greek National Final 2008 on ERT.[6] It is a blend of oriental elements with the main chorus being rock. This was followed by the release of the album Kati san esena.

To promote his new album amongst his fellow Londoners, he performed at the two-day Cyprus Wine Festival of London in 2008. Sarbel felt that "My performance at the Cyprus Wine Festival (in London) is my chance to give something back to my community." And both performances brought tears to his friend's and family's eyes that still live in London.[7]

In July 2009, Sarbel released a two track CD-single titled "Mou Pai" under his new signing with E.DI.EL record label. The second track on the CD called "So Perfect" is a song written by Sarbel.

Sarbel has announced the beginning of his winter tour with three concerts performing alongside Giorgos Mazonakis in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in Australia. He will also be performing two more solo concerts in Australia on New Year's Eve and New Years Day. In October 2010 he toured Egypt and plans to stay in Athens for Christmas and New Year after which he has a concert in Vietnam.

He is also currently working in the studio recording songs for a new CD album to be released in the Spring of 2011. The first single from this CD Album was released in March 2011 entitled Kafto Kalokairi and Sarbel sang the single for the first time live at the Pavilion on the 18 March 2011 in front of a packed house.

Following the worldwide success of the new single, in early May Sarbel released the official Video Clip for the song which was filmed with the sponsorship of Louis Cruises. Some of the filming actually took place in the engine room of the popular Cruise Ship Cristall!

Sarbel has been booked to sing with the famous Greek Folk Singer Glykeria for this year's Cyprus Wine Festival at Alexander Palace on 25 and 26 June 2011. Both singers are being brought back by popular demand and the event is expected to be a complete sell out.

ON THE 11.11.11 Sarbel released his new single Pou Na Girnas penned by the famous Greek composer Alexis Serkos. The video clip was released in conjunction with single to launch Sarbel's winter tour of Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

2012 to Present After a successful tour of Dubai, and other Arab States Sarbel went back to the studio and recorded a new single "Proti Ptisi" which was released in early 2013 and followed up with a whistlestop tour in Crete, Athens, Beirut and Cyprus.

He is currently very involved in his new Record Company Honeybel Music which produces lounge music predominantly bought and used in Dubai.

Sarbel was a special guest at the London Eurovision Party which took place in the famous Shadow Lounge in Soho. The event was organised to promote the representatives for this year's Eurovision Song Contest but Sarbel was invited to perform by public demand.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

All the albums listed underneath were released and charted in Greece and Cyprus.

Year Title Title in Greek Certification
2004 Parakseno sinesthima Παράξενο συναίσθημα Gold
2005 Parakseno sinesthima Special Edition Παράξενο συναίσθημα (Special Edition) Platinum
2006 Sahara Σαχάρα
2007 Sahara (Euro Edition) Σαχάρα (Euro Edition) Gold
2008 Kati san esena Κάτι σαν εσένα

CD Singles[edit]

Year Title Notes
2004 "Se Pira Sovara"
(in Greek Σε πήρα σοβαρά)
Gold
2007 "Yassou Maria"
(in Greek Γεια σου, Μαρία)
Platin

Full singles discography[edit]

  • 2004: "Se Pira Sovara"
  • 2005: "Sokolata"
  • 2005: "Thelo na petaxo"
  • 2006: "Sahara"
  • 2006: "Takse mou"
  • 2006: "Enas apo mas"
  • 2007: "Yassou Maria"
  • 2008: "Eho trelathei"
  • 2009: "Mou pai"
  • 2011: "Kafto Kalokairi"
  • 2011: "Pou Na Girnas"
  • 2013: "Proti Ptisi"

Music videos[edit]

  • 2004: "Se pira sovara"
  • 2005: "Sokolata"
  • 2005: "Thelo na petaxo"
  • 2005: "Boro Boro/Chiculata" (Mad Music Awards) [Ft. Chrispa]
  • 2006: "Thriller"/"Pano stin trella mou" (Mad Music Awards) [Ft. Vanesa Adamopoulou]
  • 2006: "Taxe mou"
  • 2006: "Enas apo mas"
  • 2007: "Yassou Maria" (ERT Promo Video)
  • 2007: "Yassou Maria" (Official Video Clip)
  • 2008: "Eho trelathei"
  • 2009: "Mou paei"
  • 2011: "Monaxa esy"
  • 2011: "Kafto Kalokairi"
  • 2011: "Pou Na Girnas"
  • 2013: "Proti Ptisi"

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Anna Vissi
with Everything
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
2007
Succeeded by
Kalomoira
with Secret Combination