Adrian Zagoritis

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Adrian Zagoritis
Birth name Adrian Dimitri Andrew Zagoritis
Also known as Adrian Zag
Born (1968-09-27) 27 September 1968 (age 48)
Nairobi, Kenya
Genres Pop, Electro, Progressive house
Occupation(s) Songwriter, producer
Instruments Drums, Keyboards, Vocals
Years active 2000 – present
Labels EMI, Universal, Sony BMG, Ministry of Sound, Mercury, Kontor, Zooland, Avex (as songwriter)

Adrian Zagoritis (Adrian Dimitri Andrew Zagoritis)[1] (born 27 September 1968) is a British songwriter and producer whose songs are published by Universal UK and EMI Germany. Primarily a pop dance writer working often with award-winning German electronica act York, he has also had success with Pop Idol and The X Factor winners and pop artists in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, France, and Japan.


Early life[edit]

Adrian Zagoritis started life in Nairobi. Music took a back seat to sport at school in UK where he captained the Eton cricket 1st XI[2] and represented the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) XI as a goalkeeper against Arsenal, QPR and Chelsea youth sides in 1986.[citation needed]


Travelling from Kenya to the UK he worked with artists Sybil, Mel Gaynor from Simple Minds and Maxi Priest. Although writing and arranging several tracks for Mel Gaynor's band 'The Fusion Project' in 1997, the album was never released as Gaynor rejoined Simple Minds for a world tour instead.[citation needed]

Songwriting and production – 2000 to 2007[edit]

Zagoritis settled in the UK in the new millennium fully committed to a musical career. Collaborations with writers Geoffrey Williams, Rob Harris and Matt Johnson, both of Jamiroquai saw releases spawned with South African Popstars winners Jamali and Greek Popstars winners Hi-5. Hi-5 turned two Zagoritis singles 'M’ena Fili' and 'Gennithika Ksana' into Top 10 hits, the latter peaking at No. 5. Both albums achieved platinum status and Gennithika Ksana was nominated for an Arion award.

In 2004 Zagoritis began working with Torsten Stenzel, one half of the acclaimed electronica act York whose second single, "On The Beach", which sampled Chris Rea's song of the same name, reached No. 4 in the UK chart in June 2000.

One of the first of many releases of this partnership was the club hit 'Iceflowers' which was strongly supported by Judge Jules and Paul van Dyk. Zagoritis and Stenzel wrote several tracks for the EMI-released York album Peace which also contained their often-remixed song 'Mercury Rising'.

In 2005 Dutch singer EliZe released his song Automatic which charted in the Top 10 in several countries. He also co-wrote a song following Liverpool F.C.'s penalty shootout win in the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League final, performed by The Trophy Boyz[3]

Mainstream pop releases followed in 2006 with Holland's EMI act ROOOM charting with a Zagoritis/Geoffrey Williams single named 'First Thing', reaching No. 33.

In 2007 Germany's feted Popstars winners No Angels, and DSDS (Germany's X-factor equivalent) runner-up Linda Teodosiu (Sony), also chose his songs: ‘The Rhythm Of My Heart’ was included on the former’s album called ‘Destiny' which reached No. 4.[4]

2007 – 2010[edit]

Nightwish ex-lead singer Tarja Turunen included several Zag songs for her debut solo album 'My Winter Storm'. Turunen had split acrimoniously from her band and her album contained many veiled references to these experiences, as well as a brooding darkness. Zagoritis's 'Damned And Divine', 'The Reign' and 'Sunset' reflect this mood and demonstrated further ability away from mainstream pop or dance music.

‘My Winter Storm' took the # 1 spot on the Finnish charts, and went platinum in Finland and double platinum in Russia, as well as reaching gold status in Germany, Hungary, and Switzerland. It reached No. 3 in Germany. In late 2007 Turunen was nominated for an Echo as best newcomer and an Emma for best Finnish artist.

On Turunen's next album, What Lies Beneath, a title track composed by Zagoritis, Stenzel and Heldmann, he contributed 'Naiad'[5] which he also wrote with Tarja. The album reached No. 4 in Germany and charted in eight other countries.

As a melodician and lyricist his style naturally gravitates to pop music and so a return to such projects followed with several releases for Natalia, Idol star in Belgium. The Zagoritis song 'Soul Divided' written with Madonna writer Greg Fitzgerald was released along with two other of his tunes on Natalia's 2009 album Wise Girl which reached No. 1[6] for two weeks. The album achieved platinum status.

‘Soul Divided' was also covered in Japanese by Avex-signed artist Mihiro in 2010, renamed Weekend.[7]

Universal Germany artist Mihalis took eight Zagoritis lyrics for his album recorded in 2009, simply named 'Mihalis'. Seven of the songs were translations of his past Greek hits. One original song, 'Favourite Mistake', was written by Zagoritis and Grammy and Ivor Novello award-winner Rob Davis.

Progressive house projects continued in 2009 tracks with 'Tears on My Skin',[8] also written with Davis and released on several albums including top-seller Dream Dance, and 'Free The Night' signed by renowned A+R Eddie O' Loughlin to his Next Plateau label, distributed by Universal. 'Free The Night' was well received but failed to chart.

Edurne the Spanish Pop singer released 'Tan Artificial' written by Zagoritis on 'Nueva Piel', a Sony BMG album that reached No. 16[9] in March 2010.


Kate Ryan, Robbins Entertainment World Music Award winner releases her album Electroshock in March 2012, the title track written by Zagoritis. It also contains his song 'Walk to the Beat' penned with Chrysalis writer Jukka Immonen.

Zagoritis and Stenzel still work on songs for the latter's act York. 'If Only I' was another collaboration which will also include featured vocals from Danish songstress Tanja Thulau from Danish electronica act Luke.

Armada Music, record label of DJ Armin van Buuren released Zag's co-written singles 'Top of the Universe' and 'Breaking The Rules' in 2013.

Also in 2013 in the mainstream pop world Baptiste Giabiconi had a No.1 hit in France with the song' One Night In Paradise', co-written by Zagoritis and others. Giabiconi is a male model who had been discovered by Karl Lagerfeld.

In 2015 'Million Miles' co-written by Zagoritis and Funkstar De Luxe was released in January by Lifted House/Co2 Records and reached No. 8 in the British Dance Chart in April, spending 10 consecutive weeks in the Top 20. The song features vocals by Geoffrey Williams who wrote Michael Jackson's 'Whatever Happens'. Funkstar De Luxe is renowned for his hit single 'Sun Is Shining' (Bob Marley vs Funkstar De Luxe) which reached No. 3 in the UK and No.1 in the U.S Billboard chart. An album is scheduled for release in 2015 featuring other songs from Funkstar and Zagoritis.

Film/TV Work[edit]

His songs have appeared in several films, including the 2009 film 'Fire' starring Gary Dourdan, 'South Park' the 2010 movie 'Burning Palms' directed by Christopher Landon starring Rosamunde Pike, and in the film 'Electric'. His song 'Sleepwalking' appears in the 2014 US-released movie 'The Right Kind of Wrong' and 'Unbreakable', co-written with Geoffrey Williams features in a pivotal scene of the 2016 film 'Showing Roots' starring Elizabeth McGovern.

Discography (selected)[edit]


  • M'ena Fili – Hi-5 (Warner)


  • Iceflowers – York (EMI/Offshore)
  • Gennithika Ksana – Hi-5 (Warner)
  • Mercury Rising – York (EMI/Offshore)


  • Automatic – EliZe (Spinnin Rec)


  • First Thing – R.O.O.O.M. (EMI)
  • Get Up – R.O.O.O.M. (EMI)


  • Freeze The Frame – Panevino (Purple Music)
  • Love Automatic – Cassis (Pony Canyon)

2008 Naughty – AfricanTwins (EMI/Offshore)

  • I Spy – Spencer and Hill (Zooland)


  • So Invincible – Victoria (SoBeHo)
  • In Danger – MSTRSS (Ultra)


  • Free The Night – Aquene (Next Plateau)
  • Dirty Love – Risskee (Universal/AATW)


  • I Roam – Antillas (Plus 39)
  • I Spy – Spencer and Hill (Atlantic)


  • Electroshock – Kate Ryan (Universal)
  • System Addict – Blank & Jones (Kontor)
  • Top of the Universe – Antillas (Armada)


  • If Only I feat. Tanja Vesterdahl (Armada)
  • One Night in Paradise – Baptiste Giabiconi (Be1st Media)
  • So I'm Beautiful – Sweetbox (Sony Music)


  • The Reign - Tarja Turunen & Mike Terrana (Ear Music)


  • Million Miles feat. Geoffrey Williams - Funkstar Deluxe (Co2 Music)

Charts International/Awards[edit]

Releases shown with chart position/territory/certification (where applicable)

Year Title Chart Positions Certification
2003 Hi-5 – M'ena Fili 12 Gold (GR)
2003 Hi-5 – A Night Like This 3 Gold (GR)
2004 Hi-5 – Born Again 5 Gold (GR)
2005 EliZe – Automatic 63 7 11 15 67 18
2005 Martina Balogova – Gonna Give You Something 1
2006 ROOOM – First Thing 33
2007 Cassis – Love Automatic 51
2007 Tarja Turunen – My Winter Storm 3 11 15 1 18 36 Gold (GER,SWI,CZE,HU) Platinum (FI,RU)
2007 No Angels – Destiny 4 14 22
2008 Room 2012 – First Thing 10 20 22
2009 Natalia – Wise Girl 1 Platinum (BE)
2010 Edurne – Tan Artificial 16
2010 Tarja Turunen – What Lies Beneath 4 12 11 14 7 14 6 1
2012 Kate Ryan – Electroshock 6
2012 Baptiste – One Night in Paradise 1 Platinum (FR)
2013 Sweetbox – So I'm Beautiful 4
2015 Funkstar Deluxe – Million Miles 11 29 8
2016 York – Moving In The Shadows 2
2017 Funkstar Deluxe – Super Disco 5


  1. ^ Adrian Zag online biography.
  2. ^ Cricket Archive Eton College v Harrow School.
  3. ^ Get down to the Jersey beat on BBC Sport.
  4. ^ Album Destiny by No Angels with chartpositions.
  5. ^ The Album "What Lies Beneath" by Tarja Turunen on
  6. ^ Album "Wise Girl" by Natalia, chartpositions.
  7. ^ Weekend by Mihiro on artists utamap.
  8. ^ "Tears On My Skin" on
  9. ^ Tan Artificial by Edurne on acharts