Alexandros Panayi (Αλέξανδρος Παναγή in Greek characters, also known as Alex Panayi, born June 24, 1970), born in Nicosia, Cyprus is a Greek Cypriot singer, composer, lyricist, producer, vocal coach, and vocal arranger. He is best known for having represented his country twice at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 & 2000.
Early life and education
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 (BMus, Honors). 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 (IAJE).
Eurovision Song Contest
Alex's involvement with the Eurovision Song Contest includes:
- backing vocals for the 1989 Cypriot entry "Apopse As Vrethoume";
- Performing the song "Pistevo" in the first Cypriot national Final in 1990. (3rd place);
- backing vocals for Elena Patroklou in the 1991 Cypriot entry "SOS";
- Performing the song "Gia Sena Tragoudo" in the Cypriot National Final 1993 (3rd place);
- soloist and composer for the Cypriot entry "Sti Fotia" in 1995;
- performing the duet, "Fterougisma" with Marlen Angelidou in the Cypriot preselection of 1998 (2nd place);
- performing in the vocal duo Voice with Christina Argyri for the 2000 Cypriot entry "Nomiza";
- vocal director and backing vocalist for Helena Paparizou in the song, "My Number One" which won the 2005 contest.
- stage director for Fabrizio Faniello, Malta, with the song "I do" – vocal coach for the Greek entry "Everything" Anna Vissi in 2006 Eurovision Song Contest held in Athens, Greece
- Performing the song "There Is Love" in the Cypriot National Final 2009 (6th place);
- Vocal director and backing vocalist for Sakis Rouvas in the 2009 Greek entry "This Is Our Night"
- producer for the song "Hamogela" by the group "triimitonio" in the Greek National Final 2011 (2nd place);
- vocal director and backing vocalist for the song "We Are The Heroes" by LITESOUND for Belarus in ESC2012;
- vocal director for the entry of Azerbaijan "Hold Me" (2nd place) and Belarus "Soleyo" in ESC2013
- vocal director for the entry of Russia "Shine" and Belarus "Cheesecake" in ESC 2014
- composer, English lyricist, producer for the entry of Cyprus "I pio omorfi mera" at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014
Alex currently lives between Athens, Greece and Nicosia, Cyprus where he directs his company "Silver Spotlight Productions LTD" and also coaches and performs with Greece'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, Philipp Kirkorov, Kamaliya and with producers such as Bruce Lowe, Philipp Kirkorov, Dimitris Kontopoulos and Uwe Fahrenkrog. He has performed on occasion at the "Herodion" Theatre of the Acropolis and has been Regional Music Supervisor for Disney, Buena Vista. Alex has been the official Greek voice of many Disney characters such as Tigger (only his singing voice) and has starred in more than 40 movies such as Lion King 2, Simba's Pride,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. In 1998 he performeD the singing voice of Moses and Jethro in the first classic animated movie of DreamWorks, The Prince of Egypt. He has also performed in Musical Theatre productions in Athens such as Grease in the rôle of Kennickie, and the Nikos Karvelas musical "Mala" in the rôles 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 him reinterpreting several classic Eurovision songs 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, co-host and panellist – X-Factor, "Get on Stage", "DanSing for You", "The Music Box". He has written the script to, directed and written music and lyrics for the hit musicals "Feggaromberdemata" (Moon Tangles), "Esmeralda", and "Mia Mera Tou Dekemvri" (A Day in December), all staged in Cyprus. He was commissioned by UNESCO to write a new musical to celebrate the presidency of Cyprus to the EU. The musical named "Di-mentia" premiered in Paris on 15 October 2012. The musical "Gourouniasmata" for young viewers and their families premiered on December the 22nd 2012, played sold out performances throughout Cyprus and preparations are under way to transfer the production to Athens, Greece and the former Soviet states, adapted in Russian. The sequel "Gourouniasmata 2; Adventure in the Forest" premiered in Nicosia 20 December 2013. In June 2012 he co-founded (with close collaborator and friend Katerina Christofidou) in Cyprus, an international production company, "Silver Spotlight Productions" (A.Panayi & K.Christofidou Productions LTD) offering services ranging from composition, staging, direction, choreography, organisation, artist management, big band and symphonic orchestration and recording, to full music (cd and live) and theatre composition and production. Silver Spotlight is the production company for the original hit musicals "Di-Mentia", "Gourouniasmata", "Gourouniasmata 2" and all upcoming projects.
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 and 2013 TV spots. His experience with his mother's condition has also made him a vehement spokesman for Alzheimer's awareness. His musical "Di-Mentia" was based on this experience.
- "Rendez – Vous" EP 1990 (performer)
- "Nostalgia" – LP 1991 (performer)
- "Ars Musica" CD 1992 (performer)
- "Sti Fotia" CD Single 1995 Sony BMG (composer, author. performer)
- "Nomiza" CD Single 2000 V2 (composer, author, performer)
- "Eurovision 2000 compilation" Double CD 2000 EBU (composer, author, performer)
- "Mala – i mousiki tou anemou" Double CD Soundtrack 2002 Sony BMG (performer, vocal director)
- "Native Hue" CD 2004 (performer, producer, composer, author)
- "Feggaromberdemata" CD Single 2008 (composer, performer, producer)
- "Triimitonio" CD 2010 WARNER (producer, composer)
- "Hamogela" WARNER digital Single 2011 (producer)
- "A Day in December" Soundtrack CD 2011 (composer, author, performer, producer)
- "Di-Mentia" Soundtrack CD 2012 SILVER SPOTLIGHT (composer, performer, producer)
- "Gourouniasmata" Soundtrack CD 2012 SILVER SPOTLIGHT (composer, producer)
- "Gourouniasmata 2: Adventure in the Forest" Soundtrack CD 2013 SILVER SPOTLIGHT (composer, producer)
Alex speaks fluently Greek, English, and French He also has a basic knowledge of Italian and Spanish
- Official Website
- Native Hue CD
- “Sti Fotia” Cypriot Eurovision entry 1995
- “Nomiza” Cypriot Eurovision entry 2000
with Ime Anthropos Ki Ego
|Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest
with Mono Yia Mas
with Tha 'Ne Erotas
|Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest