Stereo Mike (Greece) – “The People’s Champ” (RA THE RUGGED MAN – RMX)
With three critically acclaimed self-produced albums, numerous collaborations as a producer, remixer and featured artist, six Greek Video Music Awards nominations (Best Hip-Hop Video 2006/2008/2009, Best Video of the Year 2008, Best Male Artist 2009 and Best Duet 2010), a nomination for MTV Europe’s Favorite Act, and a win for MTV’s first Best Greek Act (2008), Stereo Mike is undoubtedly one of the most promising forces in Greek music. Having represented his country of origin in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest placing 7th among 43 entries, he now lives in London working on his forthcoming album, teaching Production at the University of Westminster, and aiming to expand his production worldwide.
“Stereo Mike, is considered one of Greece’s best known all round musicians, a rear combination of musical talents. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, a lyricist, a fantastic rapper, and a successful music producer with international reputation. His work often carries a social message that translates into any language and his live performances are not to be missed. Watch out…”
Mykaell Riley (Steel Pulse, Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, China Black, Mark Morrison, East 17, Jamiroquai, Soul II Soul)
Born and raised in Athens, Mike started his musical journey by playing piano at the age of 7. Shortly after, as a teenager, he joined several local bands and started experimenting with synths, beats, and poetry. By the age of 18, he had reached the U.K. shores to study Music Technology, earning a BSc along with an MA in Audio Production. Four years later, he had excelled in both degrees, composed soundtracks for short movies, and started working as a sound engineer at Vault Recording Studios in London for some of the top British hip-hop acts of the ’00s (including Klashnekoff, Bury Crew, Skinnyman, Taskforce, Iceberg Slim and Mike GLC).
His talent in production soon brought him to the London-based AMG records, where he signed his first record deal as an artist, releasing his debut album, “Satiri Nomades”, in 2005. The highlight singles included the anti-racism anthem “O Alos Babis” and “I Polis”; both singles were licensed to Universal Music as a pioneering DualDisc release and led to his first nomination for Best Hip-Hop video in the 2006 Greek VMAs (for the video “I Polis”, directed by Richard Penna).
Having collaborated with local legends such as Haris Alexiou and Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Stereo Mike’s crossover appeal soon invited numerous major offers and he eventually signed to EMI Music Greece in 2007, releasing the first album from his forthcoming trilogy “XLI3H-ANELI3H-KATALH3H.” Featuring Haris Alexiou, the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, and many other top Greek MCs and artists, most of his singles (among them, the most popular “Fevgo”, “Anagnorisi”, “Perea Mou” and “Des Kathara”) received significant radio airplay. In June 2007, Mike performed the song “Des Kathara” at the Video Music Awards along with singer Adriana Babali, receiving praise from music critics.
A year later, he smashed the VMAs again with pop singer Tamta, covering the Turkish hit “Dan Sonra” (as “S’ Opion Aresi”), while the video for “Fevgo” received two nominations (Best Hip-Hop Video and Video of the year). 2008 was definitely a highlight year, as Mike won the first ever MTV Best Greek Act award and got nominated for MTV Europe’s Favorite Act.
“(Mike’s) International reputation assured through his various MTV nominations – and most importantly his message – transcends musical boundaries; the hooks, melodies and arrangements are immense and cross sub-cultural divides with ease…His music is the message!”
Alan Fisher (Cabaret Voltaire, Take That, Bjork, Boy George, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 808 State)
In 2009, he toured all around Greece, opened the Athenian Lycabettus concert for Haris Alexiou, released the video for “Perea Mou”, and received two further nominations (Best Hip-Hop Video and Artist of the year). “Perea Mou” became the modern anthem for his hometown athletic team Olympiacos and Mike found himself performing it twice at the Piraeus Basketball Stadium (S.E.F.).
In 2010, he remixed “O Paradisos Ine Makria” for the most famous Greek pop-rock group, Onirama, got nominated again for Best Duet (with George Sabanis) and extended his live shows to London, debuting in Carbon Bar with R&B artist Shaya. In addition, he shot the music video for “Now I Know” with French-Greek artist Despina Ricci and accepted the position of Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Westminster.
The rise of 2011 found him completing the second part of his album trilogy “ANELI3H” and releasing the video for the leading single “Apla Zoi” (directed by Dimitris Sylvestros). A few months later, he represented Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest, featuring on a brave folk-rap collaboration that saw him rank 7th among 43 European countries. Finally, as a reflection of the recent Greek crisis, Mike founded the radical rap-metal side project SchiZm with guitar virtuoso Constantine (now performing with Primal Fear), producing a critically acclaimed video for the single “Akoma” (directed by Jon Simvonis), which was sponsored by Red Bull and features regularly on MTV Greece until today.
While working on the trilogy’s closing album “KATALH3H”, producing new artists, writing a book, and featuring on numerous collaborations, Mike has now joined the legendary collective Imiz Biz Entertainment and released a follow-up single from “ANELI3H” that is titled “Opou Me Pai I Mousiki” (2012). Coupled with a cutting-edge video (directed by Manos Kountouris & Konstantinos Sidiras), the title stands for “Wherever Music Takes Me”, which of course represents his life motto. This international perspective affords Mike his lyrical edge, while his world journey enriches his crossover musical appeal and expands his universal sound further.