Who wouldn’t want to go to Cyprus right now? A Mediterranean island south of Turkey with amazing ruins sounds more than wonderful as we witness Champaign catching its first signs of snow this early-December. Lucky for us frozen Midwesterners, Seven can be that heavenly vacation for us, or at least for our ears.
Michalis Chatzigiannis, the tall, dark and handsome Cyprusian, has stolen the number one spot on the top album sales for this tiny island. His newest album, Seven, was released October 29 of this year and was particularly exciting for fans of the Greek TV show Polikatikia (Apartment Building), because the album includes the theme song of the show, “I Agapi Pou Menei/Polikatikia (The Love That Remains/Apartment Building).”
Chatzigiannis made his debut while representing Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1998 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This contest is an annual event for countries in the European Broadcasting Union and almost seems like an international American Idol, or should I say American Idol seems like a small version of the Eurovision Song Contest. Either way, each country submits a song that is performed on live TV, where votes are then cast by the other countries to decide which song is the best. Chatzigiannis earned thirty-seven points total in the contest of 1998 with his song “Genesis” and finished in eleventh place. This didn’t mean a big win for Cyprus and Greece, but it did mean big publicity in the Greek-speaking world for Chatzigiannis.
With that leg-up from the contest, Chatzigiannis landed a deal with the TV show Polikatikia to perform the theme song, and went on to grab the top spot in album sales. On the new album Seven, the fusion of pop-rock and traditional Greek instrumentation appeals to the young, the old and the romantic of Cyprus, and is attracting Chatzigiannis a loyal and solid fan-base. It is obvious that Chatzigiannis works perfectly with his main song writer Eleana Vrahali, for the extremely polished songs and melodies are both highlighted by and accentuate Chatzigiannis vocal talents.
For all those who thought that seven was just a number, you’ve just been schooled in modern Mediterranean music symbolism. Seven is no longer an unlucky number and it’s no longer the number that spurs thoughts of gates of heaven or deadly sins. Rather, it’s a number signifying the success of a humble songwriter who put it all out there for Europe to see, hear and criticize, but who came out on top ten years later. So thank you, dear Michalis Chatzigiannis, for purging this number of its previously heavy connotations and labeling it as a number of hope and inspiration for musicians across the world.

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