For the first time we saw him in the great military comedy “Loufa kai Apallangi I4.” We remember him with the hit “Den kano Diakopes” (I don’t have vacation), which was leading the Greek and Bulgarian charts. Nikos Vaourliotis, or as he is famous with the artistic name NiVo, won our hearts with the song “Zoom,” which he recorded not too long ago with Nevena and Marius Moga from the Romanian band Morandi.
During this time of the year, Nikos is busy planning his summer tour, making new recordings, working with Mikis Theodorakis and on top of everything, he just launched his new show “Goodnight Greece!”. Actually, I met him, during the recording of the show. While I was waiting for the interview I saw the shooting of the next episode, which was called “TV Journalism” and guest in the studio was Mara Zaharea. As a TV host, Nikos was very calm and confident but surprisingly serious and rarely smiled.
- In Bulgaria we speak of you as the Greek rap and hip-hop star NiVo. Why did you choose this type of music? Because it sells better or because it expresses you better as a musician?
- When I started working with this music there was no point in thinking about sales. I have been doing this job for many years and back then, this type of music was unknown. At least here in Greece. I started recording music in 1993-1994 and I had many difficulties and problems. Back then Greeks thought of this music as something very strange and overly creative. In other words, at that time I was not thinking of sales and profits. What I cared about was what I want as a musician and how I can express it. When I connect the music that I like with the way I grew up and the neighborhood, in which I grew up, this type of music was the natural choice.
- Rappers all over the world are famous not only for their music but also for their tattoos. You surprise me (second surprise!) with those long sleeves. Do you have tattoos?
- You see me wearing long sleeves because I injured myself during the recoding of a video clip, which I made few days ago. Otherwise, yes I do have tattoos. But I don’t think that tattoos are something characteristic of rappers. Nowadays tattoos are part of the lifestyle, independent of your profession – whether you are an artist, lawyers or a doctor.
- Hmm, in the neighborhood I grew up in and when I was old enough to put a tattoo, only prisoners had tattoos… (his crew that was around us listening, burst in laughter)
- You are absolutely right. Tattooing back in the day was taboo and the ones who had a tattoo were not bragging about it. Those were mainly people who were either prisoners are sailors – all isolated loners, who by tattooing were writing their own stories on their skin. They were keeping diaries or writing books on their skin by drawing pictures.
- As a musician, when do you feel satisfied from your work?
- Actually, I rarely feel satisfied with the work I do (third surprise!). In my brain there is this thing, which makes it very hard to decide what I actually like. When you deal with sound recording you have to think about sales, marketing, advertising, management and many other things. Your soul turns into a muddy place. As a person, I do not look for much from the sound recording industry but I do look for much from my fans. I search, I want, I chase, I am trying to make them understand what I want to say, for them to be able to live it with me and to travel with me. I want them to be happy, to start thinking, to feel what I do. This is a matter of emotions, feelings and sensing. This is my goal as a musician. I believe that his does not only go for rap music and even not only for music at all. The goal of every artist is to create and awaken feelings.
- How did the idea come along about the song with Nevena and Marius Moga? Personally, what kind of expectations do you have from this cooperation?
- The idea was not mine but of Nevena’s record company – “Virginia Records.” The idea was theirs. After that they found Marius Moga’s song. And after all that, NiVo and Goin’ Through (NiVo’s band) found their place in the project. They made an offer, I heard the song and I felt that this is something really interesting and even a challenge for me. I had never done something like that before, let alone in English. This was my first time rapping in English. For me, this was a way to test what I can do.
- Except for a musician and a singer you are also a producer. How do you see the future of the sound record industry? CD sales keep falling. Yesterday I went to a big CD store, so I can buy your last album “The Best of Goin’ Through.” In the store, there were two clients and I was one of them and at the end I was the only one who bought something. I do not remember the last time I entered such a store.