It has been a long time since I left London…but part of me still lives above Trehantiri Music (RiP) on Green Lanes, that street I knew and loved so well. Radio has been part of my life since around 1979, when I signed up as a volunteer on University Radio Essex (URE). It was nothing like enlisting for the army, although there were some close on air shaves. URE gave me 5 years on air when my first radio and my last sounded entirely different. From there I tried to get into community stations in London, they were pirates at that time but most of the people running them, former hairdressers, blokes who were may be in the rag trade and loved bouzouki music were more obsessed by the finite correctness of speaking the Greek language on air than actually doing radio that was enjoyable and reflective of the diversity in the Cypriot community which I had grown up in. So for a while I did my DJ thing, well for quiet a while and then started releasing 12″ singles around 1990 on my own Kebab Kulture label. That kind of got me back into radio, more so as a guest when various people like Andy Kershaw and the legend himself John Peel featured my music on the Beeb. Community radio at that time tended to shun what I was doing initially, despite airplay on other stations with a wider reach such as BBC, Radio 5 Live, Radio London, KISSFM and WNK. The main community stations back then were LGR and Spectrum. Alot of things changed with 2 songs, ‘Stravroulla’ and ‘Vrakaman’ produced by my mighty mentor Zacharias ‘Sugar’ Hadjishacalli of Spartacus fame. These took off in Cyprus in 1993/4 and the rest is history. With extensive radio play in Cyprus and lots of trips to my homeland, 12 in all that year, I came back and have lived here ever since.
Radio always remained. I worked on Radio Broto, CyBC 2, Astra Radio and Radio Napa, as well as around the world IrieFM (Bermuda), BigupRadio (USA) and InspirationFM (UK) I also made the first music podcasts from Cyprus and more recently got into net based radio from my home based studio with Versionist and OuttaMiYard Radio, where I play every Wednesday 8-10 CY Time.
So when my Chakko DJ friend Marios Avraam, who together with Aggie from InsiprationFM’s GreekShow (the only folks who carried on playing all my songs in terms of Greek/Cypriot based radio from the UK between 1993-present) linked me up with Paul Funksy from Greekbeat Radio I thought why not London, it has been a long time….So my show starts tonight and I am really excited about playing every thing from ‘Pyjames’ by Katsaros from the USA in the 1930’s to the latest Dubophonic out of Cyprus with a touch of I-mitri thrown in, plus a tribute mix to George Michael and some Med exclusives from Kingdom Signal and me …every Friday it is the 5-7pm UK on GreekBeat Radio…Drive time with Haji Mike live from Nicosia to London on BeatzCY…Big thanks to Paul Funksy for the warm welcome…log on here www.greekbeatradio.com