Moments in Time: My Life According to Despina Vandi

So I recently put together the story of my life in a slide show.  When it came time to add the music, it was a no-brainer.  Despina Vandi was the perfect pick.

“Gia” was the first song I ever heard by Despina.  I was just a teen.  My sister and I were joy-riding in her convertible.  We had the top down and jammed to the song, the words ringing in our heads as we sang along at the top of our lungs.

I was so impressed with her music, I looked up songs and found “Ipofero” which became another favorite.  It holds the record of the most CDs ever sold in Greece.  The song is about suffering and it describes a certain part of my life quite well.

It seems that Despina’s music IS the story of my life.  There is happy, sad, melancholy and edgy too.  I have always felt a connection with her but when I actually put the photos of my life to her music, it became crystal clear why I felt that way.  If you have ever related to a singer the way that I relate to Despina, they you know what I am talking about.

Despina may be half a world away from where I live and from another generation entirely, but there is something that touches my soul in her songs.  I feel like we have gone through very similar times in our lives.  Maybe those things were experienced at different times, but they we still share the feelings through her songs.  We don’t have to even speak the same language to speak the same language if you know what I mean.

“Opa Opa” and “Come Along Now” were songs I enjoyed early on in my Despina fan days.  I remember what I was doing when I heard both of the tunes.  When I listen to them now, I flashback to those days and it’s a nice feeling to remember days gone by so vividly.

I remember looking up the Greek word, “opa” and finding the meaning fascinating, mostly because it is actually very hard to describe.  It’s a Greek slang, of sorts, an expression.  One might say, “Opa” when they bump into someone or visa versa.  Another might say, “Opa”, in an awkward moment.  The meanings are many and I found my own meaning through the song.

“Come Along Now” was, in my personal opinion, written to Despina’s fans.  It seems that it was actually written and sung for me when I listen to it.  “Listen to me, become a devotee,   And let the music come through you, like electricity,” the words go.  I mean, how could that not be to her fans…to me?

I have often wondered what I would say to Despina Vandi if I met her face to face.  I think of how she might react if she saw the slide show of my life put to the music of her heart.  Would it mean anything to her like it does to me?  I sometimes think I might tell her of how I relate to her music and the events in her real life too or, maybe I would just tell her how wonderful I think she is.  Then I realize that if I met her, I would probably say nothing at all…I don’t think I would even need to say a word.  Sometimes, with some special people, it just works that way.

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My Favorite Piece of Despina Vandi Merchandise

Despina Vandi has lovely black hair and beautiful large dark eyes. She is a gorgeous Greek poop songstress of world renown. Now you too, know her enviable name. She looks like a femme fatale. Despina hit the music world by storm in the mid-1990s and has developed legions of followers ever since, including me. I certainly would want to own any of her merchandise. I don’t compare her with US celebrities as she is in a class of her own. She has been at the top of the charts in her home country and abroad. You will come to like her as much as I do given the opportunity to listen to her work. Her voice is to die for, her style is a delight, and her appearance magnificent. Join me in singing her praises!

Despina has had great commercial success with singles and albums alike—like Ipofero in 2000 and Allaxa many years later. She doesn’t need to produce collectibles with her image and name, but she does. If you are a fellow fan, you can find photographs and assorted items online that will help you enjoy her fame. Also check with her fan club. I don’t know which products she personally sanctions, but I do covet a backpack I saw on the Internet that celebrates her glory wonderfully well. I do have her collection of hits and most of the award-winning CDs (and there are many), so why not something I can tote around every day that reminds me of her. She is a top favorite and I don’t need an excuse to revel in her success.

The backpack is a good ladies’ choice, simple and easy, with the requisite adjustable strap and lots of pockets and compartments. The size and roominess are fine. But it’s not about that, or even what it is made out of or what shape it has. It’s about her image and what she represents. Carrying her cool backpack is a sign of respect and admiration. Those who already know Despina probably have one or two logo items, and I am introducing her to you others to do my part in expanding her international presence. Americans are just so provincial and know little about music abroad. They don’t learn foreign languages or follow the international press. There is a lack of sophistication in US taste. You are all missing a wonderful experience of the best Greece has to offer. I encourage you to take the time to download some of her most popular items and enjoy them as much as I do. Better yet, attend a live concert for a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget. It will be a lesson in charisma and charm. If you are of a different vibe, the lady is just a totally sexy babe!

As a side comment, there are sites that reprint her lyrics and this is also a good way to begin your appreciation of her songs. Not all are translated, so if you have a friend or acquaintance who speaks Greek, do ask for help.

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Greek to Me!: Who is Despina Vandi?

Being a die-hard Despina Vandi fan, I hear it all the time.  “Who is Despina Vandi anyway?”  She’s the best female vocalist of all times, in my book.  She has sold over one million records and has been dubbed the Queen of Greek Pop by Time magazine.

Then, I am asked.  “Are you Greek?”  Nope.  I am not Greek at all.  I am American with not even a smidgeon of Greek roots in my blood that I know of.  But I am an avid music lover and have fallen in love with the powerful singer who belts soul-felt songs out with the ease that only a true natural can do.  She just moves you or at least she does me.

“Gia” was the first song I ever heard Despina sing.  It was totally by accident that I heard her.  It was in 2003 when the song had just come out and I was cruising with my older sister, jamming to the car radio.  When the song was played, we had the convertible top down and attempted to sing the Greek song along with her.

It was one of those teen-age moments you look back on and laugh at but for a moment in time, my sister and I were Greek Goddesses.  Now, when I hear Despina Vandi sing, it takes me back to the frozen freeze frame, my long hair blowing in the summer breeze, my sister at the wheel and we were stars, Goddesses and forever young.

One thing that really attracted me to the story of Despina was that early on, she went by the name “Elli Mara” to hide her identity from her parents who had no clue she was singing.  Her real given name is Despina Malea.  Eventually the secret was out and she switched over to the name, “Despina Vandi”.

I began following Despina Vandi.  I have yet to ever hear a bad song she has performed although I do have my personal favorites. “Opa Opa” was the next hit I listened to after “Gia” and “Come Along Now” came along the year after that.  I adore “Koritsi Prama, Part 2” which to me symbolizes her comeback from some extended off time.

It was the voice that attracted me initially.  Her unique and mighty voice demands attention.  It has an undeniable presence.  But it’s the behind the scene life that really keeps me glued to her.  I have followed her through her musical successes and the birth of her children, her car accident, her brief acting career and now, the hosting of Eurosong.

Am I obsessed with Despina?  You might say that I am.  I have collected every album she has put out and have a good bit of memorabilia about her such as newspaper articles and such.  If anything has to do with Despina Vandi, I am all ears.  Obsessed?  I’m not sure.  Perhaps I have a girl-crush on her or, perhaps I am just one of many that appreciates the angelic voice and the captivating human being that she truly is.

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