Plàsi is a Swedish – Greek singer and songwriter with roots from Heraklion, Crete. His music career in Stockholm has just started and we are pleased to have him talk to us about his life, his music journey and of course his first upcoming EP, which is out on November 30th.
Scandinavia has a bright music past. Remember Abba, for example. However, it seems like its music history has not stopped there. New artists from whole Scandinavia have done great steps in the music field as well, and many of them are making it internationally. Plàsi may be still very young, but he has all the potential. He is a Swedish singer songwriter with Greek roots. His real name is Mikael Bitzarakis and he is a 24-year old guy whose origins come from Heraklion, Crete. He went to Sweden with his Swedish mother when he was 4 and since then he lives there but still has a strong connection to Greece that he visits a couple of time per year. He may have master in International Management and work as marketing consultant on his own business in Stockholm, but music seems to be his passion. So, he created his music ego, named “Plàsi” and he started a career under his own… umbrella(!). He is a simple guy and this is also obvious on his music. His genre could be characterized acoustic, folk. He plays the guitar and he has the power to “shout” through his slow melodies and meaningful lyrics. Current events seem to have an aspiration on him, something that makes him a real artist.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – Before we start, I guess our readers would like to know how you came up with the idea of this name.
Plàsi – I wanted my artist name to be easy for people to remember at the same time as it that described my passion. Regardless of section in my life the word “creation” has best described where my drive comes from. When I thought about different names the ancient greek word Plàsi (Πλάση) popped up, which felt perfect as it is short, literally means creation and also connects to my greek roots.Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – When did music come to your life?
Plàsi – I’m raised in a family full of music, where both my parents were and are active professionally, so it naturally entered quite early. The first lesson I took was in drums at the age of 10, and that remained the focus until I was 13 when I discovered the piano and also wrote my first song. In high school I was in a music class and when I was 14 some girls there convinced me that I should try to sing although I didn’t want to.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – Apart from music, I know that you have finished your studies (bachelor and master). Are you occupied with the subject of your studies?
Plàsi – Yes, luckily I am! During my master studies I was working on the side with online marketing which made me able to start my own company within marketing consulting. Today I’m running that full time and help digital services and online shops to set up their marketing strategies.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – How difficult is to combine music and business at the same time?
Plàsi – It’s not always easy and takes a lot of time to keep up with both worlds, but it helps to be self-employed in the way that I can plan my own time. Both sides give me a lot of energy though, which I think is a prerequisite to be able to keep them both up with good quality. I would even dare to say that combining them makes me perform better overall, as the source of inspiration for me often comes from contrasts in life.Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – What kind of music do you like to listen to in your daily life?
Plàsi – It depends a lot between phases of a day. In general I tend to listen to music close to the one I write, acoustic folk/pop/indie but during working hours I can switch completely to more deep house music, which also holds true when I’m going out where I don’t mind more swing house such as Parov Stelar.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – You write your own songs, right? Where do you draw your inspirations from?
Plàsi – Yes, I write my songs on my own or in co-operation with other songwriters. The inspiration comes from related and more established acts such as Dotan, Ben Abraham, José González, Kings of Convenience, Tallest Man on Earth, and Andreas Moe to name a few.
Plàsi – Alone
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Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – Your debut EP is about to be released in a few days (Nov.30). Tell us some things about it.
Plàsi – My debut EP Now & Then consist of two new songs and the three first singles that are already out. I started writing on it over a year ago, so big parts of involve former love stories but also includes more political texts such as the track Who Are We that is about the refugee crisis.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – What do you love most in music?
Plàsi – Music is a type of art where everyone will find something to enjoy. And it is an art type that you see in most of people’s everyday life. I think that’s what’s makes it most fascinating, that it is something that affect us on a daily basis.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – How do you think digital technology has affected the music business and the music in general?
Plàsi – Apart from that the industry dynamics are changing, it is clear that the democratization of music has increased the variety of music that people can listen to during a day. Having all the music in the world available with one click, makes people able to listen to much more music and tailor songs according to their mood, weather, time of the day etc. This has always been done of course, but can now happen in a different scale.Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – All your songs until now are in English. Have you ever thought on writing/singing in Greek or Swedish?
Plàsi – I used to write solely in swedish when I was younger as I found it easier to express myself in one of my mother tongues. I also use to sing sometimes in Greek with my father when he plays down in Greece. But as my english developed, I saw how my music also could open up to a whole world.
Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – Which one from your songs has special meaning for you and why?
Plàsi – Who Are We means a lot, because I was really angry and disappointed on how the world works when I wrote it. When people’s lives are under threat and they are fighting themselves all the way over to your country and continent to have a second chance, you can’t start to divide people.
Plàsi – Who Are We
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Alexandros Tsonis (Lavart) – Which are your career goals?
Plàsi – As I have a two-sided situation my main goal is to be able to have a good balance in my work and my artistic side. So an ongoing goal is to continue developing my company and never stop creating new entrepreneurial projects, which pays my rent and gives me inspiration to continue writing songs that affects people.
- I would like to thank Plàsi for our interview and to wish him luck to his journey –
All the photos are exclusively from his personal archive and are published, for the first time, on Lavart.
We thank him a lot.