By Nick Christophers
In the quiet town of Valley Stream, Long Island New York you would never think that the pounding sounds of dance music are pulsating under your feet. That sound is coming from the sound proof studio of dance music producing sensation, Chris "The Greek" Panaghi. Chris has broken many barriers of the music industry to make a name for himself. Beginning from high school he always had a love for music. Chris started by DJing at private parties and on the club circuit. It began as a mere hobby but then developed into a career of unexpected proportions. He has propelled his talent of mixing and re-mixing into many avenues. He has worked with such artists like, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Judy Torres, Mark Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Yoko Ono and upcoming artist Ava Dayton.
His most prized production was the Michael Jackson Ghost Box CD set in which Chris remixed "Is It Scary?". What Chris essentially does is take a certain single that has already been marketed through the mainstream/pop world and remix it with a new flavor to appeal to a different market. The contract for a new production comes directly from the record company or the artist. He is given the accapella version of the single then adds his new production and sounds. "At least 9 out of 10 artists have their songs remixed today. Remixing is very detailed, you essentially start from scratch. But if I think the song is not workable I will most likely not accept to remix the single. The song has to be exceptional for me to work with," said Chris.
The integrity of the song is still there, as Chris points out. If the accapella is well done the remixing will enhance it. European dance music has infiltrated the American market especially from Germany. One example is a DJ in Europe called DJ Sammy who launched a cover version of Bryan Adams' single "Heaven" which went to number one, all over Europe. In the U.S. in total there are only a handful of dance radio stations, whereas in Europe there is at least 4-5 in each city. Europe, according to Chris has bypassed America in every shape and form when it comes to dance music. He has worked with European recording labels like ZYX from Germany, which handles some of the most popular dance sounds in Europe. In Europe dance music is considered Pop music whereas here in the States it is considered the "bastard child" of Pop music. A sad commentary for the place where dance music originated.
Chris last year released a CD called "Live From Germany" which features some of the new sounds from Europe mixed by Chris. He has also accomplished being voted on to be a Billboard reporter, the most prestigious honor ever offered to a DJ. One of his recent artists Ava Dayton has released a new single called "Again" on Liquid Music. Chris also introduced the Island Underground show on WLIR/WDRE/WXXP and was a part of it for five years. It was #1 for three years. Along with Omega Studios he has created a production company called DJG Productions Inc. and now a new joint venture in forming the recording label Liquid Music Inc..
The recording label has about 75 artists under its name. Some of its local artists are Ava Dayton, Fayden, Uriel, Damian Wild and Big City Groove, which are doing well here and Europe. Both Uriel and Big City Groove are of Greek descent like Chris. Chris is always looking for new talent and the Liquid singles have sold around 3,000 copies of most singles released. "Those are impressive numbers for an independent record label in today's age," added Chris. They manufacture and self distribute their own products. A question that arises at times with fans is how do producers or artists know how much of their product is sold?
"The way it works basically is that when a distributor desires to buy copies a purchase order is sent our way then we meet their needs. Yet when the single is played in clubs and on radio it gives us a good idea of how well it will do." Many of the singles are sent to radio stations and clubs as VIP promos throughout the world. Sometimes the single gets played a lot or sometimes not at all. Yet in Chris' case it has been all up hill. The DJ's help the singles break in by getting mixshow radio play, but most of all in the clubs. Chris is also a Billboard DJ and appears on 6 -7 radio programs across the States and has now signed a deal with XM Radio. Even though dance music is not played on radio as much as it should be the dance music survives at the clubs. Which then leads to some key radio play. The bulk of an artist's income is from performing at clubs. They really do not benefit from record sales but from performing. Liquid Music is geared to developing new talent and promoting inspiring new artists.
Recently, Chris has been working closer taking his music in film, which is an avenue of great revenue. " I would like to get more involved in the movie industry. I have always loved the creative environment of the movie industry and would love to do more business within that community."
Chris' most recent remix releases were the Yoko Ono single "Give Peace a Chance" and Helena Paparizou "My Number One". Besides that Chris is currently DJing all over the world doing various guest spots and has been on US radio a lot doing guest spots on stations like: XM Radio, 88.7 WRHU on Long Island and on the internet on www.1Club.FM, and college stations.
At this time Chris has reached a level that he never dreamed could come as quick as it had. But he is always searching to tackle other ideas or strategies that benefit and promote his talents.