Pansil talks origins, new track ‘Let Me Tell You Something’ and more: Interview
Pansil, real name Panos Vasilonikolos, is a multi-talent musician that has started his DJ career since 2003, and is a huge star in his local scene, also gaining a name for himself worldwide. Adored for his ability to get the crowd moving with his masterful DJ sets, he also produces original music which has been loved in countries such as UK & Spain. Fellow artists like Nora En Pure, Bingo Players and EDX are some people Pansil can count as fans and supporters, but it is no wonder as to why when you listen to what he has to offer. With a weekly radio show called ‘Playroom’ on NRJ Cyprus (99.0FM & 94.4FM) every Sunday at 18:00 – 19:00, he gives listeners a weekly taste of what we can expect from him, and now he talks to us about his origins, influences and much more.
How long have you been a producer/DJ for? Tell us about the origin of your music. What inspired you to pursue your career as an artist?
Well, my first record was released in 2013, after my wife’s encouragement. I am a lucky man because she loves music, she is a very good listener, and has inspired me so much! She is my biggest fan and supporter! So, officially I am in the music industry since then. Back in the days, I was producing music for commercial use for small businesses & for music seminars and courses in the university. One of my inspirations to become an artist, while I was studying at the university, was our professor in Music Technology. He gave us a “SOS sound signal” from the navy and told us to use and fill it with our original music. Everyone could make whatever he was inspired. It was that specific moment which I realized that music has no limits. But, to be honest the “flame” and “passion” of music was always inside me as my father travelled with me through the vinyl world. He is a vinyl collector with a huge collection, he played music daily at home and the TV was tuned on always on MTV channel. Also, as I was a child, I was trying to play the drums with the pillows of our sofa. So, my mother decided to register me to the conservatory at the age of 5 & started my first piano lessons. I remember myself going to the theatres watching musicals and ancient dramas as well as going to the movies every week with my mother. Having such an artistic background, my involvement with the music & being a professional musician was a one-way ticket.
Who do you consider to have been your biggest influences throughout your career that have made an impact on your productions?
My first influence was Rock music. I have been in the music conservatory since I was 5 years old, as I have already mentioned above. I have started learning the piano & after 3 years I jumped into the world of classical percussion & I was studying the 2 instruments in parallel. I was really lucky I had so talented professors on both instruments who taught me how to love and respect music. I used to play in a few rock & jazz bands as a teenager & have concerts in local venues. I can’t even remember myself without music. At the age of 11 I had my first classical music concert as being percussionist in the Symphonic Orchestra, at the biggest Concert Hall in Athens- Greece called “Megaron”. It was the moment I realized what I will follow as my career. Playing & composing music. After that, at the age of 18 I passed with success in the Lonian University (Corfu-Greece) & studied Classical Percussion Music, specializing in orchestral repertoire. The university was a really big influence on me because I changed the way of how to approach music. All the musicians have their unique signature but above all we serve the art of music. Also, I have played as a principal timpanist in numerous international festivals & venues with Symphonic Orchestras in Athens Greece & at the French Baroque music ensemble “Almazis”. I was the principal timpanist in Athenian Symphonic Youth Orchestra for about 8 years. Nowadays, I am a classical percussion professor & a drummer instructor to music schools & conservatories. So, my influences are from Beethoven, The Rolling Stones & Led Zeppelin to Frankie Knuckles, Faithless & Bob Sinclair.
As we can see, Pansil has a very impressive musical background and has used this as a launchpad to kickstart the musical career he has today. Following this, we wanted to talk about his new single ‘Let Me Tell You Something’, in collaboration with Yvvan Back which you can listen to below.
Congratulations on your new record ‘Let Me Tell You Something’ with Yvvan Back, What’s the story behind this record? What were the inspirations behind this collaboration?
Thank you so much for your great words. At this point I would like to say a big “Thank you” to all the people who loved and supported it. We had a great promotion and support from all over the globe. By the way, my tracks have been supported by big names in the dance music scene such as Crystal Waters, Bingo Players, EDX, Nora En Pure, Stonebridge, Pink Panda, Glen Horsborough, Gil Glaze etc. We collaborated with Yvvan another 2 times in the past on house music style records, but this time we wanted to create a more piano house sound, something that could be stuck in your ear & sing it over & over again. We needed something melodic. Both of us have our own music paths but on the other side very common & Yvvan is a great producer. So, he sent me his idea, we worked on it back & forth to produce a great result and create a really radio friendly and easy listening track. We sent it to Love & Other music, imprint of Toolroom Records, they said “yes” and we signed the contract. That was a great moment in the career of both of us, since it was our first time signing in such a huge family label. Mark Knight, the label boss, really loved it & supported in his very own Spotify playlist which has numerous listeners every month. Also, a big moment for me was when Warner Music in Denmark asked me to remix the comeback track “Rumors or Lies?” of Eddie Chacon, from the famous 90’s duet Charles & Eddie.
Moving onto the Covid-19 situation, every artist has dealt with it differently and we wanted to see what it was like for Pansil.
Looking at the whole Covid-19 situation and its impacts. How did the Covid-19 situation affect you as an artist? Did quarantine encourage or damage your creativity?
Definitely Covid-19 was very challenging and had a huge impact in the music industry. I really miss going to live shows & contacting other people. I really love this interaction. The feeling of listening a record at home just can’t be compared to that of a live concert. You are missing all those vibes inside your body & soul. On the other hand, this very difficult situation helped me become more creative and focus on writing and making more quality music. I have so much time for producing music in my studio. I could organize all my projects much better & I had a clear mind to manage my collaborations with other artists & music labels. I made my priorities and my list for my next steps in music. Also, in quarantine time I could spend much more quality time with my wife & family and do things that we really love and enjoy, but because of our very demanding jobs we couldn’t. Well, we certainly miss travelling so much …but I hope this covid-19 situation will come to an end really soon.
What are you looking forward to most when this situation is over?
Live shows for sure! I really miss festivals & concerts & travelling to the places I love. Also, I have already planned some live shows really fancy. All the people have missed so much going to live concerts. I wish we can get our lives back soon and live in a normal and health society. For example, me & my wife really enjoy having dinner in restaurants. It sounds so simple but at this lockdown period we can’t have it. I really hope it will be over soon because no one can really afford it no more both literally & psychologically. Covid-19 made us rethink & prioritize things in our life better and more efficient. But, at the end of the day I am always a positive thinker & the future will be much better. The shows & festivals will be greater & brighter. We are going to feel the music united again & that’s the most valuable thing.
Moving onto happier things, we wanted to discuss Pansil’s past projects and also discuss what we might see from him in the future.
Looking at your musical catalogue with around 14 releases in 2020, which all can tell you have very diverse sound. How do you produce such different sounding tracks while maintaining your signature sound?
As I mentioned to you, my influences are between Beethoven & Frankie Knuckles! Haha! The range is huge!!! Though, my signature sound, is absolutely related to my master’s degree. I have a master’s degree in science of “Music, Culture Communication” at National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, where I learned that the music is one and has no borders. My priority is to make music that I really enjoy. But, every music track, can wake up different feelings to different listeners. The music communicates with such different ways to the soul of every listener & that’s where the magic happens. But, to be honest I like to try different styles of music and to experiment myself very often. I might start with a jazzy sound in my mind & finally come up with something completely pop. I am inspired all the time. Every singer who collaborated with me could give a different approach to my tracks, so this is very interesting. When I start producing and writing a song, I like to jam first, like a rock or jazz band. It could take an hour to play the piano on the same loop & then decide what to record for a new project. Also, making music for TV, Radio spots & websites, helped me develop different styles of music. I have written the official music theme of Smashbox Cosmetics TV launch spot in Greece & have composed original cinematic music for several films & theatrical plays in Greece. So, all this engagement in different projects gave me a wide field of music perception.
What does 2021 hold in store? Any hints or clues that we could get about future productions and collaborations?
Can’t wait for all those releases to come out. I am so excited. I have already signed my second track on Love & Other music, imprint of Toolroom Records. I am also arranging a huge track with The Cube Guys & it will be released by their label Cubed Recordings, which is a great honor to me. “That’s My Vibes” is already out by Future House Cloud & I have also signed a track with a glorious VIP mix with Defined Music in the UK. Finally, I will release my second track in Soave, and just before Christmas I released my track “Blue Sky” which has already reached 200.000 streams on Spotify & much more. Thank you so much for all the love & support.
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