Interview with Chris "The Greek" Panaghi
[Editor's Note: Besides being an accomplished
"The Greek" Panaghi is one of the world's top remixers.
He has remixed music for Yoko Ono, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion,
Jessica Simpson, Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Marc
Anthony, Aqua, and many more. In addition, he works as a mix-show
DJ on radio stations throughout the world, charts tracks for
Billboard Magazine, works as a
GM for the Liquid
record label, and spins at some of New York City's hottest nightclubs.]
Disc Jockey 101: How did you get involved with
Chris Panaghi: I started out as a club and mobile DJ on
Long Island. After playing and enjoying some of the records for
many years, I had the itch to create music and get involved with
music production and remixing. I felt it was a natural progression
to get to the next level in my career.
Disc Jockey 101: Which do you prefer the most:
DJ (for a live-audience), producer, remixer, or radio mix-show
Chris Panaghi: While I really enjoy DJ'ing as a whole,
I like mixing radio mixshows because I thrive on people
calling-in and responding to the tunes that I play and put on
the airwaves. I think listener feedback is so key to becoming
a better DJ; being able to connect with listeners and have
them groove to your music and mixes is such a great feeling.
Disc Jockey 101: What are some of the New York
area clubs that you've worked at? What do you like the
most about spinning in New York?
Chris Panaghi: Wow, I worked at so many clubs in the New
York Tri-State area that it can be hard to pick just a couple.
I really enjoyed working at Crobar, Exit, Metro 700, DNA, Malibu,
and Zachary's. They were a lot of fun. New York is
such a unique market and by far the best place in the world to
play. I like the interaction with different people and the overall
vibe about New York.
Disc Jockey 101: You recently completed a remix
for Yoko Ono of John Lennon's legendary song Give Peace A
Chance, which was originally recorded in 1969. Is it
more difficult to remix a track that was produced so long ago
(i.e., audio fidelity)? If so, why?
Chris Panaghi: Well, it was an absolute pleasure to work
on this project. It's always a bit harder to remix a piece of
work from that era due to synch and timing issues -- but hey,
it's all in a day's work. I was really honored to do the remix
and felt that since the original was so unbelievable, I wanted
to bring it to a new era and give it more of a European uptempo-trancey
vibe that would make dancefloors scream.
Disc Jockey 101: Greek vocalist Helena Paparizou's
hit My Number One won the Eurovision 2005 Song Contest.
You put the finishing touches on this track. Do you believe
that because DJ's accumulate experience working a live-audience
-- as well as remixing -- that they could help musicians to become
more successful? If so, do you feel that your input as
a DJ/remixer contributed to the success of My Number One?
Chris Panaghi: This is another good example of a great
song that translated into a monster-hit all over Europe and beyond.
My Number One winning the eurovision contest is a big
honor for the Greek community and I'm very proud of her and her
team. I am truly blessed to have been asked to be a part of the
project. I wanted to bring the song into a more club and
dance/radio friendly vibe. I felt that since the song is very
catchy that it just needed a bit more edge to work on dancefloors.
I think that a DJ's ears trained from playing on different dancefloors
can be the most beneficial side to making dance music.
Disc Jockey 101: Are there differences between
remixing for an American audience versus a European audience?
If so, what are those differences?
Chris Panaghi: Well, of course styles are different,
which affects the direction to take a production. When I really
want to impact the European market, I know that I have to keep
that [European] frame of mind and vision clear so that I don't
make something very "US" sounding. The US just seems
to have its own sound that does not translate very well to the
Disc Jockey 101: A Disc Jockey 101 reader recently
wrote to ask about a home studio that he's building. Because
he wants to become a music producer, he wants to know the type
of equipment that he should purchase. What are your suggestions?
Chris Panaghi: That's a tough question. When I started,
I was editing on reel-to-reel's and sequencing on Voyetra Sequencer
Plus Gold. Now I use Cubase exclusively and really enjoy it.
I have a whole arsenal of keyboards, drum machines, and plugin's --
but I still mix on a vintage analogue console. Nowadays,
it can be much easier to just have a kick-ass PC with great plugin's
and mix everything virtual. I think that there are some great
plug-in's and software that really sound good. The Spectrasonics
product is really cool. Steinberg and Sonic Foundry/Sony make
great products. I think, all-in-all, I see the new age of making
music being very virtual and software based.
Disc Jockey 101: What additional advice do
you have for new DJ's that want to get involved with remix or
music production work?
Chris Panaghi: Follow your heart and be true to what you
believe in. It's easy to get sidetracked or to become lazy. I
came to where I am today because of hard work and dedication.
Most of the battle is just showing-up and doing the right thing.
Stay true to yourself and work hard. The right people will notice.
Disc Jockey 101: To what extent do remixers collaborate
with one another? Is remixing more or less competitive
than live-performance DJ work?
Chris Panaghi: Well, in today's day and age it's very
competitive. There are more-and-more remixers out there and I
think it's great. We need some new blood in the game. I like
collaborating with other producers and remixers; but it can be
very hard due to hectic work loads and schedules.
Disc Jockey 101: In your opinion, what is a median
income for a person that only does remix work? Is there
more money in remixing hip hop?
Chris Panaghi: Income levels are very different due to
the level in which your career can grow as a producer and remixer.
Given the radio support with hip hop, I definitely think it might
be easier; but my focus has and will always be on dance music.
I have been a steady producer/remixer for the last thirteen 
years and love what I do. I can't wait to start a new day and
create my music. What's better in life than doing what you love
as a career?
Disc Jockey 101: What are your future plans?
Chris Panaghi: I'm currently A&R Manager and GM of
Music, Inc., which
is an indie dance label located in New York. I am always looking
for new talent and remixers so send me your work. Liquid is doing
very well and has a great stable of artists. I will continue
to keep DJ'ing various guest spots in clubs all over the world,
as well as my mixshows. I am very dedicated to my career and
always strive to reach my goals and dreams.
To learn more about Chris "The Greek" Panaghi, please
To get more information about Liquid Music, Inc., please see
* Winter Music Conference (WMC) will be held
at the Wyndham Resort on March 24-28, 2006 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Early registration ends on December 7, 2005 ($195); while year-end
registration ends January 6, 2006 ($235). Late registration ends
March 8, 2006 ($335). WMC draws music professionals and enthusiasts
from around the world, and includes educational events such as
and editing workshops.
To contact by phone, call 954-563-4444.
* A new venue called the
Club is bringing
upscale glam to Berlin clubbers. Most noteworthy: the club's
innovative funding strategy (2,000 investors at 4,000 euros per
share) could have a positive influence (as a business model)
in other markets. See Deutsche
* While music has been
proven to be therapeutic
to a person's health,
a new study reveals that long-term exposure to noise seems to
have the opposite effect (increasing heart attack risk). See
* Special thanks to Jason
Hart for finding a website that shows how to build a (do-it-yourself)
low-cost record cleaner with inexpensive/used turntables. See
* The Mobile Beat DJ Convention will take place February 21-23,
2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event includes exhibits, demos,
workshops, seminars, discussions, and networking opportunities.
All events are held at the Stardust Hotel and Casino. To register
by phone, contact 585-385-9920.
* Stacy Zemon has authored
a new book called The DJ Sales and Marketing Handbook.
Designed to supplement her bestseller The Mobile DJ Handbook, 2nd Ed.,
Zemon's new book should help mobile DJ's to expand their business
by tapping into her vast experience as "one of the most
successful women in the DJ profession."