Thursday, 16 November 2017

XCLUSIVE! Music News - Mazonakis, Kalides, Evridiki!

This week in XCLUSIVE! Escape the Brrr and snuggle up on the sofa to indulge in a little R&R of all the latest music news!

 Gorgios Mazonakis’ is hoping to end 2017 with a bang as he unleashes his first single in a year! “Siopa Kai Akou”, composed by the super talented writing duo Giorgos Sampanis and Eleni Giannazoulia, is the cheeky, no-nonsense track that marks the next chapter in the singers recording career. Mazonakis’ recent switch to Minos EMI / Universal in the summer means “Siopa Kai Akou” will be his first official release on the label. The release also coincides with the opening of Mazonakis’ winter season at the bouzoukia “Enastron” in Athens where he’ll be  appearing onstage alongside Paola and Stelios Rokko.

 Panos Kalides is ‘unhappy’ in love for his next musical offering “Anthema”The singers team initially released a teaser trailer to excite fans, but now the full version is finally here! The new single is a modern laiko that is catchy and melodic and perfectly showcases Kalides' softer and more vulnerable side in his music. Working with Christodoulos Siganos and Valentino once again, the singer will no doubt be hoping to match the success of their previous collab and mega smash of 2016 ‘Kou Pepe’. 

 What better way for rock chick Evridiki to mark an impressive milestone in her music career than with the release of a new album! The CD entitled “25 Gia Panta” is a tribute to Evridikis' 25 years in the industry and features a selection of her greatest hits as duets – inviting a plethora of talented female artists to join her on this unique 13 track release; collaborations with a number of wonderful legends that include Kaiti Garpi, Sofia Vossou and Elena Paparizou to name but a few!

The full track-listing is as follows:
1. To Mono Pou Thimamai – featuring Demy
2. Fige – ft. Elena Paparizou
3. Ziliaris Ouranos – ft. Kaiti Garpi
4. Mparakia – ft. Sofia Vossou
5. Pixida – ft. Penny Mpaltatzi
6. Kane Pos M’agapas – ft. Melina Aslanidou
7. Poso Ligo Me Ksereis – ft. Georgia Kefala
8. Misise Me – ft. Paola
9. Fthinoporo Gunaikas – ft. Rallia Christidou
10. Auto To Fili – ft. Thomai Apergi & Haris Savva
11. Mono Mia Stigmi – ft. Tamta
12. Mia Ap’ Autes Tis Meres – ft. Despina Olympiou
13. Eimai Anthropos Ki Egw – ft. Peggy Zina

That’s all for now. Until next time… x Mwah

Catch all the latest music Xclusives on Katerina’s Live DJ Show: ‘Young & Connected ~ Scandalous! Two hours of unadulterated Modern Greek hits; 1st for new music, celebrity gossip, chart news, interviews and of course listener’s special requests and dedications! Not to mention a few surprises along the way! Live on LGR 103.3fm, online at and DAB Plus, on Tuesdays 8-10pm. SCANDALOUS! If you would like your CD or event featured or reviewed in Xclusive! Contact Katerina: via email: / Facebook: Kat Neocleous 

(Published in the Parikiaki Newspaper 15th November 2017)

Thursday, 5 October 2017

XCLUSIVE! New Music From Oikonomopoulos, Paparizou and Makropoulos.

This week in XCLUSIVE!

 One of Greece’s most popular singers, Nikos Oikonomopoulos is preparing for the release of his 10th album! Delighting fans with recent hits “O Haraktiras” and “Einai Kati Laiko”, the solo star is soon to make it a hat-trick with newbie single “Gia Kapoio Logo”. 

Composed by, singer-songwriter in his own right, Giorgos Sampanis and successful lyricist Eleni Giannatsoulia, it is perhaps the final teaser before the new album drops in December.

 Elena Paparizou is hooking up with Anastasios Rammos, in a purely musical sense of course, for the heart-rending and emotive ballad “An Me Deis Na Kleiw”; passionately intense, the song captures the torturous side of love when a relationship is on the rocks. Fans enjoyed their first taste of the collaboration when the duo performed a captivating rendition at the MAD Music awards in the summer. Teaser clips of the video to accompany the official single release, build on the great chemistry and presence the pair share. Definitely a song to add to your playlist!

 And finally… 

 Nikos Makropoulos returns to the music scene with the dynamic and powerful love ballad “Zitise Mou”; a guitar driven pop track composed by Giannis Fraseri and Vangelis Konstantinidis. 

An uplifting song, complete with Makropoulos’ warm and melodious voice – no doubt another sure-fire hit for the popular singer and a lovely precursor to his upcoming new album release.

That’s all for now. Until next time… x Mwah


Catch all the latest music Xclusives on Katerina’s Live DJ Show: ‘Young & Connected ~ Scandalous! Two hours of unadulterated Modern Greek hits; 1st for new music, celebrity gossip, chart news, interviews and of course listener’s special requests and dedications! Not to mention a few surprises along the way! Live on LGR 103.3fm, online at and DAB Plus, on Tuesdays 8-10pm. SCANDALOUS! If you would like your CD or event featured or reviewed in Xclusive! Contact Katerina: via email: / Facebook: Kat Neocleous

Thursday, 28 September 2017

XCLUSIVE! Martakis, Ntanta, Cholides and more!

This week in XCLUSIVE! 

 Summer may be over but with the Autumn leaves, comes cosying down with these fab little numbers; music Xclusives that will warm the heart and invigorate the soul!

 Kostas Martakis makes a welcome return with “Duo’ Fwties” - an intense and passionate laiko ‘horeutiko’ with modern hues and flair. Composed by Giannis Frasserris and Vangelis Konstantinidis, this promises to be another hit for Martakis. “Duo Fwties” is his second single release on Panik Platinum Records, following on from the hugely successful “Axize” which monopolised the charts earlier this year.

 Newly recruited label mate Vasiliki Ntanta is also preparing for her own music release this month. After touring and performing in Greece over the summer, the singer officially launches her collaboration with Panik Platinum by unveiling “Kapoia Ksenihtaei”; a dynamic and rousing love song that showcases her rich melodious vocals and moves the listener with her tale of lost love.

 Christos Cholides is also experiencing the woes of love in “Poios Se Krataei”. Set amidst a light pop/rock backdrop, the music perfectly encapsulates the anguish and betrayal our protagonist feels towards his indecisive lover, ultimately forcing him to take reins and end the relationship, in this fiery break up song.

 Meanwhile, Polina Christodoulou is going straight to the lawyers – however its not what it seems – this ones actually a ‘happy’ love song! Delirious with her new love, Polina is ready to sign everything over to her beau – well as long as he continues to love, protect and stay faithful of course! “Dikigoros” is a fun, flirty and full-bodied laiko pop ditty that gets you moving, and should be listened to with the volume up!

That’s all for now. Until next time… x Mwah

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Xclusive! Ploutarhos, Vaggelis Aravantinos & Mariah

This week in XCLUSIVE!

Greek Singer Giannis Ploutarhos has unveiled the first single from his upcoming album due for release in autumn on Heaven Music.

A big ballad that pulls at the heartstrings “Pera Ap’ Ta Matia Mou” is composed by Kuriakou Papadopoulou and Vikis Gerothodorou. 

Its majestic instrumentation alongside the main man’s stirring vocals promises to make this a sure-fire hit for one of Greece’s most popular artists.


Label mate Vaggelis Aravantinos also has a new release out this week – and this ones a mover! “Peiratis” is a rousing, Arabic infused laiko pop track perfect for the summer heat! 

Kefalonia born Aravantinos has made a name for himself on the live circuit, performing since he was 18 in Athenian bouzoukia as well as building up his TV credits. Music releases to date include “Se Xerete”, “Parto Hampari” and “Exeis Talento”.                                                                                          

Superstar songbird Mariah Carey is turning her hand to TV now that plans are in the works for a fictional scripted drama series based on Mariah's real-life experiences and her rise to fame. The singer will be taking an important backstage role as executive producer alongside long-time friend and film-maker Brett Ratner. 

The series will be set in 1986 New York City and follow the rise of an ambitious 16-year-old aspiring singer-songwriter who, having survived a difficult childhood, goes on to become the biggest selling female music artist of all time. 

Mariah has previously produced the docu-series “Mariah's World” that treated fans to a behind-the-scenes look at her A-List lifestyle. Also in the pipeline for Ms Mariah is an animated movie based on her huge Xmas smash 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'.

That’s all for now. Wishing all our lovely readers a wonderful summer! Until next time… x Mwah

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Xclusive! Vertis, Paparizou, Animado...

This week in XCLUSIVE!

Popular smooth operator Nikos Vertis is known to make the ladies swoon and his new single will certainly have fans in a tizz. The singer returns “Eroteumenos”; his latest song full of romance, sweeping melodies and declarations of all encompassing love (sigh) – just perfect for those warm summer nights. 

Composed by Idan Raichel and Giorgos Tsopanis, this is one of the first cuts from Vertis’ eagerly anticipated new album. His last collection of songs was released back in 2015, so it’s about time!


Helena Paparizou’s music comeback is going from strength to strength and the number 1 hit maker is culminating this years success with the release of her “Summer Extended” EP. 

The six track playlist celebrates collaborations with new and old friends and includes: a new Foivos inspired remix of the Eurovision queens’ recent smash “Haide” featuring American artist Kemist, a long strived for duet with good friend Tamta entitled “Twra I Pote (Ora O Mai Piu)”, “Palia Mou Agapi” - a collaboration with Mark Angelo, “An Me Deis Na Klaiw” with Anastasios Rammos, “Koritsi Tou Mai (Venus)” alongside 8tetto, and finally Colour Your Dream (the official anthem from the 2017 festival of the same name). So there’s the soundtrack for the summer sorted!


Singer Animado is also feeling the summer vibe, evident through new single “Mistiko”; an intense pop/dance track composed by Diveno and Pavlou Manoli – soon to be released on Panik records.


That’s all for now. Until next time… x Mwah

Thursday, 22 June 2017


This week in XCLUSIVE!

The Actors Theatre are back and treading the boards of the Dugdale Theatre, Enfield, with another love story brimming with comedy, music, songs and dancing. “MY NAME IS NOT ZORBA, BUT...I CAN DANCE!” is the company’s latest production, written by LGR DJ and actor Vasili Panayi. 

Join a restaurant singer as she is faced with the challenge of choosing between two men who compete for her love – a famous singer and a charming Grecian waiter. Seeking answers from a gypsy, she comes to find that it is harder than she thinks. 

The show opened on Wednesday 21st June and will run until Saturday 24th June at 7.45pm (there is also a matinee performance on Saturday at 2.45pm). 

Tickets are priced at £14.50 (£12.50 concessions) and available to book at The show is performed in Greek.


Fresh from her recent Eurovision bid, Greek singer Demy is keeping up the pace and maintaining momentum with a brand new single entitled “M’ Ekdikeisai”. 

This modern pop/dance track is made for the summer. Composed by Giorgos Sampanis and Eleana Vrahali, the song premiered this week and will be officially released on the 26th June via Panik Records.
Paola teases fans this week, with a short soundbite of her third single “Den Se Fovamai Ourane” - a song set to appear on her new upcoming album which she has worked closely on with music guru Giorgos Theophanous. 

This particular track features Goin’ Through rapper Nikos “Nivo” Vourliotis and is a punchy, attitude driven stomper – showing the ‘don’t mess with me side’ of Paola.

And finally… 

Dimitris Mpasis may have returned to the motherland after his London gig last weekend but he is not leaving his fans empty handed (figuratively speaking)! 

The popular singer is releasing a new album on Monday 26th June and has unveiled the first single “An M’ Agapas”; a sweet Laiko tsiftetelli, with traditional instrumentation and of course that lovely evocative voice.


That’s all for now. Until next time… x

Friday, 24 February 2017

XCLUSIVE! Interview with singer Sertari

This week in Xclusive! I’m catching up with Cypriot, singer-songwriter Nicola K aka ‘Sertari’ to find out the who’s, what’s and why’s in her music journey so far...

Your stage name is ‘Sertari’ – where is it from and what exactly does it mean? Sertari comes from the last part of my maiden name, Koussertari. My Dad – who is also a singer and musician – had the stage name Nicolas Sertari, so you could say I have borrowed my dad’s stage name!

Who are you’re biggest influences and how have they shaped you as an artist? My musical influences are quite wide ranging, from Rock to Latin, Hip-Hop, R‘n’B, traditional and Pop; Nightwish, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kate Bush, Prince, Tori Amos… 
I believe having such a wide range of musical influences means I can evolve each collection of songs and blend elements of different genres into each song.

In 5 words how would you describe your sound? Evolving, beats, pumping, atmospheric, lyrical.
You recently became a mum – has this impacted your music in any way? Yes I had a little girl, well she is 2 now! Time has defiantly flown by. Being a mum does obviously have an effect on writing/producing (headphones instead of speakers!), and it can sometimes take a lot of coffee when in the studio! However I write my songs based on personal experience and she is such an inspiration and features in a few of my songs!

You released an upbeat summer track last year entitled ‘Keep On Dreaming’ which was one of the songs inspired by your daughter…. I wrote ‘Keep On Dreaming’ about a year before it was released... I wanted to let my daughter know that no matter what, to always aim for your dreams even if people try to discourage her, and to know that I will be there to guide her and support her, no matter what.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado and Helena Paparizou – how do you feel about that? Well I'm very surprised to be compared to artists such as them as I have great respect for what they do and what they have achieved. I feel I have my own unique vocals and style, however to be compared to any artist who is a success in such a hard industry is an honour.

You’re known for your live performances and have sung all over the world – what has been your favourite gig and why? I have to say one of my favourite gigs was when I performed in Nicosia on New Years Eve in the Liberty Square. The whole city was packed with people, and it was such a great atmosphere and the appreciation for live music was something I will never forget.
And what’s been your weirdest place to play? I can’t think of the weirdest place, but I had to open up the Christmas lights once, dressed as Super girl!!

A new EP is on the cards – what can you tell us about it? Yes! I'm currently back in the studio and putting together a new EP, for this year. It’s been a long time since my last fully produced EP – my “Unplugged EP” was back in 2013 – so I’m very excited for this new collection of songs. The sound maintains some of the punchy drums from “Keep On Dreaming” – but the songs blend a mix of guitars, atmospheric sounds with the big beats.

A little birdie told me you’ve collaborated with Hip-Hop poet and Grammy award winner J-Ivy on a new track… Oh yes, I cannot believe I have J-Ivy featuring on one of my tracks, he is simply amazing and I remember first hearing him on Kanye West’s track “Never Let You Down.” He has a great passion for words – and I'm so amazed he wanted to be on one of my tracks!! The track will be featuring on the new EP.

When do you hope to have it ready for release? The EP will be out later this year and I’m hoping for an early summer release – it depends on how the studio sessions and the videos come together!
Any upcoming gigs or plans to perform your newest material? I am hoping to perform the new material in Cyprus over the summer as well as performing at some festivals and venues in the UK.
What is currently playing on your Ipod at the moment? I have recently been listening to Prince’s live version of ‘No Diggity’, Bruno Mars – ‘24k Magic’, Gloria Jones – ‘Tainted Love’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ cover by the Muppets (my daughters request), and on the rockier side of things… Don Broco – ‘Everybody’ (great riff!), 21 Pilots and Creeper (a great local act).

What is your ‘go to’ song when you are:seeking inspiration? Depends on what mood I'm in…sometimes it could be something more rock (‘Nemo’ by Nightwish) but it could also be something more classical or traditional (I love Dimitris Mitropanos’ ‘Roza’!)

… need a cheer up? Anything sung by the Muppets… or Tenacious D … or some Ska (Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake)!!

… want to dance? Maybe some Aviici! Or something with a beat and a groove… like ‘Rappers Delight’. I also LOVE ‘Represent CUBA’ by Latin group Orishas. For information on Sertari and her music visit: – – –

That’s all for now. More entertainment and music news coming soon.
Until next time… x Mwah

Catch all the latest music Xclusives on Katerina’s Live DJ Show: ‘Young & Connected ~ Scandalous! Two hours of unadulterated Modern Greek hits; 1st for new music, celebrity gossip, chart news, interviews and of course listener’s special requests and dedications! Not to mention a few surprises along the way! Live on LGR 103.3fm, online at and DAB Plus, on Tuesdays 8-10pm. SCANDALOUS! If you would like your CD or event featured or reviewed in Xclusive! Contact Katerina: via email:

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Interview with Colin Cloud - The Deductionist! Starring in The Illusionists in London's West End

This week in XCLUSIVE! The world’s best selling touring magic show The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible has finally arrived in London’s West End! For part two of my Xclusive ‘Illusionists’ special, I caught up a Colin Cloud - celebrated as the ‘real life Sherlock Holmes’ he is also known as The Deductionist. But how will he fair under the microscope?

When did your love of magic first start? Never really magic bizarrely, I was fascinated by Sherlock Holmes when I was younger, and I read the books when I was eight and thought the guys’ amazing. When I was ten I discovered he never actually existed, gutted – I was devastated. By then I had the bug and was really into Sciences and understanding how things work, the way people think, and really into hypnotism. I went to university when I was quite young; got accepted at 15, studied forensic investigation, specialising in criminal profiling. Realised that stand up comedians are amazing at being under pressure and being aware of audiences, so I got into that, because the only way you can learn to do that is being on stage. And then combined that world with the forensics and created this idea of trying to be like the real-life Sherlock Holmes.

What was the catalyst that refocused your career on Illusion? I never really thought this would happen - this is a dream come true. At the end of university I had the option of - do I want to be stuck in a lab everyday doing or do I want to be travelling the world doing shows for people, and I was like… no brainer. I started mainly doing a lot of corporate events for companies, after dinner speaking, hosting events and doing the Edinburgh festival a lot, which is handy as I live close by. That led to things like getting the NBC TV show and eventually The Illusionist guys saw that and went we think you’re right for this.

You performed in The Edinburgh Festival this year too, is that a totally different
show? That’s an hour show of just me but the core skills are there – reading people, deducing facts about them. Edinburgh was a blast! It was a complete sell out and it was in a big venue, so that was amazing, and all the reviews were incredible from people and the media so I am delighted.

How many shows did you do in total? 24 in the regular venue, and then 2 extra shows.

And were they consecutive shows? Every night, so it was pretty intense.

You've earned yourself the name of The Deductionist – where did the name come
from? Sherlock Holmes being the master of deduction! An episode of Elementary, the TV show (based on the Sherlock character) also had an episode called The Deductionist, and that was just the perfect title.

Colin you're often compared to your literary hero Sherlock Holmes is that
something you relish or does it add a lot of pressure? I’m flattered that they think the skill-set is the same, but Sherlock Holmes was a sociopath and very arrogant and rude. So, I’m glad, for the right reasons, with the greatest respect to the fictional character that I’m nothing like the persona he was meant to be.

You're also described as a Mentalist what does that mean? Mentalism is more the psychological side of magic, the trick side, so I’m definitely drawing on that. The beauty of it is, on stage, I allow myself the luxury of blending it all so that you just get the experience of seeing the real-life Sherlock Holmes. So I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, other than hopefully I’m entertaining. That’s the only claim I try to make.

Comedy is a big part of your performances style, is personality just as important a
tool for a magician, as their magic skills? Comedy is a way of being really honest and bare in front of an audience and I think when you learn to do that and really connect with people, you engage them and your performing has much more meaning. There is though, that appeal of magic being mysterious and not knowing exactly how it’s done and it makes it interesting and dare I say, sexy. It’s meant to be fun and intriguing.

You are one of seven magicians to be performing at The Illusionists show which
will be taking up residency at the Shaftesbury Theatre in November – what can
audiences expect? The show we’re planning is going to be fully immersive, it will contain things people may have seen in movies or TV but never actually experienced. And to take something from a two dimensional platform and to see it happening right there in front of you, it’s a totally different experience. It’s like watching a band play on TV and then going to the concert and seeing them live. Being there live, the experience, the atmosphere, the energy. It changes everything.

What’s it been like working with the other Illusionists? When the other guys do their stuff, because what I do isn’t really in that same world of magic, as such, I can watch what they do and be totally blown away by it and not have a clue how it works, so it’s great.

And if I was a fly on the wall in the green room what would I see? We sit and play poker. I’m reading them; they’re cheating with the cards… Imagine X-men hanging out…. No, you know its great, because our styles are so different there’s no level of competition. Were on stage and helping each other through things, we’re there to support each other, it’s not a competition. We want this to be the best show, and it will be incredible.

How similar will your solo set be to your Edinburgh show? Well, this Edinburgh show built to a grand finale where I would kill somebody on stage, and I got away with murder every night, so… we’ll ditch that bit. But, I mean certainly reading people, deducing things and forecasting outcomes of events - that will all be there.

With your style of illusion, every show must be totally different... Yeah because people are different, right. You also have to be delicate… If someone in the audience is having an affair with their neighbour you don’t want to divulge that, I mean hold on to it and blackmail them at a later date obviously. But no, I’m very delicate and only reveal things that are still amazing but that are upbeat, uplifting and fun.

Developments in technology and social media have had a huge effect on every
entertainment industry – how do feel it has impacted the art of illusion? Do you
use special effects in your performance? Lighting and music to keep it upbeat and Rock and Roll. I think sometimes too much of that can detract from what it is you’re doing. So often the magic you’re seeing is amazing on its own, and too much of that makes it get lost. Aside from the performances at the Shaftesbury, you also have your own TV show in the works. 

What can you tell us about that? The network has started releasing a few clips. So its that feel of being able to deduce, showing the signs but it still keeps the mystery, because that’s what makes it entertaining to watch, so that’s all on the go at the moment.

Has anything ever gone really wrong while you were deducing someone during a
show? No never, and I’m offended you would think that. No, certainly early on when you’re trying stuff; you don’t know how people will respond and react, so it’s a case of learning quickly. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, right, and I want every performance to be perfect, but now with the comedy, if things are going wrong, I can hide it.

Any major goals that you’d like to work towards for the future? I’d love for everything that I’m doing to be well received by everyone, and I work really hard to ensure that it is. I want to constantly grow, evolve, make it bigger, better, more exciting so that the audience is constantly blown away. Its one thing to be doing it, but to stay at that level… I want to be constantly reinventing it and making it as amazing as it can be.

What is the best piece of advice you could give an aspiring magician who wants to
make this their profession? When I was at school, I was quiet, reserved, shy and into Sciences and there were a lot of bullies. It was horrible and I really hated a lot of that. So for anyone who is really passionate about something, regardless of what it is, to not let that deter them from the thing that they love to do.

Any finally Colin… What is the greatest trick the devil ever pulled? Convincing the world that he doesn’t exist!

For more information on The Deductionist Colin Cloud:
Twitter: @Colin_Cloud  
Facebook: ForensicMindReader
THE ILLUSIONISTS – WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE™ At the Shaftesbury Theatre from until Sunday 3rd January 2016. Tickets are now on sale from the box Office: 020 7379 5399 and are priced: £15 - £85.  Age guidance: Perfect for the whole family. For more information visit / Twitter: @illusionists7

That’s all for now! More entertainment and music Xclusives coming soon!

Catch all the latest music Xclusives on Katerina’s Live DJ Show: ‘Young & Connected ~ Scandalous! Two hours of unadulterated Modern Greek hits; 1st for new music, celebrity gossip, chart news, interviews and of course listener’s special requests and dedications! Not to mention a few surprises along the way! Live on LGR 103.3fm and online at on Tuesdays 8-10pm. SCANDALOUS! 

If you would like your CD or event featured or reviewed in Xclusive! Contact Katerina: via email:   / Facebook: Kat Neocleous /

Friday, 13 November 2015

XCLUSIVE! Interview with Den Den - The Manipulator! Starring in The Illusionists in London's West End

This week in XCLUSIVE! The world’s best selling touring magic show The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible is a mere few days from its official London première and I cannot wait! 

The show, originally a smash hit on Broadway and which has sold out in 71 cities across 17 countries, is set to dazzle London’s West End - boasting a phenomenal line-up featuring some of the world’s most captivating, mind-boggling magicians. 

 The magnificent seven will take to the stage at the Shaftesbury Theatre from Saturday 14th November 2015 – Sunday 3rd January 2016. With a mesmerizing mix of death-defying stunts, breath-taking illusions and dazzling magic tricks, the show has something for everyone. 

 At the preview launch I caught up with Den Den – The Manipulator and Colin Cloud – The Deductionist who are set to star in this sensational show. Here is part one of this Xclusive series of Interviews.
Named Magician of the Year (2014) by the Academy of Magical Arts and awarded the prestigious ‘Gold Medal Award of Honour’ from the Society of American Magicians, which has gone to only one magician before him, Den Den is the Master of Manipulation. Now you see it, now you don’t – let’s meet The Manipulator.

When did your love of magic first start? I first started magic when I was about seven years old. I bought a magic set, which anybody could buy, from a department store. I started out on those magic kits and showing tricks to my friends.

Did you always know this was the career for you? Not at all! When I was little I never thought this would be my profession.

How did you learn your craft and develop your skills? I developed in front of my mirror at home! I concentrated on brushing up my skills.

What was the first trick you ever learnt? The moving handkerchief.

What was the turning point that transformed magic from a hobby into a professional career? I met a ‘professional’ magician in a bar, I saw him doing some magic and he was no better than me. I learnt later on, that he wasn't actually a professional magician!

And it gave you the belief to go for it? Exactly! I was convinced I could do it too!

How did you develop your individual style? From 15 to 23 years of age I performed as an actor in traditional Japanese theatre, such as Kabuki, and I am also trained in traditional Japanese dance. I wanted to develop my style of magic incorporating Japanese harmony and tradition.

Did your experience as performer help you as a magician? It has been very helpful. In Japanese theatre there are a lot of eye movements and that has enhanced my magic too.

In terms of content – is your magic set based on more traditional tricks or is there room for invention? Yes I invent a lot of my show.

Has a trick ever gone wrong live on stage and how did you recover? Am I allowed to say? Maybe I shouldn't reveal my secrets! Well, I was participating in a prominent world competition and I had forgotten to put certain things in place... But how I dealt with it? Now that's a secret!

You've won a host of awards from the industry, how important is it to be recognised in this way by your peers? 
It doesn't mean too much to me actually. Initially of course when I participated in lots of competitions I was really determined to get the best awards but as I was doing more, my motives and objectives changed; I get great pleasure from seeing positive reactions from the audience.

You are one of seven magicians to be performing at The Illusionists show which will be taking up residency at the Shaftesbury Theatre in November – what can audiences expect from your solo set? Well I have included some Japanese cultural aspects in my magic show, so if the audience can feel that aspect of it, that would be really wonderful!

Advances in technology have created even more possibilities in the art of illusion – do you use special effects in your performance? No nothing at all, it's all based on technique.
Would you ever reveal the secrets to your magic? I have never revealed my secrets and probably never will!

What characteristics make a great magician? Great senses are required and consciousness.

In terms of future plans, what’s coming up for you? I have a big show ahead of me starting from November in London (The Illusionists), and I have a great plan to create a new piece for next year.


THE ILLUSIONISTS – WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE™tickets are now on sale from the box Office: 020 7379 5399 and are priced: £15 - £85.  Age guidance: Perfect for the whole family. For more information visit / Twitter: @illusionists7

Many thanks to Den Den, his team and translator Mari Yoshida. Catch part two of my Xclusive Illusionists’ Special next week; I’ll be chatting to real life Sherlock Holmes incarnation Colin Cloud - The Deductionist! 

That’s all for now! Until next time… x Mwah