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Onirama is an award-winning Greek rock and pop band from Thessaloniki, who are known for their raucous, celebratory concerts. Their sound embodies everything from garage rock, hooky pop, hip-hop, Greek folk traditions, and electronic and pop dance music -- sometimes in a single song. They also perform in Greek and English.
The band was founded in 2000 by lead vocalist and guitarist Thodoris Marantinis and then bassist and backing vocalist Dionisis Pratzis (he has since been replaced by Alexis Papakonstantinou) who met during their compulsory military service. The remainder of the band's lineup includes founding members Giorgos (lead guitar) and Dimitris Kokonidis (drums) and keyboardist Christos Tresintsis (who replaced founding violinist and backing vocalist Kostas Karakatsanis). The group was initially a hobby that its members engaged in when not working other jobs. They rehearsed, wrote songs, and played parties and local clubs for literally years. Their lively stage show quickly got them gigs at local clubs and the word began to spread. In 2005, after seeking a label for almost two years, they signed to Lyra Records and issued their debut album Diskolos Keros Gia Prigipes. The lead single, "O Horos (Klise Ta Matia)," gained popularity at radio and was followed quickly by "Mia Mera Tha 'Rtheis," which became their first bona fide chart hit.
Onirama expanded their reach, spending a winter playing in Athens with Antonis Remos in 2006 while growing their fan base nationally. They were nominated and won the award for best pop band at the fifth annual Arion Music Awards. Onirama's followup album, 2008's Klepsidra, reached the top spot on the Greek charts and was eventually certified gold. The set also featured their first track in English entitled "Maybe Today." (Recording and playing live in both languages is now a group trademark.) The band spent the better part of the next two years touring, issuing the compilation set Horis Etia in the midst of it all. The double-length album offered collaborations with other singers on tunes from the band's first two albums, new versions of earlier (unrecorded) songs, remixes, and new material. They surprised everyone by issuing a new studio album, Sti Hora Ton Trelon, a few weeks later. EMI/Universal reissued their debut album in a deluxe edition in 2013 and followed it with Methysmeno Tatouaz and a deluxe version of Klepsidra in 2014. Over the next two-and-a-half years, Onirama released videos and singles, and toured like madmen throughout Greece in both winter and summer. In 2017, the band issued Pop Art, which collected those loose singles including "World Party," a new version of "Klise Ta Matia," "This Is a Funky Sexy Beat," and an Alex Simon remix of "Thelo Na Se Do." ~ Thom Jurek
- Thessaloniki, Greece