The Silent Heroes of Rock & Metal: Story of a Dee-Jay; Sosis Theodosiou

Updated: Dec 9, 2018

What can anyone say about Sosis Theodosiou? A person nurtured in rock and metal, with decades of musical experience in his resume. A leader in the Cypriot rock and metal happenings, who shares his knowledge and love for this music, since his teenage years.

With this interview, the first of many which will be part of this column, with a different protagonist each time, we take a ‘dive’ into Sosis’ history, travelling back in time in old Limassol, at Kingston Town, amongst others, and finding out many more things for our beloved DJ and music producer.

Interview to Helena “Raven” Geo

Hello Sosi, and thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. How many years have you been professionally involved with rock music, and what is it that expresses you personally the most?

I have been professionally involved with rock music since I was 14 years old. Right after the 1974 war, I left for London. There, I had a great friction with music. I used to buy vinyls and cassette tapes like a maniac. When I returned to Cyprus early 1975, I began working at Sandocan Disco. Back then, rock music was always in our repertoire. It was basically the golden age of rock. Plenty of material. Ancient equipment though. I used to work back when changes to tracks were done with a switch and not a mixer. After that I worked at almost all clubs in Limassols’ Makarios avenue.

The genre that expresses me the most is hard to define, because until even today I dig through all levels and kinds of metal and rock music. I find ‘diamonds’ everywhere. After four plus decades behind decks, I am still searching and learning.

What were the first listens that made you see the ‘beauty’ behind this music?

It’s kind of funny to talk about first listens. Back in the 60s there were no mass media, as there is today. I used to turn on the British Bases radio, BFBS, and CYBCs’ show Request Time with John Vickers. I inserted myself in groups with older people and pulled from their knowledge. I purchased my first vinyl when I was really young. It was DJ Emperor Roscos’ album. Cost me 3 pounds back then. That was the cost for 30 pites of souvlakia. I worked in the fields during the Summers since I was 11 years old. Under the circumstances back then I always had good income and was a relatively good student.

After that, and up until I opened Kingston Town in 1990, my collection summed up to about 5000 vinyls. I spent all my money in record stores. After Kingston I used to buy everything. When it closed down I gave it all away. I couldn’t bear to sell them, not the vinyls, not the furniture. Didn’t want to keep anything either. I changed my way of thinking. In my house the walls are empty. I don’t want objects that distract my focus and take me back in the past. Both my memories and my knowledge, I carry them in my mind and use them when I need to.

Where did you hang out when you were a kid and how did you spend your free time?

As a kid I basically used to hang out in Makarios avenue in Limassol. I had many friends and acquaintances. Back in the 70s there were plenty of musical hangout places. In Makarios avenue all the night life was in full motion. 12 discotheques in one avenue. C'est la vie, Sandocan, Traffic, La Balbone, ABC, Oroscopo, and many coffee shops that had a jukebox. In time, the first bands appeared. The first guitars in schools, where some kids used to sing during breaks and field trips.

Which artists' posters did you have on the walls of your teenage room?

I didn’t have a teenage room. I used to sleep in the kitchen, because the bedrooms were taken over by my sisters, who also loved music as well. I did have plenty of posters though. Morrison, Marley, Stones, Zeppelin etc. At 17 I rented a small one bedroom flat without my family knowing (they were traditional). It was our group’s heaven. Until they kicked us out for noise disturbance.

What is the first thing that comes to mind from the 80s?

The 80s was marked by new music trends. With many very good bands. Pop rock really entered all discos. It displaced Funky & Soul. Basically when we talk about the 80s the first thing that comes to mind are the decades’ trendy style and jam-packed discos. That is when amazing new metal bands emerged though, like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and they gave a new boost to the genre. A great number of the youth became fanatic. We travelled on a lot of expense to attend some festivals and concerts abroad. And then Cyprus started slowly ‘giving birth’ to rock and metal bands.

Do you remember the first live show you attended? How did you feel?

The first live I attended was one I organized myself, back in the 70s. Back then we didn’t have rock bands travelling from abroad.

Basically I was present at everything. After 1982 I started travelling all over Europe at various festivals, where I was really ‘injected’ with rock and metal. All the events had a great atmosphere. I myself do not consider the urban folk bands visiting from Greece as a worthwhile live show. Those simply visit the island for the money.

All-time favorite album?

There is not a specific album or song in mind that I consider as course changing for me. The mind is filled with musical diamonds. When someone asks me that question, hundreds of choices come to mind. The most complete album, for me, from the first note up to the last lyric, is the Dark Side of the Moon.

Your first dj set?

My first DJ set was when I was 14. My job was to wash dishes in a disco. The DJ got sick, I got in the DJ box to help out. People were excited and I stayed there since then.

Where did you deejay in the past, and still do, and with which radio stations did you co-operate or still do, since your career set off?

Which of all these experiences acted as a turning point for you and in what way?

I worked as a music producer at Sports 1 initially, and then for manyyears at Channel 6. It’s hard to remember all the places since the beginning of my career. I worked at the Greek islands also. But my turning point was the old Kingston Town. It was the space that I expressed myself 100%. I even learned sound engineering, by gathering experience from many professionals that I watched in action. It was the place that had live shows 5 days a week. Great atmosphere. That place marked me as a whole. I am pleased to say that anywhere I go people still have the best things to say about Kingston Town. It didn’t close down because it failed. Globalization closed it down. We all had to move out so that the bordellos would survive, meaning the multinational businesses of all kinds.

What was the first time you felt really proud to be involved with this music?

The first time I felt proud of what I do, was the first day I entered the magical DJ box. Right there, you might be anyone, but you suddenly become The One. Everyone pays attention to you, you get the best girls, you do whatever the f@@k you want and it’s ok for everyone. Now, after all these years, it’s a bit different. Not as tense, but still as beautiful.

Where there ever any comments that irritated you as far as your musical choices are concerned, back when you started, or even today?

I used to be bothered by bad comments. Many were purely prompted by jealousy and targeted me directly. Now they have the opposite result, I crave them, so that I can be better. I feel that I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. I face bad comments, not a lot nowadays, in a more mature way and from a different point of view. But there are always going to be those someones!!!

What message do you wish to share with todays’ rock and metal youth of the island?

My message is be proud of your music. Metalheads have scientifically been proven to be the smarter and happier people! When I meet new people I ask them what music they listen to, so that I can figure out how smart they might be.

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