David and Goliath story has a hip-hop ending
Where: Eagle Eye Theatre (Squamish) and MY (Millennium) Place
When: April 2-3
Hes the musician thats known for the swing of his hips as much as his passionate Mediterranean guitar licks.
"I just move," says Toronto-based guitar master Pavlo Simtikidis, known to his fans simply as Pavlo. "I come from a Greek upbringing. Most guitar players either sit or stand still and its impossible for me to do that because Ive been dancing and jumping up on tables since I was a kid, you know? I dont consider myself a professional dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but I just allow myself to open up on stage and just move any way my body wants to go.
"Its usually my hips that go side to side," he adds.
Since Pavlos last trip through the Sea to Sky corridor, in May 2003, hes become known for something other than his performance skills.
Recent events have made him a pop-culture hero in an R&B sound-tracked version of the David and Goliath story.
Four years ago, while listening to the radio in his car, Pavlo happened upon the song Fiesta by R&B megastar hit-maker R. Kelly and immediately recognized one of his own compositions Fantasia sampled into the chart-topping artists track.
Pavlo immediately headed to the studio and made sure he could prove they were indeed one and the same. He then challenged the artists publishing and recording companies R. Kelly Publishing and Zomba Song to a duel with the help of a Toronto lawyer.
The case dragged on for three years, with a settlement finally reached last fall awarding Pavlo 25 per cent ownership of the song. He talks freely now, but says he kept things relatively quiet during the case since he didnt hold out much hope of winning.
"When you go up against a billion dollar company, you dont think you have a chance," says Pavlo. "But the bottom line is, he sampled my song without my permission. At the very least, I want to let people know thats not cool. That was my intention. Whether I win or not, I want you to know that I know that its my song."
Along with acknowledgement that his work had been poached without permission Pavlo was vindicated with a sizeable financial compensation. But instead of retirement plans the shift in his net worth has made him even more dedicated to the life of a touring musician. He revels in the fact that he can play smaller venues in smaller towns without worrying about the payout or the cost of jumping on the next plane.