Just a young performer on a ‘musical high’

Local musician Jack Chandrinos is known for his covers of famous singers. Here he talks about being an up-and-coming artist in Cardiff 

Local musician Jack Chandrinos on his musical journey
Chandrinos mainly does covers of artists with a baritone voice similar to his, photo by Becky George

For Jack Chandrinos, 22, being a musician is a dream come true, especially since he realised that there was nothing else he would rather do.

He recently performed his first original at Cardiff Night Market held on 17 November, where he started off playing his covers of artists like Elvis Presley and George Ezra.

Chandrinos who started performing from the time he turned 17 mainly does covers of these artists who have a rich deep voice similar to his. “My voice type is a baritone like Elvis or Ezra, which means I sing a lot deeper than most artists. I also do cover songs of people like Johnny Cash since I’m drawn to folk and country music,” he says. 

According to him, being able to play old songs is also a prerequisite for getting signed up for gigs in the city, especially if you’re a beginner. “When you work through an agency, you go to two different types of places – pubs and social clubs. The clubs,” he explains, “have a bigger senior-citizen audience who mostly appreciate old tunes. I even got kicked out of a social club once for playing only modern music.” 

I fell in love with music because of Shawn Mendes

Chandrinos was not someone who had a deep connection with music growing up. He remembers stumbling upon a Shawn Mendes album one day at the age of 14, which changed things forever. Titled Handwritten, the album inspired him to pick up a guitar and sing. “I fell in love with music because of Shawn Mendes,” he grins.

Best moments always take you by surprise

He still reminisces about one of his best moments being a performer, which happened on a night he was filling in for someone else. “It was at a pub called Brew House where I walked in to see a huge crowd of about 500 people. Once I began playing, everybody started singing along and enjoying the music. I would say moments like these give a high you can’t get off anything else.”

The Fairwater native admits to being an introvert when he is not working on music. “I don’t really talk about my emotions. It is easier to express myself when I am writing songs,” he says.

Jack at the Cathays Community studio room where he usually practices
Chandrinos at the Cathays Community studio room where he usually practices, photo by Becky George

First ever original

The Music Performance graduate from Cardiff and Vale University, has grand plans to make it big as an artist. For starters, he is focused on building his online presence. He has become more active on TikTok lately, even releasing a snippet of his first original on the platform, which he played live at the Night Market. “I never thought I would be working through an agency by the age of 22. I am pretty much over the moon doing what I love. It is a surreal feeling,” beams the singer. 

Behind the name

Chandrinos is a name of Greek origin. Jack’s grandad whom they affectionately call papou, came down from Greece and started a shoe repair shop in Cardiff market in 1975.

Even after being settled in Cardiff for nearly 50 years, the mention of the family name still raises eyebrows. “Although I let my event organisers know the right pronunciation of my surname, they get it wrong almost every time,” he sighs.

Listen to Jack Chandrinos singing the evergreen song Can’t help falling in love by Elvis Presley