He was born in Athens and started his career in 1990 singing "rebetika" and "laika" (Greek folk music). His first personal album “Athoos Enochos” (Innocent Guilty) was released in 1996 with music by Panayiotis Kalantzopoulos and Evanthia Reboutsika and Aris Davarakis’ lyrics. This first CD was followed by “Mono ena fili” (Just a kiss) in 1997 (music: Evanthia Reboutsika, lyrics: Eleni Zioga), “Filakas Aggelos” (Guadrian Angel) in 1999 (music: Antonis Mitzelos, lyrics: Eleni Zioga), “Eine diki mas i zoi mas" (Our life is ours) in 2000 (music: Evanthia Reboutsika, lyrics: Aris Davarakis), the single “Efapaks” (In one go) in 2001 (music: Lavrentis Macheritsas, lyrics: Isaac Sousis), the double album “Yiannis Kotsiras LIVE” in 2002, which within a few months sold 120.000 copies, in 2003 his sixth personal album was released with the title “Ksilino alogaki” (Wooden horse) with music by Lavrentis Macheritsas and lyrics by Isaac Sousis and the DVD “Ti tragoudi na sou po” ( What song can I sing you) , “Trianta ke kati” (30something) in 2004 with music and lyrics by Manolis Famellos and Kostas Leivadas. In one of the new songs lyrics are written by Charis Aleksiou while is included also a song that music and lyrics are written – for the first time – by Yiannis Kotsiras.

He participated in recordings with Nikos Portokaloglou, Nikos Antypas, Dimitris Papadimitriou and Charis Aleksiou, besides taking part in the albums dedicated to Dionysis Savvopoulos to Yiannis Markopoulos and to Mikis Theodorakis. He performed live with Charis Aleksiou, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Dimitris Basis, Kostas Makedonas. He has gone on several summer tours. The 2003 personal tour in particular was most impressive since it included 50 stops in Greece and Cyprus. In 1998/99 he took part in Yiannis Markopoulos’ concerts in the Athens Concert Hall (a.k.a. Megaron Mousikis), in the Peace and Friendship Stadium and in Patras.

In May 2001 he interpreted as a solist Angelos Sikelianos’ “Pnevmatiko emvatirio” (Spiritual march) and Odysseas Elytis’ “Aksion Esti”, two compositions of Mikis Theodorakis, first in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (a.k.a. Herodion) and then, in September, in Thessaloniki and in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. He is the fifth –and youngest– performer of “Aksion Esti”. The Herodion concert was released on a double CD in December 2001.

In April 2002, along with Tania Tsanaklidou, he performed Mikis Theodorakis’ “Epitafios” (Epitaph) and “Romiosini” in Cyprus with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Russia. This concert was repeated in June in Moscow, Athens and Salonica. In July 2002 he performed Mikis Theodorakis’ “O Ilios kai o chronos” (The sun and the time) and “Arcadia VIII (Milo - Charis)” (I talk – Charis) at Herodion. In November 2002 he performed Mimis Plessas’ and Lefteris Papadopoulos’ “Dromos” (Street) at Megaron Mousikis. The concert was released on CD in March 2006.

In October 2003 he was honored with the “Best Selling Greek Artist” award within the framework of the World Music Awards held every year in Monaco, a prize covering two years of top sales (2002 and 2003). In March 2004, just a few days after the Flame-Lighting Ceremony in Ancient Olympia, his CD single “Pass the flame”, containing the song of the Athens 2004 Torch Relay, was released globaly. The CD single contained three versions of the song (English lyrics, Greek lyrics, and instrumental). Yiannis Kotsiras performed the song in both languages. “Pass the flame” was written by Trevor Horn, a composer who has connected his name with great artists internationally (Paul Mc Cartney, Bryan Ferry, Pet Shop Boys, Art of Noise etc), in collaboration with Lol Creme. The Greek lyrics were written by Lina Nikolakopoulou. The CD was recorded in Sarmwest Studios, the studios Trevor Horn uses in London. The vocals are supported by famous singers from all over the world reflecting the global spirit of the torch relay. In March 2005 he participated in the new version of the historical work "Stavros tou Notou" (Cross of South) and "Grammes ton orizonton" (Lines of Horizons) by Thanos Mikroutsikos and Nikos Kavadias. The concert took place at Megaron Mousikis for 6 days and was released on CD in October 2005 and became golden. In September 2006 his eighth personal album titled “Taksidia filia” (Travels Kisses) has been released. The CD became platinum and after one year it was re-released as "Perisotera taksidia filia" (More travels kisses) with 4 more tracks and a DVD with all the video clips.

In June of 2007 Yiannis gave a great concert at Lycabettus Theater, celebrating his 10 years of live performing, with the participation of many friends. The result was a total success in a sold out night, with more than 7.500 people in the theater. In March 2008, Yiannis picked up one of the most historical live clubs at Athens, Zoom at Plaka, for his “contra-canto” shows. Three of the most important new Greek musicians, Dinnos Georgountzos at piano and accordion, Antonis Mitzelos (who performed after a long time with Yiannis again) at guitars, and Tasos Papastamou, at violin, mandolin and percussions, created with Yiannis Kotsiras, unique performance nights, with mind and consciousness delivered only at singing and playing music. For summer of 2008, Yiannis Kotsiras after two successful winter seasons with her, met again Eleni Tsaligopoulou. He performed in an exellent tour, with more than 20 sold out concerts around Greece and Cyprus, in a program arranged by Dinnos Georgountzos and Akis Katsoupakis.kotsiras_artist-2

In September 2008, his new CD titled "Ke pali paidi" (Child again) released. Totally new suggestion in sound and style, and also a huge production, mastered and finalised at London Abbey Road Studios. In this cd, Yiannis Konstantinidis created the music, Nikos Moraitis offered his lyrics, and also Yiannis Kotsiras composed music and wrote lyrics for two songs. In November 2008, he performed at totally remodeled "Anodos stage" club, with Kostas Tournas and Lakis Papadopoulos in a program full of new and old beloved songs. After the perfect season at Athens, with Lakis Papadopoulos as a guest, he performed at sold out concerts at club "Apothiki of Mylos".

For the summer of 2009, with Rallia Christidou and Muronas Stratis, he performed all over Greece and Cyprus, in a tour with over 70.000 spectators. Next winter, Yiannis Kotsiras makes his start from "Apothiki of Mylos", with Lavrentis Macheritsas and the rock group "Kitrina podilata", and after several sold out shows, comes to Athens, in the classic club "Zygos" at Plaka, with a new member of the company aboard, Mrs Afroditi Manou. The unique live shows continued until Easter days.

In May 2010, “Yiannis Kotsiras LIVE 2010”, has been released. A double cd album, with beloved songs, recorded live in concerts from 2003 to 2010. Among these songs, a brand new called “Agapi mou esi” (You my love), in Yiannis Kotsiras’ lyrics composed by Yiannis Konstantinidis, “gave the pulse” of the situation in Greece 2010, and instantly became favorite for all Greeks by the first time they listened it to all radio stations. For the 2010 summer, Yiannis performed live all over Greece and Cyprus with Lavrentis Macheritsas, and in some places, with "Kitrina podilata" and Afroditi Manou. Also, on the occasion of "Yiannis Kotsiras LIVE 2010" releasing, Yiannis made a tour over Greece and Cyprus supported by Vasiliki Karakosta. For winter of 2011, in a very tough season for Greece, Yiannis dares something deferent and such huge success is unexpectable. With Dimitris Mpasis Chrisoula Stefanaki and Valia Somaraki, begins his appearances in Thessaloniki, in a new live stage «Stage», with low budget prices for audience, pure Greek folk music, and Sunday noon performing. This project goes for 24 live shows in Thessaloniki, and comes to Athens in the historical Rex music theater, till Easter days.

For the tough get going summer of 2011, one of the most important collaborations in Yiannis’ career became true. Dimitris Mitropanos, maybe the last living - legend Greek male singer, met Yiannis on stage, and with Dimitris Mpasis, made a huge summer tour over Greece and Cyprus, which filled with positive vibes each and every person who was lucky to see them performing live, between rough moments in Greece… Also, with Dimitris Mpasis, made a tour over Greece, in selected places, which was very successful too.

The tough get going winter of 2011-12, the collaboration with Dimitris Mitropanos and Dimitris Mpasis continued with the same huge success in Kentro Athinon, with the same - as the summer- healing feeling for every person who was lucky to see them performing live, among non stopping rough moments in Greece… In March of 2012, and after 2 years of research and preparation, the CD "Smyrne of love" has been released. An album with songs from the early '20s till world war 2, written in Smyrne or from composers of Smyrne who lived all over Greece.