She has an amazing voice backed with extensive experience and her album, Peeling Apples is available now through iTunes, Athena is simply a force to be reckoned with. Paying homage to some of the greatest song writers of our time, this London born songstress, born to Greek parents had a bit of a battle on her hands in pursuing her dream of embedding herself in music full time. But her passion prevailed and her talent attracted the right ears and as the age old cliche states, 'the rest is history.'
Sharing parts of her voyage with us here at thestreetsavvy, Athena is certainly someone readers need to check out.
How did you discover your talent for music?
I’ve been singing since I was 5, improvising, and later writing words and making up singing exercises and teaching myself how to play the piano, I was self-taught for years, so I guess I’ve always had music inside me. Something kept showing me that this is my path, despite my father not wanting me to study music. The first teacher to believe in me was a voice teacher I met in NY from the Julliard School of Music while doing a work placement there as part of the business degree I was kind of forced into by my family. She believed in me and recognised my talent and that gave me the strength to study music at Trinity College of Music in London. But I probably learnt the most when touring around the UK, performing in front of audiences and seeing how people react, and by seeing people’s reactions to my recorded music too, as well as the reactions of fellow artists, songwriters and musicians who I deeply respect. Also being part of a wonderful songwriters circle headed by Chris Difford (Squeeze), a collective with which I’ve learnt and shared so much.
Who have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?
Bob Dylan - I heard ‘Blowing In The Wind’ at 14 and remember thinking this is what I want to do with my life, be a singer and songwriter, to be able to touch people through my voice, lyrics and music. Many others influences too, the Beatles with their classic chords and tunes, Tori Amos’ voice and quirkiness, Leonard Cohen’s poetic lyrics.
What do you feel you can offer the music industry that we don't already have in other artists?
One of my fans said my music’s like a breath of fresh air. A lot of people say I have a recognisable voice that sounds like nobody else’s. It seems my voice, the songs somehow allow people to get in touch with their inner self, their hearts, everyone is born with a gift, people say my lyrics mean something to them, I guess cause I’m honest in my writing and so they express what others have also gone through so they’re universal in that sense but also unique in that they are specific to my experience.
Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
I think it’s up to us whether we turn challenges into problems. It’s a matter of perception. There have been los of difficulties, the music industry is also changing so much, and there have been lots of challenges in my career. Yet how boring would life be if there were no difficulties!
I started from scratch in the UK and slowly built my fanbase by touring from city to city, online and through word-of-mouth. The hour documentary on Channel 5 and SkyArts about my music really helped and later my songs were synced with TV, commercials and movies which all helped spread the word.
What do you hope people get from your music?
A sense of aliveness, joy for life, inner reflection, I hope they’re moved, and reminded of who we really are.
When can we expect some new music from you?
I write a lot, it’s like breathing or eating, a need. In terms of recorded music, I guess in a year or so, hard to tell when the writing cycle will close and the next album ready to be made!
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
Getting up when I fall down. As Samuel Beckett said: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
If you could collaborate with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Leonard Cohen – he is one of the few wholesome artists, a great singer and songwriter, a great lyricist, a great philosopher and poet, a holistic artist with lots to teach us.
If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
The Herodes Atticus theatre in Athens is one of the most beautiful old theatres and is meant to have wonderful acoustics so that would be great! And of course any venue in the world where the acoustics are beautiful, and people are invited to sit and listen with open hearts.
Which song of yours do you think you defines you the most?
I Know (from Peeling Apples) – I wrote this about my father, he hoped I would do something sensible with my life and not go into the music business! But I followed my heart despite his understandable worries. I think he’s now proud, so a happy ending thankfully, but this story defined my life in many ways.
For further info people can visit the website:
and for Peeling Apples: