Athena Andreadis - music star

Two cultures, singular style Athena likes to think that she employs both Greek and British cultures in her music.
Musician Athena Andreadis

My father is involved in tourism and my parents had very much wanted me to join the family business after I left school,” Athena explains. “So yes, I did take a business degree at Bath University to please them, but music has always been my thing and once I’d proved my determination that this was the career I wanted to take, they were very supportive.

”Born in London of Greek origin, Athena was named for the Goddess of Wisdom (also her grandmother’s name), and, having been educated in both Thessalonika (her home city) and the UK,is totally bilingual.

Until she met her first singing teacher while on an internship in New York, during her university years, so far as music and singing are concerned, she was self-taught. After this, she went on to study jazz and classical voice in London.

The end result? That first big break in 2007 when she released her first album and wowed an international market.

Prior to this, she had made a demo that was played on Radio 3. “People liked my music and word of mouth spread so I suddenly found I had a fan base, long before I was on Myspace website or had my own Athenaandreadis website.

Subsequently, I was invited to play Womad, made an EP and toured the UK. The gigs and career grew and i eventually released my first album in 2007.”

That first album, ‘Breathe With Me’, was re-released with bonus tracks in April this year, along with Athena’s single, ‘Pretty Things’, to coincide with the airing of Channel 5’s documentary about her and her music (soon to be reaired by Sky).

“It’s very important to be by myself with my piano and write my own music, but sometimes I do collaborate with others,” she tells us. “ I join Chris Difford’s ‘Writing Retreats’ quite often and have met some wonderful songwriters there. He puts us together in groups of twos and threes and you learn a lot about yourself and writing, but also these occasions act as platforms so you can later get together with certain others for specific projects.

‘To Be With You’, the first track of the album and the last track, ‘Believe Again’ – inpired the album’s title.”

Athena doesn’t prefer singing over writing, or vice versa. She says: “To me it’s part of the same process. The writing is a need, having something to say and expressing it, but when it comes to interpreting the song, I become the singer and it’s a magical thing all over again.”

Two cultures, singular style Athena likes to think that she employs both Greek and British cultures in her music.

“I felt my two worlds were coming together in that first album,” she says, “it’s who I am. The lyrics are in English, but there are Greek elements in the music and overall atmosphere of the record, but they’re very subtle.” You wouldn’t necessarily know where she is from, but she certainly sounds different!

Befittingly, that first album was recorded partly in Athens and partly in London, with musicians from both cultures playing different instruments.

“It was great watching the musicians interact and learn from each other’s instruments,” points out Athena, “adding something special to the overall effort.”

Singing live Thus summer’s tour was another highlight of 2008 “because I love singing live,” she says. “Communicating with people is so important.”

She played Glastonbury, South Bank and other UK destinations as well as touring Greece for the first time. “It’s fulfilling so I definitely want to do more touring next year besides recording a new album which I’m currently working on.

“The internet has been incredibly helpful. Although I’m very much a live performer, through the Internet you can reach audiences that you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

When ‘Pretty Things’ came out on YouTube for example, we had 13,000 hits in the first week from all over the world, so it’s a great tool.

Though some people might specifically search for me if they’d heard my music, others would discover it via YouTube or MySpace.”

She agrees that famous songwriters like the Beatles and Bob Dylan have certainly influenced her – “you can hear it in the music, where I’m coming from, but I hope ultimately the style is all my own.”

There’s plenty that Athena would like to do in times to come, but she insists: “The greatest thing is to enjoy every moment of every day. We get caught up in so many things we feel we have to do that we sometimes lose the real thread. I try to keep as much personal contact as I can with my fans by sending out letters and blogs by email to let them know what I’m doing, and to thank them.”

Her album ‘Breathe With Me’ is available in all good record shops, itunes and Apart from touring, Athena is also available for private gigs and corporate events.

Check out out her website for further details: