CULTURE
Glykeria Is The Iconic Singer Who Blends Traditional With Contemporary Music Influences

 

Interview by Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis

(IG: @vassiliosvitsilogiannis)

Glykeria, the renowned Greek singer, mesmerizes audiences worldwide with her powerful voice and emotive performances. Born in Serres, Greece, her musical journey began at a young age, shaped by the rich cultural heritage of her homeland. With a career spanning decades, Glykeria has become an icon of Greek music, celebrated for her unique blend of traditional folk melodies and contemporary influences. Her profound connection to the soul of Greece resonates in every note, transporting listeners to the sun-drenched landscapes and ancient streets of her beloved country. Glykeria’s passion, talent, and unwavering dedication continue to captivate hearts globally.

 

How did you face the challenge of working to become a known singer at the beginning of your career?

The beginning of my career was a period filled with challenges and pleasant surprises. I faced the challenge with determination and a love for music, always trying to show my true self in every performance.

 

What was the inspiration behind the song “Giati Ta Pentohiliara Den Eine Petsetakia”?

The song “Giati Ta Pentohiliara Den Eine Petsetakia” emerged from a moment of inspiration and the need to express a social concern through music.

 

How did your friends and family react to your choice to pursue music as a career?

My family and friends have always supported my decision to pursue my musical path. Their love and support were crucial to my success.

 

What was the most touching or interesting experience you had at the beginning of your career?

One of the most touching experiences was my first encounter with the audience in Plaka in 1974. The audience’s response was amazing and made me feel like I belonged in this world.

 

When did you initially start singing?

I started singing during the period when the repertoire of the Bouzouki was ending.

 

What were your influences from musicians and composers like Tsitsanis, Vamvakaris, and Mitsakis?

My influences came from the great musicians of my time, such as Tsitsanis, Vamvakaris, Mitsakis, and some others, who inspired me with their work.

 

How were you influenced by your collaborations with George Dalaras and other famous musicians?

My collaborations with George Dalaras and other famous musicians put me in touch with a wider audience and strengthened my artistic journey.

 

What was the role of the repertoire of Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, and Manos Loïzos in your artistic journey?

The work of Hadjidakis, Theodorakis, and Loïzos had a significant impact on my musical journey, adding variety and depth to my repertoire.

 

How do you perceive the evolution of Greek music after the era of rebetiko and folk songs?

The evolution of Greek music after the era of rebetiko and folk songs was exciting and multidimensional, with new influences and sounds that further propelled the development of the Greek music scene.

 

What were your influences by Greek music?

I was influenced by the entire spectrum of Greek music, from folk to art music.

 

How did your first album, “Min Kaneis Oneira Trela” help your career?

My first album opened me up to a wider audience and allowed me to promote myself as an artist.

 

How did you deal with the challenges and choices at the beginning of your career in the music industry?

I faced challenges and carefully chose my next steps, recognizing opportunities and rejecting those that didn’t align with my artistic vision.

 

Who was Stelios Fotiadis and what role did he play in your music industry journey?

Stelios Fotiadis was a member of the band “Nostradamos”. Our collaboration was significant for my musical journey. Later, he became my spouse, and our collaboration continued.

 

In which record company was your first album released and when?

My first album was released by Lyra Music Company in 1980. Lyra Music Company was known for its support of the new wave genre.

 

When was your first solo album released?

My first purely solo album was released in 1980, titled “Koita Me Sta Matia”.

 

What was your most significant experience in your journey in the music industry?

My participation in the Europalia festival in 1982 in Brussels was a significant experience. Although it wasn’t the event that led me to my path, it opened the way for more international exposure.

 

What other events in your music journey do you consider top ones?

The live recordings at Stin Omorfi Nyhta (translation: In the Beautiful Night) and “Smyrneika” are two albums that mark important events in my journey. They helped me overcome anonymity and gain the love of the audience.

 

What was your international journey and who was the person who connected you with the outside world?

My international journey wasn’t as intense; I mainly targeted Greek audiences. However, I had the opportunity to perform in France at a festival for rebetiko music.

 

How do you explain the popularity of Greek music in Israel?

Greek music became popular in Israel due to Greek Jews who brought their musical tradition there.

 

What is the role of music?

Music is a language that transcends borders and unites different cultures and peoples, promoting understanding and interaction.

 

How does your music communicate with expatriates in various countries?

Music serves as a communication language that conveys our culture and identity to expatriates in various countries, creating a connection with our homeland and community.

 

How do you perceive your role as an artist in preserving and promoting Greek culture abroad?

As an artist, I feel responsible for preserving and promoting Greek culture through my songs, thus offering a piece of our homeland to every corner of the world.

 

How has the role of Greek music evolved, especially with the emergence of the internet?

With the emergence of the internet, access to information has become immediate, but personal contact remains important. Greek music conveys our life and culture through notes and songs.

 

How do you feel about the idea of your son and grandchildren following in your footsteps in the music industry?

If someone expressed a desire to follow my music, I would support them but also give them the freedom to choose their path.

 

What message do you want to convey to the world?

The message I want to convey is the importance of love for ourselves and our homeland, as well as the need to love and respect each other, thus creating a world full of love and peace.

 

Where have your various performances taken place?

I have had performances in Australia and America, as well as in Europe with Melina Aslanidou.

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