Athena lives and breathes and thinks music in two languages and apparently can’t stop writing and playing in either of them (Greek and English). During a Channel 5/Sky Arts documentary made about her in the UK, songwriter Chris Difford described her as someone who, “writes and sings from the heart. She doesn't need to be packaged by anyone – she is simply and beautifully her." Which is probably why she is often compared to Norah Jones or Tori Amos or Bjork.
I knew none of that when I saw her showcase in Hollywood some time back. I was stunned by her talent, and by the very casual way she bonded with the audience and delivered a stellar show – like a pro. I understood when I talked to her later that she was born in London to Greek parents and was surrounded by music, although she could not play until she was 16, and then she took off – sort of. Her parents made her go to business school for an advanced degree – not something you run into onstage very often..
Athena’s debut album, Breathe With Me, was a critical success and enabled her to headline and sell out numerous UK tours, play at Glastonbury, have songs covered by other artists and have her music scored on TV, commercials and movies. Part of her success is the huge following she has built, based on what I saw in Hollywood – a intimate bond with an audience that is created almost casually, like it is part of her nature….which it is.
She shuttles between London and Greece (not always efficiently due to Turkish Airlines) and now seems to be shuttling between the fog of London – or the summer heat – and the cool ocean breezes of LA, where she is currently recording her first US record, and 4th studio album, at The Village Studios in Los Angeles with producer Ethan Allen.
I really look forward to talking with her this Friday. It will be an honor