Héllena: My interview with London’s rising Greek star
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
Greek born Singer/Songwriter Héllena (formerly Helena Micy) decided to take a leap of faith and moved to the UK in 2011 to work with MTV award-winning producer Stereo Mike.
Héllena made it into the MTV Unsigned Top 20 and gained 6 Gold awards on BEAT100 for "Don't Change" and "Dream Big". In March 2013 she performed at SXSW festival and by early 2014 she reached No1 in ReverbNation's Soul/R'N'B UK charts. She also appeared on Simon Lederman's BBC London 94,9 fm show in 2014. Héllena is building a strong online fanbase and performing live with her band across the UK.
Her latest Single "Now I see" was released in May 13th, 2016.
My interview with London’s rising Greek star
In what part of Greece were you born?
In a very small village at the beginning of mountain Olympus.
What is it like returning to Greece, how does it make you feel?
It's a breath of fresh air. Whenever I touch down in Athens, I feel I'm in paradise.
How does your Greek ancestry influence your music?
Most characteristics we acquire in a very young age and are instilled in us without us realising. I didn't even know I was using (very discreetly) “Greek” style music and melodies in my music until people mentioned it actually so yes my Greek ancestry influenced my music making but it happened subconsciously.
You have been very successful in England. What does a cosmopolitan London mean to you?
London has given me so much. I became a better person and a better Artist because of London. It is multicultural and you can do whatever you can think of! Ah and what to say about the music scene here? The best of the best musicians are here. It is incredible! I am truly grateful of living here. So much talent going on!
Who are your influences in music and why?
Music wise I listen to anything that sounds good to my ears. I've been listening to lots of Blues recently like Eric Clapton, Howling Wolf, Nina Simone etc. I try to listen to many different styles so I don't get stuck.
How did you first start out? Where did you first record, play live and did you have a mentor?
My mentors have always been people I was looking up to but it doesn't mean they were all musicians. I've got many mentors for different aspects of my life. They can be poets, musicians, philosophers and ordinary people who live next to me. I recorded my first EP in a studio in Athens, Greece. It was a beautiful experience and the start of many exciting things to follow, as for my first show it was with a choir in Thessaloniki, Greece when I was 17. Oh my I remember I was so shy. Was singing with another 30 people and still I was so afraid of singing on stage in front of a crowd. Haha! I find it funny now.
You told me recently that you were thinking about experimenting with a darker edge to your sound.
Describe how you will go about this?
I've been through many difficulties in the last year and those experiences influenced me to write darker stuff. I also decided to talk about a matter I never wanted to talk about but the time has come to be free. The song talks about domestic violence as I was a witness of it in my home for years as a child. I thought I would never talk about it but I feel I can help others by singing about it and so I will.
I still don't know how the EP will turn out to sound exactly but I am thinking it will be a mixture of Dark Soul and Rock. I grew up listening to hard rock and metal music and I am returning to my roots. That's how I feel, plus I started working on the arrangements myself so the result is going to be 100% me this time. Something I really needed in order to express myself completely. Can't wait to share these songs with the world!
Where to now, just London, or are you taking your tunes to the world?
I'm going to play live in the UK this year but not sure if I'll play abroad too. Let's see where music will take me :) You can stay updated by visiting: www.hellenaofficial.com