‘Don’t forget your roots’: Stelios Daliardos wants to keep Greek culture alive through music

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When Stelios Daliardos was five years old, he would play Greek CD’s of live concerts and mimic the performers for family and friends. Now, as an adult, he is no longer mimicking those performers but singing in front of live audiences.

“I’d stand up on the coffee table and sing as a little kid,” he tells The Greek Herald. “That’s where the love for it came.”

Named as a ‘young gun’ at Sydney’s Greek nightclub, Feggaria, the 19-year-old singer was born and raised in the local suburb of Belmore. 

“One day I do want to be remembered as the boy from Belmore,” Stelios says with a smile.

Sitting down with the singer, it’s clear he can’t deny the Greek blood that runs in his veins.

“This is what I love, this is who I am,” Stelios says when he talks about his passion for Greek music.

But what makes this Greek singer unique is that Stelios wasn’t born in Greece. Instead, he was born in Australia and grew up around English-speaking parents. Like many second-generation Greek Australians, he learnt Greek in his early childhood from his grandparents and at Greek school.

The young talent dreams of making it as a singer in Greece and Australia. He hopes to converge his passion for Greek and English music by producing bilingual songs.

“I want to release my music, I’ve written many songs… The biggest thing is to put the Greek Australian identity on the world stage,” he says.

Stelios wholeheartedly identifies as an Australian, but actively nurtures his Greek heritage.

“For me, it’s weird, because I am as Greek as I am Australian. I love Greece, I love the culture. I love it all. But when it comes to Australia Day, I am the biggest Aussie out there with the flag,” Stelios explains.

In his teen years, Stelios picked up the bouzouki and naturally his voice followed. He says when he was 15 years old he became hooked on the feeling of performing after an impromptu performance at a taverna one night.

By years 11 and 12 he started doing small gigs, performing at christenings and weddings and since graduating high school, he performs every Saturday night at Feggaria.

Music for Stelios is about a real connection and he says it has kept him strong in life’s toughest situations and given him the willpower to deal with losing a grandparent.

“I write music for that reason, even if one person can feel warmth and strength from a song I sing, then I am happy,” he explains.

Among this fiery passion for Greek music, Stelios’ unwavering desire to keep Greek culture alive in younger generations also profoundly motivates him.

He says that in high school he almost lost his passion for singing Greek and doesn’t want the same to happen to others.

“I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be cool,” he says.

“I don’t want people to deny their Greek culture and try and be something they are not – like I almost did… You just have to dive in deep, learn the language and not forget your roots.”

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