One-on-one with talented singer/ songwriter, Zoe Kalfayianni

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By Vasilis Vasilas

With Zoe Kalfayianni’s exciting release of her second album, Μαχαιριά, Vasilis Vasilas talks to talented singer/songwriter about her new release, making the Greek music market and the digital age of music.

Congratulations on the exciting new record, Μαχαιριά! On this record, you have written the lyrics of seven songs; how have you grown as a songwriter since your debut album, Πόσο Λίγο Σε Νιάζει?

Since releasing my debut album Πόσο Λίγο Σε Νιάζει in 2018, I have had great reviews and feedback from around the world that has given me the strength and confidence to be able to grow and continue writing songs at a professional level of high quality.

You enjoyed several decades of singing live in Australia’s live Greek music scene. How did you make the transition from singing in venues to becoming a recording artist?

As far as live entertainment in Sydney is concerned these days, it is who you know and what group you are in that gives you the advantage to work in this industry and it does not matter what you have achieved or how talented you are unfortunately.

I decided to lift myself to another level because I have always believed in my talent writing Greek lyrics from a fairly young age and it has always been my dream to record my own songs. This way I have an audience that appreciate and listen to my songs and these original songs will remain forever- unlike performing live in Australia where you are forgotten the next day.

What are the challenges of being a local Sydney artist and gaining recognition from Greece’s music industry to record and release your work?

The challenge is to write good Greek songs at a high level from a Greek Australian-born artist, like myself, to get these songs heard and accepted by Greek record companies and radio stations which I have achieved.

In 2017, my songs Kαμμένα Όνειρα and Απάτη reached Top 10 on Palmos Radio Athens and was released with Real Music In Greece on behalf of Dynamical Records Australia. In 2018, my song M’ Ένα Όνειρο was the first ever original Greek song from Sydney Australia to get released by Heaven Music in Greece and this gave me the recognition I deserved.

Album cover for Μαχαιριά.

What are some of the challenges of artists, such as yourself, face in the digital age of recoding and releasing music? Or has it made the process of recording and releasing easier?

 The digital world of music has made it easier producing and releasing songs but to a point. The challenge is you still need to have good material (ie music, lyrics and production) to make sales and attract a potential audience in the thousands that will download and stream your songs worldwide.

What are some of the highlights from Μαχαιριά? What can we, as your audience, look forward to?

The highlights from my latest album Μαχαιριά is obviously the first song of the self-titled album , which is a strong rock ballad- that is surely to impress. A s pointed out, M’ Ένα Όνειρο was the first original song ever to be released with Heaven Music Greece from Australia. Vicky Mou is a strong modern roumba and a family- orientated song that means a lot to me- I wrote this song for my daughter. So, the album is diverse in that it captures various styles such as a zeibekiko, some dance rhythm songs as well as rock ballads.

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