Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I am currently based in Berlin, Germany. The music scene here is very colourful, there are a lot of musicians from all over the world carrying their own culture and sounds. At the same time all the big names in the music business stop by Berlin for a yearly show. The city is so special and so rich in music, I can’t keep up!
What was it like growing up in Cyprus and then moving to Berlin?
Growing up in Cyprus was simple and beautiful. I grew up in a small village and played all day in the yard or in the streets with the other kids in the neighbourhood. Moving to Berlin was a shock! The change from a small village on a small island into a big capital city was very difficult, it took me years to adjust to the new lifestyle.
How did you first start playing music?
I started playing the piano when I was about 8 years old. My uncle Elias was a tenor and one day he heard me singing and said to my parents, “Eleni sings very well, you should send her to learn music!” He paid for every music lesson and piano lesson I had until I was 18 years old
You transition from a classical musician to a pop songwriter, how and why did you take your music in this direction?
I was trained to be a classical concert pianist but for me, practice at home meant, 30 minutes learning the pieces for the teacher, and hours improvising and playing my own music. I never thought of it as a big thing but my personal sound was always there and kept growing with me even through the time where I was really into classical music while studying and performing…now it has taken over and it is finally out there for everyone to listen to!
Please describe how you go about writing music:
I don’t always have a theme or a message I want to put out there. At the beginning, I am trying to figure out what a song is trying to say to me aswell. I let all my feelings go into the writing sessions and when I am writing I am thinking “oh, so this is how I feel”! Writing music can be a very healing process for me.
How do you go about recording and producing your music?
I am so bad at this! I am happy to have my 2 amazing friends and producers who did a brilliant work with the production of the album., Lefteris Moumtzis and Andreas Trachonitis. Andreas also recorded the album. I have been doing all of my recordings with Andreas since 2008. I was actually one of his first customers!
Who or what influences your sound and songwriting?
I am mostly influenced by relationships. The relationship with a partner, a friend, my own self, an imaginary partner, an imaginary friend, the imaginary self…! I also find nature fascinating, the moon and the stars and everything that is majestic and more powerful than me. I like to build a bridge between reality and my dreams, using my music and my songs.
Who are your favourite artists from both past and present?
Madeleine Peyroux, Billie Holiday, Alice Phoebe Lou, Freedom Candlemaker, James Blake, Sufjan Stevens, Joan as Police Woman, Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Sigur Ros, Notwist, Beatles, George Harrison, Eva Cassidy, Moving Mountains
What do you like to do away from music?
I like doing yoga, cooking or baking for friends, going for a swim in the summer, travelling!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I am listening to Sam Cooke and really enjoying it!
What do you have planned for 2019?
We are planning a tour in Europe to present Rise Love, there is still a lot to be done! Apart from that, I have 8 shows until summer in Cyprus, Germany and the UK.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Whatever people I love cook for me! Wherever as long people I love are with me!
CD, Vinyl, Store: www.louvanarecords.com/EleniEra