Photo by Fotini Chora
I hope my words find you well, somewhere safe and lovely. Today WHO AM I was released and I’m beyond excited. It’s quite different from what you’ve heard from me so far, however, it’s still electronic and weird. I keep my awkward in tact.
I’ve been asked lately by several people about my writing process & my label EraseRestart. Today, I thought of sharing with you some behind the scenes – where did I write the record, where did I produce it & how did I put it out? What I’d like you to keep in mind is that my reality is similar to the reality of many of my peers. More and more artists are founding their own labels nowadays & some of them are even self-published. You might have picked it up from somewhere, that the music industry is struggling (like every other industry). So here I am, shedding some light on what it means to be an indie, DIY artist in 2017 and sharing some inside information about WHO AM I.
Where was WHO AM I written?
I wrote my album at home, in Berlin. To be more specific, I wrote everything while in bed, like a true bedroom musician. At the time I had an old laptop that would turn off the moment I unplugged the charger. However, I didn’t need more than that – it was more than enough for me to compose, write the lyrics, record my demos and pre-produce all of my songs. Now, you’ll ask what does it mean to “pre-produce”? Well, it means that except for the vocals, the guitars, the bass and a couple of synths that were recorded later on, at the studio, I came up with the sounds, the initial arrangement & structure of the songs. That’s why my name is also credited as a producer. Why do I need to mention that? Well, I have the feeling that, especially as a female artist, I always need to justify all the bits and parts of my work, which feels a bit weird. You’ll rarely read a post about a male artist that’s stating the producer and the studio where he recorded, but when it’s about a female artist, all details have to be stated as some sort of verification process. Obviously, that has nothing to do with you and me who love music and worship it, but more with the outdated mess of the music industry and its unwillingness to accept all that’s different from what it’s used to idolise.
What is the album about?
I have previously addressed how WHO AM I is like an ode to humanity. One will quickly notice that while an ode is always positive, my album appears to criticise the modern societies quite a lot. However, despite our era being all about either godifying or ostracising people, my ambition was to create something that, in its imperfection is humanly & beautiful. And as all of us break and mend, so do my songs. Whenever I criticise something, I always try to find something to praise, too. Even on “Millennial Girl”, I make clear that the heroine of my song is aware of her situation and the vanity she’s surrounded by. I chose to show it from the perspective of a woman who grew up amidst all technological evolution. However, although technology seems to progress, she is still hung up on false stereotypes (“they say if I lose 50 pounds I will look pretty for my bae”) and feels lost (“my family and friends say I live on the edge”). What’s important to mention is that, although there might be some people who are acting like my “Millennial Girl”, I don’t suggest, generalise or imply that my song refers to my generation. I based my song on what media and older generations assume the millennials to be.
What’s each song about?
“A Letter From Urban Street” is about loss. “ForgetRegret” is about acknowledging and standing up for what’s right for you. “Away From Me” is about always have been the weird kid. “LoveStory” is about healing. “Instead Of You” is about the futility of war. “Summer Prince” is about heartbreak and trust issues. “Who Am I” is about one’s lost identity. “Millennial Girl” is about the portrayal of millennials on the Internet and the media (FAKE NEWS!). “To You” is about finding true love. Last but not least, “Berlin During Winter” is the most personal song of WHO AM I & is about my struggles with mental illness. And Berlin.
Where was WHO AM I recorded?
The album was written at home and recorded where I consider to be my professional/second home. I recorded it in my hometown – Athens, Greece at Artracks Studios – the studio where it all started for me. And honestly, if it wasn’t for George Priniotakis (with whom I produced WHO AM I), I wouldn’t be sitting here today. It’s a decade since I set my foot in Artracks for the first time. It was also where I met with my old bandmate & recorded all of our songs. Working on my first solo album at a place where it feels safe was like a dream come true and I’m very grateful to all those who made this possible for me.
OK, but how do you release a record?
Once the record is mixed and mastered, one can start the process of the release. There’s a lot of planning and scheduling. I work together with my husband, who’s also my manager. I also work closely with my distributor and my publisher. Very roughly, the distributor is the one who makes sure that an album is available on all shops and platforms, while the publisher is the one who takes care of other administrative tasks, like listings, registering the songs etc. However, there are even more office tasks for my husband and I to take care of like planning, promoting, budgeting & producing more content around the album (e.g. videos, photographs, interviews). When I decided to run my own label, I thought of it as something really cool. At the time, I was used to having other people taking care of everything that seemed too “businessy” and “boring”. Early enough I understood that, while running your own label can be very empowering, it’s also a really hard work.
Will there be a physical release of WHO AM I?
Yes, but not quite yet. Stay tuned!
Are there any touring plans?
No, there will be no live shows, at least for now. That’s by choice. You can read more about it here.
I think that’s all for now. I hope I answered all your questions. And I really hope that you’ll enjoy listening WHO AM I.