I had the opportunity to catch up with Cyber Academy’s finalist Effie Star — she’s been busy since the compeitition — we got to chat about music and o’course Greece! Effie is a bundle of energy and can’t wait to hear her new project!
1. Being a Greek Canadian artist — how does that identity help or hinder you as an artist
I’m proud to be a Hellene! Being exposed to such a variety of musical styles has definitely been a huge artistic bonus. Greece is a small country that persevered over 400 years of foreign occupation and slavery. Feeling my ancestry in me gives me compassion and undefeatable strength. They are heroes! I sing and write for all the past unheard voices who fought for me to live as a free artist. When I stepped offstage in Las Vegas this year, a man stopped me and said, “You sing like a sister.” I told him, “Well I AM Greek!”
2. How long have you been singing professional?
I’ve always sang, written poetry & paid attention with serious focus. So I’ve either always been a professional, or I never have.
At around age nine I acted in my first film and modelled for a book cover. About a decade later, I earned a major international record deal and publishing deal offer. I don’t consider comp a marker for professionalism though, so I still don’t know what a professional artist is.
3. I know your faith (Effie is Greek Orthodox) is important to you — how do you balance the two — music industry isn’t always the most “moral” industry.
I don’t balance my faith against anything; my faith balances me.
I think it’s easy to stigmatize the entire entertainment industry as immoral, but the same problems exist everywhere. I was in a rock band for three of my teen years, I sang in bars while underage, and while I was still young, I had producers, like David Kahne, and labels, like Madonna’s Maverick records, fly in to meet me about my solo pop project. I did six hour photo shoots. There was a bidding war in NY & LA for “the EFFIE project.” The president of Warner Bros International bought me a shmooze trip to meet him in LA. I should have stories for you, right? Rapper Snow asking me to join him for a cigarette break from the EMI party I met him at is as “bad” as it gets – and I declined even that! I told him, “I don’t second-hand smoke.” You’ve just got to set and stick to your own personal boundaries – in any career or walk of life.
4. Do you have any project coming out
I’m getting ready to record my *awesome* original solo music – I can’t wait! The newest duet I recorded comes out soon, and I joined a musical performance group, so I’ve been rehearsing for our April show. I also have some really innovative top secret projects in the works. Follow @effie.star for updates!
For my next literary launch, I’m planning a poetry compilation… although I’ve written four novels that are suffocating for release! I can’t wait to get everything out! In the meantime, my children’s book, The Hill of Feelings, is available on Amazon, Kindle and on my website:
☆ www.EffieStar.com ☆
5. What was your biggest performance?
My biggest crowd was probably in Romeo venue in Greece, aside from the time years earlier when I sang Ερωτευμενακι on legendary Anna Vissi’s Athens stage. I remember a local reporter covering the impromptu performance and the crowd chanting my name… it’s one of those moments that I cherish. More recently, I was invited to sing at best-selling female artist worldwide Nana Mouskouri’s concertna in Toronto. To sing for a great cause – and for a great vocal legend – was an honour.