Haris Alexiou – The Greek Singer that Mesmerizes Greece
Few singers can touch so many souls all over the world, like Haris Alexiou, also known as Haroula Alexiou. A woman with a deep, throaty and passionate voice, a Greek singer that embodies the destiny and characteristics of her country as no one else: joyful, filled with love, dramatic, tragic, and heart wrenching, Haris Alexiou is, for many, the most important female singer born in this country, featuring an incredible repertoire.
Mesmerizing generations and generations with her warm and marvelous voice, Alexiou easily became the salient symbol not only of Greek Music but of the entire Greek culture. Her range of emotions is impressive, to say the least.
Haroula Alexiou, a true gem for Greek music
Haroula Alexiou can sing from rebetika to laika and pop or folk music and more urban sounds with the same ease and versatility. Her voice can take you to immense heights and then cradle you gently and tenderly.
Earthy and eerie, a true gem for the Greek Music, Alexiou’s voice touches the souls of romantics all over the world; she has this kind of voice that eliminates barriers of language. You don’t need to speak Greek to feel her passion and uniqueness. Sometimes, language is not important, and in her case there is nothing more real.
A short Biography of Haris Alexiou
Haris Alexiou (real name Hariklia Roupaka) was born in Thiva on December 27th 1950 but soon came to Athens with her mother and brother. Alexiou was known to sing folk and laika songs in fairs and festivals, but until the early 70s she was not yet discovered by the large music companies.
The first musical break comes in 1972 when she sings songs in the album Mikra Asia (Asia Minor) written by Apostolos Kaldaras and Pythagoras. The album spoke to the hearts of Greeks and skyrocketed Alexiou’s career. Within a few years she started singing all major composers and lyric writers of the time, such as Manos Loizos, Mikis Theodorakis and more. For people she is Haroula… their Haroula…
Alexiou was considered a singer of laika songs; her album “12 Laika Songs” makes a big hit and broadens her audience. She sings in night stages and clubs in Greece, giving concerts along with other major singers of the time. During the 70s she starts working with Manos Loizos, a great Greek composer who became a personal friend of hers and gave her some of his best songs.
During the 80s, Alexiou broadens her horizons, diversifying her repertoire. She starts singing new – and younger – Greek Composers, such as Thanos Mikroutsikos, and Christos Nikolopoulos, but still remains loyal to her past, singing Laika and Folk Songs, although it is time for her to make her huge steps. She works with Manos Hadjidakis in just one album, which is still considered one of her best: “Haris Alexiou in Unpredictable Songs”, and soon the lifechanging decade of 90s comes.
Alexiou’s Career in the 90s
Alexiou makes a huge and dramatic turn in her career; she changes a hairdo, which shocks the Greeks, and releases an album that made history, called “Di’efhon” (With Blessings). This album was based on more urban and electronic sound and Alexiou features 12 of her best songs; music was composed by Nikos Antypas and lyrics were written by Lina Nikolakopoulou, the most accredited female lyric writer today. Till the present it is considered the second best selling album in Greece after Hadjidakis’ “Giokonda’s Smile” , and one of the best selling albums in the world.
The 90s is an extremely successful decade for her; in 1995 the “88 Nefeli Street” is released, the first album ever written by her. The album makes a blast and Alexiou is awarded the Prix Adami by the French Academie Charles Gros. French, seduced by her voice call her “The Greek Edith Piaf”.
Haris Alexiou continues her tours and recordings to the present; every live appearance of her is a huge event and is attended by thousands of Greeks. She has been able to adjust and adapt to new sounds with great ease and success, gathering international attention due to her emotive and passionate voice and her amazing stage performance.