Haris Alexiou

Haris Alexiou
Biography
Haris Alexiou

Few singers have touched as many souls the world over, as Haris Alexiou, also known as Haroula. 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, drama, tragedy, and heart wrenching passion. Haris Alexiou is, for many, the most important female singer to come out of Greece, featuring an extraordinary repertoire.

Mesmerizing generations with her warm and marvelous voice, Alexiou has become the salient symbol not only of Greek music but of Greek culture itself. Her range of emotions is impressive, to say the least.

Alexiou’s range is diverse, from Greek rebetika and laika to pop, folk and urban sounds. All performed with the same ease and versatility. Her voice can take an audience to immense heights and then cradle them gently and tenderly.

Earthy and eerie, Alexiou touches the souls of romantics all over the world; she has the kind of voice that eliminates barriers of language. You don’t need to speak Greek to feel her passion and uniqueness. She has enthralled audiences the world over from Paris to New York and from Sydney to Tokyo.

Haris Alexiou (real name Hariklia Roupaka) was born in the town of Thiva in 1950 but soon came to Athens with her mother and brother. She began singing folk and laika songs at fairs and festivals in the ‘60’s and early ‘70’s.

Alexiou’s first musical break came in 1972 when she sang on the album Mikra Asia (Asia Minor) written by Apostolos Kaldaras and Pythagoras. The album spoke to the hearts of the Greek people and skyrocketed Alexiou’s career. Within a few years she beagan singing for all the major composers and lyricist’s of the time, such as Manos Loizos, Mikis Theodorakis and more. To the masses she simply became known as Haroula.

Alexiou became known as a singer of laika songs; her album 12 Laika Songs was a massive hit and broadened her audience further. She performed in night clubs all over  Greece and gave concerts along with other major singers of the time. During the 70’s she started working with Manos Loizos, a great Greek composer who became a personal friend and who wrote some of his best songs for her to perform.

During the 80’s, Alexiou broadened her horizons by diversifying her repertoire. She started singing with younger Greek composers, such as Thanos Mikroutsikos, and Christos Nikolopoulos, but still remained loyal to her past, singing laika and folk songs.

She worked with the renowned Manos Hadjidakis on the album Haris Alexiou in Unpredictable Songs, which is considered one of her best and saw her career catapult into the 1990’s.

Alexiou made a dramatic turn in her career, changing her appearance, which shocked many fans, and released an album entitled Di’efhon (With Blessings) which is now widely considered a classic. This album took on more urban and electronic sounds featuring 12 of her best songs with music composed by Nikos Antypas and lyrics by Lina Nikolakopoulou, Geece’s most accredited female lyricist. This became the second best selling album in Greece after Hadjidakis’ Giokonda’s Smile.

The 90’s proved to be an extremely successful decade for Alexiou. In 1995 she released
88 Nefeli Street, the first album ever written by her. The album is a huge success and Alexiou is awarded the Prix Adami by the French Academie Charles Gros.

Haris Alexiou continues to tour and record exploring and adapting to new sounds whilst still drawing international attention with her emotive voice and mesmerising stage presence.

For more information visit Haris Alexiou's official website www.harisalexiou.gr

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