photo by Takis Spyropoulos
Stella Chronopoulou, better known by her stage name Σtella, is a singer-songwriter, musician and painter. Born and raised in Athens she completed her studies in the Athens School of Fine Arts, as well as starting to write music. In 2011, she formed Fever Kids with Alex Zabaras. Their first single “Holding Grass” was released in January 2014 via Inner Ear, to great critical acclaim.
In 2012, Σtella self-released the EP, “Keep Μe Naked”, through her soundcloud account. Besides her solo work, she has collaborated with several Greek artists and bands such as My Wet Calvin, Sillyboy, Coti K, NTEiBINT, Sad Disco and formed the band Chest with Babis Theocharis.
Her first solo full album was released in early 2015 via Inner Ear, and followed this year by the excellent “Works For You”. We’ve covered the singles from the album as well as her recent collaboration with Someone Who Isn’t Me. We were delighted when she agreed to have a chat about the new album, her influences and what’s happening right now in Greek music.
When/Why did you decide to become a musician?
Since I was very young, I would pretend to hold a microphone in the house all the time and sing for my parents. I loved to do that.
What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?
I loved “I can’t get no satisfaction”. My dad had a record of this song played by this guitarist Tony Mottola and I use to pop the record in and dance around for hours, on repeat.
The album cover image is interesting, tell us about that.
I decided to take a couple of my favourite things with me for this photoshoot. Those things happen to be my ninja suit and a soccer ball. We were just trying things out with my friend Takis Spyropoulos, who’s the photographer and he shot that image. When I saw it I thought, there’s my cover.
How long have you been working on the new LP? Are you happy with the results?
I’m very happy with it, I think I basically worked on it from September 2015 to August of 2106.
How different is it for you to work solo rather than as part of a group?
I like both situations. It’s cool to work with someone else because you get a different perspective on what they think about a track and that’s something you always learn from. I did collaborate with many bands before I started solo, so after that I was ready for some “alone time” and focusing on what I would like to hear and how I could make that happen.
What is your favourite song that you’ve written and why?
Usually the songs that I’m more attached to have to do with three things. 1st is if I am happy with the way it came out. 2nd are the lyrics and what they mean to me. 3rd If I’m really liking the melody. Songs like that are Picking Words, Wet Cigarette, Watch Me Dive, Piano Stool.
You’re also an accomplished visual artist, where does your heart lie (music or art)?
Ha! I don’t know if I like the word “accomplished’. I’ve just been into all the things I loved to do since forever, that was music and fine arts. But since I was very young I felt really intense when I heard something I liked. So I guess music always won.
How difficult/easy do you find to write songs? There are some beautiful melodies on the LP, do they arrive fully formed or do you have a particular method?
The songs usually pop in my head all of a sudden, when this happens it all seems very fast and before I know it I have something new, and usually it doesn’t change much. Couldn’t really say I have a method.
What musicians would you consider to be your biggest influences?
I was really stuck with: Michael Jackson, Queen, The Doors, Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Fleetwood Mac, Mike Oldfield.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
Louie Louie played by The Kingsmen. I just think it’s the simplest and the smartest thing I’ve heard. Also it’s a lot of fun.
What’s exciting you on the Greek music scene these days?
Well, I’m always excited, but the Greek music scene is definitely getting serious about itself these days. Bands like Acid Baby Jesus, Bazooka, Sillyboy, Whereswilder, are just some of my favourites, and many more are worth checking out.
What’s your idea of success?
Success is a weird word. I will be happy doing what I’m doing now, for as far as it goes.
If you weren’t a musician/artist what would you love to do?
Honestly I don’t know really.
Do you consider yourself an optimist?
I am definitely an optimist.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are? And what would be your answer?
Is this a trick for another question? Haha – I think I’m too scared to ask myself questions.
Finally, we ask everyone to do a sketch/drawing for us –