Athena is one of those people who live and breathe and think and talk about music and she writes with the same sort of direct focus. During a one hour Channel 5 / Sky Arts documentary made about her in the UK, legendary songwriter Chris Difford (Squeeze) described Athena as someone who, “writes and sings from the heart. She doesn’t need to be packaged by anyone – she is simply and beautifully her.” She has the same sort of clear artistic vision that marks out Norah Jones or Tori Amos or Bjork and it’s matched with a fresh, limitless ambition. “Athena’s classic, with a twist…” noted Jamie Cullum.
Born in London to Greek parents, Athena’s mother would sing her to sleep. Despite all the music around the house, the young Athena was denied a piano until she was 16, and her businessman father insisted she study business, so she headed to Bath University but continued performing. After securing a First Class Degree in Business Athena told her parents, quite directly she would be doing music full time and enrolled on a course at Trinity College, London, where she graduated from with two post-graduate degrees in Classical and Jazz Voice. Athena’s debut album, ‘Breathe With Me’, drew many excellent reviews, indeed The Guardian commenting that she was “Brave and original. A remarkably fine singer songwriter.” Since then she has headlined and sold out numerous UK tours, played at Glastonbury, had songs covered by other artists and seen her own music synced with TV, commercials and movies. All the while Athena has built a strong and sizeable following with the sort of word of mouth that can only come from connecting directly with the emotional heart of your audience.
She has collaborated, recorded, performed and co-written with international musicians and songwriters such as Chris Difford (Squeeze), Geoff Martyn (Travis), Chaz Jankel (Blockheads), Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet), Adam Levy (Norah Jones), Mike Rowe (Sheryl Crowe), Ben Trigg (Arctic Monkeys, Razorlight), Darren Berry (La Roux), Chesney Hawkes, Eric Appapouley & Richard Cassell (Plan B), Ethan Allen (Ben Harper).
‘Peeling Apples’ her second album was produced by Swedes Magnus Frykberg and Tobias Froberg (Ane Brun and Lisa Ekdahl), and co-writers on the record include Richard Causon (Ryan Adams, Ethan Johns, The Kings of Leon, Rufus Wainwright), and Jamie Hartman (Joss Stone, Anastacia) features on a duet. Further to headlining London Bush Hall, her first single, Finding England featured on the cover album of Word magazine and was selected for the Visit England campaign to coincide with the London Olympics 2012. Her song ‘Breathe Again’ featured on Concern’s annual TV ad campaign in the UK & Ireland (2012-2013), while Athena also featured singing on the Save The Children TV ad in the UK with her version of ‘Silent Night’ (winter 2014-2015).
In 2014 she released (UNIVERSAL- EMI) a Greek-language record ‘Giini Aggeli (Earth Angels) co-produced by Giorgos Andreou (Tsaligopoulou, Dalaras, Vitali, Alkinoos Ioannidis) featuring Lina Nikolakopoulou (Haris Alexiou, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Alkistis Protopsalti).
Starbucks picked Athena to be their exclusive artist in 2014-2015 and her albums are sold in all stores (Greece & Cyprus) raising money for charity. The co-branding deal is still running successfully after a year.
Athena is currently recording her first US record, and 4th studio album, at The Village Studios in Los Angeles with producer Ethan Allen. Musicians on the record include Deron Johnson (Miles Davis), Jimmy Paxson (Stevie Nicks), Michael Ward (Ben Harper) and Jonathan Flaugher (Ryan Adams).