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With the recent passing of legendary composer Yannis Spanos, Greek City Times was fortunate to meet up with rising star Chrysoula Stefanaki who was scheduled to sing with the great maestro this winter. Stefanaki, who has performed also with other great names such as Dimitris Mitropanos, Kostas Makedomas, Glykeria, and Manolis Misias, dreams of singing for the Greek diaspora!

Since her singing career launched in 1996, when she performed with Manolis Lidakis, she began performing in Greece and abroad with other acclaimed Greek artists, such as Stefanos Korkolis, Vicky Moscholiou, Yannis Spanos, Mimis Plessas, Dimitris Mitropanos, Kostas Makedomas, Glykeria, and Manolis Misias. “I feel so happy and privileged to have performed with so many wonderful artists who have offered to much to Greece’s contemporary musical culture and history,” says Stefanaki.

From Herakleion, Crete where she grew up, singer Hrysoula Stefanaki has always had music in her veins, and began piano lessons and singing from the age of six at her local Odeion music conservatory. This came after her parents saw her enthusiastically tapping away at her toy keyboard at five, creating melodies that poured from her imagination.

“Music is my life!” she tells Greek City Times. A rising star with a velvety, emotionally rich voice, who often sings retro/jazz/classic style songs, Stefanaki is a rising star not only in her native land but also way beyond its borders. “I feel it’s my life’s mission and greatest passion to sing for Greek audiences and not only, for everyone who loves Greek music. But my greatest goal is to reach the hearts of Greeks worldwide and share the words and sounds that I sing,” she says.

Since her singing career launched in 1996, when she performed with Manolis Lidakis, she began performing in Greece and abroad with other acclaimed Greek artists, such as Stefanos Korkolis, Vicky Moscholiou, Yannis Spanos, Mimis Plessas, Dimitris Mitropanos, Kostas Makedomas, Glykeria, and Manolis Misias. “I feel so happy and privileged to have performed with so many wonderful artists who have offered to much to Greece’s contemporary musical culture and history,” says Stefanaki.

*Stefanaki with the late Yannis Spanos

“Sadly, Yannis Spanos passed away just a few days ago, which was very hard for me; I was going to sing with him this winter… One of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had with him when I sang the song “Anthropoi Monaxoi” (Lonely People) in New York. This amazing composer was at the piano playing and I sang unplugged. The crowd sang with us and in the end, they all stood up and cheered. This, of course, has been one of the most important and emotional moments in my life…”.

Her fans are especially entranced by her heartfelt interpretation of the romantic song Aggixe Me (Touch Me, lyrics by Ekaterini Tempeli and music by Panagiotis Lianos), but that is only one of the many songs that she is loved for.

Her interpretation of songs comes from her personality, which she describes as such: “I’m very sensitive, although I’m also very strong as a person. I think I need these two characteristics of my art. I‘m also a very enthusiastic person but many times in my work I need to be down to earth.”

When asked what the main challenges she has had to face during her career, Stefanaki diplomatically responds: “There are always challenges, both bad and good in our lives that we need to pass through and become stronger after having done so. Music is an art that demands one’s time – and often personal time too – in order to keep practicing and focusing on your art and your job respectively. There is no other way.”

“The music I perform is deeply melodic and has poetic lyrics, so as long as I sing I feel really emotionally and manage to transmit that to my audience so they can experience the same,” Stefanaki concludes. “This process is magical. And I can’t live without it.”


Alexia Amvrazi

Alexia Amvrazi enjoys the thrill of discovering beauty in the world around her. With a passionately hands-on approach to Greece's travel, gastronomy, holistic living, culture, innovation and creativity, for 20 years she has explored and shared her findings with the world on all aspects of the country and its people via writing, radio, blogs and videos. Although her childhood and early youth in Italy, Egypt and England left her feeling somewhat root-less, she is by now firmly connected to her native land, bravely weathering the hurricane known as the Greek crisis!

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