Christina Samara: Biography, collaborations and her new song

Christina Samaras

A singer and songwriter, Christina Samara studied math and dance, but eventually, music won her over—or instead, she won music over with her dreamy voice, which you want to hear over and over again.

Christina Samara is multi-talented. At the age of three, she started classical dance lessons. Later, mathematics entered her life.

A graduate of the Mathematics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in the early years, she worked as a mathematician and dance teacher. However, melodies were added to the pirouettes and equations.

Is singing a fine-tuned function, after all?

"Singing is an interaction of sound and time, so it really is a function. Now, being 'well-tuned' is subjective to each listener. However, a free jazz concert can be a very well-tuned experience for me," she commented.

Christina Samaras

She tells me that her grandmother introduced her to the world of music when she was young and sang to her.

"To this day, I feel that I carry this song, and it is, for me, the most essential core of art in me," she explains. “Then my parents decided for me to start ballet lessons when I was three years old, which continued for almost 16 years. The dance performances, the theatres, the costumes, and the smell from the dressing rooms made my choice in this direction a one-way street."

"My parents, too, although not directly involved in music, were and are devoted listeners. I kept looking for tapes from my dad's music collection at home. In the car, we would listen to classical music, such as Moscholi, fado, Russian, Italian, pop, disco, and folk songs. So, whether I wanted to or not, I had a very wide field in terms of what I heard," Samara added.

Her resume is full of collaborations with the cream of the crop of Greek creators - Kostas Leivadas, Stamos Semsis, Giorgos Kazantzis, and Stathis Drogosis.

When asked what lessons she learnt from these great partnerships, the singer said, "I am grateful they trusted me. They all gave me kind guidance. Kostas Leivadas was the first to put me on stage, and we worked with both him and Giorgos Kazantzis when I was about 20 or 21 years old. Giorgos Kazantzis, in fact, was the first to tell me that I should sing."

"I remember going to Stamos Semsis' studio and him asking me, 'What does your instinct tell you to do today?' We have been working with Stathis Drogosis to this day, and he is the first one who, among other things, pushed me to dare to see myself in the role of a songwriter and gave me space to sing my first songs in front of an audience. They all contributed to structuring my perspective on music, creation, art and the artist's role as a 'visionary medium' of the creative process rather than as a 'creator' per se. I would very much like it to be my turn to support younger artists in their beginnings."

Christina Samaras

Since 2022, Christina has been collaborating with Tasos Meletopoulos, performing English-language pop songs bearing his signature, such as "Say Yes", "No You Don't Love Me", and "Midnight Dancer".

Why in English?

"It is an aesthetic issue. Tasos Meletopoulos' aesthetic has 70s and 80s pop and cinematic references, from Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin to Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Miley Cyrus, and Dolly Parton. He and Aris Davarakis, who have organised and edited the songs, have lived abroad and have experiences and listened outside of the Greek context. In terms of interpretation, I liked the idea from the start because my listening is mainly English-language jazz and pop."

How does she deal with that romantic disappointment and love itself?

"I turn romantic disappointment into songs, too many songs, endless conversations with girlfriends, and more songs. For some reason, this little mourning never ends, and it all reappears in the music," she said.

Christina used Vassilis Zoulias's studio for the video clip of her new song, "Midnight Dancer," which was released a month ago. I wonder if she likes fashion.

"The meeting with Mr. Zoulias and his philosophy regarding art immediately affected me. How a garment supports or fits can affect your confidence and what you project and bring out aspects of yourself you didn't know you had. It also changes how you feel and treat yourself and your body. When I put on the dress I appeared in the music video, it was the first time I felt gentle in how a garment hugged me. I hope it was an impressive start in this art of fashion," the singer explained.

Christina Samaras

What is her own style, artistic and personal?

"The way I dress and the way I work musically is affected by the state I happen to be in. My state can be determined by the music I listen to and the artists I admire at that time. Having access to every genre of music and to every artist from all over the world, you can find elements of yourself and identify with them.

"My Spotify Wrapped for this year informed me that the genres I mainly listen to are pop, jazz and art - and indeed, I feel close to pop. It may be the genre that moves me the most. Vocally, I'm influenced by jazz, but I'm also about the lyrics, about being meaningful and creating images for me to relate to. The sound I seek in my own music is the pop of the 90s and 00s and their experimentation with electronic music of the 80s."

Interview with Lefteris Triga
Photographer: Panos Giannakopoulos
Translated by Paul Antonopoulos

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