Get to know the rising pop artist Evangelia! She recently released her new single “Fotiá” along with its accompanying music video, available via Epic Records in the U.S. and Columbia Records internationally. Evangelia pays tribute to her Greek roots through her innovative music combining pop influences with Greek traditional sounds. The track was co-written and co-produced by Stolar (Aloe Blacc, Selena Gomez) and Alexis Troy (RIN). The video was directed by Jason Lester (Lauv, JP Sax x Julia Michaels, Madison Beer).
Check out the music video for “Fotiá” here:
“Fotiá” follows Evangelia’s debut track “Páme Páme” (“Let’s Go, Let’s Go”), which was released earlier this year and has been streamed more than 2 million times. “Fotiá” – Greek for “fire” – is a song about passion and listening to your heart, whether it’s the tension and release of falling in love or taking a leap of faith to follow your dreams. By combining traditional Greek sounds, driving tribal, mystical drums and modern pop melodies with sensual vocals about giving in to temptation and losing all control, Evangelia creates a unique and addictive sonic blend that pulls you in emotionally while instantly making you want to dance.
“‘Fotiá’ is such a special song for me,” shares Evangelia. “At its core, ‘Fotiá’ is about letting go and following your passion – whether it’s romantic love or doing what you love. For me, it’s both. In addition to representing my love story, the song is about truly following my passion to be an artist. We wrote the song the day after signing my record deal. I was finally living out my dream, unapologetically. The literal translation of fotiá is fire, and the way I interpret it in this song is as passion. I’ll never be the same as I was before we wrote this song; it’s a part of me now. And the people I made it with – Stolar and Alexis Troy – make this song extra special.”
Evangelia grew up both in Greece, with her grandmother on the island of Crete, as well as New Jersey with her parents, influencing her work blending traditional Greek folk music and American pop music. While working full-time as a Special Education primary school teacher, Evangelia was spending her nights in various New York City recording studios and building a reputation as one of the most exciting newcomers on the music scene. When she was laid off from her teaching job, she took a leap of faith to pursue her lifelong dream of being an artist. Watch for more music to come from this must-watch talent in 2021.
Connect With Evangelia Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Evangelia in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So how are you keeping busy and musical these days during the pandemic? How are you staying connected to your fans? Are you finding that social media is even more useful now?
Thank you for having me! I’m lucky that I live with the love of my life and creative partner, Stolar. We write all of my music together, so it’s really nice to have each other. Social media is definitely a lot more of a part of my life now. I am very grateful to be able to connect with my fans and also reach new people, but, of course, there’s nothing better than human connection. I can’t wait until the day I can perform live again.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician? What do you think motivates you day in and day out? How has that drive changed since you first starting writing songs?
I always loved music; it’s been in my bones since I was dancing to traditional Greek music at 5 years old. So, I guess I can’t remember one moment because it was always there. I do remember watching Ingrid Michaelson’s “You and I” on YouTube and feeling inspired to really write songs for the first time. Its simplicity yet strong presence was inspiring.
I think what motivates me is simply my love for music, connecting with people, and sharing my culture. The drive has developed over time from being just a hobby to being my full-time job. It’s a lot of work tbh, but luckily it doesn’t feel like work. I am very blessed.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make? If not, why is that?
I have two hometowns: one is in New Jersey and the other is on the island of Crete in Greece. I was born in Jersey but spent every summer of my life on a farm with my yiayia (grandmother). Both of those places have heavily influenced the music that I create today. In the US, I was exposed to pop, soul, R&B music, etc, while in Greece I was exposed to traditional Greek music with instruments like the Cretan lyra and the bouzouki. The combination of those distinct musical experiences is what drives the art that I create today.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Were your family and friends always supportive of this career choice? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Music was always special and appreciated by my family. That being said, it was considered to be a hobby and not a career path. Music was in my life in the form of writing songs, performing at open mic nights and organizing my own shows, all while attending college to become a teacher. I chose teaching because it was a career path that afforded me to be creative, do something different every day, and connect with people. While I was a teacher, I lived a “double life” and spent all after hours immersed in music. However, when my school district had massive budget cuts, I lost my job. It was then that I decided to take it as a sign from the universe to pursue my dream of being an artist and giving the 100% effort it would take. I told my family about the risk I wanted to take and they were ultimately supportive (probably because I had a degree to fall back on though lol). If I weren’t a musician today, the only thing I could see myself being is a teacher.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell your younger self about this industry?
The biggest surprise so far is that everything is unpredictable in music. I signed my record deal the week before the world shut down. As you can imagine, I had very different plans, expecting to perform in front of a live audience, traveling, etc… Everything is different now. I’d tell little me that you can’t control anything, and honestly you don’t want to. Ride the wave, let what happens happen, and it will lead you where you need to go.
Let’s talk about your recently released single “Fotia.” What was the inspiration for this track? How do you think it compares to anything else you have put out before? What was it like making the music video for it? How creatively involved with the making of it were you?
At its core, “Fotiá” is about letting go and following your passion – whether it’s romantic love or doing what you love. For me, it’s both. First, it is my love story with Stolar. At the beginning, I was afraid to let myself fall in love (even though deep down I knew it was happening) and to let it show. I went through a lot of back and forth between my mind, my heart, and my body, until I finally gave in to everything I was feeling. It felt so good to not hold back anymore. Second, the song is about truly following my passion to be an artist. We wrote the song the day after signing my record deal–it was a milestone for me, because a little over a year before that I was still a full-time teacher, only dreaming of where I am now. I had to take a leap of faith, and now I’m actually doing it, living my dream unapologetically.
Both of these experiences were filled with intense tension and release. The song really captures that feeling, from the contrast of intense drums with quiet vocals, to waiting halfway through the song to finally reveal the lyric “I’m gonna lose control.” The literal translation of fotiá is fire – the way I interpret it in this song is as passion. I’ll never be the same as I was before I wrote this song, it’s a part of me now.
I think it is a really great follow-up to bright and sunny “Pame Pame,” showing a darker more sultry side of me for the fall.
Making the music video was a dream come true. I was heavily involved in the creative process. I wanted to showcase dance in a way that I never had before, with choreography inspired by the Greek belly dance “tsiftetli” as well as show the improvised Greek dance “Zeimbekiko.” Additionally, I wanted the visual to feel timeless; shooting on film on rather simple sets helped achieve that. And, of course, I love fashion and dress up and worked closely with the stylist to find the perfect looks. As a whole, the video is inspired by classical Greek architecture, and even some of my movements are statuesque.
Do you have plans to release more new music this year? What about an EP or full-length album of new songs? Do you find that you are in a period of creativity right now?
I am definitely in a period of creativity, but not just in music creation, also general creation. I am excited to share more about who I am in my videos, songs and collabs. I look forward to releasing more singles in the months to come and show more sides to who I am through my art.
How do you think you and your music has grown over the years and since you first started writing music? What has remained the same?
My music has definitely matured along with my age and experience. I have gotten far more adventurous over the years in terms of experimenting with my sound, and incorporating my Greek roots as a key component. What has stayed the same is honesty in my lyrics. My songs have always been rooted in my truth.
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future? Who has consistently been inspiring you and the music that you make?
I would love to work with Shakira. I love that she blends her Latin and Lebanese heritage to create something that only she can do. I hope that my career can grow and touch the world internationally the way hers has. I’d also love to work with J Balvin. His songs are the soundtrack to my life and always make me want to dance.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope when people hear my music, it inspires them to be open to other cultures more and be a little more curious. I hope it helps them to be completely proud of who they are.