Greek singer and multi-instrumentalist Stella Chronopoulou, or ?tella, recently released her debut album on Inner Ear Records. A well-known female voice in the Greek independent music scene, the dark electro-pop project, firmly entrenched in the 80s synth-pop movement, is set to seduce music fans. After many collaborations with local Greek bands, such as My Wet Calvin, Expert Medicine, Nteibint, Sillyboy, Sad Disco, and Fever Kids, it’s time for her debut self-titled album.  Read all about the chat we had with ?tella and take a listen to her infectious and delightful pop songs.

Lola Who: Hi! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you started playing music?
Stella: Hello! I started around the age of five or six when my dad bought a piano. I took lessons until I was 11 years old and, after a couple of years, I bought a guitar. Since then, I was always on and off with music. I played with different groups. I’ve collaborated with many Greek artists, but I never got on stage until I was 29 because of stage fright. And just a month ago my debut album was released.

Lola Who: You’ve been in bands like Fever Kids and My Wet Calvin. What prompted you to go solo?
Fever Kids were created by me and Alex in 2011. Around that time I was writing a lot, either with Alex or by myself, so it was only a matter of time for me to work on a personal album. It was something I was looking forward to.

Lola Who: How would you describe your new found sound with ?tella?
I like keeping things simple with music. I don’t think you need more than four instruments to make a good song, and I try to keep it that way. I’m not very fond of “busy” compositions. That’s what pop music means to me.

Lola Who: How did you adapt your creative process when working on a solo project?
Well it’s a bit different to work alone than to work with someone else. Your brains have to match when creating a song together. I guess working alone is less fun, but very rewarding at the same time. You take all responsibility for it.

Lola Who: Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences are Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Whitney Huston, Susan Vega and Kate Bush. My inspiration comes from my experiences, from things I come across, people I meet and the relationships I make with them. Just life I guess.

Lola Who: How would you describe the music scene in Athens?
A big part of the people listen to Greek music. There’s a smaller scene that’s interested in foreign music or writes songs in English, but it’s very small compared to other cities in Europe. I believe good things come from new bands in Athens that try to hit it on an international level. Things exist and happen if only one is willing enough to dig in!

Lola Who: Any Greek band you would recommend?
Sure! Bands like Whereswilder and Sillyboy and Keep Shelly In Athens, and Sad Disco, My Wet Calvin and NTEIBINT.

Lola Who: What’s your favorite thing about performing live?
I feel a little bit transparent sometimes.

Lola Who: Will you soon be touring internationally this year? What more can we expect this year?
I hope to tour internationally, that would be something I would really love to do, play all year long in different places and cities. I need to work on that and make it happen. We can expect the unexpected.

?tella’s album can be purchased at Inner Ear Records and iTunes.

Facebook: Stella Only
Twitter: @stella0nly

By Helene R. Hidalgo