OH is an indie singer/songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist from Greece. She released her debut EP Sleeping World in February 2013 – with the title track “Trials”, “a song for a lost generation”. After her debut release, reviewers compared the timbre of her voice to Sharon Den Adel and Anneke Van Giesbergen, others to Happy Rhodes and a cross between Kate bush and Tori Amos. They emphasized her unique style, as one said, “she defies analysis somewhat as Queensryche” with distinctive sound of her own. She released her second album, Synemotion, a metal/rock concept album in April 2015 with video clips Run Away and Synemotion on YouTube.The limited edition (300 copies) vinyl sold 260 copies, multiple digital downloads and continues to receive rave reviews in the rock and metal genres. The new ballad “Love Will Heal” along with a lyric video was recently released in August 2015. OH composes, performs and produces her music, plays the guitar (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, violin, piano and percussion. She currently lives between New York, NY and Athens, Greece and is working hard to spread her love of music (and talent) across the globe.
Could you give us some insight into your musical background? Who or what led you to pursue a career in music? What is the significance of your moniker? The moniker are my initials my name is Olivia Hadjiiouannou. It came up while I was driving with a friend in a car and they said, “Oh, look at that!”…Then I realized that would be a good name. Greek names are much too long!
What is life like in Athens, Greece? What can you tell us about the music scene of your hometown? My childhood was a mix of isolation from mainstream influences but surrounded by artists and musicians. My father, a chemistry teacher and Greek and Latin guitarist and singer; my mother a writer and graphic artist from New York; my home life spanned stays in New York City to distant islands in Greece and the music scene in Athens. At times, I shared the stage with my father with cameo performances in small clubs, listened to live music as a train of Rock, Latin and Greek folk artists jammed in her childhood living room but didn’t take up a musical instrument until I was 14. I play violin, bass, acoustic and electric guitar and drums.
At a neighborhood music conservatory, I picked up violin and guitar, electric and acoustic. Shortly after, was gifted a Yamaha AW 1600 Audio Workstation, left the conservatory and began experimenting on my own with composition and recording short tracks.
The crisis struck Greece right as I was getting out of high school. There were no opportunities for anyone. All my peers left the country and finally…In October of 2008, as an amateur violinist and guitarist I left Athens for New York. I stayed 2 years, worked freelance doing mixing for a sound studio and had to return to Greece because we couldn’t make enough to stay in the US.
Greece had an amazing European music scene for years. Now, there is hardly any really since the music clubs are closing like dominos. It was never easy here to secure gigs but now it is almost impossible unless the music is Greek mainstream.
What can you tell us about your new single ‘Love Will Heal’? What was the inspiration behind the artwork? The story of Love Will Heal is here: http://olitunes.com/the-story-of-an-angel-and-the-ballad-love-will-heal-oh/
The artwork is a collage from a couple renaissance paintings and a photo of myself. The lyre on the left side is from the God of Music Orpheus (was a legendary musician, poet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him arecentered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music)
The legs of the horse that flow into the hair is the bottom of the body of Chiron – Chiron was a half-horse – half human Centaur in Greek mythology. He was a healer using medicine, music and prophecy
The dolphins in the water on the right are symbols of unconditional love.
What experiences and events influenced the writing and recording of your album “Synemotion”? Could you tell us about each of the featured compositions?
The album Synemotion, is a journey through the complex emotional states we experience when we are overwhelmed by concerns and fears – escapist feelings in the song, “Run Away”, anger and frustration in “Rumpus” – wanting to cower and hide in “Subterfuge” – longing and nostaglia in “Elegy” and the experience of disappointment and let-down in the song “Deception”. Finally, letting go and receiving the feeling in the song “Reception” – and the awareness and sensation of irony knowing it will all start over again in the “World of Warcraft”.
The title track, “Synemotion” expresses in words this entire journey from pain and fear to release and hope. But most importantly the song uncovers how we cope with pain, fear, disappointment, depression, embarrassment and futility, it uncovers what actually happens to us, when we are overwhelmed by experience, and with a strange twist of perception, gifts the listener a path out of the darkness and despair, into an even more compelling and complex palette of emotions and sensations. The song gives hope and strength to walk through life even with wounds and disfigurement and have an even greater experience than before.
“When I initially record music, I listen to the first track, it will remind me of certain experiences that I have had personally – with people around me – circumstances, life itself and everything that has to do with daily life — this pain and anger and frustration – I want to resolve it and answer this feeling. So while listening to my initial composition, I pass through it so I know what it is about and I know the story – so the listeners – myself included, experience the feelings as a sound. I merge the total experience so it is a “known” in my composition. By listening and experiencing this in my song, feeling comes to a resolution and I find peace – the sensations and emotions (synemotion) are resolved by passing through the sound of it and so finally it gives hope – it’s not like all kinds of music – and is not to be confused with a psychological process – people get to know that none of their emotions…sensations and experiences..the “sounds” are not permanent – they come and go..passed through as simply as passing through the rhythms and notes of a song – knowing they are not permanent …this gives hope.”
The experience of making a vinyl record was incredible. More info here.
What musical equipment, instruments and programs do you use live and in the studio?
I actually wrote a post about it (the equipment) here.
What went into the making of the music videos for your songs ‘Run Away’ and ’Synemotion’?
I recorded and did the montage in my studio. I use Premiere Pro. I am running a Patreon crowd-funding campaign so that I can possible make more professional videos and get a new computer. My Patreon campaign is here.
What do the remaining months of 2015 hold in store for you musically? Are you currently writing new material? Do you have any upcoming performances?
I will be finishing up the new EP “Love Will Heal” that is due to be out Spring 2016. I will also release the songs one by one on Soundcloud as I finish them and finally compile them in to an album for the Spring. Yes, working on the second song for the album “Love Will Heal” – No [performances]…but hopefully, if there is more demand, soon.
Connect With OH:
Love Will Heal [Single Ballad]
Love Will Heal (Lyric Video)
Synemotion [Metal Album]
Synemotion (Music Video)