Alexia Vassiliou is an Award-winning, Multi-Gold and Platinum, cross-genre, conceptual Vocal Artist – Singer, Songwriter, Composer and Social Activist.
With a career spanning 40 years, and 45 recorded albums, Alexia has developed her own authentic, eclectic, sophisticated musical sound, informed and inspired by a plethora of influences and genres – Jazz, Classical, Electronic, Experimental, Improvisation, Avant-garde, Trip hop, World music, Gospel, Spiritual and Folk.
Alexia’s innate vocal abilities, phrasing, timber, and vibrato, personify the very essence of Alexia’s innovative sound, as she performs her dexterous vocal leaps, effortlessly changing tonalities, while at the same time improvising to alter the melody, rhythm, and harmony; bending her voice revealing the impressive highs and lows of her remarkable 3-octave contralto; transcending her genres of influence into the realm of intellectual abstract, high art.
Known for crossing Multiple Music Genres, Alexia was the first female voice/singer to bring modern Pop music to the Hellenic/Greek-speaking world, with the highest grossing debut Platinum album, “ALEXIA” («AΛΕΞΙΑ»), in the history of music in Greece.
A musical chameleon and a master of her craft, Alexia has received credit for reviving the original sound and Music from the Greek Classic Film Era of the 1930’s to 1960’s, as she displays her natural feel of swing (a rhythmical vocal skill), something that is essential to the Jazz idiom, with her evolving vocal technique and impeccable intonation together with elaborate orchestrations in her Multi-Platinum album, “Alexia Sings The Classics”(«Η Αλέξια Ερμηνεύει τα Κλασικά»), recognized in Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 World Hits.
Alexia is the first female vocalist to bring Classic American Jazz to the Hellenic / Greek-speaking world, pushing the musical boundaries, and her artistic evolution, Alexia’s legato phrasing, a technique that displays a continuous motion between notes, as well as, rubato, meaning “to steal” rhythmical patterns, either preceding or following the downbeat, can be heard in her album, «Alexia in a Jazz Mood», in which she collaborates and features Jazz legend, Chick Corea, during a time when Jazz was an underground scene, paving the way for vocal jazz in Greece and Cyprus.
A vocal force, Alexia was personally invited by legendary composer and Greek National treasure, Mikis Theodorakis, to collaborate, after hearing Alexia at the Panathenaic (Kallimarmaro) Stadium. In her 1998 album, «Alexia – Mikis Theodorakis», Theodorakis trusted Alexia’s musical knowledge, approach, and direction to experiment with the traditional sound of his music, by infusing classical, avant-garde, jazz, and improvisation, with elaborate vocal arrangements, creating a historic masterpiece. Seen as the most progressive approach ever taken to Theodorakis’ work, Alexia’s signature style, her unique phrasing, her technique of vocal ebb and flow, as it flows from lyric to note, in what could be described as a treatise on interpretation, introduced a new Music generation to the composer’s work, and became known as one of the most influential artists in the history of music in the Greek-speaking world.
As in all her conceptual albums, Alexia’s distinct Doric style voice – straight and raw – is accompanied by her warm and rich timbre, the clear bell-tone vibrato that she controls and changes at her command to long straight tones, which relaxes her during a performance, as she always says, and then the surprising embellishments in her phrasing appearing in the form of little curls, grace notes, ultimately revealing Alexia’s innermost feelings for the subtext of the lyrics, with low tones, seamlessly transitioning to high tones effortlessly, distinguishing her with an immediately recognizable authentic sound.
Never singing the same song in the same way, Alexia found freedom, expression, and her true voice from the confines of the traditional structure of a song, by creating the “Voice Improvisation Series” – a series of “Voice in Space” vocal art creative dialogue performances between Alexia and a Space, an element of Nature (“Voice and Wind”) or a musical Instrument, musician, completely improvised, based only on her Inspiration, in situ. Alexia’s ability to use her voice as an instrument, as well as, improvise, places Alexia in a category of a singer who composes as she sings, an ability that can be heard by artists such as, Billie Holiday, Maria Callas, Björk.
She has composed music for several films and documentaries, including the critically acclaimed American feature-film documentary, “Olympia” on the life and work of Academy-Award winning actress, Olympia Dukakis. Her voice can also be heard on various TV and Film Soundtracks in Europe. Alexia is also recognized Internationally by The Recording Academy, the GRAMMY® Awards, for nomination consideration, for best jazz vocal album for “Birds Have to Fly”.
Respected by her peers, Alexia has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest in live performances, recordings, theatre productions, and films. They include: Mikis Theodorakis, Chick Corea, John Patitucci, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Andreas Vollenweider, Kamasi Washington, Madeleine Peyroux, Kostas Kapnisis, Rena Vlahopoulou, Milva, Mimis Plessas, Carlo Ponti Jr., Lena Chamamyan, Peter Gabriel, Pinar Toprak, and many other talented artists.
In recent years, Alexia developed “Re-bE the Music Listening Method – Music Movement”, also known as “Re-bE”, an Educational, Social Innovation, Creativity Program, as a way of bringing Music Creativity and Culture to the Youth. In a joint effort with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, Re- bE has been approved to enter all public schools.
In an effort to help the most vulnerable youth, via Re-bE, Alexia has an ongoing collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for the unaccompanied and separated minors.
Alexia’s activist work is at the core of her foundation and principles. She has long symbolized Hope, Inspiration, Inclusion, and Acceptance for all. Her voice represents all Human Beings and her platform has repeatedly been utilized to promote and encourage Change.
Throughout her career, she has taken a stance for Human Dignity and has shed light on gender inequality, sexual violence, human trafficking, women’s rights, children, the youth, refugees, migrants, LGTBQI people, and other groups of citizens. As a woman and as a displaced refugee herself, Alexia understands the importance of raising awareness and taking a stance for human rights.
These experiences can also be heard in Alexia’s original lyrics (Re-bE, Birds Have to Fly). After taking a sabbatical from the Greek music industry, Alexia dedicated time to discovering herself and reestablishing her relationship with Music anew. It was a very creative time for Alexia, and the result was her triple album, ‘Re-bE’ – an album showcasing Alexia’s ability as a music composer, lyricist, singer, and producer. ‘Re-bE’ is a Map of emotions, thoughts, and experiences. It depicts an autobiographical perspective of Alexia’s creative process of personal transformation.
A student of Creative writing, Feminist literature, Gender studies and Conflict Resolution, Alexia who has always had a special interest in Linguistics, expresses her experiences, her feelings and her art, in writing poetry and lyrics. Alexia’s original lyrics are written with a Humanistic perspective, with her emotional intelligence being at the forefront of content, usually about Self and the relationship with Self; in abstract expressionist storytelling, encoded but allowing the listener to have their own experience, thus creating multiple interpretations, symbolisms and meanings, much like a piece of art, as heard in her songs, “Μακάρι να με γνώριζα τότε” (I Wish I Knew Me Then) from the album ‘Re-bE’ and “Habanera Triste – Εις Εαυτόν” (To Self) from the album ‘Birds Have to Fly’.
A dance and pause between literary movements and stream of consciousness, Alexia experiments within the styles of feminist literature, Romanticism, Expressionism, Avant-garde, language poetry, Confessional poetry and postmodernism.
Alexia’s writing style consists of a succession of heterogeneous words and elements, creating a lexicon of her own phonetic and emotional vocabulary, a linguistic textile which goes hand in hand with the mosaic of sounds and influences that can be heard in her music, as a direct result of the Historical landscape of the Eastern Mediterranean, in which Alexia was born and raised.
Born in Famagusta, Cyprus in 1964, Alexia is a child of political conflict and war, as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion and continued illegal occupation in Cyprus. Alexia’s music reflects her memories, experiences and the injustice caused by Turkey to her homeland.
Alexia’s Cultural Diplomacy work via her Multi-cultural world concerts, her albums (Achaion Akti, Ammochostos, Cypriot – Kypriako, etc), and her Program Re-bE, have spread the word throughout the world about the missing, the displaced and the ethnic cleansing of a country.
Alexia continues to spread her love of music around the world via her conceptual concerts.