Alexia Vassiliou (born February 5, 1964 in Famagusta, Cyprus) is an International Conceptual Artist, Singer, Composer, Lyricist, Filmmaker and Producer. Known also as Alexia, she began her career in 1981, at the age of 17, as a singer. A Berklee College of Music Graduate (Boston), Alexia majored in Voice and minored in Piano. A trained vocalist, Alexia has collaborated and continues to collaborate with some of the World's greatest musical legends. Including, Mikis Theodorakis, Chick Corea, John Patitucci, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Andreas Vollenweider, Milva and many other talented musicians from around the world.
With a career spanning 30 years, 35 recorded albums and a series of Gold and Platinum records, Alexia has changed Greek record sales history, has introduced a new music generation to the work of Mikis Theodorakis, the work of Classic American Jazz, and Music from Classic Greek films from the 30's-60's, and is the only artist to successfully cross multiple musical genres. Alexia has changed the face of music in Greece and Cyprus by continuing to explore creative new ways of expressing her authentic self, through music and sound.
Alexia devoted part of her time to the study of creative writing and feminist studies with feminist activist Christiana Lambrinides. Through a series of workshops, over a period of five years, Alexia obtained valuable knowledge on diverse, yet interrelated concepts, that are directly related to creative expression and writing such as performativity, gender studies, feminist studies and art. During this time Alexia studied the work of many classic authors, theorists and activists, including Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Toni Morrison, Djuna Barnes, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Georges Bataille, Louise Bourgeois, Gertrude Stein, Michel Foucault, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.
Through her creative writing, Alexia developed and released, Re-bE - a triple album, encompassing Alexia's own music compositions, lyrics, narratives and improvisations. Re-bE was the beginning of Alexia's journey of continuous authentic self-expression.
From her music contributions to theatre and avant-garde contemporary dance in Greece with the Production of 'The Lady of the Camellias', and composing the music and voice improvisations for 'Water', a Hollywood, California stage production, to her collaboration with visual artists, Anisa Ashkar (Palestinian) and Joseph Dadoune (Israeli) for the presentation of ART exhibitions in Museums around the World, with Alexia's improvised compositions, singing, and acting.
Alexia has also performed songs for five film Soundtracks, "The Road to Ithaca" in Cyprus, with music compositions by Costas Cacoyannis; "Safe Sex" and "Pokerface" in Greece, and has composed the score, performed the songs, and acted in a couple short films noir, "Sacred Whispers", and "As a Last Resort" in Los Angeles. Alexia is currently scoring a Cypriot short film, "The Lullaby of the Butterfly", soon to be out in 2014.
In 2012, Alexia released a collection of voice improvisations entitled, 'The Voice Improvisation Series'. Alexia is the only singer in the world who has recorded with the Wind and has released two "Voice and Wind" albums.
Alexia is a documentarian. Every moment is captured through Alexia's camera. In the summer of 2012, Alexia took her love for the camera and began to direct her own short films and combining her voice improvisations with her expressionistic, experimental/art films. In June 2013, the Ministry of Culture and Education of Cyprus recognized Alexia's films in the 12th Annual Images & Views of Alternative Cinema Film Festival, where seven of Alexia's films Premiered to a live audience.
Recently Alexia's Jazz Album, "Birds Have to Fly", a collaboration with horn player, Peter Massink, was honored by The Recording Academy (The GRAMMY's) and was selected for Nomination consideration for Best Jazz Vocal Album for the 56th GRAMMY Awards.
Fun Facts about Alexia Vassiliou:
- While studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Alexia was picked by Brian Rothschild to sing the theme song for the "I am Siam" album for CBS New York (Columbia Records). "I am Siam" reached the Billboard's Top 100 in 1982 in the United States.
- Alexia recorded her Jazz album, 'In a Jazz Mood' in 1996 with BMG (Sony Music). In the album, Alexia is accompanied by jazz legend, Chick Corea on two of his songs, 'Spain' and 'Soft and Gentle'. Alexia is the first and only female singer to sing 'Spain' while being accompanied by its composer, Chick Corea.
- Alexia teamed up with legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis and recorded a double album, 'Alexia-Mikis Theodorakis' in 1998.
- Alexia performed at the Eurovision song contest twice. First time in 1981 with the group, 'The Island', where they placed 6th for their song, "Monika". Second time in 1987, as a solo artist, where Alexia placed 7th for her song, "Aspro-Mavro".
- Alexia's debut album, 'Alexia', in 1987 with Polygram (Universal Music), broke Greek record sales by being the top grossing debut album in Greek music history. Selling over 500,000 copies. The album became Gold and Platinum.
- Alexia began composing music, writing lyrics, and developing her own style in 2000. The release of her triple album, Re-bE, showcased for the first time, Alexia's talents as a composer, lyricist, producer, singer.
- In Alexia's music, she always has Cyprus and her hometown - Famagusta embedded within the music and lyrics.
- At the age of 10, Alexia became a refugee in her own country of Cyprus, when in the Summer of 1974, Alexia along with hundreds of thousands of Cypriots had to flee their homes when the country of Turkey launched a military invasion in Cyprus, resulting in 40% of the northern territory of Cyprus to be under Turkish occupation. Illegally occupied since 1974, Alexia has not been allowed to return to her home.