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PJ Harvey Leonard Cohen Manos Hatzidakis

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Monika is a 24-year-old singer-songwriter who has been hailed as Greece’s most promising young artist. Her long-awaited debut album “Avatar” was released in 2008 to enthusiastic critical acclaim and introduced a wider audience to the burgeoning indie rock scene of Athens. A university student who found Internet fame through MySpace and went on to sign with indie label Archangel Music, Monika’s success story is a testament to her unique talent for writing and singing passionate pop/folk songs that echo those of Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor and Cat Power. At the age of 17, she started out as a background player in her brother’s rock band Serpentine, but later branched out on her own, driven by her love for the melodies of Ennio Morricone and The Arcade Fire and the words of Leonard Cohen.

Ready to follow her own path and to celebrate the independence that characterizes her personality, she isolated herself in her home in Athens and wrote most of the music from what later would become her debut album. As it turned out, what was primarily the raw expression of her feelings proved to appeal to more people than she originally thought. After uploading a sample of her songs on MySpace, feedback was instant and massive, generating a strong word of mouth among music circles, largely thanks to her signature song “Over The Hill”.

“Avatar” arrived in 2008. Clearly influenced by legendary Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis, “Avatar” follows suit in a folk tone and the incorporation of strings and the trumpet, courtesy of Martin Wenk from American band Calexico.

Her platinum first record and sold-out concerts, both solo and as a festival headliner, have made her a worthy antidote to most pedestrian mainstream trends. “Avatar”’s follow-up, “Exit”, was in the spring of 2010 and was one of the most long-awaited albums of the year. “Exit”, a sprawling, sentimental work, solidified Monika’s status as the country’s “indie darling” and over a 3-month span became her second gold release. In the new album, Monika experimented with sounds and instruments beyond her comfort zone with the help of sound engineer guy Sternberg in Berlin. The result showcased Monika at her most sophisticated and erotic moment. Influenced by opera, French chanson and traditional Greek music, “Exit” puts her firmly in orbit for international stardom.