This internationally celebrated Greek songstress has won over audiences and critics with her innate talent and soulful performance

Athena Andreadis

Singing from the heart

Text: Evi Kallini || Photographs: Athena Andreadis' archive
Athena Andreadis
Athena Andreadis

Born in London and raised in the second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, Athena Andreadis is a singer-songwriter who has achieved international acclaim and an emotive performer with a unique musical flair. Her sensibilities are grounded on the British pop and folk traditions, with ample influence from her Mediterranean roots.

She set off to study business administration in London but soon turned to music and song – which were always her first love as she’s confided she has been scribbling lyrics since she was a little girl, and even put together a band at age 16. She went on to earn two master’s degrees at the Trinity College of Music, soon becoming the talk of the English capital, when she started singing in small clubs and at festivals.

Warm and expressive, Athena Andreadis’s voice possesses a singular, very charming timbre reminiscent of jazz’s greats. Combined with her heartfelt performance and ethereal charisma on stage, they create an explosive result that captivates the audience, taking them on a journey.

When Breathe With Me, her debut album, was released in 2007 to positive reviews, Billboard Magazine pronounced her a “talented rising star”. Peeling Apples (2010), Ready for the Sun (2017), Γήινοι Άγγελοι/Earth Angels (2014, her only LP in Greek), and the most recent Outside of Time (2020) followed. The latter is arguably her most mature work to date. Popular producer and Grammy nominee Ethan Allen worked on the last two albums. Released in June 2021, Athena’s latest single, “Hand on Glass”, has made a splash. The song was inspired by a testing personal experience when, in November of 2020, she fell ill with the coronavirus and had to isolate from her family, unable to be with her 2-year-old son.

One of the definitive milestones in her career to date is her collaboration with Leonard Cohen in the legendary vocalist’s last album, You Want It Darker, where Athena sang backing vocals in “Traveling Light”, produced by Cohen’s son, Adam. Boasting international fame and sold-out tours in the U.K., the U.S. and Greece, Athena has performed in renowned concert halls and festivals such as the Royal Festival Hall and Glastonbury, TEDx and SXSW festivals. In Greece, she has appeared, among others, in the illustrious Sani Festival, which takes place on Sani Hill, Halkidiki.

The songstress’s releases have climbed to the top 10 of the British, American and Greek charts, and she has received the Best Singer-Songwriter Award at the IMAs. We would be remiss not to mention the hour-long documentary My Music: Athena, which was shown on the UK’s Channel 5 and where her early mentor, Chris Difford (Squeeze), spoke of her voice and lyrics as “coming straight from the heart”. Athena’s songs have featured in British and American productions for the silver and the small screen, including Mike & Molly (CBS), Smash (NBC), Nomads (Lucy Liu), the London Olympics Visit England Campaign, and Fuller House (Netflix). The latter, where the entire cast, including John Stamos and Jodie Sweetin, end their third season by singing one of Athena’s songs, led to great music streaming success on Spotify and elsewhere.

When she’s not working on her music, Athena Andreadis is firmly dedicated to charitable work. Among other ventures, she is an ambassador of LA-based Plastic Pollution Coalition, she has worked internationally with Starbucks to help children, she has supported charities such as Concern Worldwide and Save the Children in the U.K. and Germany, and performed live in the Cradle to Cradle Gala in New York.