Interview: Erini Nomikou
[gallery type="slideshow" link="none" size="full" ids="135006"]
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My parents got me into music! My mom was a ballerina so she was already very much into art and music and my dad although he was not a professional musician, was very talented in music. Both my parents had great voices so it was a family thing to sing before going to bed, listen to music when we wake up and all that. Music was always a part of my life and I think I got into music without even realizing when that was! I wouldn't be doing something else other than music. If you have the passion for it and it's in your veins, even if you don't realize it at first, at some point in your life you will get drawn into it.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I am not playing music, I usually surf or skate. Definitely doing some type of outdoor activity. Connecting with my body, being in the water, hiking up waterfalls, exploring. All these things bring an inner exploration as well. Senses and memories are triggered. You experience life and that is what creativity is. All of the memories, the pictures, the feelings that I have combined in my own unique way to create something honest and different. Although I could literally be playing and writing music all day, I think it is good to do other stuff as well. It's a nice break and a push to keep working even harder.
How long has music been your career?
I started playing in local bars and venues in Greece when I was 14. That was when I realized that I wanted to have a music career. It's been 10 years so far and I haven’t changed my mind! Hahaha.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Greece where I started my music career, but I lived in the UK for 3 years and now I'm based in LA. There’s definitely a huge part of Greek music and culture that has influenced my music. But as I said earlier, everywhere you go and all the different things that you experience, are all influences and food for creativity. So you might say that by growing up in Greece I was able to train my ear to the more middle-eastern sounds, in the UK I explored more the Pop and Rock scene and now in LA I’m having a lot of Soul, Jazz and Funk influences. But on top of that, I got so many different stories from all these places, which is great for my lyrics. All these different places are a part of who I am and that reflects on my music and my songwriting.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Hmm…To be completely honest I have worked with so many great musicians and each show is so different and unique. Even on shows that I was not feeling great before, when I go on stage everything gets better and I end up having so much fun!! So I can't really say that I have the worst show. I've only had the worst pre-show experiences! However, there are some shows that have stood out. One is definitely a private party I played in Germany. We played for 2 hours and the people didn't want us to stop so we kind of started jamming. I was singing literally random lyrics that would come to mind and somehow I created a dance routine that everybody ended up dancing by the end! It was so much fun because of how random it was! The show I did with Prague's Philharmonic Orchestra and Athens State Orchestra at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus was also really great. Except for the fact that I collaborated with two great orchestras, I can never forget the sold-out venue. It's one of the oldest open-air theaters in Greece and it holds a great history of Greek culture. Performing at that venue was definitely a dream come true.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue was definitely the Odeon Of Herodes. It's not only the history behind it that makes it special, it's also the way it's built, the size, it's the acoustics, everything! It has a special energy. And because of its architecture, when you are on stage it feels like the audience is 360. You really have to see the place to understand what I mean! I have a lot of venues that I would like to have the chance to play at! Definitely the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek theater here in LA. But there are also so many smaller places that are so cool and I haven’t had the chance to play at yet!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That is a very difficult question. I wanna say, Lawerence the Band, Snarky Puppy, and maybe Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald. Actually, it should be a festival, cause I'm saying these names now, but inside my head, there are about another 10 artists that I am thinking of!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Never stop, never let anyone tell you that what you are doing is not good enough. If you love what you do and you are good at it, I am sure you will figure out a way to succeed. Oh and NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Never lose a chance to play music with other people and don't be afraid to introduce yourself.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself not to overthink and be so judgmental about my music and just do it! The first step to “make it” is to put yourself out there, so just create, release, play over and over again.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Well, most of the songs are about important people in my life or things that have made me who I am so there’s a lot that are equally important to me. But I think each period of my life there’s a different song that means more than others. Right now it's my song “Parents" which I wrote for my mom and dad. I haven’t seen them for a long time so I miss them a lot, but with this song, I feel closer to them.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I don’t really have a favorite song. Depends on how I am feeling, what I am doing and what is happening in my life for a specific period of time. So if you ask the same question again in a few months the answer is probably gonna be different! “Mister”, “Boogie Town in Paradise” and “Effortless” are the ones that get requested the most.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
My process is not specific. Usually, l have either a melody, an idea about the topic of the song, or a phrase that will stick in my head and I take it from there. To be honest most of the time I start with lyrics, for some reason that’s what comes more naturally to me. But again, as I said before, everything can inspire me. From my personal emotions and experiences to the people that surround me and the things that I enjoy doing, the news that I'll read about, other people’s conversations, a trip to a new place, a walk-in my neighborhood.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I want people to be happy and feel good. Even with my not-so-happy songs, my goal is to make the listener feel they're not alone. Spreading love, peace, and caring for one another, caring about our planet and mother nature. All I want is to live in a happier, healthier, greener world. And I know this vision of mine might be utopian. But if we don't try we’ll never know.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
There’s definitely been a few times that I haven’t agreed with everyone that I have collaborated with, and I believe it is totally okay. Not everyone thinks the same. Especially when it comes to creating, each person has their own ideas and creative process. My way of dealing with any disagreements is talking it out. Everyone is free to say what they are thinking and feeling. If I am the person in charge, I will definitely listen to what the other person has to say. A lot of times we even come up with new solutions or new creative ideas. I always say what I feel and I’m not hurt if people don’t agree with me. I just want to have a respectful and honest relationship from both sides with whomever I work with.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My plan is to play as much live music as possible, now that everything is opening up again. I am playing a show on the 24th of June at the El Cid, which is going to be so much fun! And also I am releasing an album very soon! Follow me on socials and don't hesitate to reach out if you want more info about the shows and the album that are coming up!!
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaNHwO9Jw-JTdDI_Dl0fW0Q? view_as=subscriber