In a packed Oikos Café, the Friday night crowd saw further performances from Elena Mylonas and Olivia Wilkes, both vocal coaches.
Elena performed songs by The Cranberries and Dolly Parton, but also her own song ‘Rose’ accompanied by some musicians from Eau da Funk (at the Evening of Creativity events, spontaneous collaboration between the artists is often involved). She started playing guitar at 11 years old in her native Greece, and after attending Birmingham University aged 23 she started teaching as a vocal coach.
Backstage, Elena revealed details about her song writing and approach to performing: “When I was younger, in Greece, for some reason everybody expected me to play only cheerful songs.
“Furthermore, people in the music industry were requiring from me to adhere to certain beauty standards, asking me to appear more sexy or girlish. I felt really uncomfortable with it, especially after the death of my brother about seven years ago.
“I needed to express my grief somehow, and music gave me the perfect opportunity to channel those feelings. I wasn’t fitting in the Greek scene of the time though, so I decided to move to the UK, where there is a long tradition of ballads and a broader variety of music genres.”
Elena regularly performs both original songs and covers with bands in small venues, with her debut album set for release in the coming months.
I wish her luck. It's a tough business.
The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Meanwhile In The Kitchen up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.