OH. – A Greek Tops the Music Charts – English Translation
on July 26, 2013 in
The great-granddaughter of Solon Vlasto, publisher of the first Greek newspaper in the U.S., and descendant of the most influential immigrant family in New York, prepares to conquer the world with her voice. Listen! BY ZOE DIMITRIOY
A 24 year old girl who grew up listening to Tom Waits, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Kansas and Queen is not such a great surprise. When she loves jazz and Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Billy “Lady Day” Holiday and Stevie Ray Vaughan, one suspects she is rather different from her peers. Those suspicions are confirmed when at home, her family listened to the operas of Callas and their record collection contained the complete works of Vivaldi and Beethoven.
This certainty is further emphasized when we learn that Olivia, whose stage name is OH., is a descendant of the Vlasto family on her mother’s side. Her mother Tima Vlasto is a columnist and writes children’s books when not designing websites. Her mother is also the grand-daughter of Solon Vlasto, editor of the Greek-American newspaper, “Atlantis”, daughter of James Vlasto (past Press Secretary to Governor Carey of New York), and sister of Chris Vlasto, Emmy award winning executive producer of “Good Morning America” and half-brother Josh Vlasto (press spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo).
Olivia’s father Iordani Hadjiioannou is a professor of chemistry. I do not know if he bequeathed to his only daughter his love for chemical equations, but undoubtedly he passed on his love for music. Her father had the Latin music group, Raza De Cobre and collaborated in the past with George Dalaras, Mimis Plessas, Kostas Hatzis and even with Kostas Bigalis and has played with Stavros Xarhakos at the Athens Concert Hall, people who at one time or another Olivia met at family gatherings at home in Kifissia.
At the age of eight, Minos Matsas said she has a beautiful voice. Some years later she was offered the opportunity to audition for “Fame Story”. She refused adamantly. It didn’t suit her character. One day, she picks up a guitar and began playing. She was fourteen and since then never stopped. Later she acquires a small apprenticeship in a recording studio in New York and learns to mix her own music. At fifteen she asks for a mixing board and hasn’t stopped recording since.
Olivia, on July 8th, was the winner of the first Beat100 World Music Chart. A reasonable question: “What is Beat100?” It is a social network, somewhat like Facebook and Twitter, that enables musicians to present their work and upload their music videos. One might say it is similar to YouTube, but Beat100 has a contest that further helps musicians on their road to achievement. The video of the track “Trials” (a track on her debut EP – which she produced – titled “Sleeping World”) elicited 20.000 views and 4,000 votes winning the top place among 1,500 contestants worldwide.
Olivia splits her time between New York and Athens. I asked if it is difficult for a Greek artist to succeed in America. She answered that it is difficult to succeed in general and is not a matter of one’s origin. Fortunately there is the democracy of online distribution of one’s works so independent musicians can claim their place in the music industry. The music critics on the other side of the Atlantic compare her voice to that of Tori Amos and Kate Bush. Press play fearlessly …
This is a rough translation of the article which was featured in the “People” section of “Proto Thema” newspaper on Sunday, August 11th, 2013
Multi-instrumentalist and director Olivia Hadjiioannou as the artist Oh. has been honored for her ingenuity, innovation and creativity in music and video with multiple international awards. She made her debut as Oh. on the international music scene with the award-winning music video, "Trials" in 2013 – cited as one of the 50 top events to mark Greece during the economic crisis. With the advances of immersive video, she released her single "Love of Avalanches", mentioned in Huffington Post as one of first 360-degree immersive VR videos released by a Greek artist on YouTube in 2016.
The music video "Red Lion" is presently a winner and official selection in 12 film festivals worldwide. Winner of Best Music Video award in the inaugural French Riviera Film Festival (FRFF) in Cannes, France. Winner Best Music Video at the Cosmocinema Film Festival in London. Winner of the Best Music Video Short in The Psychedelic and Transpersonal Film and Music Festival that took place on May 25, 2019 at The Producer’s Club in New York City. Winner Best Experimental Mixed Media Short Film at the Paleochora Lost World Short Film Festival in Southwestern Crete in Greece. Read more in her Bio and EPK
The EP “Metallia” has received over 32 reviews from 13 countries worldwide, is in top 10 progressive rock and metal charts and listed as one of the best albums of the year for 2018 on Metal Nation Radio.
“Metallia” by Oh. is an epical prog-metal composition in six parts. A multi-layered sonic piece of ravishing solo electric guitars, time-bending tempo shifts, grooving bass lines and deranged drums.
This instrumental progressive metal album will reveal its intricacies and hidden depths over time. It will extract from your mind pure visions, to mend your mental pictures, preen presumptions and to elicit an element of the unexpected…. because that is what will transmute your subliminal mind map into a remarkable blueprint which will lead you from wherever you are now, to wherever you want to be.
Available on Bandcamp