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Jenny: This is a special interview today because it is with Olivia Hadjiioannou, she is Greek-American, musician, composer, singer, I don’t know, she has many titles and…I like to tell you congratulations.
Olivia: Thank you (quietly)
Jenny: Congratulations for the festival in Cannes, you won best music video.
Jenny: How did you feel winning in Cannes?
Olivia: Amazing, how else can you feel? Great.
Jenny: What was your reaction?
Olivia: My first reaction?
Jenny: Yes, firstly did you expect it?
Olivia: I didn’t except it, I don’t think you can anticipate something like this, you can hope, but not expect. The festival had many fantastic short films and music videos so it was a surprise to me… a delightful surprise.
Jenny: How did your parents respond?
Olivia: Thrilled, very thrilled.
Jenny: Your music is metal. how does one get inspired… metal progressive… how do you get inspired, what influences, what is that makes you feel creative?
Olivia: I always consider and say that music as the word (music) is derived, is the art of a “muse”… and it’s when one, an artist, finds and connects with this something that is not visible within the character of one’s personality, where creation exists.. So, it can be real, pure, beautiful and can inspire the other to something greater.
Jenny: Now that you were in America, what exactly were you doing? What is that you do and where do you work?
Olivia: I work with a studio and do work for other musicians, but besides that, because for me this is not my priority. It is that I manage in this way to make my own music, my own video clips which I see is going very well.
Jenny: Something I read made an impression on me. The way you made your first album, “Sleeping World” right? And somehow you got inspired by the crisis and the conditions we all live in this country.
Olivia: When I was in New York the first crisis happened, and it was shocking to see, people with PhDs to be waiting on the sidewalk in a line for a part time job, so we said we would return back to Greece. We returned to Greece and the crisis happened in Greece. It was very difficult.
Jenny: What was that you were thinking while making this album? What was the message you wanted to pass on specifically to the younger people?
Olivia: I wanted to give a message that…no matter the difficulties that always exist and always will, there’s always chances, there’s always a path to accomplish what you want to accomplish.
Jenny: I liked it very much, that your name is Oχ. (Oh.) (in Greek Ox! means uh-oh!) from Olivia Hadjjioannou.
Olivia: Yes. Mmm
Jenny: Does “Ox”, have any other meaning OH. Any other message?
Olivia: I thought of it at first because these are my initials ‘O’ ‘H’. But then I saw that it is playful in many sentences, ox, oh no, oh yes.
Jenny: You had said in previous interviews that your life, in your childhood was something like…
Olivia and Jenny: “Chocolat”
Jenny: Because you were moving a lot due to your father’s career, was it difficult to adapt to new situations new friends, new schools.
Olivia: It wasn’t difficult.
Jenny: Did you like it?
Olivia: On the one hand, it is nice because you change environment. That always makes you stay in the present moment. Because many times when you live in one place for too long you start not seeing the people around you, not even your surroundings, you begin to withdraw, shortness of observation, not being in the present.
One the one hand is good, but on the other if what you want is to have a space — a house to call home — it might not be a comfortable way.
Jenny: Thank you very much.
Olivia: and I thank you very much