New Greek TV's featured Greek of the Week is international Greek-French singer George Perris.
A complete on-air video with the musical great by NGTV President Yanna Darilis, can be watched by scrolling to the very bottom of this article. The Athenian born classically trained singer, is multilingual and sings in French, Greek, English and Spanish.
The worldwide award-wining musician also composes music and writes the lyrics to many of his ballads. In the interview below, Perris chronicles his unique multicultural upbringing, love of music, influences, his thoughts on the future of new Greek singers, and more.
Yanna Darilis: Can you tell us about your Athenian childhood and international career?
George Perris: I grew up in a very weird way because my mother is French and my father in Greek. So even though I was born and raised in Greece, from morning until noon everything was in Greek. And as soon as I went back home everything was turned upside down into French; French language, French TV and French cuisine. I was raised in a double way if you want.
Yanna Darilis: Can you describe how you started singing at the age of four?
George Perris: When I was four I decided I wanted to be a singer. I told my Mom and I said, 'you know what, one day I am going to be a singer.' She was very wise, because she brought me to a music school the next day and I started learning the piano. She was very respectful of what I wanted to do. That's all I wanted to do and wanted to think of.
Yanna Darilis: In Athens you were part of the Arena International Music Festival, can you touch upon that?
George Perris: I was invited by Mario Frangoulis. He is an incredible artist and human being; a very generous human being who has supported me a lot. He invited many of his international friends. He gave me a chance to be on stage with many greats. This is what started little by little, my international career.
Yanna Darilis: Who influenced you in your youth?
George Perris: It was actually three women. Nana Mouskouri; I always looked up to her because she left Greece and managed to become who she became. She was my first idol. My dream has always been to travel from country to country, and sing from language to language. The other two were the great Maria Callas and Lara Fabian.
Yanna Darilis: Your second album was a bit more personal, can you describe it?
George Perris: It was because it was the first time that I dared to sing my own songs. This time I wanted to be different and I wanted to put out there what I had in my soul. I had a beautiful duet on that album with Mario Frangoulis.
Yanna Darilis: Do you prefer singing in Greek, French or English?
George Perris: I love singing in all of them. I dream in English, I count in French and I swear in Greek. They all come naturally to me. I can't distinguish between the three. I love all three languages.
Yanna Darilis: What is your regimen?
George Perris: It depends. If I am on tour, I wake up very early and I don't speak for the first hour so my vocal cords can wake up on their own. I will have some breakfast and look at my emails. Then at about eleven or twelve, I will start some exercises and vocalizing. I practice six days a week and rest one.
Yanna Darilis: How did you feel the first time you were on stage?
George Perris: I was terrified, it was in Athens. My legs were shaking and my knees were trembling. Through the years I have managed to control my nervousness. I don't want to let the audience down because they came to support me and my music means something to them and their soul. I still get nervous when it's a very important concert.
Yanna Darilis: How do you view the future for new young artists in Greece?
George Perris: I think that there are many great new artists coming out in Greece. They bring a new wave of artistry and music of the country. Of course things are not easy anymore as they used to be. When you are young you have to find a way of doing this on your own. I was very fortunate to be one of these last young artists that was supported by the system.
I am a very optimistic person and I think that out of this whole financial and social and political crisis, I am sure that many many good things will come out of it. When Greeks are under pressure, we finally start supporting each other. We are starting to help each other and realize it's up to us to be winners out of all this.
To view the full on-air interview with worldwide singer George Perris by NGTV President Yanna Darilis, scroll to the very bottom of this page.
(Photo Source: George Perris)
Maria Athens obtained her B.A. degree in Political Science at Seton Hall University and M.A. degree in Diplomacy & International Relations with a Concentration in Media, at The John C. Whitehead School at Seton Hall University. During graduate school she interned at CNN at The United Nations Headquarters and The Greek Press & Information Office for The United Nations & Consulate General of Greece, during Greece’s term on the Security Council. After one year in D.C. at The Committee of Concerned Journalists at The National Press Building and four years working in Athens, Athens is back in New York.
In addition to working at New Greek TV she is an on-air correspondent for AlleyWire.