Athena is ‘Traveling Light’ with her idol Leonard Cohen

Thanasis Gavos   Thu, 20 Oct 2016; 18:46

Acclaimed by Billboard as a “talented rising pop star” and by the Daily Mail as “a voice blessed, a rare diamond,” rising pop sensation Athena follows the recent release of her debut U.S. EP Ready for the Sun, Part 1 – and its focal track “You Bring Me Luck” – with a stroke of great fortune and a lifelong dream come true.

Her idol, legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, chose her to be a featured artist on his highly anticipated upcoming album You Want It Darker set for release October 21. Athena sings the chorus on the poignant, poetic track “Traveling Light”; Cohen carries the verses.

The track, recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Cohen’s son Adam Cohen, features mandolins and an overall Greek vibe that connects perfectly with Athena’s rich cultural background.

Athena first got wind of Leonard Cohen’s interest in her when she did an interview with a Greek journalist about the European release of her album Breathe With Me. The writer told her that when asked who his favorite Greek singer was, the icon mentioned her. This year, Leonard’s son Adam heard Athena was living and recording Ready For The Sun, Part 1 in Los Angeles produced by associate Ethan Allen. Adam became an instant fan of her voice, and invited her to try out to participate on the new album. She was a perfect fit for the song.

“Leonard is one of my greatest influences, a real hero of mine,” Athena says. “He’s an all-round complete artist, a real poet whose wisdom and insight shine through his inspirational lyrics. I have always been impacted by his spiritual quest and his ability to engage in the big questions. I am also a fan of his 2006 poetry volume, Book of Longing. He captures my imagination like no other artist and I’ve always loved the fact that he works with great female singers.

“I did the session not knowing how my vocals would be used exactly,” she adds, “and I was excited to realize not only that it’s a full vocal feature, but that the song ‘Traveling Light’ draws upon the poetry in this book. The Greek influence of the song is natural; I grew up knowing that he wrote a lot of his songs on the Isle of Hydra and has a deep connection to the country and its culture, and so does Adam. Leonard has a reputation as a perfectionist, so not surprisingly he did some major tweaking to ‘Traveling Light,’ changing many things but leaving my vocals intact which again was such an honour!”

Athena, whose full name is Athena Andreadis, has been on a major career roll since the release of the five track EP Ready For The Sun, Pt. 1. She created a fascinating video for the first focal track, “You Bring Me Luck,” featuring “The World’s Ugliest Dog” (who became famous on “America’s Got Talent”) and produced by The Uprising Creative, the team behind classic videos by Rihanna and Justin Timberlake. She has also been performing public and private gigs in both the U.S. (including a sold out show at The Hotel Café in Hollywood), Greece and the UK.

This fall, she will be gearing up for the February 2017 release of the 13-track full length album Ready For the Sun by promoting her new focal track “Stronger” and releasing a holiday single.

“I love nothing more than creating music, writing songs and performing for people,” says Athena. “It’s like Leonard wrote in Anthem “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”; it’s those very cracks that make us human and connect us to something greater. I want to be present every moment during this lifelong journey, and I am thrilled now that appearing on ‘Traveling Light,” a song that expands upon that very theme, is part of that incredible road for me. I’m happy and grateful for the way people have been responding to my own songs, and I’m looking forward to sharing so much more of my music next year.”

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