Interview: Eleni Foureira on Sharing the Stage With Madonna and Women Having the Upper Hand
To be a Top Pop Diva, you need big songs, bold looks and fierce hairography: Eleni Foureira has mastered all three.
Reigning supreme as the Pop Queen of Greece, Foureira has dominated the European music scene with her stellar bops over the years, amassing a whopping 818K monthly listeners on Spotify. Foureira become a household name internationally when she represented Cyprus in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, with her fiery entry ‘Fuego’ coming in second place and set the charts alight with a massive 68.5 million streams.
Not content with just conquering Greece and Eurovision, Foureira’s now got her sights set on global domination with Gyspy Woman, her first foray into the international market. With a collection of bops as strong as Gypsy Woman, it shouldn’t be hard.
In our interview with Eleni, we chat about her inspirations, growth and performing next to Madonna on the 2019 Eurovision stage.
SheBOPS: Is there a quote you consider to be your life motto?
Eleni Foureira: “Believe in yourself, work hard and you will get what you deserve”.
What’s in your Recently Played list on Spotify?
“Call Ya” from my recent EP haha.
What are your favorite sounds to incorporate into your music?
I really like to mix things in music. I like pop, reggaeton with some electro vibes.
What emotions do you hope your music conveys to the listener?
Joy! Coolness, passion and I just really want them to dance.
What is the toughest part of creating new music?
There’s nothing really tough about it. All it takes is to be with the right people at the right place, the right moment. It’s a creative process and when you’re collaborating with talented people and your chemistry is right, it’s only joyful for me.
You were selected to perform alongside Madonna during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – what was that experience like?
Eurovision is one of the most magical experiences in my life. This year, I’d say was even better as I wasn’t competing and everything was more relaxed. It was a true honour performing on the same stage with Madonna. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
Was there ever a moment where you felt like giving up on music and doing something else?
No, never! It’s been my dream since I was a little kid and every day it’s coming more and more true.
What is your message with Gypsy Woman, your first international project?
Gypsy Woman symbolizes someone with a free spirit and that’s the message the EP is trying to pass. My first international project is a mixture of all the types of music I like and I really hope my fans will love it as much as I do.
Why does now feel like the right time to target the UK market?
I feel like after being on the road for a year I can understand better what fans from different countries like and want to listen to me sing. I’ve always loved the characteristics and elements of UK pop and I definitely feel that now I have the right platform to share my take on it.
Who are some of your favorite female artists from the UK?
I really like Dua Lipa. I love her music and her style. I think she’s super talented and amazing.
Have you ever felt pressured to fit a certain ‘mould’ as an artist?
I’ve been lucky enough to have people around who allow me to always be myself and do the things the way I want to do them. I’ve always released the songs I wanted to release and wore the clothes I wanted to wear. There is definitely more pressure when your fan base grows, but I think if you love what you do, then you learn how to deal with it.
Have you noticed any double standards when it comes to gender in the music industry?
Maybe in the earlier years of my career, but now I feel like the standards are changing and women are starting to have the upper hand.
How do you feel about the representation and portrayal of female musicians? Is there anything that you’d like to change?
As the years pass, the representation of the female gender in music definitely grows. Nowadays you see female musicians in all genres of music, you see powerful women taking creative control of the craft and their careers and that’s not just truly amazing, but it’s the way it should have always been.
Are there any up and coming female musicians you have your eye on?
I like Billie Eilish. She has such a unique voice and everything she represents is truly inspiring.
What advice would you give to young girls and women looking to work in music?
To be themselves, always believe in themselves and of course to work the hardest they can and give their 100% in anything they do.
Is there anything in your career that you feel like you are still learning?
Oh, for sure! Life in general is a learning process. I will never stop learning and trying to evolve both musically and as a person.
What’s left to come in 2019?
At the moment I am continuing my European tour and I keep writing new music that hopefully I will be able to present by the end of the year.
Stream Eleni Foureira on Spotify