YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 11, ARMENPRESS. “Music is an entire world for me, it is my life”, says Athena Manoukian as she is taking part in the “Depi Evratesil” national selection program hoping to represent Armenia at the Eurovision 2020 with her Chains On You song.
The Greek-Armenian singer, who has received critical acclaim for her songs, is visiting Armenia for the second time.
Athena Manoukian sat down with ARMENPRESS’s Angela Hambardzumyan to talk about her career and dreams.
“I started singing when I was 12. That’s when I won in a music TV show in Greece. Then I participated in the selection phase of Junior Eurovision. At the age of 17 I worked at one of the best clubs in Greece where I had my own show program and I had the chance to record three songs. I released the XO song in Sweden, while the music video was shot in Australia. I am happy that it turned out to be a success”, Manoukian said.
- Is it easier for you to write songs for yourself or other artists?
- I am writing songs in the last three years. I write from my heart, my soul. I find it easy to collaborate with other artists. I wrote a song for Elena Paparizou, who won the 2005 Eurovision. We wrote Chains On You together with my producer, DJ Paco.
- You are Armenian, and you live in Greece, but most of your songs are in English. Why is that? Have you ever written songs in Greek or Armenian?
- I have recorded one Greek song. I remember listening to Sirusho’s Kele Kele many years ago, I loved it very much. There is even a video where I am singing it. Actually I didn’t understand the beginning of the song which is in Armenian, but I loved it. Yes, I can say I have sung in Armenian.
Asked about ups and downs during her career and what keeps her going, Manoukian said: “I have said no to everything I don’t like, naturally there were times when doors were closing on me. A few years earlier I would get disappointed much more often, but it never even crossed my mind to drop my dream because I’ve always had people near me who supported me. I guess I’ve been dreaming to sing since the day I was born. I would advise to say no to everything you don’t like, everything that isn’t yours. In this case you will have your own and real career”.
- Let’s talk about Eurovision. Do you think it’s a song contest or a politicized show?
- Eurovision brings together many countries. Music is in the foundation of how it was created.
Speaking about past participants and songs she liked at the event, she pointed out Kele Kele by Sirusho, My Number One by Elena Paparizou and Secret Combination by Kalomira. “I like Kalomira very much, she has wonderful energy”.
- What can you say about your competitors at Depi Evratesil. What is Chains On You about?
- I think all songs are interesting, they create good atmosphere and each of them is giving something new to the audience. We wrote my song in two days when we were recording my new album which will come out soon. I wanted to create a hit that would represent my strong personality. Me and my producer worked a lot on it. I wrote the lyrics in a bus when I was traveling. The meaning of the song is very important, many don’t realize it initially. The song is about the treasures of people, about diamonds – talent, gift, that belong only to us. Sometimes they try to take these diamonds away from us. I want to say, that these diamonds can shine only with us, because they belong to us”.
“Right now my only goal is for Armenia to be proud of me. I’ve been given the chance to participate in the Depi Evratesil project, which in itself is significant. I want to meet the expectations of my fans and supporters, I wouldn’t want to let them down. I want to prove that I am a good singer who can best represent Armenia in the international arena”, she said, when asked about her readiness to head to the Eurovision 2020 in the event of winning the selection phase.
The national selection program will be wrapped up on February 15.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan