With her dynamic vocal range and feisty stage persona, Greek-American rock artist Electra Barakos is often referred to as the hardest working unsigned artist in Los Angeles. Trained in both classical and rock/pop music, she splits her time between two genres and pours her heart and soul into packed live shows across West Hollywood.
Patch sat down with the artist whose inspirational lyrics often serve as a mantra for fans pushing through difficulties in life. In the one-on-one interview, the young singer shares her adoration for Greek culture and discusses what keeps her going in such a competitive industry.
West Hollywood Patch: You've been called the hardest working unsigned artist in LA. What is your secret to pushing so hard?
Electra Barakos: Passion, motivation, determination and my love for music. Music is what I do. I do it 24/7, dream it, live it, think it, sleep it. I am so determined that nothing will stop me nor will I leave my dreams in the hands of others. I know what I need to do and will try anything and everything to make it happen.
Patch: You are classically trained and also perform edgy rock/pop. Which do you prefer?
Barakos: I love and do both at any given time and opportunity. I guess I should say that my main drive and focus though has been toward my rock stuff. The feeling of being on stage with a live band, performing songs that I have written, with lyrics that speak from my heart and connecting with the audience in such an intimate, and direct way is an amazing adrenaline rush and leaves me with an incredible feeling of self fulfillment. Nevertheless, I am still part of the classical world as well. I do a lot of session work for soundtracks and other projects, so that way I still get my little classical fix.
Patch: How was ?
Barakos: Epic! Thousands of people on the Sunset Strip all to celebrate rock and roll and honor the street and clubs where it all started. This was the second year in a row that I was part of the SSMF bill and once again felt so honored to be on it. Motley Crue gave us a rock and roll thrill while Black Veil Brides left me with the hope that glam rock is on its way back. The stage was packed and the crowd was amazing.
Patch: Craziest thing you saw on the Sunset Strip this year?
Barakos: I saw Jesus and Tommy Lee drumming upside on a roller coaster. I never thought I would see either one on the Strip!
Patch: Do you implement a lot of your Greek culture into your music?
Barakos: Well, in my first EP a few years back, I did record a couple Greek cover songs by adding my own touch and English lyrics on one of them, and I think that at that time, I was still trying to find myself as an artist. I grew up around Greek music on the road with my dad, then I studied opera in the university, and somewhere in between there I was into rock and roll. So at that time, I was still experimenting.
Patch: Are there any Greek restaurants that you recommend in West Hollywood?
Barakos: If you really want some real Greek food, come over to my mom’s house for dinner, or go to Greece!
Patch: What is “Problem Child" about? Is that sort of a personal mantra for you?
Barakos: It is about standing up for who you are no matter what you look like, what ethnicity you are, what turns you on, what you do, what you wear. We are all unique individuals with a different story to share. The opening of the music video is very personal to me. As a classically trained singer, I have always been encouraged by my family and peers to continue in that field, while my heart really wanted to try the rock world. And so I did! Everybody has to stand up for who they are, and what they want from life. "I am who I am so let me be," is the chorus of the song and the message.