Interview: Electra Limniou
With unlimited love to the Greek audience, with unforgettable trips in our country and stubbornly continuing to perpetuate the Ladino* music, Yasmin Levy announces and awaits for the concert at Katrakio Theater on 6th of July. Many of her songs remain imprinted in our minds, such as the collaborations with artists like Yiannis Kotsiras and Eleni Vitali.
“The song “Porque” will always be important for me because of Eleni.”
Levy shares her future plans, her experience and memories from Greece, as well as moments from her albums’ recordings, with us and our magazine.
* Ladino is an archaic form of Spanish language with structures and vocabulary that can be traced back to the fifteenth century.
People in Greece have a passion with your music. It seems that there is chemistry between us. How do you cope with all those feelings during your concerts and how do you feel?
I feel so many different emotions during my show. I feel really happy, and also grateful, yet I cry inside. Mine are the tears of someone who still cannot believe even after all these years, that you people love my music dearly, and have made me a part of your lives even if for only one short moment.
So, you are coming back in our country on the 6th of July. What are we going to see and listen at the Katrakio Stadium?
In this special concert, I will offer my heart, my love, my life, my passion, my amazing musicians, my pain, my hope, my happiness. And of course all that will be expressed through songs which have accompanied my journey over the years.
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Taking into consideration the hitherto collaborations with Greek artists, such as Yiannis Kotsiras, Eleni Vitali, Yorgos Ntalaras and Yiannis Charoulis, what’s your opinion about the Greek culture and particularly about the Greek music?
To be honest, your culture and your music are something to marvel. The world owes you so much, in so many respects. The world would not be the same if it wasn’t for Greece. As for your music, I grew up listening to Greek music, thanks to my mom who adores Greek music. I cannot see my life without your music; it leads me, it feeds my soul, it guides me, and it is part of who I am.
As you have visited our country so many times, which part of Greece is your favourite? Is there any worth-sharing moment that stays with you?
I’ve enjoyed many beautiful moments in Greece, and I’ve been back with my family on a private visit even without having any concert to play. Somehow, I feel I can breathe easy in Greece. It’s probably the wonderful combination of the sun, the music, the food, the history, and above all the friendly, warm people. It feels like home to me, and always has done.
How do you feel about the fact that you are the first of the Ladino singers? Do people maintain the equal interest of this kind of music as they did at the beginning?
Ladino music is more important than any singer who will ever sing it. It is more important than me, the person and the singer, and I hope that I have worked to ensure it will survive forever. Part of my mission has been to ensure that Ladino music will enjoy an eternal life of its own. I am happy to see that people still love to hear this music and I am moved by the public’s tears of happiness when we all sing Ladino, which no doubt reminds them of their parents, their home, and their childhood.
Which part of the making and the recording of an album is your favourite? Could you tell us about the most recent one?
I have never loved the studio itself. In fact, I always suffer when it comes time to record an album. You might find that a bit odd, but an artist needs the freedom to create, and a singer needs freedom when he/she sings. But the recording studio is the opposite of all that. As a singer one cannot be as free as on stage; I have to control my impulse, and sing very precisely rather than singing freely from the heart. But having said that, the true creative process for me is the excitement of conjuring a song in my head and then, moving to the piano at my home studio. After that, when I get together with my musicians and we all play in the studio, and then I hear it for the first time with the gentle touch of my musicians loving the song, at this very first moment I can just cry of happiness.
Although you might consider each work of yours as your own child, which LP or single you would say is your dearest and why?
La Allegria, Me Voy, Una Noche Mas, Olvidate de me – all of them are a close part of me. And then there is “Porque” which will always be important for me because of Eleni. Singing with her was one of the greatest moments of my life
What’s your favourite quote or motto?
Live and let live – with mutual respect.