Bringing contemporary Greek music to Australia
Radio DJ George Iliopoulos is bridging the divide between contemporary Greek music on Australian airwaves
Contemporary Greek music has been given a voice in Australia through the radio station Hellenic Journey (inner FM 96.5) with radio DJ George Iliopoulos at the helm. Iliopoulos himself a bonafide lover of this genre says he is giving not only Melbourne, but the global audience that tunes in weekly, an alternative to the commercial Greek music that is available on Australian airwaves but also promoting and educating his listeners with this style of music.
And his response so far to his two hour weekly program has been huge, with listeners all over the world, and even some of the Greek artists themselves tuning in weekly to receive a program that covers a plethora of issues. Apart from music, Iliopoulos also discusses community news for Greek Australians, film and other cultural events but touches on current affairs. His guests range from contemporary Greek artists and film buffs, to Australian politicians.
In his 13 years at the station, Iliopoulos has managed to build strong relationships with the contemporary Greek artists to the point he was invited to visit popular Greek artist Dimitris Zervoudakis in his home in Greece.
"They are really down to earth and approachable people," Iliopoulos says of the artists in this genre of music.
Recently, Iliopoulos has been talking to Erofilli from the band Trifono - who he will be speaking with on this Monday's show. He tells Neos Kosmos that they have shown a strong desire to tour Australia and particularly play at a future Antipodes Festival.
"[Trifono] would be quite ideal to play Antipodes as their genre of music would captivate a cross-section of the Greek community and beyond that as they sing in English too as they do some great acappela work with songs like Scarborough Fair," he says.
A musician himself, Iliopoulos volunteers his time to the radio show each week and constantly researchs and speaks with artists in Greece to keep upon trend and to deliver to Australian audiences all the latest news.
He says he is constantly inspired by the Greek artists in this genre, who although they steer away from commercialism in the music industry, are extremely popular in their own right. Most of these artists are self-funded and promoted yet can get anywhere between 1000-2000 people attend a show in Greece.
"There's a camaraderie within this genre of music that they have because they all love music," Iliopoulos explains.
"I think when people become very commercial and they become popular things change, but with these artists - even though they have the popularity - they don't have the commercialism so the audience they attract keeps them grounded as they are more of a sophisticated audience."
Tune into Hellenic Journey every Monday night from 10:00 pm to midnight by streaming 96.5 via www.innerfm.org.au
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