Few modern Greek artists deserve the title ‘superstar’ and fewer still can claim the title, coming from a traditional music background.

From that aspect, Giannis Haroulis is a truly exceptional artist. His claim to fame came in 2002 when he took part in a tribute concert to celebrate the memory and legacy of Nikos Xylouris, arguably the most iconic singer of Cretan music. At 21, Haroulis got onstage and channelled the late, great artist, his voice almost identical to that of the ‘Cretan Archangel’.

From that point on, Haroulis has experienced a meteoric rise in the Greek music scene, filling venues and singing to thousands of fans in each of his concerts.

On Saturday 10 February, he’ll do the same in Melbourne, as he was announced as the headline act of the 31st Lonsdale Street Greek Festival. Haroulis’ blend of Greek folk and Cretan traditions with elements of rock and contemporary songwriting has made him one of the most interesting artists to emerge from Greece lately, and his collaborations with musicians and composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, Stavros Xarchakos, Thanasis Papakonstantinou, Dionysis Savvopoulos, Alkistis Protopsalti, and Sokratis Malamas (among many others), is testament to his merit.