CULTURE

Singer Haris Alexiou takes the lead in CD price-cutting

The current turmoil in Greek discography has led at least one Greek singer, Haris Alexiou, to slash the price of her newest album. All the talk is of the panic caused by the drop in sales and the increase in CD piracy, the possibility of many companies closing down and the developments that will turn the Greek music market upside down. Though some might argue that CD prices are not to blame for the local music market’s run of bad luck, consumers judge by their pockets – and CDs are expensive. Greek vocalist Haris Alexiou has already taken the initiative with her new album, «Os tin Akri tou Ouranou Sou,» which will be sold at the price of 15.90 euros at all Metropolis music stores, when usually such an album starts off at a price between 20 and 24 euros. She follows in the footsteps of Universal’s president in the USA, who recently announced that the price of the company’s CDs would be reduced by 30 percent as of October. «Although I am in a difficult position having to side with one store, I will do it because that store responded,» she said, meaning that the store agreed with her suggestion. «I had to lower the cost and my revenues, because I am the boss and I make the decisions. I believe we must all do that, although recordings are now more expensive,» Alexiou explained. Her decision will definitely open a new chapter in the music industry and might even lead to a price war. Young generation Cheerful and fervent as always, at a press conference at Athens Airport, Alexiou talked about her new album, which needed 12 months for completion. The album includes songs by Alexiou, as well as by Antonis Vardis, Giorgos Theofanous, Manolis Famellos, Tassos Vougiatzis and others, as well as two duets with Yiannis Kotsiras and Philippos Pliatsikas. When asked whether she was worried about the future of popular Greek music, Alexiou replied in the affirmative. «I am more worried about all talented people, no matter what field of singing they are involved in. How can they get the recognition they deserve?» Alexiou also talked about the break she took halfway through the production of her album by traveling to India. «India removed me from my daily routine. I made no phone calls while I was there. I lost myself.» On her return, she thought again of all she had done in the studio since last September and decided she wanted more songs. In her quest, she contacted her old friend Antonis Vardis, and also the younger artist Giorgos Theofanous, a singer of a different genre. «I admire his talent. I asked him not to hesitate,» she said. Nevertheless, when the album was completed, she still felt something was missing. With that question in mind, and in an emotionally charged atmosphere caused by her return to the Minos record company, she ended the press conference in a hall of the Athens International Airport with a short song.