Kristina Miltiadou

Get the latest from Beat

Kristina Miltiadou


Kristina Miltiadou’s long black hair is flying around as she frantically adjusts herself before finally flopping down for our interview.

Kristina Miltiadou’s long black hair is flying around as she frantically adjusts herself before finally flopping down for our interview. Her strong, dark, beautiful features are striking and as she speaks, her eyes light up and bat demurely at me. Let’s just say she’s… formidable.

On stage she’s even more intense. As a solo frontwoman with backing band, Krissy dominates the stage with beautiful carnations in her shining raven mane and swaying hips. Her music is a beautiful crossbreed – with a strong r’n’b vocal sound, the genre is a little unspecific but it’s hugely catchy and totally dance-worthy. "I think it’s pretty hard [to describe]", Miltiadou agrees, "because when I listened to [my album] I sort of didn’t know what it was myself… which I thought was a good thing.

"But I guess the recent press release that said it was electro-tinged pop is a pretty good, broad way of saying it," she muses, and then adds, "I think it’s sort of funk in a way because funk is sort of soulful and sort of poppy and it’s catchy but it’s got a groove to it and I think my music definitely has that element."

For Miltiadou, singing and writing music has been a lifelong dream. Formally trained as a singer since she was 16 (the earliest she could begin lessons after waiting for her voice to mature), she still trains with Kath Dolphin, who she greatly admires. After having a good go at learning the piano at eight, Krissy realised that she was a singer, not a pianist, and used it later at 14 to write her first songs.

But being a frontwoman, sans instruments, was always the goal. "It made me more nervous when I had to play piano because a) I didn’t think I was good enough, which I’m totally not and b) my songs weren’t ever going to be piano songs," Miltliadou explains. "I always knew when I wrote them on the piano that they were going to need harmonies and percussion and different sounds that weren’t piano. I wanted to create a vibe but I didn’t know exactly what it was and I new that piano didn’t have anything to do with it.

"So I felt way more comfortable when I finally had a band because I was free of all instruments and I could just dance around and be myself because that’s what I wanted to do; I wanted to move because that’s what music makes me want to do. I don’t want to stand behind a thing and play it, and I think some people think they need to play instruments to show people that they’re talented but I think if you can sing and perform then that’s way better."

So Krissy went on a mission to make this happen – and that meant finding herself a shit-hot band. "I’ve known Josh (Hardy, keys) the longest. I met him three years ago at Pogo when we were drunk and then I played some songs to him and all the boys he hung out with. We started jamming but he was in a band called Skye Harbour so basically that didn’t happen for a while…

"I started recording my album pretty much when I met Josh and it was maybe two and a half years later when I met Yuko (Nishiyama, guitar), and we had a bit of a jam, too," she recalls.

The story, of course, goes on… Josh’s band broke up and he and Yuko started playing with Krissy, and Tyler Millott, on bass, came to a gig and asked to join. Finally a drummer was sourced and voila: a band. And an amazing one, at that: "I need them, they’re my rock – and not just on stage," Miltiadou beams.

"We just get along so well and we have so much and if I didn’t have them I don’t think it would feel as good, when I turn around on stage and I see all my friends up there with me being happy and loving it."

It’s been a long journey for Miltiadou, who recently supported Marina And The Diamonds (life dream: tick – "Ever since I heard she was playing Falls I was like ‘I have to support Marina And The Diamonds’ – she’s like my Greek soul sister."), and has almost finished her debut album, soon to be released.

But the desire to play comes deep from her roots – in Greece. "I’ve been going to Greece since I was about 14 months old, but basically I finished high school when I was 18 and I took a year off and I was like ‘I wanna get signed this year – I want to do this for a career and if it doesn’t work out this year then I’ll see what I’m going to do with my life.’

"So," she continues, "I made a demo and I went to Greece for three months and basically while I was there… I was a bit young," she grins, "and I did some silly things, I drank too much and I went too crazy, my family got angry at me and it was a big whirlwind of an experience."

A few songs came out of that experience – including I which will be on her album – but it wasn’t until she went back to Greece two years later that it all fell into place. A more zen, reflective experience the second time around, Miltiadou returned to Australia with a clear perspective. Indeed, even the carnations in Miltiadou’s hair are a symbol of Greece, traditionally the flowers thrown on stage to Greek songstresses. She wears them with pride every show.

"Greece basically changed everything twice in a row and made me write these songs and made me prioritise my life, get my shit together, write more songs and actually get my album happening… because I think I wouldn’t have written those songs if I hadn’t gone to Greece and adopted a new outlook.

"It mirrored the process of my life and that’s what the record is."

KRISTINA MILTIADOU plays a month-long residency at The Workers Club every Monday night. For only $2 entry (fucking hell… $2!) you get to witness one of Melbourne’s finest up and comers. She’s supported by Tully & The Thief on Monday February 14, The Pretty Littles on February 21 and Sam Lawrence on February 28. Her debut single and album will be out soon. Nice.