By : Heba .A. Fattah
Santa Semeli and the Monks is a music group formed in London in 2013 by Semeli Economou and Haraldur Ágústsson. Semeli and Haraldur first met in 2012 when Semeli cast Haraldur in her short film The Burning Bush.
The name Santa Semeli and the Monks originated from Semeli’s philosophy that religion should serve art. Monks symbolize dedication to a greater cause thus making music and art the priority. The group sees entertainment as the most beautiful and enjoyable way to convey messages.
In June 2014 Santa Semeli and the Monks independently from their album produced and released their first single ‘Arrivederci Bob’ under their label Cosima Music. The upbeat tongue in cheek dance song reached number 3 in the Cyprus i-Tunes charts and amongst other radio stations was played by Frank Skinner on his Absolute Radio show.
In December 2014 they released a single called Star.
Santa Semeli and the Monks musical style has been described as visual and filmic whilst filled with sense of humour and brutal honesty that engages its audience.
All lyrics are based on Semeli Economou’s poetry which sometimes has an improvisational nature. The music is a collaboration between Economou and Ágústsson with Ágústsson assisting with the arrangements.
Santa Semeli and the Monks work with all musical genres, putting the emphasis on good quality songwriting both musically and lyrically.
Semeli’s stage presence has been compared to artists such as Kate Bush, Liza Minnelli, Siouxie and the Banshees, Patti Smith and Marlene Dietrich.
In November 2014 SSATM released their self-titled debut album which is a collection of thirteen songs varying in style and genre. It comprises punk, rock n’roll, pop, folk, a sentimental Russian ballad, a Cuban tango, lullaby, blues, and easy listening. The album's main theme is the highs and lows of personal relationships.
The album was recorded and mixed in London by James Aparicio at Limehouse Studios and mastered by Tim Young at Metropolis Studios. It was arranged and produced by Semeli Economou and Haraldur Agustsson. Gaspar Hunt contributed in some of the arrangements.
Pants off Tour:
In October 2014 SSATM embarked on a small promotional tour. They played the Menil Fest in Paris, CBGB festival in New York, The Hamptons International Film Festival, in Cyprus and Reykjavik part of Iceland Airwaves. In Cyprus they performed live on Cypriot National Television on the cultural program Entexnos.
Santa Semeli and the Monks have collaborated with local musicians during their tour.
Semeli Economou – lead vocals
Haraldur Ágústsson – guitar, backing vocals
Gaspar Hunt - piano, keyboard
Conor Cotterill - bass
Andrea Turco - drums
Guðný Jónasdóttir - cello
Hringur Grétarsson - trumpet
Jump up ^ Björnsdóttir, Ingibjörg Rósa (13 July 2014). "Tónlistin segir sögur" (NEWSPAPER). Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). p. 9. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
Jump up ^ Schiza, Marina (1 November 2014). "The Descent of Santa Semeli and the Monks" (NEWSPAPER). Fileleftheros (in Greek) (Cyprus). p. 28. Retrieved 26 November 2014. Jump up ^ Forster, Tim (21 September 2014). "Love, Life and Happy Endings?" (INTERVIEW). http://freedomnews.org.uk. England. Retrieved 26 November 2014. Jump up ^ Mourettos, John (12 December 2014). "Athletes of the mind" (NEWSPAPER). Philenews. pp. 40–41. Retrieved 17 December 2014.