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Q: Can you tell us a bit about the origins of Honest Touch?  

Fofi and I met early in the year 1999 at a music conservatory in Athens where we both were teaching. Our common passion for Classical music, New Age music, Pop and Film music created the momentum to unite and fulfill a common vision, to create music that fuses the aesthetics of both Pop and Classical.

  Q :  How did you go about assembling the additional participants in the project - the band, the guests and the orchestral and choral artists?

Early in the year 2000 we started looking for the remainder members of the project. Actually it wasn’t really hard, since as a professional arranger and orchestrator I work extensively with session musicians as well as with symphony orchestras. Drummer Tolis Arsenidis and bass player Sotiris Papadeas were friends and close collaborators at that time. The other members of the project were gathered as the music and concerts developed. When the time came to record the album I called my long time collaborator Maestro Valeri Vatchev in Sofia to book the symphony orchestra. Fofi contacted the director of Fons Musicalis Choir who she already knew.

Q : What led you to work with this particular style of music?   Samy:
Since none of us write lyrics, the obvious route was instrumental music. The challenge we put ahead of us was to create, as best as we can, a unique sound and style. We believe our distinctive style is characterized by a genuine and emotional color. You could say a sort of cinematic Pop music or as we call it “Tacit Pop”. That is music so inspiring that words are not needed.
  Q : Do you have any major influences behind your musical approach?   Fofi:
We are both classically trained, so we are very much influenced by classical music. Among the classical composers we admire are Sergej Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, and Chopin. Contemporary artists that inspire us are Ennio Moriconne, Andreas Vollenweider, David Lanz, George Winston, George Benson, and many others.
Q : What effect would you like your music to have on your listeners?   Samy:
Our intention is to create instrumental songs that touch the listener in a sincere and emotional tone, to be enraptured by images created by the balance of continuous beautiful melodies, ambient harmonies and lush, fluent orchestrations.
  Q : Tell us a bit about your live performances - what kind of set up do you have and how is the music received?   Samy:
With Fofi on piano and me on Keyboards, we are usually supported by a five-piece band; that is drums, bass, percussion and two guitars. And of course we have guest artists on violin and voice. Depending on the venue, we may either have orchestral tracks playback or have a small ensemble of strings accompany the project.
The style of music we perform is not quite popular in Greece, and so our audience is usually very selective. This helps in creating a very powerful and inspiring vibe on stage and in the audience. The music and arrangements are so powerful and sincere that people in the audience who aren’t fans soon become hooked.
Q :  What would you say is the most gratifying piece of feedback that
Honest Touch has received so far?

For the mastering of the album I contacted Vlado Meller at Sony Music Studios. Mr. Meller’s credits are quite impressive, having worked with Barbara Streisand, Prince, Celine Dion and many other renowned artists. After listening to the mix he wrote in this email: “You have a very nice album on your hands, and the fact is that it is all about the music and the feel. You have accomplished both.” I consider such a comment an honor for us.

  Q : What made you decide to include the ABBA cover on the album?

Actually we’re both fans of ABBA! In the beginning we thought to arrange an Abba’s song as homage for this wonderful Pop band. Later we considered it a powerful promotional tool to include in our debut album an orchestral arrangement of a hit song.



Q : Would you say that the internet has had much impact on the distribution of your music?


Definitely. The internet helped us sell our album internationally through CD Baby, iTunes, Rhapsody, and others. Moreover, it’s very much practical to contact the media, press, music industry people, fans, and radio producers in any country. In short, promoting and distributing our music to the world is a lot feasible through the internet.
  Q : Where does Honest Touch go from here?   Samy:
Our plans for 2007 is to begin recording our second album; probably around April or May. Concurrently, we’ll continue promoting our music and expending our fan base throughout the world through the internet. Hopefully we’ll be successful enough to be able to perform to our fans abroad in Europe and America.

Thanks to Samy and Fofi for allowing us that interview.