Modern Mythology: Meet Four Of Greece’s Creative Forces
Get to know the latest artists who are testaments to the steadfast artistry of the Mediterranean
Negros Tou Moria or Black Morris—both are names you should know. The latter is a stage name, a translation of the former that encapsulates the essence of his being. The other, a birth name, is a play on Geros tou Moria, a legendary Greek soldier. For the up-and-coming Greek rapper, these names represent his artistry, a melting pot of his heritage and his future. Born to Ghanaian parents in the Athenian neighborhood of Kypseli, Morris found music and hip-hop as a way to reconcile the economic and political confusion he felt and as a way to pay tribute to his early influences: his father, a DJ and drummer, and Snoop Dogg, whom he first saw as a five-year-old in his “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” music video.
Currently working on an album he already deems will be “the best album in the country,” Black Morris is bringing the best of Greek and Ghanaian legacies to the forefront with his Rebetika-inspired beats. With words that aim to not only elevate his culture but also make them a part of mainstream conversation, he speaks to the universality and permanence of music, wherever it may be from. “My favorite aspect when it comes to music is that, as a musician, you’re going to live forever, and that’s a privilege from God.”
For as long as she can remember, Eleni Foureira has been making music–first singing in the girl-power band, Mystique, and now as a solo artist establishing her own sound. “I always wanted to be a singer,” Foureira says. “Don’t know why but I was born to do it. I had that instinct.” And if you’ve heard her latest single, “Fotiá” (with Evangelia), you know the instinct to make good music is all too true. She has already taken Greece by storm, becoming the most-streamed artist in Greece in 2021. But for Foureira that’s not enough; the 34-year-old has her sights set on world domination. Yet, if her latest releases are any indication, she is well on her way to international stardom.
Known for her thunderous electropop songs, she has already shared her artistry with a global audience–collaborating with Snoop Dogg a few years back and sharing the stage with Madonna in 2019. And, luckily for us, there is much more to come. Foureira recently teased that there is a new album in the works, centered around female empowerment. When asked what kind of inspiration she wants her fans to take away from the new music, Foureira shares, “I want to give women a space to feel their own strength and tell their stories. That is power.”
Ros Georgiou has spent the last decade modeling for some of the biggest names in fashion, including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Versace. But it wasn’t the allure of high-profile campaigns and sashaying down runways that drew the Athens-native to the glamorous career. Like most teenagers, 17-year-old Georgiou simply wanted money to go out more. After a friend sent her pictures to an agency, she signed with them as a way to earn quick cash. “Little did I know that you get paid after three months, and the first month is all about building your book,” she shares. “Well, 10 years later, here I am, definitely having money to go out!”
While modeling allowed her the chance to see the world and work with renowned creatives, Georgiou felt she still hadn’t found her true passion. “At times it felt like I was at least going in the right direction, but sometimes [it] felt like total chaos,” she recalls. Her search came to an end at age 24, when she began watching “real cinema”—artsy, aesthetic-driven films like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive—and realized her calling lies behind the camera. Having helmed projects for Vogue Greece and CAP 74024 among others, the budding filmmaker looks forward to expanding her cinematic horizons. “Directing [for me] is a compulsion more than anything else,” she says. “My favorite part is all of it.”
If life is a dance, 19-year-old performer and model Adam Khalil is the choreographer of his own destiny. Practicing the arts of voguing and ballroom dance at the House of Kareola in Athens, the half-Egyptian, half-Polish dancer is a well of self-expression, a creative body fusing energy and boundless feminine inspirations into his movements. Discovered by a drag queen on a night out, Khalil’s place in the arts and performance scene was kismet: “Back then, I didn’t have that much confidence because I grew up in a conservative region,” he reflects. “Until that moment I was never given space to express myself in such a way.”
Khalil could very well be the 10th Greek muse; the one that stands for empowerment and creativity, for a feminine touch that draws on his divine inspirations of Simone de Beauvoir, Madonna, Angela Davis, and Maria Callas. “I want to make people find their own confidence through mine,” says Khalil, channeling his power through freestyling and voguing with his “ultra-feminine character” on stage, and his place in the LGBTQ+ place off stage. “My identity as part of the queer community has a vibrant role in what I do in my performance,” says Khalil. “How it is evolving, breaking, reconstructing, and redefining. The total freedom of being what I feel like is the only way for me to express truly, authentically.”