A Lesson in Melody
SYDNEY: Melodiqa’s diverse background informs his unique approach to music.
If he is isn’t quite yet soaring in orbit, 30-year-old multi-instrumentalist and singer George Tillianakis is pretty much destined for lift-off. With his debut album Flight due for release next week, buzz continues to grow for the man who is perhaps now just as well known by his stage name Melodiqa.
Doing his best to put paid to the notion Sydney’s west is a cultural wasteland, the indie electro-popster tells SX this week his upbringing in Blacktown to Greek immigrant parents has played a major part in his artistic endeavours.
“The first street I grew up on was ‘Melody Street’ and that’s where the name ‘Melodiqa’ mostly comes from.
“As a kid, I learnt to sing Greek before I could actually speak any English. My father had a back injury when I was child, was off work and at home because of it, and so he practically raised me with the record player on non-stop. We listened mostly to Greek blues music called Rembetika,” he says.
“It was obvious from that age, that music is where I felt most comfortable, as it provided both a means of expression, and also a place of solace.”
Now traversing the world of futurist pop and electro, Melodiqa’s unique background brings a rare soulfulness and thoughtfulness to the dance floor.
A video performance artist as well, with works exhibited at venues such as Artspace in Woolloomooloo, a Melodiqa live show isn’t one easily forgotten with artistry and choreography expertly meshed in with uplifting tunes and colourful costumes.
“Inspiration comes in many different forms. Sometimes through experience, through images, sometimes through feeling, but they mostly come from an unconscious place,” he says.
“Flight took two years to write, record and produce. Though side A and side B of the album have obvious differing elements, there was a specific sound I was aiming for and it was crucial that I achieved it, despite my discombobulated headspace at the time.”
The album which Melodiqa pretty much single-handedly created in his bedroom, on a balcony overlooking grimy train-tracks, will be launched this Saturday night at monthly party night Handle Bar at the Oxford Hotel.
A tale of two sides, the first few songs on the Flight are four-to-the-floor nightclub fillers before the latter part of the record delivers a decidedly more subtle and contemplative take on modern life.
“I was heavily inspired by The Neverending Story soundtrack (by Klaus Doldinger and Giorgio Moroder), bands like College and Symbol One, and the genius melodies of Kim Deal of The Breeders,” Melodiqa explains.
“Daft Punk are an obvious reference. I was listening to Christopher Young’s Flowers In the Attic, and Allegri’s ‘Miserere’ quite a lot at the time of writing. I love that ominous feel.”
Having already supported the vibrant Jeffree Star at the Metro and emerging acts like The Blow Waves, Garcon Garcon and the Blush Foundation, Melodiqa is hopeful his foray into the gay mile this weekend will spark bursts of positive energy into an area that is fast becoming run-down.
“There seems to be a side of Oxford Street that most people avoid. It’s negative and it sucks,” he muses.
“It’s said however, that where there is the most darkness, the greater the light revealed.”
Melodiqa will launch Flight on Saturday, July 21 at Handle Bar, Oxford Hotel: Underground, Darlinghurst. Free entry from 10pm. Flight will be released on iTunes on July 23.