The Accent of Us by Giacomo Ravo (Austin, TX)

The Accent of Us

Hello EuroCircle members and international friends!

I just launched The Accent of Us, a podcast show that highlights stories of international entrepreneurs, innovators, and professionals that moved to the United States and contributed to the economy, society, and science in the most innovative country of the world. You can listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Why I started the Accent of Us

During the 6 years I lived in the United States I met so many talented people that moved here from so many different places around the world to start businesses, careers, and exciting projects. I’ve heard so many fascinating stories and now I want to capture this stories with The Accent of Us and share them with the international and local communities.

Why this name?

First, let’s start with the definition of accent. The accent is a distinctive manner of expression, a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language.

All people that move here from other parts of the world are so distinctive and unique. They are adding so much diversity to our community and bringing so many new ideas.

About Me

First, an interesting fact about me: I clearly have an accent when I speak English, I am not going to hide that.

What’s interesting is that now I have an accent when I speak Italian as well. When I go back to Italy people tell me that I have an English accent. So it looks like now I have an accent wherever I go. I grew up in Naples Italy and moved to Austin Texas in 2011 after completing a Master’s degree in Engineering Management in Florence.

In Austin I worked in manufacturing and technology companies and completed the evening MBA program at McCombs Business School. I have always been passionate about technology and the way technology improves people’s lives. I am interested in everything international and I love to hear stories of people that come from different backgrounds.

Contact info

Twitter: @theaccentofus; @giacoravo

Susanna DG – Doing Good Productions and Life Coach in Los Angeles

Susanna Karoliina Goltche, neé Nieminen, knew she wanted to help people as a teenager. She decided she wanted to see the world when she was studying social sciences. She came to the United States as a student. and promptly fell in love with an American businessman and had a child. After her marriage ended she found herself  in a turning point in her life. She returned to her original idea of helping people. She became a life coach.

When she she still lived in Finland upon completing an internship at a Finnish Government Foster Care Institution and at Finnish Kindergarten and day care center, Susanna continued on to receive a certificate from Paimion Institute of Youth Leadership Studies (Paimion Kansan-Opisto) becoming a youth leadership counselor.  She went on to complete her internship working with handicapped and mentally disabled children.

When her schooling at the Finnish college was complete, Susanna relocated as an international student located at a U.S. college.  She continued her studies in sociology and psychology. However, Susanne’s creative mind and interest in entertainment lead her to film – she went on graduating (Film and Television production certificate Field Of Study Cinematography and Film/Video Production) from LACC film school.

After gaining experience in the entertainment industry working as part of E! Entertainment Television and Dr. Phil Show, Susanna took some time off to raise her daughter. After her divorce she trained at the Coaching Training Institute (CTI) in Los Angeles and received her certificate in life coaching, from the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Life coaches concentrate on the present and the future,” Susanna explains.  She doesn’t see clients who have mental issues – those clients are sent to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Life coaching is for otherwise healthy individuals, who need help in their working or private life.  A life coach is like a friend who listens and lends a helping hand.

Fearless (skydiving), direct, focused, intuitive and goal oriented, Susanna appreciates and welcomes coaching clients who are also committed to true inner growth, transformation and fulfillment.  She cares deeply about each and every client, wanting them to find inner passion, purpose, and to empower them to find the true feminine power within in order to step into their full potential and realize their greatness.

I asked what does she like to do most – coaching or entertainment?  She said she likes both –  she just like WORKING no matter what she is doing. She is one of those people who is good at multiple different areas and interested in multiple topics. My boyfriend is like that – he is super creative and genius with numbers.

If you would like to hire Susanna for entertainment or any job please connect with her directly. All her information is below.


Susanna at LinkedIn
Susanna at Facebook
Susanna DG – Doing Good Productions
Email Susanna here

Elena Chestnykh, Russian Artist & Painter Living in New York


Elena Chestnykh was born in Novosibirsk, Russia and currently lives in New York. She has been an exhibiting artist for twenty years.

Elena’s work has been shown in numerous venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Erartain both Saint-Petersburg and New York, The Art Center WINZAVOD in Moscow,the State Museumsof Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Kemerovo, Russia and Nord Art 2010 in Rendsburg Germany. The Novosibirsk State Museum of Fine Art and Kemerovo Regional State Art Museum currently have her works in their collections.

In the early period of her career she traveled around the world painting and learning different cultures. She painted in Italy, Syria, India and Indonesia among other countries. In 2013 the Museum of Contemporary Arts Erarta organized her solo exhibition ‘Urban Reflection’ in New York. In 2015-2016 she attended the MFA program at the New York School of Visual Arts. In 2015 she contributed to the International Conference ‘Art in Modern Education’in Novosibirsk, Russia. Since 2016, she has written a blog about American art in English and Russian and in 2016 she curated a group exhibition ‘Breach’ at the Rabbit Hole Gallery in Brooklyn.

Does the topic about urban life relate to your art practice?

It is an interesting question because this exact theme is what led me to New York. In Russia, I was a full time exhibited painter selling my art through galleries. After about 10 years I achieved everything that I could achieve there as an artist. I got recognition in the art community and was exhibited in all the most important art museums and venues but ultimately, I started getting bored. I got bored with myself and people and with my city. It was a very unpleasant feeling. I didn’t however think about relocation at that time but decided that I needed to look at my city in a new way. I began to paint the streets where I walked every day, but differently. I created my own city.

Slowly I got plunged into the theme of urban life. Then I did another project which was documental and research oriented. It included photo installation, video panorama and a sound-track. For this installation, I took photos of Novosibirsk’s residents in their homes. I interviewed them about how they felt in our city and recorded those conversations. I mixed these conversations with street sounds and music and created a video panorama of the city. It was an atmospheric show.

The multimedia project “City. Meeting Place”:

That painting series and this project ‘City Meeting Place’ were noticed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta and they invited me with the solo exhibition “Urban Reflections” in New York in 2013.

I came here for my exhibition and I was charmed by the energy of the city and diversity of people. I decided to get my master degree in New York. In 2015-2016, I studied the MFA Fine Arts program at School of Visual Arts, and finally, I remained in New York for longer.

Star Wars, 2012, oil on canvas, 57 x 82 inches

What is best about New York for you?

New York is a multicultural and international city and this is what I like most about it. A lot of ambitious and talented people come here to make their dreams come true. I enjoy just walking on noisy, crowded streets absorbing the energy of this city. There are numerous great galleries and museums, and at the same time the climate is mostly warm and sunny and the ocean is near.

What is the essence of New York to you – what do you absolutely want your friends to see or feel in it vs. your country?

Diversity. New York is Babylon. It is exciting how people of different nationalities and cultures live here together. They intersect interactfriendly with one anotherin a common space and at the same time they keep their own identities and traditions.

You can travel around the world not leaving New York; just go from one neighborhood to another. My first location was Elmhurst in Queens and I felt like I live somewhere in China. Also, at that time I rented a studio in Greenpoint in Brooklyn. It is Polish neighborhood with Polish food and atmosphere. It was a hot summer and sometimes I took a break afternoon and went to the Kosciuszcko swim pool which was just two stops away by subway. Often I was the only a white person there.  It is an Afro-American area.  Next year I spent a lot of time in Manhattan. My studio was on 21st Street at the School of Visual Arts. When I needed an extra tube of paint I went to the art store across the street in my artistic colorful outfit.  Everywhere I felt comfortable as I were at home.  Now I live in Glen Cove on Long Island and have a studio in Bed-Stuy which is Jewish-Hasidic neighborhood.

New York is a tolerant place of different cultures, genders, religions and artists. I enjoy contrast and diversity.

How do you find the lifestyle in New York compared to your hometown ?

I remember when I first came to New York I saw an advertisement from a real estate agency in the subway. It said: “Sure, your bed doesn’t fit your bedroom and your window faces a brick wall, but behind that wall is New York”. And this is how it is for me. Everything is overpriced, but it is New York.

Studying at the New York School of Visual Arts was a great experience for me. It pushed me to grow as an artist and gave me anunderstanding about the New York art community.

I also like the variety of New York food. You can find here every national cuisine. When I first moved here I lived between a Chinese and Spanish areas in Queens and I found a lot of delicious exotic fruits which I never tasted before andat the same time a Russian supermarket was nearby.

My home city Novosibirsk is third largest city in Russia, and the biggest northern city in the world, in Siberia, with 2,000,000 people of the population. It is a big cultural and financial center. The Metro system is much better compare with New York’s subway system.  The Subways are clean and modern and beautiful.  It is like a real palace underground. Novosibirsk also has a well-known jazz festival and famous Theater of Opera and Ballet. Also, there are several great restaurants with author‘s cuisines and interiors like New York.

Do you see the differences between nationalities easily – Russians vs. Americans?

It takes time to get familiar with the nuances of another culture. I started noticing them slowly between words and actions. Also,I have begun to understand better my native Russian culture and how it is seen from another’s perspective. I was told many times that Russian people are too serious and sometimes even tough. I never noticed this before and then I pondered and thought this harshness may have come from a long history of suffering, the orthodox Christianity and the Soviet Union period which was full of fears. Also during the 20th century all generations of Russians experienced big upheavals and losses:either during the Revolution, or Second World War, or “perestroika”, the time when Soviet Union fell. It made Russians expect that something bad was going to happen to them at any time. This is why they are not relaxed and smiling.

I have also heard opinions that Russians are well educated and I am proud of this. This also came from the Soviet Union period, when education was free and government politics encouraged citizens to study. Unfortunately, it is not like that anymore.

What is your typical day?

Most of my time I spend in my studio. Every morning I commute from Glen Cove to Brooklyn by the Long Island Rail Road. I do a lot of work on the train writing, reading and answering emails. Then I go to the gym and then my studio. In the evenings, I often go to different art events. Recently I began to teach at a private art school in Brooklyn. Now in the summer, I try to find time to go to the beach which is only 15 minutes by bike from my home.

How would you like to develop your art career in New York?

Relocation in a new country is a challenging experience and it has influenced my art in a positive way. It makes me look deeper. I learned a lot about life and people. Now I better understand myself and what I am painting about. My current artistic interest is in the existential human experience related to a personal crisis and a search for identity. I use corporal and sexual images in order to reveal unconscious feelings and impulses. Nakedness represents vulnerability and the fragility of a human being.

Fish, 2016, oil on canvas, 48 x 70 inches; Crash, 2017, oil on canvas, 59 x 95 inches

Regarding my art career in New York I continue doing the same thing that I did in Russia,producing and exposing my art work.I also write my blog about Russian and American artists. In 2014,I made a series of interviews for the museum ERARTA about American art education. Then I continued interviewing New York artists for my blog. I found this idea mutually beneficial. While promoting other artists I get useful information, suggestions and inspiration.

Last summer I curated a group exhibition “Breach”. It was an exciting experience. Working in my studio, I look into myself and create my own picture of the world. Curating is creating a dialog with other artists, the art community and viewers. I have an idea for another curatorial project and I hope to have a chance to realize it soon.

What do you absolutely miss from your country?

I miss the people, my parents, friends and the art community that I belonged to. It is important for me to be in touch and to keep my relationships. During the last three years that I lived in New York, I participated in several group exhibitions in Russia, currently I have a solo exhibition in Novosibirsk, Russia my home city. Also, I give lectures online and participate in an international conference there. Curating the group exhibition in New York I invited both Russian and American artists.

Would you move back to Russia full time?

I don’t consider that I moved to New York and closed the door from Russia. In the contemporary world, we don’t need to decide between counties, we can be global and live all over the world. I want to organize my life in that way which will allow me to live and present my artwork in both counties. Connections and projects in the USA and in Russia feed and contribute to each other.

What would be your ideal life – with no monetary issues to make it happen!

I would love to have a big-big studio in Manhattan and paint large scale paintings and not to be limited by either time or money. I always don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do. I would like to experiment with sculpture and video, and have more time for writing and curating and reading, and traveling of course! I would love to travel for several months around Latin America and do art project about it.



Lika Steel – Fashion Designer from Moldova in Austin, TX

I found about one of our new Europeans in Austin area recently.  It’s been a while since we have featured any fashion industry people so please meet Lika. I asked her to tell us about herself and her business.  Of course I also wanted to see some photos of her clothes- maybe with some options for white clothes since we have the white party on August 25th.

My name is Lika Steel, I was born and raised in Moldova- a green and beautiful country in Eastern Europe. After traveling and living all around the world now I find myself exploring the US fashion industry. I moved to Austin seven months ago (as of Aug 2017) and from the first moment fell in love with this weird amazing city.

What does fashion mean to you?

I see art and a lot of creativity in fashion. My choice was fashion because it is different from other fields. It’s about living in the now. Every day when you get dressed, you’re recreating yourself.

Click through the photos below to get an idea what Lika’s fashion looks like:

Reason for starting (and how did you get started)
As much I can remember I always liked to create.  I am extremely passionate about creating and the expressive form of fashion provides a voice to the artist within.

Several years ago I decided to convert my lovely hobby to my profession. I went to study fashion in one of the best fashion schools in Tel Aviv. These were my first steps in the Fashion world.

How do you define success?

To me, success means working toward my dreams. As long as I keep moving in the right direction I feel successful.

Who are some of your favorite designers?

Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Manish Arora – they inspiring me a lot! All those designers are very eccentric and I love the way they are express themselves.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?

First of all, she has to be passionate about fashion and creating. This is the main key to success in that field. And second, she has to be strong, persistent and competitive.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I am trying to build balance in my life and to give enough space to my family, friends and myself. It is important to not put all the energy in work only. In my free time I am playing tennis, practicing yoga and painting.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women with fashion?

I think they afraid to be different, to really express themselves, to have a say through their own style.

I am creating women’s clothing  and helping modern ladies to express their desire and sharpening their personality.

My brand is for daring woman and it is all about the power of contradictions, eccentricity and elegancy. All the designs are here to provide you expression, expression and expression.

Where can readers buy your clothes?

First, you are welcome to my Facebook page

I am selling online


Also very soon you can purchase my dresses in several stores downtown and in Domain.

Meet Atlanta Health Expert, Mom, and Entrepreneur Birgit Waites, Creator of Pauli Broccoli, International Health Hero

Birgit Waites’ exposure into the natural health field started at the young age of 4 in Germany, where her grandpa taught her everything he knew about nutrition and herbalism. She then lived in Africa and Asia, and all over the US, where she continued her journey of continued learning.

When Birgit  realized the serious nutritional problems facing children today, she discovered her passion.

She has been working with a well known clinic, high level companies, exclusive country clubs, celebrity and high end private clients worldwide to promote better, more mindful, and most importantly, sustainable lifestyles. Birgit accomplishes this through lectures, wellness programs, direct on-on-one consultations, and comprehensive nutritional therapies.

One of the services she has been providing for her Atlanta clients is 3 Day Detox Challenge Program

Facts about the world’s obesity HERE

After working with clients worldwide, one thing became clear to her: We have reached a critical point, where a lifetime of unhealthy eating has resulted in a projected shorter life expectancy for millennial children. Birgit took her quest to better children’s eating habits and nutrition one step further. The book, The Adventures of Pauli Broccoli, was born. She created Pauli Broccoli & Friends to help teach children the importance of healthy eating and living, and to nurture excitement in eating well.

“FACT: The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s.  Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity.”  About Child & Teen BMI

Pauli Broccoli & Friends is a line of characters featured in storybooks, songs, merchandise and animations. The brand is quickly becoming recognized worldwide, teaching and inspiring children to eat better from a young age. Only developing this love of nutrition and a healthy life from childhood will help combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and illness so many kids face today. Pauli Broccoli & Friends is the brand that’s ready to help kids learn and grow into healthy adults.

“Green is the new cool” is catching on with kids everywhere, and parents are thrilled to have “Peas, Love, and Broccoli” back at the dinner table.

Birgit and Pauli Broccoli & Friends welcomes the EuroCircle community to join in their journey to build a healthier, future generation!


YouTube Pauli Broccoli

Shall we all keep in mind that the GREEN is the new cool!

If you’d like to learn more about malnutrition, hunger, poverty and obesity here are some resources:
Obesity in UK
WHO – Healthy diet
Overweight and obesity in the USA (NHI)
Obesity in Sweden

FACT: In some European countries the number of people overweight or having obesity may be as high as 90% of the population.
In Europe it is estimated that 23% of women and 20% of men currently have obesity. The exceeded cost of obesity in Europe already in healthcare costs and lost productivity
€70 billion per year. By 2030, it is estimated that MORE THAN 50% of European population will have obesity.

BMI Calculator

Meet Croatian-born guitarist Goran Ivanovic from Chicago

One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration.

Born and raised in Osijek – Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago.

Since his arrival he’s displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived. These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well.

He’s recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He’s a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits.

Most recently, Goran released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he’s achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, “It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic’s technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not.”

The trio’s agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, “The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages.”

Connect with Goran Ivanovic:

GoranGuitar at Facebook

CONCERTS: calendar


This is just one example we picked as it mentioned another EuroCircle member Ian Maksin.

October 21, 2016 Jeff Elbel
Chicago-based guitarist Goran Ivanovic has shared the stage with boundary-pushing local artists including current Claudettes’ drummer Michael Caskey in the pair’s former group Eastern Blok, as well as classical and jazz master Fareed Haque and renowned cellist Ian Maksin. The Croatian native’s stirring style incorporates jazz, traditional Balkan, flamenco and classical styles.

Ivanovic’s rich discography is often signified by “Seven Boats,” a powerful collaboration with Haque released in 2004 that made a strong impression with its unusual fusion of classical, jazz and world music influences. The title track was reprised on an eponymous 2005 release by the Goran Ivanovic Group. Other key collaborations included 2009’s duo album with innovative Greek-American Chicago-based fingerstyle guitarist Andreas Kapsalis.

Currently, Ivanovic is celebrating the debut release by his Goran Ivanovic Trio with bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Pete Tashjian. The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages including those at City Winery and the Whistler. The trio’s upcoming show is a return visit to Jazz Showcase.

The trio’s new album features concert highlights like the spirited roots-music influence of “Alvorada Americana,” in which Ivanovic tumbles through lilting arpeggios and chiming harmonics on his nylon-string guitar before the rhythm joins him in crashing acoustic rock. The moody and haunting “Patient Zero” creates a disquieted but compelling mood. “Querido Paco” pays homage to flamenco giant Paco De Lucia.

Maksin joins the trio for the undulating “Maurice’s Ragtime,” a beautifully impressionistic piece honoring French composer Maurice Ravel with its intoxicating and sublime atmosphere. If it’s not in the set list at Jazz Showcase when Maksin shares the bill with Ivanovic, patrons should demand it as an encore.

Milana & Sergey – A couple from Belarus creates a new life in Austin

My name is Milana.

I’m a simple girl from Belarus. My whole life has been connected to music and creativity. After graduating from the Belarusian State Academy of Music, my husband and I moved to Poland, where my daughter and son were born. Taking care of my children replaced my practice of music for quite some time. I never lose my creativity, though; I kept up with it by being engaged in various kinds of crafts. I found that I could turn these crafts into my job when I moved to the USA in the spring of 2016 with my husband Sergey

Sergey and I met when I was studying at the music academy. We quickly realized that we would always be together and married six months later. Sergey worked on different jobs and learned several computer programming languages and taught himself how to code, allowing him to work as a freelancer for a while.


Musicians aren’t paid very well in Belarus, so my husband’s job has always been the main source of our family’s income. Thanks to him, we were able to move to Poland, where he worked as a web developer, and then to the US, where he continues his work as a web developer. He has so many plans and hopes associated with our move and the potential it gives us; I completely believe in him!

I really want to contribute to my family too, then my husband will not be the only one taking care of our family’s livelihood. I hope to use the skills that I have learned over the years and turn it into a business. Then, I will be able to help contribute an income, even if it may not be a large contribution.

I have a dream to open a small craft shop as well as a music school that implements the Russian music education from my home in Belarus.

However, these are plans for the distant future. I need to start with what I have now. “Moscow was not built in one day” people say.


My daughter, Nicole, started kindergarten in Poland where she learned to speak Polish (she has already forgotten everything, though). She is a very sociable girl. Nicole enjoys going to gymnastics and ballet. They’re some of her favorite things to do! This year she will go to kindergarten in Austin, Texas. I’m very glad that she will learn a new language while attending school! This will greatly develop her thinking abilities.

Her little brother, Marcin, is 2 years old. He is a very active child and my husband and I think he might like to try playing sports soon.

I am very happy that my children will grow up here, in a country with great opportunities! However, it’s a shame that they will not have memories of their native country. I continue to teach the Russian language to them at home as it is important that they know where they come from.

We didn’t originally want to move so far from friends and family, but we did not want to miss out on opportunities to see the world and get acquainted with new people and places. Austin is the first city in the US that we have lived. It’s a wonderful and cozy city with lots of friendly people! Thanks to Austin, I had a great first impression of America, as I always imagined it.


It was here, in this city, that I had the idea to give things a second chance! Once, when I went to a Goodwill store, I saw how many wooden things people threw out. Boxes, furniture, trays, frames, etc. Looking at them, I saw how beautiful they could still be! I just had to find a way to make these wooden objects into useful works of art! I became interested in the “decoupage” technique (implanting an image in the surface).

I looked at lots of videos and articles and now I have “new things” with an old story. Next, I tried remodeling old furniture. At my house, there is now a table, a bookcase, and a night table that found a second life in a new form.

My friends advised me to make things to sell. So, I began decorating boxes – a box can become a wonderful, one of a kind gift for loved ones or for yourself.
I like to learn different techniques and make sure that no two items are the same. I really try to make each item unique. Next, I really want to start making baskets for my clients!

I like to think that recycling and restoration of old things helps to save our natural resources on our planet. I am ready to help people in the transformation of their favorite wooden items that have lost their former beauty or give things a new look.

Quality and attention to detail”! These are the main tasks for me in creating these works.

Milana’s work can be almost any item – furniture, boxes and so on. The sky is is the limit, take a look below and
email Milana if you’d like to have her make you something.

MILANA’S WORK – item by item:

Credit: Morgan Kainu and Julie Candoli – our editors.

Xenia Ghali, Greece – How did she get the #1 spot on the Billboard Charts for her amazing single “Places”

We are always looking for interesting Europeans to feature at our website.
Rising star, DJ/Producer Xenia Ghali is an extremely talented and versatile musician, artist and fashion icon who lives in both Greece and New York.
She is shaking up the music industry and most recently got her second #1 spot on the Billboard Charts for her amazing single “Places.”

She is currently touring all over Greece (summer 2017).  Her energy is absolutely electrifying!!!

How did you get into your industry?

Music has been a part of my life since I was very young. I started playing classical piano and flute at the age of 5 and when I was 15 I picked up the guitar and the drums. While in high school, I formed a rock band and began songwriting. That was when I realized that writing music was my passion. I went to the UK to do a Bachelor’s in Music Composition, Film Scoring and production and while I was there I began teaching myself how to spin House Music on turntables and vinyl records. One thing led to another and I had the honor of performing at the Ministry of Sound in London.

After I completed my Bachelor’s, I continued my studies in Music Composition, Film Scoring and Production and moved to New York to pursue a Master’s Degree. I took my first steps into the music industry as a music producer and a DJ in New York.

I love music and I grew up with many different influences. The music I tend to produce is melodic and generally more dance based – not a specific type or genre.

I was always infatuated by New York. There is something about the ‘air’ in New York. It inspires me. That’s the reason why I ended up here in NYC.

What has been the biggest achievement/accomplishment in your career so far?

From my first big show at the Ministry of Sound, to signing to Pitbull’s label and releasing my first single “Broken” to collaborating with Wycelf Jean on my single “Get Dirty” to independently releasing my singles “Under These Lights” and “Places” and reaching #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart to headlining a festival attended by 100,000 people, I have had the honor of experiencing many significant things in my career so far. It would be very difficult to pick out just one moment.

I have worked extremely hard for everything so far and continue to work even harder in order to try to accomplish my next goals.

Next five years?? I hope I end up having released a lot more music, having collaborated with a lot more artists and of course touring!

If you want to get a tip to someone interested in breaking into the music business: Hard work, belief, commitment and a good team are the most important factors in succeeding!

As an example I have creatively directed all of my music videos striving to produce a result that is original and unique. My music videos are fashion oriented, intense and energetic. I try to make sure they are as visually appealing as possible.

If you could change anything about where you are now with your career, what would you?

I would just want a little more balance in my life. So more of a balance between my career and my personal life.

What is the best and worst about New York for you?

The best part of New York is how ‘alive’ it is. You can find anything and everything there and let the city take you on a journey.
The worst part of it is the traffic in the city!

How do you find the Big Apple lifestyle compared to your hometown?

I grew up in Athens where the lifestyle is much more laid back and easy going. In New York things can be overwhelmingly fast paced. In addition the weather in Athens is usually very balanced. During the winter it gets cold but not to an extreme point and during the summer it gets very warm however still manageable. New York has pretty extreme weather changes. In winter it usually is freezing (at least for me) and during summer it can get extremely hot and stuffy.

I can’t really compare for example education and health care between the two cities as I have experienced them in very different ways.

The food in Greece is exceptional and it is my weak point, so I would have to say I prefer the food in Athens more.

Each city has it’s pros and cons, it’s just a matter of what you are looking for. I like New York right now because I am very focused on my career and my work. In the future, when I settle down, I don’t know if I would be able to stay in New York. I have the feeling that I would prefer the lifestyle in Athens at that point in my life.

The worst social/cultural issue to deal with in New York City for me has been crime, aggression and racism.

What do you absolutely want your friends to see or feel in New York vs. Greece?

The ‘hugeness’ of New York. It makes you feel like the entire world is right there in front of you. It is a very inspirational feeling.

What do you miss most – and what should we all know and understand about Greece and its culture?

I definitely miss my family, my friends, the food and the people. I also miss the gorgeous beaches and the Greek Islands. I forgot to add my car!
I don’t drive in New York, so I miss having my car!

Greece’s history stems back to the ancient times. As such, Greek culture is very strong and is still very much alive. If anyone has the opportunity to visit Greece I always recommend that they do.
It is a truly beautiful country and you will experience things ranging from ancient sites to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

What would be your ideal life – with no monetary issues to make it happen?

A balance between my career and my personal life! I still haven’t figured that one out!


Thank you Xenia!


[Quiz] How Dutch Are You?

Our Dutch members Chantal and Tako moved to the USA and started a new life – and they changed their career.
Chantal and Tako have made it their mission to introduce the most traditional and delicious Dutch cookie to all Austinites. The Stroop Club was born.
Let’s see how Dutch are you ….


Find out moreThe Stroop Club and this fun Dutch couple.

[Quiz] Are You The Ultimate New Yorker In Spirit?

So you think you are a typical New Yorker – or know a lot about New York City?

Ever heard the joke about how New Yorkers are perceived by others:
The only Americans that foreigners generally like and other Americans dislike.
Frenchman: Are you an American?
Me: No, I’m a New Yorker.
Frenchman: Sacré bleu! What a relief!

Take this quick quiz to test your knowledge.