Music Life: More is more, with Σtella, Michelle Gurevich, and Las Palabras

Saturday 21 January 2300-0000 GMT

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Music Life discusses all the issues important to musicians, like the difference between writing in your first or second language, insisting you use major chords in your work to sound happy, why the songs that live in your head are always so simple, and why more is actually more.

Asking these questions is Greek singer, Σtella. She started out focusing on visual arts before getting into music, studying at Athens School of Fine Arts. Her sound combines indie, synthpop and folk music, drawing on Greek instruments such as the bouzouki and giving a modern twist.

Joining her is a Canadian singer known for her intimate ballads that combine humour with dark realism, Michelle Gurevich. She was brought up on her parents’ collection of Soviet and 1970s European records, and creates a decadent yet dramatic sound that sells out shows across Eastern Europe and beyond.

And joining them is Guatemalan-American singer and bassist who plays bass for rock band (Chk Chk Chk) – Rafael Cohen, aka, Las Palabras. His current project arose out of a desire to write songs in his native language of Spanish – despite not being very proficient – and creates charming songs that draw on the sounds of Brazilian popular music, American soul and the traditional sounds of Mexico.

After the news, in part 2 of the show, Michelle Gurevich will be taking us through a playlist she’s called Timeless Ballads About Time – a collection of tracks inspired by the continued sequence of existence – featuring music by Charles Aznavour, Iggy Pop, Demis Roussos, plus many more.

Produced by Ashley Clivery for the BBC World Service.