In our Meet the Family blog series, we are introducing our family of passionate professionals to you. We would like you to get to know us, connect with us, join our family and let us help you make your dreams come true.
Today we are introducing our Head of Social Media and Blog content Chryssa Skodra, who is nicknamed 'the Greek Goddess of Content' with a reason as she has been creating text, audio and video content since the age of 14 when she got her first radio show on air!
Chryssa is originally from Greece yet she lived almost all her adult life in frozen Finland after falling in fall with the Finnish language and music (especially hip-hop)! The multi-talented Chryssa gives us insights into her life story, her communications and event management career, and how she helped artists find to build their social media presence and get more gigs.
Let's find out what her career highlights have been, what the trends she sees taking the music industry by storm are, what is her role in Family In Music and what advice she offers to emerging artists!
Early life in Greece
What is your life story?
I am a Greek expatriate living in Finland for the past 15 years. I come from an industrial city in mountainous Northern Greece named Kozani. I loved three things: singing in front of the mirror with my comb, writing stories and recording my family's conversations on an old tape recorder.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. In addition, I have a Specialisation Diploma in International Project Management and a Master’s in Music degree in Arts Management from the prestigious Sibelius Academy. I am also a certified teacher and an intercultural communication lecturer by the Hofstede Centre.
Professionally I have been a journalist, blogger, event manager and lecturer in higher education. I came to Finland as an exchange student in Rovaniemi in 2005 and stayed here ever since! I am in love with the Finnish language, it’s music to my ears! I used to have pen friends from Finland as a teenager and I was sent CDs with Finnish hip-hop. Before I ever arrived here I knew all the big names in the Finnish hip-hop scene (fast forward 5 years from the moment I stepped foot in Rovaniemi), I was interviewing and personally getting to know all the top hip-hop artists in Finland for my radio show!
Now I balance my workaholic nature with raising my 5-year-old son Philippos. He is my life!
Tell us about your experience as a radio producer and event organiser and what has led you to that point?
I started my radio career at age 14 in my home country Greece. I was listening to techno, trance and house music back then (and still do) I have met a DJ who wanted to pitch a radio show to NRG radio station in my hometown. He liked my voice and knowledge about music and he thought I’d be a good host pair for his radio show. However, on the day of our business meeting with the radio director and owner, the DJ never showed up so I was there alone (a teenager) pitching a radio show that I improvised on the spot!
I eventually have gotten the opportunity to be trained at the radio station, I would go on the weekends to spin music until I learned the equipment and the computer software. After a few months, I managed to convince the radio director to give me my own show. I remember he had to put a lot of bass to make my teenage voice sound lower and more mature! I grew very passionate about radio producing and I reached out to sponsors to finance my show. I was organising events and promoting the radio station and its events to my teachers and friends at school.
I believe in the power of serendipity, unplanned fortunate discovery may change your life yet at the same time you need to be open to accept the changes it will bestow upon your life and, of course, constantly work to develop yourself in your newly found passion. Working for the radio is usually is an unsought, unintended, or unexpected event yet a fortunate learning experience. Even though I worked on TV as a news host and I have a long experience in the written press, my biggest love is radio, there is a certain magic to it after all radio is the ’theatre of the mind’!
Was music part of your family life, childhood and growing up? In what sense?
My father’s mother -my grandmother whose name I am given- was a folk singer. She would perform in the community’s happiest and saddest moments, from wedding songs to mourning ones at funerals. People would cry when she would sing. Also, our household was filled with music from vinyls spinning on a pickup, on the radio, or my mother’s voice singing while cooking in the kitchen!
What music you like to listen to?
I love jazz, folk, hip-hop and house music. I have been singing jazz and folk songs in various concerts. I am not a professional singer, I simply love singing and performing in front of an audience. I have gotten heart-warming feedback. Yet I rather be an event or artist manager behind the scenes organising memorable experiences.
Career highlights and inspirational artists
What have been some of your career highlights?
My biggest career highlight was working for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. I was a Liaison Officer in charge of all the international journalists, photographers, videographers, and crews broadcasting the Olympic Games to their home countries. It was a memorable experience filled with hard work and pride to represent your country in the world’s largest event.
Also, I was proud to be chosen as of Greece 10 VJs for MTV Greece.
What type of artists have you worked with?
As a radio host on Spin FM, Finland’s urban radio station, I had the chance to interview a variety of creatives from stand-up comedians, to rappers and music producers and event organisers. I have been a celebrity interviewer interviewing artists such as Method Man, Lil’ Jon, Iyazm Swedish rappers Adam Tensta and Eboi, Finnish rappers Fintelligens, Seremoniamestari, the list is long.
As an event organiser, I always tried to help young, talented, and aspiring artists to get heard and get a stage to perform for an audience.
What characteristics does an artist need in order to become successful?
You need to be talented and hard-working, constantly developing and honing your skills, able to build a crew around them to help them in areas they are not up to their alley, and be courageous to knock on doors and present themselves and what they can deliver.
Career at Family In Music and the future of music business
Please talk about the internationality and diversity of Family In Music. What it is important to work with international talent?
I have been an expat for almost all my adult life. International talent brings richness to any culture infusing it with their own expertise, insights and experience.
Could you explain what you do in Family in Music and what has led you to this point?
My role is Head of Social Media. I am responsible for developing and implementing our social media strategy across the social media landscape being the voice of the company, creating our online presence and our digital footprint, creating valuable content, and building community and networks. My team and I have recently been appointed in charge of our blog content. These two areas of responsibility are close to my heart and I have been a blogger since the early days of WordPress back in 2003 as well as an avid social media user for 12 years as well as managing Facebook pages for a number of artists since 2013.
Why you joined the Family?
After my maternity leave, I was looking for job opportunities to enter the workforce. I came across a job ad for Family In Music and everything I read resonated with me and my background. I hold a Master in Music (Arts Management) from the prestigious Sibelius Academy and I have a diverse background as a journalist, radio producer, news hostess social media manager, brand ambassador and university lecturer. I was hired to build the brand ambassador network, manage our social media and also be creating educational video content. Working for a promising startup that aims at bringing change to the music industry gives you the feeling of empowerment and being part of a legacy in the making.
What are the trends that will shape the future of the music industy?
Every industry is evolving or else it will become obsolete and a thing of the past, music industry is changing rapidly based on megatrends and environmental challenges and opportunities and/or the natural evolution of survival.
I am personally passionate about technology and I would like to see in the near future how Virtual Reality will change the music industry and what business opportunities they will create for artists as well as awesome immersive experiences for the audience.
Also, Artificial Intelligence and its impact and use on the music creation process is to be identified. The future is already here. I am excited for what’s to come!
What is the best advice you’ve been given? And, what message or advice you would like to give to music creators, in general?
I have a large amount of screenshots of inspirational quotes on my phone and some act as good reminders of what’s important to focus on and what not to. Recently one of my favourite quotes is “Don’t take criticism from people you wouldn’t seek advice from”. And, my all-time favourite "Everything you can imagine is real" by Pablo Picasso.
Music creators and creatives, in general, need to first not be too critical of their work and being influenced from their own perfectionism or their family’s, circle’s or society’s expectations and second, they should trust their own imagination and ability to see a reality that they can turn into a manifestation with their art for others to see as well, through their songs, poems, stories, artwork.
Professionally, what’s your biggest dream?
I would love to leave a legacy behind for my name that I was a hard-working, creative person who took brave actions every day to propel forward towards my highest aspirations, never giving up and constantly learning and creating.