In 2002, South Australian award winning songwriter/vocalist/pianist Avra Velis entered the studio to produce a demo CD, ‘In Session with Avra’.
Having had astounding successes with both her bands (Virginia Wolf winning the SA West End Export Battle of the Bands and Avraliscious playing sold-out seasons of SA shows), it was no surprise that what was intended as a demo ended up being re-pressed only a month afterwards due to high public demand.
Additionally, an overwhelming reception in Auckland later that year, with the launch of the concept album ‘Innate’ (commissioned for the international chiropractic fraternity), left no doubt in anyone’s mind that her music was in demand, and she re-entered the studio in 2003 to produce her long-awaited debut EP ‘Superalterego’, along with a video clip for the lead track, a documentary on the making of the video, and a pop cabaret/one woman show called ‘Avra… a superalterego’.
As a songstress, Avra is powerfully prolific. Add to the eclectic equation her feistiness as a performer and you have the reason why her songs emotionally resonate amongst her audience. Musically her philosophy is simple, “for me music is about healing, and healing is about being outrageously honest”.
Although people like David Bowie, Kate Bush, Billy Joel and Tori Amos have had a definite influence on her, a broad mix of other artistry can be heard in her work, ranging from legendary Greek icons Diamanda Gallus and Marianella, to the Beat Poets and writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg.
A poet and author of three pop cabarets, the element of theatrical influence in Avra as an artist is obvious. She is showcasing in this year’s Melbourne Fringe.