Who: Klaus Wowereit, former Mayor of Berlin Where: Berlin For…
Who: Vicky Leandros
Where: Café Grosz, Berlin
When I ask her where we shall meet, she spontaneously replies: Let’s meet at Grosz on Ku’damm, her favorite café in Berlin where she feels comfortable and unknown. That this is not always the case is self-explanatory after all Vicky Leandros is Europe’s most famous singer with over 55 million sold albums. And everybody knows the singer with Greek roots, who is touring through Germany at the moment, celebrates her 50th stage anniversary and since her Grand-Prix-Win 1972 with „Après Toi“ has become a world star. Vicky and me connect a long-standing friendship that has started in the north of Germany, in Schleswig-Holstein, where we lived with our families in neighboring municipalities. We both love life – and tea.
MyStylery: Vicky, you’re drinking Café Latte?! I thought we were meeting up for a cup of tea.
Vicky Leandros (laughs): I’ve already had a few meetings today; I need a little pick-me-up, a little caffeine boost. Afterwards I’ll gladly have a cup of tea with you to relax.
MS: It is quite funny, I always meet up with my interview partners for a cup of tea and everybody always orders a coffee at first.
VL: The Café Latte today is an exception. I love tea; my favorites are Assam or Earl Grey. I have this ritual in the morning, to drink a cup of strong tea with milk and sugar. I wouldn’t miss it.
MS: There are only few musicians, who can look back at half a century of music history, Mick Jagger and you. A new album, the just started tour, concerts, and TV performances: You could also just sit back and relax …
VL: I don’t feel old enough to retire. Quite the opposite: I have worked my whole life, I love to compose songs. Singing is also my passion. I am grateful for my old fans and the new audience, for example the Gay Community. This also makes a concert so exiting.
MS: You have recorded albums in multiple languages. Your repertoire includes ballades, chansons and soul. Aren’t you annoyed, that people often only recognize you as a ‚Pop star’?
VL: No I’m neither annoyed nor angry. I am very relaxed. I know that I have taken some risks, just remember the production with Xavier Naidoo in 2009. Who doesn’t dare to try something new from time to time will stagnate and get old faster.
MS: You need a balance with your restless schedule. Where do you find it?
VL: Since a few years I am living in the countryside again, quite close to Hamburg, because I wanted to be closer to my family. Being together with my children and grandchildren calms me down. But I miss Berlin a lot, that’s why I’m there quite often. You can say I still have a suitcase in Berlin …
MS: It’s no secret that you like to cook. Your moussaka, for example, is fantastic. What else do you like to serve as a dish?
VL: I like fish from the oven, artichokes in white wine sauce and I also love bouillabaisse or vegetable dishes. The only thing I really don’t like are Brussels sprouts. It has a bitter taste. But apart from that I’m super uncomplicated. Cooking relaxes me; it already begins with the preparations.
MS: And do you turn up the music while cooking?
VL (laughs): That can happen indeed! Especially when I have guests. I like to listen to Elton John, Beyoncé or Michael Bublé, a special favorite of mine. But usually I am quite happy when I don’t have to listen to anything for a while. I like the silence.
MS: How did you decorate your home?
VL: I like my home comfortable but without plush. Minimalistic design might be nice to look at, but it isn’t for me. I have a sense for nice things but to arrange them is a job for the pros. I lack the talent. (laughs)
MS: Which pieces from your flat could you not live without?
VL: I’m devoted to my aubergine colored Chinese carpet and an antique bureau that I have acquired years ago at an antiques store in Hamburg. I like to combine them with modern furniture. That’s the perfect combination that I feel comfortable with. Such old pieces give everything a warmer atmosphere. I’m also interested in modern art and am a big fan of Jonathan Meese and Rainer Fetting.
MS: What about your wardrobe? Do you often sort it out?
VL: I have kept many of my old things that my daughter Sandra now profits from. There is also my favorite item that I would never give away. A dress from Tom Ford from the time he still worked for Yves Saint Laurent. Many things often stay unnoticed in my closet and then I rediscover them and am happy to still have them.
MS: What is really important in life?
VL: My family, my kids and my friends. Especially friends play an increasingly important part the older I get. I’ve known most of them for over 20, 30 years. Friendship doesn’t just mean having fun together. It’s more important to rely on each other. BvH
Some more tea, Vicky Leandros?
The current tour data from Vicky Leandros’ tour ‘Life and I’ can be found here: