ALEXANDRIA, VA – Is there anything Marlain Angelides can’t do? As a musician, she has appeared on Popstars (the American Idol precursor in Europe), represented Cyprus in the renowned Eurovision competition, and has fronted a UK prog metal band (Ascending Dawn), and soloed in La Scala. Her current project is as a lead singer of the all-female cover band Lez Zeppelin.
She also has performed Shakespeare at London’s West End, recorded voice-overs for Disney, founded a jazz dance group, and she even holds a BS in biochemistry.
On September 23rd, Steve Houk interviewed Angelides for Z-TV, the live streaming video division of The Zebra Press in Alexandria, Virginia about making music during these strange times and her vast career. The interview was released on October 5th.
Houk, the producer of Living on Music, reminisced with Marlain that they first connected when he attended a Lez Zeppelin concert as a fan and recorded some footage that the band needed.
Creating Through Quarantine
Angelides was on a gig with Lez Zeppelin when she discovered the next gig was cancelled. They immediately made plans to record quarantine videos with the four band members in different locations.
They first were able to gig on August 29th in Colorado. They also played recently in Maine.
“It was such a strange feeling to go back into it. We hadn’t played for a while so we had to feel each other out first,” she said. “It was very surreal, I’m a little concerned that everyone forgot about being separated and everyone came to the front at the end of the show.”
“I want to believe that things will pass, that things will get better, this is just a blip in time in history, the human body is resilient and we will get through this,” said Angelides who also was out six to eight weeks for surgery on her appendix.
It was during this time, she felt “a little helpless” and the need to do something creative.
“I’d never seen myself really as a solo artist. I’ve always been a band person,” she told Houk.
Through an Indiegogo, she made an EP with songs that closely mirrors her frustration with the world and the times around her. On her crowd-funding site, she offers everything from voice lessons to a personalized meal at a Greek restaurant in New York City.
Houk also released some of the videos (shot in front of a green screen) that showed fans the behind-the-scenes process.
A Late Bloomer to the World of Performance
Marlain was born to a Greek father and a mother who was half-British and half-Cypri. She moved to Venezuela, Belgium, and Cyprus before enrolling at the Imperial College of London to study biochemistry. It was there that she joined the Imperial College Operatic Society and started producing musicals.
She ended up switching career paths and ended up at the Royal Academy of Music. Through directing and acting in college productions such as Chicago and Cabaret, Angelides formed a love of acting as well.
At the same time, her musical career kicked off when the reality TV show POPSTARS created the Greek band HI-5 with Marlain at the center.
Throughout multiple genres of performance (ranging from opera to metal), she describes music as “a bug. I like theater but I still want to make music a little bit.”
By 2013, Angelides felt she had exhausted her creative outlets in Greece. She moved to the US where the audiences and the prime theater venues were.
She found the gig through backstage casting and while she had covered some of their songs, she admitted she had “to do a lot of homework” for the audition.
That it falls into place is something that Angelides feels was a happy coincidence.
“I wasn’t searching for it because I didn’t know it existed,” said Angelides.
As someone who saw Led Zeppelin at the age of 16 and followed the band for 40 years, Houk felt confident in saying that Lez Zeppelin captures the spirit, sexuality, and tone of the band.
Houk closed out the interview by encouraging his viewers to support, “an incredible artist who again is taking another chapter of her career and taking a another wonderful trip down another road and I just love it.“