Eurovision’s Katerine Duska brings Athens to Austin stage

Zoe Tzanis, Life & Arts Editor

Katerine Duska, a Greek-Canadian singer known for representing Greece in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, graced the South by Southwest stage March 19, bringing her indie Athenian charm to the Austin music scene. 

One of only two Greek artists chosen to perform at this year’s festival, Duska’s sound ranges from piano ballads, like her latest single “Muse,” to electronic anthems like “ANEMOS,” her latest collaboration with fellow Greek artist Leon of Athens. Duska, who racks in around 54,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, released her five-track EP Call Me Nyx on Feb. 25.  

The Daily Texan sat down with Duska to talk about her Eurovision experience, latest EP and longtime SXSW dreams. 

The Daily Texan: Can you talk to me a little bit about your experience on Eurovision? What was it like to represent Greece?

Katerine Duska: It’s a one-of-a-kind, crazy experience. (It was) very exciting but at the same time terrifying. Personally, it also came with many difficulties and a bit of trauma, but it’s something that I’ve embraced. … I’m grateful for having the experience and the honor of representing my country, for people showing me so much love. I feel like it was a way for me to get to the place I am now and to be able to work with the people I’m working with. 

DT: What’s the idea behind your new EP Call Me Nyx?

KD: I had the idea to create this conceptual EP of a love letter to the night — an ode to the night — as I’ve always felt like I was a night owl. During the night, that’s where I feel I discovered myself as a writer. That’s when I would always write, always create. It was my safe place and my sanctuary. At some point, I was going through a bit of a blockage — writer’s block at this difficult time combined with insomnia. It was a weird time. I was like, “I have to find a way to break, just go through this and start creating again,” because it was very tough on me. That’s when I had this idea … (to) write about what has always had my back and has always inspired me — the night. That’s how I created this persona (of) Nyx, which in ancient Greek means the personification of the night, the queen of the night, and every single song is a different aspect of this alter ego.

DT: How are you feeling about performing at SXSW?

KD: It’s always been a dream of mine. All my musical idols have performed at SXSW, so it was always on my wish list. I feel honored and proud to be one of the two Greek artists chosen this year. This is what I’ve been working for, for so long — for an opportunity like this. I first got accepted to play here in 2020, when I had just come back from London, created an EP and the pandemic happened. Then, it got canceled, so I was so sad about that. But it’s happening again this year, and I’m here, and I’m just so happy. I’m taking it all in — just appreciating it.

DT: What’s it like to be here with Leon of Athens, a fellow Greek artist you’ve collaborated with before?

KD: Leon of Athens is a very close collaborator of mine and very dear person to me. The fact that we’re here at the same time makes the experience even more special. … He’s my musical soulmate. David Sneddon, myself and him write almost all of our latest songs. It’s just amazing that we’re coincidentally both here at the same time and the only artists from Greece.