May 6, 2016 by BOB BOILEN • When you hear Monika, life feels good: The singer’s performances and presence are simply winning. Last fall, I saw her take a hands-in-pockets crowd in New York and turn it into a bunch of dancing, hand-waving fans. Here at the Tiny Desk, the office was singing along as the ebullient singer danced on my desk. She’s a platinum-selling singer-songwriter back in Greece, and her most recent album, Secret In The Dark, is full of spunk and funk. The album was produced by the great Homer Steinweiss, whom you may know as the drummer for the soulful R&B band The Dap-Kings.
Monika Christodoulou’s recent transition from singer of sad songs to purveyor of upbeat jubilance came after she nearly lost her life in a boat fire; she had to swim eight hours in the dark to safety without food or drinkable water. These days, it’s all about a great band grooving, her joyful voice, and that infectious smile.