Full name: Jelena Dobric Khalifa
Birthday: October 4th, 1982, Serbia
Place of residence: Germany
Facebook page: Jelena Dobric, Helenium
Musical bio: Jelena started singing and playing piano at the age of 4. Her father – professional musician, music teacher and composer – had always encouraged her to explore and develop her musical personality. Until the age of 12, she sang in a children’s choir conducted by her father. Her entire music education has been based on classical music, but she was always curious and open to other music genres. Kamelot, Rhapsody, Dream Theater, Symhony X and Nightwish were the first bands who got her completely hooked to melodic kinds of metal, and during her years in high music school and Music University, she started composing her first songs and piano pieces. From 2001 until 2004 she had a progressive metal band Inumbro in Belgrade, Serbia, but they split due to personal reasons before releasing an official EP or an album. During her studies, she sang in a professional female choir “Collegium Musicum”. After getting her master degree in piano performance, Jelena got even more inspired to explore other musical possibilities and genres, so she spent some years studying medieval, renaissance and baroque music and taking lessons of harpsichord and early singing. She attended several masterclasses focused on early music with prominent international vocal and harpsichord coaches and had performed in numerous concerts with various early music ensembles in Serbia. While teaching piano in high music school after her studies, she started Ph.D. studies of chamber music at Music University, but she stopped them after a year and moved to Tunisia in 2011. There she started Persona project with Melik Melek Khelifa. She now lives in Hanover, Germany.
Favorite bands/musicians: Leprous, Kamelot, Ark, Dream Theater, Queen, Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, Evergrey, Delain, Opeth, Insomnium, Shade Empire, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Freddy Mercury, Anneke van Giersbergen, Floor Jansen, Daniel Gildenlow, Dave Gahan, Charlotte Wessels, Jorn Lande, Melody Gardot…
Top 5 albums of all times: Images and Words by Dream Theater, Damnation by Opeth, Be by Pain of Salvation, Coal by Leprous, Burn the Sun by Ark.
Favorite Persona songs: The Omen of Downfall, Invidia, Forgotten, Netherlight
Best books: The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens, Remembrance of Earth's Past by Liu Cixin, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Hyperion and Endymion saga by Dan Simmons, We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Samarcande by Amin Maalouf, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, Carrie by Stephen King…
Best movies: Cosmos documentaries (1980 and 2014), Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Inception, Shutter Island, Se7en, The Silence of the Lambs, Stardust…
Favorite food: Fruit, vegetables, nuts
Favorite drinks: Fresh fruit and vegetable juices, water, coffee, cocktails
Places I want to go: New York City, Japan, places with beautiful nature
Goals for Persona: Many new albums and music videos in the future, performing in major music festivals and sharing the stage with some of favorite bands and musicians.
Personal goals: Solo project in the near future, collaboration with favorite musicians.
Life philosophy: Always trust your gut feeling.
Full name: Melik Melek Khelifa
Instrument: Lead guitars
Birthday: January 6th, 1984, Tunisia
Place of residence: Germany
Facebook page: Melik Melek Khelifa
Musical bio: Melik started playing the guitar at the age of 12, and throughout high school played in various Heavy Metal cover bands. He met with Jelena Dobric in 2010 and together they started Persona in 2012.
Favorite bands/musicians: Metallica, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Type O Negative, Pink Floyd, Alice In Chains, Megadeth, Pearl Jam
Top 5 albums of all times: ...And Justice For All by Metallica, Rust In Peace by Megadeth, Ten by Pearl Jam, Dirt by Alice In Chains, October Rust by Type O Negative.
Favorite Persona songs: He Kills Me More, Netherlight, EGO, Epilogue - The Final Deliverance
Best books: Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, Rendez-vous with Rama by Arthur C.Clarke, The Elegant Universe by Brian Green, Rememberance of Earth's Past trilogy by Liu Cixin, 1984 by George Orwell, Congo by Michael Crichton, Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens, Forgotten Realms Campaign Settings 3.5
Best movies: Pink Floyd The Wall, Contact, Enemy Mine, Interstellar, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite drinks: Red wine and Tequila
Places I want to go: Space
Goals for Persona: To grow as much as we can as a band
Personal goals: To explore all the opportunities that are offered in this life
Life philosophy: Live and let live
Full name: Yosri Ouada
Date and place of birth: October 9th, 1990, Tunisia
Place of residence: France
Facebook page: Yosri Ouada
Musical bio: Yosri started playing the guitar at the age of 15. At the age of 17 was one of the founding members of the Tunisian melodic death metal band Apostol in which he played from 2007 until 2011. He joined Persona in 2012.
Favorite bands/musicians: Opeth, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Korn
Top 5 albums of all times: Blackwater by Opeth, Heritage by Opeth, Paradise Lost by Symphony X, Sanctus Ignis by Adagio, Once by Nightwish.
Favorite Persona song: Bete Noire, EGO, Blinded, Somebody Else, Torn
Best books: Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Best movies: The Fast and the Furious (whole series)
Favorite food: Rice with minced meat and vegetables
Favorite drinks: Beer
Places I want to go: USA
Goals for Persona: To play in major metal festivals
Personal goals: To have a successful career in both architecture and music
Life philosophy: Everything will come in due time
Full name: Eike Hendrik Nehen
Instrument: Bass Guitar
Date and place of birth: April 4th 1991, Germany
Place of residence: Germany
Facebook page: Eike Hendrik Nehen
Musical bio: Eike Nehen started playing the bass with the age of 13 whilst it had always been his first choice instrument. In the first years, he gathered a lot of stage and studio experience in diverse occasions. Ranging from charities, sub-jobs, jam and recording sessions, private concerts, theater-musician, club shows, national touring and shows up to 3000 listeners. In 2013, he enrolled at the University of Music, Drama and Media, Hanover for the bachelor studies of pop music with the bass guitar as his main subject. There he studied the bass with the professors like Lars Hansen and Lars Nehmann, took part in many workshops and masterclasses (Jürgen Attig, The Yellowjackets/Felix Pastorius, Pete Lockett, Magnus Örström Quartet). One of the many highlights were the support shows in Germany for the World Tour 2018 of the band Seether. In 2018 he joined the Rod Stewart tribute show "Mr. Rod" and graduated in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in popular music. In the same year, he joined the Goth-Metal band "TiefRot" as well as PERSONA.
Favorite bands/musicians: Tool, Mudvayne, Tab Benoit
Top 5 albums of all times: L.D - 50, 10.000 Days, Stadium Arcadium, Willy and the Poor Boys, Lost and Found
Favorite Persona songs: Bete Noire, Blinded, EGO
Best books: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Best movies: Anything of Stephan King
Favorite food: Pasta!
Favorite drinks: Mojito, Fritz-Kola, Ice Tea
Places I want to go: Pretty much anywhere
Goals for Persona: Reach for the stars of course!
Personal goals: Happiness
Life philosophy: The pen is mightier than the sword
Full name: Simon Schröder
Birthday: January 21st, 1991, Germany
Place of residence: Germany
Facebook: Simon Schröder
Musical bio: Simon started playing at the age of two, starting on cans and pots and moving over to a real drum kit as soon as he was big enough to reach the pedals. At the age of six, he began taking drum lessons and playing in orchestras and Big Bands at the Music School. He also played concerts with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Dortmund at the age of 15.
As a teenager, he got more and more interested in heavy music and started to play with various metal bands. In 2012 he moved to Hanover, where he started to study Popular Music with his drum teacher
Kristof Hinz at the University for Music, Drama and Media. He also took lessons with drummers
like Claus Hessler, Curt Cress and Jost Nickel. Since 2012 Simon is active as a working drummer, playing in a long range of different bands and projects in many different styles. Some of the highlights being performances on the “70.000 Tons
Of Metal“, Summer Breeze Festival, Metal Dayz in Slovenia and a support tour for “Eisbrecher“. He is also playing studio sessions in Berlin and Hamburg for rock and metal bands, while at the same time playing musicals at the „Theater für Niedersachsen“.
Favorite bands/musicians: Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree, Peter Gabriel, Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, Frank Zappa, Björk, Clipping
Top 5 albums of all times: US - Peter Gabriel, Deadwing - Porcupine Tree, Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails, Mezzanine - Massive Attack, Vespertine - Björk
Favorite Persona songs: Invidia, Bete Noire
Best books: Pillars Of The Earth - Ken Follet, The Swarm - Frank Schätzing, Arena - Stephen King
Best movies: Donnie Darko, Jacob ́s Ladder, Pulp Fiction (everything from Quentin Tarantino), Full Metal Jacket
Favorite food: Thai food and Pizza
Favorite drinks: Coffee... and Zombie
Places I want to go: Island, Greenland
Goals for Persona: Play great concerts, write and record blistering songs!
Personal goals: To always do what I love and keep the passion for it alive
Life philosophy: Don't try to disguise yourself. Try to get the courage to just be who you are... Life is more fun when you like who you are.
PERSONA is an independent female-fronted metal band based in Hanover, Germany. Their style fuses modern metal sound with progressive and sometimes extreme metal elements, with thrash and heavy riffs, but also with synth effects and classical orchestration, which creates a perfect foundation for intense and captivating vocals.
Founded in Tunisia in 2012 by the lead guitarist Melik Melek Khelifa and the Serbian singer/pianist Jelena Dobric, the band has quickly reached the status of one of the most accomplished and influential bands on the Tunisian metal scene. Both their debut “Elusive Reflections” (2016) and sophomore album “Metamorphosis” (2017) got outstanding reviews from webzines all over the world and met with great acclaim for their originality, diversity and not being confined to the rules of the genre. After several line-up changes, Yosri Ouada became their permanent rhythm guitarist and, since their move to Germany in April 2019, Eike Nehen took place on the bass and Simon Schröder on the drums.
In Tunisia, the band regularly participated in local metal concerts and events. Among many others, some of their concerts include opening for Xandria (Feb 2017) and Myrath (April 2017) when they played in Tunisia. Their performance at FEMME – Female Metal Event – in Eindhoven, Netherlands (Sept 2017) has been received exceptionally well and brought them invitations for other concerts and festivals in Europe. They won the local Hard Rock Rising competition in 2016 and 2017, and the “Metal Asylum Battle” contest held in Tunis in August 2013, when they performed live on stage with the guest star Ron Bumblefoot Thal (BUMBLEFOOT, Art of Anarchy, Guns’N’Roses).
In October 2018 they released a music video for the Halloween single “Skeleton Dance”. The music video for their debut single “Blinded” now has more than 1.2 million views and has been voted Best Metal Video for 2015 in the African Rock Music Awards contest on AudioInferno.com.