Cleo Panther

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Cleo Panther
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Panther performing at Deichbrand Festival 2017
Birth nameDaniela Hrenek
BornJuly 11, 1979
Vienna, Austria
Genressoul • funk • disco • jazz • electronic
Occupation(s)singer • songwriter • dancer
Years active2006-present
LabelsEtage Noir Recordings Big'n'Hairy Recordings
Associated actsParov Stelar • Tiger Tales

Cleo Panther (born Daniela Hrenek; July 11th, 1979) is an Austrian singer, songwriter and dancer. In 2011 she rose to prominence as a lead vocalist and collaborator of internationally acclaimed Producer Parov Stelar. She is known for her captivating performance and her powerful voice.[1][2]

Early life

Panther was born in the 14th district of Vienna and grew up in the Viennese suburbs on the border to Lower Austria. Her mother is Slovenian and her father of Austrians of Croatia descent.[3]

As a child, Panther aspired to become a fashion designer. Her interest in artistry, handicraft and music became obvious from an early age. Upon her joining and singing with a children’s choir when she was 8 years old and continuing with the Vienna Classical Conservatory, music became one of Panther’s main interests.


In 2006 Panther formed the old-school soul band ‘Tiger Tales’ with Daniel “Kakadu” Nasr.[4] They first performed covers of Sharon Jones & the Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Al Wilson and other similar artists. Shortly after their formation, their first 7" single named “Feels Good but it’s not” was produced which[5], among others, was remixed by Urbs and producer Artelect.[6] The song then aired on Austrian radio station FM4 and Radio Superfly to “The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show” on BBC 6. [7]

Tiger Tales’ later song “Stand up Right” was released in 2010 and was remixed by breakbeat/funk legend Smoove (UK/Acid Jazz/Wack).[8] Panther was also a member of the Superfly Orchestra which was initiated by Radio Superfly.

It was at this time that Panther decided to quit her day jobs to solely focus on music, and therefore performed with several other formations.  

In December 2010, Panther was discovered by Parov Stelar through a live video on Myspace of her performance at Joe Birdland. The video led to their first collaboration as co-writers which later became the song, “Nobody’s Fool”.[3][9] Shortly after, in 2011, Panther was offered to work with the band live.[10] Panther edited the instrumental tracks for the show within a month and headed out on her first tour.

In 2012, Parov Stelar’s acclaimed album The Princess was released, with “Nobody’s Fool” becoming one of thesingles,[11] which debuted at number 60 on the Austrian Charts.[12] The album also included “Sally’s Dance”, another collaborative song.[13]After extensive touring across Europe, Parov Stelar was awarded the :de:Amadeus_Austrian_Music_Award|Austrian Amadeus Music Award for Best Live Act in 2013[14] and 2014[15]. Panther played a significant part in representing the project on stage.[16][17]

Besides two sold-out shows at the PlayStation Theater in NY and other headline shows, Panther performed at major festivals like Beat Herder (UK), Pukkelpop (BE) and Lollapalooza (DE), :hu:VOLT_Fesztivá among others. “Sally’s Dance” appeared on the Red Bull TV Documentary “The Bad Seeds”.[18] Panther also collaborated with Austrian producer Filous as a writer on the song “Better off” of his Extended play|EP Dawn which featured Josh Roa and Bishøp.[19] The song appeared on season 5 of MTV’s television series, Teen Wolf (season 5)|Teen Wolf. [20]

Between 2011 and 2016, Panther edited over 26 of Parov Stelar's studio recordings particularly modifying arrangements for the live shows, including that of “Cat Groove”, “Josephine (1930 Version)”, “Speed Demon”, “The Invisible Girl”,  “I need love”, “Mojo Radio Gang” and “All Night” which were recorded for Parov Stelar’s live album at Pukkelpop in 2015. [21]

In March 2016, the album ‘Parov Stelar Live @ Pukkelpop’ was released[22] and peaked at number 9 on the Austrian charts, where it remained for seven weeks.[23] A TV appearance at the Austrian Amadeus Music Awards followed, premiering the song “Timeline”, for which she provided the lyrics. [24]

Shortly after this, Parov Stelar and the band went on their first West Coast tour. The live show led to a mention of “The 20 best things we saw at Coachella Valley Music and Coachella 2016’s weekend two” in the Rolling Stone online magazine.[25] Due to the ongoing debates of the historic absence of female stars at major festivals, Coachella founder Coachella Valley Music and Paul Tollett proudly called attention to three woman-led acts that performed at the festival that year, with Cleo Panther being mentioned as one of them.[26] A performance at the renowned Baloise Session in Basel followed towards the end of the year.[27]

As part of Parov Stelar, commonly referred to by the media as Austria’s finest international music export[28][29], Panther continued touring as their lead vocalist at major Music festivals such as World of Music, Arts and WOMAD (AUS and NL), Sing Jazz (SG), Nice Jazz Festival, |NOSAlive! (PT), Pinkpop (NL) and Rock Werchter (BE) through 2017 and 2018. Together with Parov Stelar, Panther also co-headlined with Rihanna and Lana del Rey at the Sziget festival in Budapest.[30] Besides other headline shows, Panther performed at Velodrom in Berlin, Zenith in Paris, Palladium in Cologne, Alexandra Palace in London and Samsung Hall in Zürich while also completing another US tour. [31][29]

In the media


  1. "Démoni electro swing rázta meg az Akváriumot". Kultography. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  2. Andy Scheffler (2016-04-22). "Reviews | Parov Stelar @ The Vogue Theatre - April 19th 2016". Concert Addicts. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Vsak dan prvi -". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  4. " / tiger tales". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  5. "Tiger Tales - Feels Good But It's Not / Backstabber". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  6. "Tiger Tales - Feels Good But It's Not / Backstabber". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  7. Charles, Craig. "playlist". Retrieved 2020-11-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Tiger Tales - (Stand) Upright". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  9. "Release "The Princess" by Parov Stelar - MusicBrainz". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  10. styx, Lord (2011-12-05), Čeština: Parov stelar band na koncertě v Lucerna music klubu, retrieved 2020-11-08
  11. "Parov Stelar - Nobody's Fool (2012)". IMVDb. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  12. Hung, Steffen. "Parov Stelar feat. Cleo Panther - Nobody's Fool". Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  13. "Release "The Princess" by Parov Stelar - MusicBrainz". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  14. "Amadeus Austrian Music Awards 2013: Winners Of The Evening". Austrian Music Export. 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  15. "Amadeus-Verleihung 2014", Wikipedia (in Deutsch), 2018-12-12, retrieved 2020-11-08
  16. "Gig review: Parov Stelar Band @ O2 Academy Brixton | SWLondoner". South West Londoner. 2014-11-26. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  17. "Live Review // The Parov Stelar Band @ Manchester Academy – BagThing". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  18. The Bad Seeds (2015) - IMDb, retrieved 2020-11-08
  19. "Dawn EP from Ultra on Beatport". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  20. "Teen Wolf" Amplification (TV Episode 2016) - IMDb, retrieved 2020-11-08
  21. "PAROV STELAR – „Live@Pukkelpop"". Austrian Music Export. 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  22. "Parov Stelar - Live @ Pukkelpop". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  23. Hung, Steffen. "Parov Stelar - Live @ Pukkelpop". Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  24. "musicbiz: die ersten Live-Acts beim Amadeus | Film Sound & Media" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  25. Appleford, Steve; Appleford, Steve (2016-04-25). "20 Best Things We Saw at Coachella 2016's Weekend Two". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  26. "Guns N' Roses, Ice Cube overshadow gains from female artists". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  27. "Parov Stelar | Baloise Session". Parov Stelar | Baloise Session. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  28. Kennedy, Matt (2017-11-05). "Electro Swing band Parov Stelar filled the Myth Friday evening". Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Team, Live (2017-11-06). "A Stelar Night in Chicago: Parov Stelar @ Thalia Hall, Chicago 11.2.17 [PHOTOS / REVIEW]". LIVE music blog. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  30. Bence, Gyulai (2018-08-19). "Kevesen voltak a csajok a Nagyszínpadon, de kitettek magukért". (in magyar). Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  31. Tom. "PAROV STELAR – 9.3.2018, Zürich, CH, Samsung Hall (Live Review) | | X-ACT Music Magazine" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-08.

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