What is ‘home’? Is it where we were born; or where we live now? Is it where we meet like-minded souls, whether in physical space or some less easily defined creative realm? London is an exciting and vibrant melting pot of experiences – but as an immigrant it can be easy to lose a sense of family, community and home in the frenzy. Alakati is Iakovos Loukas’s way of channeling that noise back into music, carving out a home made of shared experiences, empathetic people and their creative energies.
Alakati is a group of five London musicians that explores the meeting of Cypriot traditional music, jazz and Brazilian music. Led by Cypriot guitarist Iakovos Loukas, Alakati creates original music that combines those styles, as well as reimagining folk songs.
Iakovos Loukas moved from Cyprus to the UK in 2008 to deepen his relationship with music – through study, performing and travelling. His love of and natural affinity for combining interesting rhythms and beautiful, singable melodies drew him into a growing circle of like-minded musicians.
Alakati coalesced when Iakovos invited Irini Arabatzi (voice), Joseph Costi (piano), Ben Brown (drums) and Greg Gottlieb (bass) to work on realizing his next creative venture, and the mixture of common ground and diverse input has made for a special connection indeed.
The Cypriot word ‘alakati’ describes the mechanism for drawing water from a well. These five musicians dig deep into the traditions that fascinate them, drawing up fresh and rejuvenating ideas and organically crafting them into a unique listening experience.