Sohini Alam - vocals
Javier Camilo - guitar / vocals
29th January 2020
A World in London, Resonance FM, UK
Quintessentially London - Lokkhi Terra on A World in London! Click: https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/a-world-in-london-29th-january-2020/
We first interviewed Lokkhi Terra over a decade ago when AWIL was based at BBC London and the band was relatively new. Last year they supported the Bangladeshi Cricket Team during the ICC World Cup, performed at numerous festivals, and consolidated their long-time collaboration with Afrobeat don Dele Sosimi through the fantastic Cubafrobeat album. In this AWIL session, Lokkhi Terra were represented by band-founder & keyboard wizard Kishon Khan, divine vocalist Sohini Alam (also of Khiyo and GRRRL fame), and Cuban guitar legend Javier Camilo. Together they delivered an exclusive & electrifying preview - steeped in virtuosity - of their forthcoming album, CuBangla. Lokkhi Terra’s influences reflect the unique diversity of our capital, combining jazz, reggae, Sufi music, Bangladeshi folk songs & lyrics, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and everything in between! ‘We play pure forms of music authentically’, explains Kishon. Born in Bangladesh, Kishon grew up in London before moving to Havana in the 90’s, seeking out the history, politics & innocence of Castro’s Cuba. Britishness and Asianness were already in Kishon’s musical DNA, and he gradually added the African/Spanish dimensions, absorbing each city he visited as his musical university. ‘Every city has its own musical identity and most musicians resonate with it.’ An outstanding pianist, Kishon was invited to perform at Cuba’s very first reggae festival in 1996, curated by Rita Marley. He was paid for gigs in bottles of rum and biscuits, before eventually returning to London which was revelling in the explosion of new musical trends like Drum n’Bass, Acid Jazz, and the Asian Underground scene.
Kishon set up Lokkhi Terra in 2006, building upon his global experiences and forging bonds with like-minded musicians based here. Acclaimed albums followed: Che Guava's Rickshaw Diaries and No Visa Required. The band boasts an international line up that includes trombone titan Justin Thurgur, Turkish percussionist Tansay Omar, and four Cuban members including Javier Camilo, who underlines the unlikely Cuba-Bangla link by saying 'Quien no tiene de Cuba tiene de Bangladesh!'
Lokkhi Terra’s modus operandi is sharing - music, cultures, food, and languages - and finding the sweet spots of harmony and dissonance between everything, but most of all this band’s heart beats in time with London. CuBangla is out on Funkiwala Records later this year but catch Lokkhi Terra in full 14-piece glory at The Jazz Café on March 2nd!