Akim LE LOVIST
Il existe 100 mots différents en arabe pour dire l’amour.
Malgré ce fait méconnu, qui dit combien la civilisation arabo-musulmane est riche et subtile, les mots « arabe » et « musulman » résonnent de connotations négatives dans les médias et l’actualité française. C’est peu dire qu’il n’est pas simple pour un artiste vivant en France aujourd’hui d’arriver avec un projet arabophone.
Qu’à cela ne tienne, Akim El Sikameya a décidé de retourner le stigmate : il est désormais le Lovist, le fanatique (oui, mais) de l’amour…
Ce nouveau projet, mûri à la faveur de plusieurs années de silence marquées par la maladie, est celui de la résurrection et de la maturité. Akim Le Lovist revient à l’essentiel : les racines arabo-andalouses toujours, les amitiés musicales, le coeur de l’artiste exposé dans les textes de ses chansons…
Akim was born in Oran, the Algerian music capital. From the age of eight, he joins a well-known Arab-Andalusian music school – a music born in Spain with the encounter and the exchanges between the three monotheistic cultures. To have learnt his art in such conditions gives him not only a strong musical background – which allows him to play easily lots of other repertoires – but also a philosophy of life and art, based on the experience of cross-cultural mixing. Thus at the age of twenty, Akim creates a band, El Meya : for the first time and for this band, he transforms Arab-Andalusian nubas into songs, adding a flamenca guitar and a piano to a music which ignored such instruments.
But the civil war which condemns his elder brothers, threatened by fatwas, to the exile, will definitely mark Akim’s destiny. He follows in his brothers’footsteps and leaves Algeria to Marseille where he discovers love, freedom, and becomes the whooping-cough of the artistic and intellectual Phocaean background. He is quickly spotted because of his rare top C voice, his unique way of playing the violin (standing, the instrument leant on his thigh), and his very Mediterranean charisma. Thus he rapidly signs up with an independent label, who releases his first album (Atifa-Oumi) in 1999.
After a promising tour with prestigious first parts (Alain Souchon, Julien Clerc, Noa, Khaled, Cesaria Evora…), Akim releases a second album, Aïni-Amel, in which he writes and composes all songs entirely. This second album, mix of many influences, can be seen as the reflection of the assumed paradoxes of a complete artist, being able to compose nice melodies and to perform them on stage with a remarkable impetuosity. Besides, the WOMAD International Festival (created by Peter Gabriel) chooses Akim El Sikameya to become its 2004 « coup de cœur ».
Thanks to this judgement of Thomas Brooman, the WOMAD’s director, Akim is applauded on tour until 2006, in the different cities welcoming this itinerant festival : Las Palmas, Madrid, London (Live 8), Singapore….The international dimension of Akim’s music is quickly confirmed by other world tours (India, Spain, Sicilia…), by many releases abroad, added to several selections on famous compilations (Live 8 Africa Calling by Real World, The Rough Guide To North African Coffee by World Music Network, Arabian Lounge by Nascente…). His fourth album is comming soon.