PREMIERE: Lakou Mizik + 79rs Gang Join Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, & Pres Hall Jazz Band for “Iko Kreyòl”
Filmed in New Orleans and Haiti, the video celebrates the disparate locations’ cultural connection in advance of the Krewe du Kanaval festival.
“Iko Kreyòl” is a joyful commemoration of the historical, cultural, and spiritual connections between the people and music of New Orleans and Haiti, and features a smorgasbord of talent: Haitian roots revival band Lakou Mizik, Mardi Gras Indian band 79rs Gang, and Win Butler & Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire. The song’s title, “Iko Kreyòl,” is a reclamation of the New Orleans classic “Iko Iko,” a standard Mardi Gras chant thought by historians to have descended from Haitian folklore.
The track was originally recorded for Lakou Mizik’s forthcoming album HaitiaNola (out October 25 via Cumbancha), which promises guest appearances by Trombone Shorty, Tank from Tank & The Bangas, Jon Cleary, Cyril Neville, Leyla McCalla, The Soul Rebels, Lost Bayou Ramblers, 79rs Gang, Raja Kassis (Antibalas), King James, Anders Osborne, and other veterans of the New Orleans music scene.
But the video version of the tune premiering today was reworked by DJ Windows 98 (a.k.a. Win Butler), and both the video and remix mark a collaboration with Krewe du Kanaval, a non-profit founded by Win, Régine, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band that serves unmet social and cultural needs of New Orleans and Haiti.
Directed by Julia Simpson and filmed during the 2019 Krewe du Kanaval festivities in the Big Easy with some additional shooting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the visual captures a party parade through the streets, with citizens of both the country and city dancing and clapping exuberantly. Bright colors abound in traditional garb; swirling skirts, an elaborate skeleton mask, and the Pres Hall Jazz Band’s signature hot pink suits all make an appearance.
Lakou Mizik’s HaitiaNola is out October 25; pre-order it here. The next Krewe du Kanaval is set to take place over Valentine’s Day weekend during Mardi Gras, February 14 and 15, 2020 in New Orleans; get more information about that here.