Greek duo Kadinelia embarks on Australian tour, bending traditional Melodies with diverse and contemporary sounds

Thanasis Zikas and Evi Seitanidou headline the Greek Fringe Festival with their fusion of Balkan, Blues, Rock, and Roma musical traditions

The Greek musical duo Kadinelia are Thanasis Zikas and Evi Seitanidou, and they are gearing up for their Australian tour this October, marking their first-ever appearance at the Greek Fringe Festival.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be visiting Australia. It’s one of the trips we’ve always wanted to do in our lives, as we’ve heard the best, and we can’t wait to get to know the place and the people there and share our music. We want to experience every moment to its fullest,” Kadinelia told Neos Kosmos.

Travelling from Greece, the duo is set to kick off their tour in Melbourne on October 5, followed by performances in Canberra on October 8, Brisbane on October 13, and Sydney on October 14.

The artists welcome the role of events like the Greek Fringe in promoting independent artists and the festival’s dedication to “investing in music that maintains [artistic] purity and aesthetics, far from the commercial and ephemeral trends of the era.”

“These movements connect people’s roots with memory,” emphasising that “memory is a person’s stronghold” and that “without it, one can be easily manipulated.”

As a duo, Thanasis Zikas and Evi Seitanidou began nine years ago and created a musical fusion combining Balkan, Blues, Rock, and Roma traditions.

Bringing together their talents in guitar and vocals, Evi Seitanidou and Thanasis Zikas form a musical duo that showcases a respect for traditional culture, highlighted by their use of unconventional instruments such as the tsabouna (a Cycladic bagpipe) and the Pontian lyra. Photo: Supplied

They infuse traditional Greek melodies with a contemporary vibe by incorporating new influences into their repertoire.

Their musical journey has its roots in Greek sounds. However, their music transcends borders and cultures as the duo explore diverse musical expressions.

“The starting point of our inspiration is traditional Greek music, and from there, a journey unfolds from the Mediterranean to the Mississippi, so to speak.

“Within our compositions, you will hear elements of bluegrass, blues, Ottoman music, African motifs, Balkan polyrhythms, or anywhere else our imagination takes us.

“We want to engage in diverse Indigenous people’s music, and the next time we come, we want to visit Papua New Guinea – in a magical way, the further you go back in art, the more futuristic it appears in the present,”Seitanidou tells Neos Kosmos.

The duo elaborates on enriching Hellenic traditional sound by incorporating elements from various musical backgrounds.”

Just like cooking,” they say, this process is like mixing “a completely unexpected combination of flavours that can create an explosive and delightful experience that you will remember forever,” and “by combining all these flavours together, something new is created in the present.”

“The key in this process is balance. You should add the right spices to enhance the main ingredient and not overpower it.

Because otherwise, it will be lost,” Zikas adds.

Bringing together their talents in guitar and vocals, Seitanidou and Zikas underscore respect for traditional culture, which is highlighted through their use of unconventional instruments such as the tsabouna (a Cycladic bagpipe) and the Pontian lyra.

Hailing from Veria, Seitanidou , elevates the ensemble’s sound with her musical talent in both the lyra and beatboxing, and given her Pontian heritage, it seems like the choice of the Pontic lyra is not so “unconventional” after all.

Zikas from Thessaloniki has Vlach heritage and enhances their sound with his skilful performance on the tsampouna.They also use electronic elements to create a musical journey that bridges the past and present.

Kadinelia’s inception occurred when Seitanidou and Zikas crossed paths at a folk guitar exhibition in Thessaloniki in 2014.

Following a year of creative exploration, they eventually arrived at the final form, featuring two folk guitars that harmonise traditional melodies with their original compositions.

The progressive duo Kadinelia was named after “the little hawks of the Cyclades islands that mate in mid-air spirals, called kadinelia (καντινέλια)” – an inspiration that came in the summer of 2015 in the Greek island of Paros.

The Greek musical duo Kadinelia will be touring in Australian for the first time this October. Photo: Supplied

“Since then, the little hawks of the Cyclades, are our totem, a symbol of freedom and romanticism,” explain Seitanidou.In 2019, the artists entered the studio for the first time, effortlessly crafting their debut album, a journey made smoother by their prior four years of experience in the music scene.They are currently producing their second album, which promises to feature “more unique, experimental, and perhaps more psychedelic compositions.”

“We can’t wait to share this side of us with the world. Some of the songs will also be performed live in Australia,” added Kadinelia.

They encourage Australia’s music lovers to “stay passionate about music and the arts,” underlining that “aesthetics are the ethics of the future.”

Embarking on a tour along Australia’s east coast, Kadinelia has scheduled performances at the following venues:

  • Northcote Social Club, Melbourne on October 5
  • Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, on October 8
  • Bemac, Brisbane on October 13
  • The Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney on October 14

For additional details or ticket purchases, please visit the Greek Fringe website.