Monsieur Doumani, nominated for 'Best Newcomer' in Songlines Music Awards 2014, was formed in 2011 in Nicosia by Antonis Antoniou (tzouras), Angelos Ionas (guitar) and Demetris Yiasemides (wind instruments). Although each member of Monsieur Doumani comes from a different musical background all three are influenced by Cypriot folklore on various levels.
They focus on rearranging Cypriot traditional songs adding their own particular color to the sound and feeling of the songs. They also compose their own songs in the Cypriot dialect, which are inspired by contemporary Cypriot society, as for example the recent financial crisis that hit the island and the corrupted political system.
Even though their musical education was mainly oriented towards Western musical paths, neither of them has ever ignored the simplicity, the beauty and the unique melodies of their land’s traditional music. It is this uniqueness that Monsieur Doumani has focused upon, enriching traditional songs with new arrangements, melodies, rhythms and sounds and crafting a style distinctively their own. The traditional element is highlighted through the diversity of musical styles echoed in the group’s fresh and daring approach to Cypriot folklore.
In May 2013 Monsieur Doumani released its first full-length album entitled 'Grippy Grappa', which gained them a nomination for 'Best Newcomer' in the Songlines Music Awards 2014. The album Grippy Grappa, which is mainly comprised of reworkings of traditional Cypriot pieces, has received excellent reviews from international media such as the British newspaper «The Guardian», the French magazine «Les InRocks» and the music magazine «fRoots». Their album was «Top of the World» in the 95th issue of «Songlines» magazine and it reached No.12 in the World Music Network's August charts.
In 2012 they produced their first limited-edition EP ‘Cyfolk’, consisting of 8 rearrangements of Cypriot folk songs. Monsieur Doumani are in the process of recording their second album, which will be released in March 2015.
Their live appearances in festivals and venues across Europe (WOMAD, Sommarscen Malmo, Telemark Folk Festival, etc) have been very well-received by diverse audiences and their music has been presented on radio stations around the globe, such as BBC, NPR, Radio France, Sveriges Radio, PBS FM Melbourne etc.
In August 2012, Monsieur Doumani represented Cyprus at the acclaimed Ferrara Buskers Festival and was awarded the 3rd place for the most favored group of the festival.