A would-be Google rival is making waves, but not the kind you might think. Hakia dubs itself the "meaning-based search engine" and purports to give more relevant results than the major search sites. Google may be the most popular Web search engine; it may have free lunches and be a verb, but Hakia has something that Google doesn't--a band. So there, Larry and Sergey!
Hakia's Chief Executive Riza Berkan has started a band with several other employees of the New York-based start-up and some professional musicians. The group's first CD, titled ""Cogito Ergo Search," is available for free download. Berkan composes songs and plays alto sax and piano. His inspiration (and many of his lyrics) comes from searches conducted on Hakia. The result is a mix of jazz, experimental, middle eastern and lounge music with playful or profound lyrics sung by a sultry female voice or spoken ala William S. Burroughs. "Weapons of Mass Instructions" and "Global Warping" have political references. Others are just silly, like "Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road." And some purport to address universal issues, like the first song on the CD, in which a vocalist implores people to "search for your soul, search for your spirit, search for the meaning of life...Search for your childhood, search for your lost friends, relatives, lovers."
You can see Hakia perform live at The Knitting Factory in New York on May 29.