- Title: MUSIC-GIPSY KINGS Gipsy Kings reflect on their career spanning almost 40 years
- Date: 27th July 2015
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) GIPSY KINGS LEAD GUITARIST, TONINO BALIARDO, SAYING: "From flamenco we created a new style, a new type of rumba which is ours and belongs to us. So it's true, it shook up flamenco music a bit."
- Embargoed: 11th August 2015 13:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA5T0FPOKBPN49MN6EE9XQBODIO
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pop-orientated flamenco group Gipsy Kings have gotten crowds around the world dancing to hits such as "Bamboleo", "Djobi Djoba" and "Bem Bem Maria".
Nearly 30 years after they introduced their "Rumba Flamenca" style to the international music scene, mixing flamenco with pop and Latin rhythms, the band, made up of the Reyes and Baliardo cousins, are still going strong, currently on a tour that has taken them to Australia, the United States and Britain.
"Sometimes we have asked ourselves 'Why are we still around?'" vocalist Nicolas Reyes told Reuters in an interview.
"It's a type of music that even if some understand (the language) and others don't understand, it is danceable, universal."
The band, which speaks French, performs music in Gitane, which mixes Spanish, French and Catalan. Frontmen Reyes and lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo trace their roots from Spanish Romani people who left Catalonia for France during Spain's civil war.
The cousins grew up in southern France, first playing together in the town of Arles and then travelling across the country, busking in Cannes and performing at weddings and festivals. Their 1987 "Gypsy Kings" album spent 40 weeks on the U.S. album charts.
"From flamenco we created a new style of rumba which is our own," Baliardo said. "It is true that it shook up flamenco music a bit."
The band, which according to their website have sold over 25 million albums, have won both Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards.
Their version of "Hotel California" featured in the 1998 Coen brothers film "The Big Lebowski" while the 2010 animated "Toy Story 3" had their version of the movie's Randy Newman-written theme tune "You've Got a Friend in Me".
The band's last album "Savor Flamenco" was released in 2013.
Asked what next, Reyes and Baliardo said they were open to collaborations.
"We really like Eric Clapton, Santana and many artists," Baliardo said. "We are open to many artists," Reyes added.
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