Meet Gipsy Sound Revolution: A motley band of gypsies out to revolutionise world folk music
Wonderflip
The gypsies, known for their abilities to transcend borders and adopt cross cultural ways of living and music are now a mythical tribe. Their music, seeped in flamenco guitars, accordion melodies and salsa beats are lost under the din of urban life. But a band of brothers from across the world have kept it alive in their endeavour to blend the traditional gypsy sound with modern music.

The Gipsy Kings is a familiar name for anyone deeply immersed in world folk music. For forty years, the Gipsy Kings have enticed audiences around the world with their wild and ecstatic Rumba. Now, the sons and cousins of the founders of the group have been creating a whole new sound that is rooted in their gypsy traditions. Come November, the Gipsy Kings will merge with folk musicians from Rajasthan at the Wonderflip Festival in Udaipur to become the Gipsy Sound Revolution.

Speaking ahead of their performance at the festival, the Gipsy Kings Revolution outlined their origin, their endeavours and their mission to Gizmodo India.

While the founders of the Gipsy Kings were inspired by the traditional Rumba sound that evolved out of Spain, the next generation are influenced by global sounds and a curiosity for other cultures, much like the original gypsies. They live the gypsy life and travel around the world using music as a tool for liberation. In India, they have brought under their fold the Manganiyar and Langa musicians along with musicians from Los Angeles.

Wonderflip festival is being held at a palace like no other

The gypsies, known for their abilities to transcend borders and adopt cross cultural ways of living and music are now a mythical tribe. Their music, seeped in flamenco guitars, accordion melodies and salsa beats are lost under the din of urban life. But a band of brothers from across the world have kept it alive in their endeavour to blend the traditional gypsy sound with modern music.

Gypsy music is now an endangered sound. There aren't many who can claim to be the authentic harbingers of the nomadic music. The Gipsy Sound Revolution though are at least trying. "We have spent the past four years building trust between the original gypsy tribes of Rajasthan," the band told us.

And trust is that secret ingredient these guys use to emulate the music of the tribe who prefers to remain aloof of the world.

"Trust is actually the most important part of the whole process. You can have great ideas, great music and musicians, but it has taken a while for these closed societies to move beyond platitudes," they said.

But, as with all modern resurgences in traditional music, the music of the Gipsy Sound Revolution too is mixed with other global sounds. In that way, the new avatar is more of and more than an evolution of the music of the Gipsy Kings.

Speaking about their origin, the band told us, "making music for the gypsies of the South of France is an intuitive process. They, like their Rajasthani counterparts, came out of the womb playing music. The Rumba (a rhythmic dance form) evolved out of Spain and was exported by the gypsies when they were kicked out of the country by Franco (the infamous military dictator of Spain). The music of the Gipsy Kings is still the same sound you hear everywhere on the streets of Southern France. Our music is an intentional extension of the music."

As part of the evolution, Gipsy Sound Revolution keeps ancient folk melodies at its core and mixes it with modern musical ideas.

"We are getting ready to open our musical borders to add gypsies from all over the world. But first things first - The collaborations between the gypsies from the South of France and the gypsies from Rajasthan has been a deep and precious learning curve. We have a few surprises up our sleeves," the band told us in anticipation of their performance at the Wonderflip festival.

Young and edgy, the Wonderflip festival will be a circus dipped in flavours of nostalgia

The gypsies, known for their abilities to transcend borders and adopt cross cultural ways of living and music are now a mythical tribe. Their music, seeped in flamenco guitars, accordion melodies and salsa beats are lost under the din of urban life. But a band of brothers from across the world have kept it alive in their endeavour to blend the traditional gypsy sound with modern music.

At the core of their existence, philanthropy is the cornerstone. The Gipsy Sound Revolution has been built around the idea of giving back. For reasons still unknown, the original gypsies left Rajasthan more than 1,500 years back and now there are 18 tribes of gypsies scattered around the globe, from Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East to Cuba, the Caribbean and Brazil. These gypsies live outside, in the fringes of society, often in deep poverty, refusing to give in to the system. The Gipsy Sound Revolution aims to uncover the travails of these tribes across time and across the globe, in an attempt to illuminate the world about their presence.

Along with that, Gipsy Sound Revolution aims to empower the female voice. In partnership with Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, they are creating infrastructure for schooling young girls and extending distance learning programs to rural villages.

Moreover, they take care of their tribe. They believe more in partnering with the tribesmen than try to break the wheel or coming in and telling the communities what to do.

"The Jaipur Virasat Foundation has long been a custodian of the music and musician of Rajasthan, so we will launch an initiative with them centered around young musicians," The band said.

Catch the group at the Wonderflip festival from November 9th to 12th near Udaipur . Tickets are now live!

Wonderflip festival is being held at a palace like no other

The gypsies, known for their abilities to transcend borders and adopt cross cultural ways of living and music are now a mythical tribe. Their music, seeped in flamenco guitars, accordion melodies and salsa beats are lost under the din of urban life. But a band of brothers from across the world have kept it alive in their endeavour to blend the traditional gypsy sound with modern music.

Young and edgy, the Wonderflip festival will be a circus dipped in flavours of nostalgia

The gypsies, known for their abilities to transcend borders and adopt cross cultural ways of living and music are now a mythical tribe. Their music, seeped in flamenco guitars, accordion melodies and salsa beats are lost under the din of urban life. But a band of brothers from across the world have kept it alive in their endeavour to blend the traditional gypsy sound with modern music.