The Gipsy Kings are from France but sing in Spanish in an accent from Andalucia. With many influences from pop to rumba, this band is one not to miss live with a huge concert following. Their song “Bombaleo” gave them an international hit that has brought them from the ‘80s to the present. Gozamos asked Nicolas Reyes, the lead singer from the band, a few brief questions shortly before they arrived in Illinois.
Gozamos: Hi, Nicolas. So many people still don’t know that you are French. Your parents are from Spanish descent so that is why you sing in Spanish?
Nicolas Reyes: It is flamenco Spanish not Catalan correct. Yes, we are living in south of France and have French nationality. Our families were in Catalonia before coming to France so what we speak in mix of different language but very close to Spanish.
The band is made up of two families correct?
NR: Reyes and Baliardo
You are all cousins?
NR: Yes but distant, out grand mothers were cousins so ….
Your children perform with the band now?
NR: No, some of them did but they do their own way now.
The name started from a fan?
NR: Someone said one day, ” You are the king of the gypsies” that was in St. Tropez so we kept the idea and moved from Los Reyes to Gipsy Kings.
Being a lefty also, who is left handed and had to have their guitars restrung?
NR: On this tour we are two lefties but we lay normal guitar inside down.
How do American audiences compare to European?
NR: People who loves our music are the same everywhere.
Your cover of “Hotel California” is a classic. Are there more covers that you would like to do?
NR: Now we do “Strangers in the Night” dedicated to Sinatra.
New music coming out?
NR: We finished a new one, which will be released soon.
There is also a documentary about the band.
NR: Yes, it is called Tierra Gitana.
You play the Chicago Theatre often, is that one of your favorite places to perform?
NR: That’s a very good place.
Excited about playing Ravinia?
NR: Yes and this is last show before going home so we will give our best performance.