The members of Gipsy Kings were born and raised in France, but their parents were mostly Spanish Romani. This distinct heritage is ever present in their music – like the fact that they sing in Spanish. The three brothers, Nicolas, Paul and Canut played with their father, flamenco singer Jose Reyes. They soon adopted Latin American rumba and salsa styles to their music, however, because it was more fit for dancing. They would soon be joined by others, resulting in a substantial lineup of talent, by recruiting more family members and the members of the related Baliardo family.
Since the group’s inception in the 1980s, they have become widely popular around the world for songs like “Bamboleo”, a cover of “Hotel California”, and most recently, a Spanish cover of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” for the Toy Story 3 soundtrack.
My favourite song of theirs, however, is their take on the Grammy-winning Domenico Modungo classic, “Nel blu di pinto di blu, also known as Volare. It has been widely covered by many artists, like the legendary Dean Martin, but no one else breathes quite the same life into the melody.
Gipsy Kings – Volare