Playing in Goa will feel like I’ve come home: Manolo
Following the success of their show in Mumbai, Manolo (of Chico & the Gypsies) featuring his hits of Gipsy Kings and many more will be taking Goa on a musical journey with the gypsies. Café catches up with Manolo to learn more
At any concert, the way the performer teases the audience and builds up the excitement before the actual performance usually holds the key. At this concert in Mumbai, all it took was few seconds of a strong melodious voice, singing to the strummings of guitars, to whip the crowd into a frenzy. “Volare, oh oh/ Cantare, oh oh oh/ Nel blu dipinto di blu/ Felice di stare lassu’ was all that could be heard as the audience sang along loudly to the chorus of ‘Volare’. They didn’t know the meaning of the lyrics that translates to ‘flying way up to the clouds’ but the crowd was certainly flying high as the electrifying party-starting ensemble consisting of flamenco, salsa and pop set the stage and arena on fire. This was the power and magic of Manolo (of Chico & the Gypsies) featuring his hits of Gipsy Kings and many more at their recent show in Mumbai. The ensemble will now perform in Goa. Goans are no strangers to these classical hits with their irresistible blend of traditional flamenco, Western pop and Latin rhythms. Not only are these songs permanently on the playlists at parties in Goa, but locals are familiar with varied styles of music that find some similarities with the group that is credited with bringing Catalan rumba, a pop oriented music distantly derived from traditional flamenco music, to new audiences around the globe. When Café spoke to Manolo, the nature and culture of Goans piqued his interest and he said that he was very excited about playing in Goa and in front of Goans. “I can imagine that when I play on the stage in Goa, it will feel like I have come home,” says Manolo, who even has his versions of local favourites like ‘Besame Mucho’ and latest hits like ‘Despacito’ in his repertoire. “It is a gift to be able to play the songs that bring so much joy to so many people around the world. I am very thankful for this possibility to bring my music style to Goa. I hope all the concert visitors like our show as these shows will have a lot of flavours meant for India and Goa,” says Manolo. He has even come out with a new song just for India, titled ‘Namaste’, in their unique style, a fusion of Spanish flamenco and gypsy’s rhapsody and sasla funk. “I’ve performed with Indian musicians for this tour and it was a very special moment in my career,” says the musician. For almost twenty years, he has performed throughout the world and participated in the most prestigious shows in Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Osaka, Moscow, Beirut, Emirates, etc and also shared the stage with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Khaled, Seal, Tina Turner, Celine Dion and the like. When asked if there is any show in particular that stands out, he replies that he never feels that there was a best show as according to his working ethic, the next show will always be the best. “ I have met many famous artistes during my career and it has all been inspiring to me and there is no doubt that performing with the Indian artistes was also very inspiring,” he adds. “This is my first time in India and I already love this country. The people are so friendly. The country is so beautiful and colourful, especially the balance between tradition and modernisation,” he says, adding that the Goa leg of his tour is something he and his group has been looking forward to, given all that they have heard about the popular tourist destination. “For me, this will be a great moment to meet you all at my first concert in Goa. I come with an open heart to celebrate with you a big party for love, music and unity of the world,” says Manolo. Since 1992, television and concerts has made Manolo, who was only a singer then, into one of the most beautiful gypsy voices. His writing, voice and charisma make him the new “Gipsy” that everyone recognises. In December 2010, he left the band Chico & the Gypsies and formed his own group, which would allow him to develop his gypsy art on a large scale. He created his own training and style, which allowed him to give a larger dimension to his gypsy art. When asked if there is any song of his that is his personal best, he says that he does not regard any song as his favourite as such. “I love all the songs that I play at my concerts. This is my way to respect all the wonderful music that has been written,” says Manolo, adding that the secret to their style is very simple. “It’s the rhythm, the passion and the love for this music.”
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