This World: The New Gypsy Kings
Thursday 16 June
The majority of Romanian’s Roma live below the poverty line, and for many years music has been seen as a passport to riches, with some traditional Gypsy bands gaining international fame.
However there’s a new of type of Gypsy music with a very different sound and the opportunity to make even bigger money. Manele is a mixture of traditional Romanian Gypsy folk and contemporary pop music. Manele stars live luxurious lifestyles, earning up to 20,000 Euros a night singing songs that glorify money and fast cars.
But the source of all this money could be controversial - Manele has been described as the Gypsy version of gangster rap and its biggest stars have had links to some of the country’s most notorious underworld figures.
And with the popularity of Manele growing, many traditional Gypsy musicians claim that it is ruining their culture and livelihood as they struggle to compete.
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