I think it’s important to share music on all the different platforms. People need music now more than ever. I think people love Romani music – the problem is they don’t necessarily like us. Hopefully that will change globally for the better.Robi Botos
SL: In addition to your own ear, what kind of musical education did you have growing up and who taught you?
RB: I had very basic classical training in Hungary – in Budapest. I never had jazz lessons other than hanging out and playing with master musicians, which in my opinion is the best way to learn this music.
SL: Is there a method or process of training that Romani jazz musicians in Hungary typically receive or is it completely different for everyone?
RB: It’s different for everyone, but Hungarian musical styles are so accessible ... it’s all around you. Lots of music history.
SL: How would you describe your current compositional style?
RB: I try to be faithful and honest about where I come from and who I am, and I’m hoping to channel this into my writing and performance.
SL: How did you learn about A People Uncounted? What was the compositional process for the film like?
RB: It all started by sharing my thoughts and ideas about these issues – and my experiences – with a dear friend of mine, who decided to go ahead and produce this film.
SL: Is there a sense of community between Romani musicians in Canada? What kinds of music do they play and how are they received?
RB: Canada is very open to all kinds of musical styles, I think. We can be who we are here, both ethnically and musically. There are many talented Romani musicians in Canada.
SL: How do you think Romani musicians should represent themselves and their cultures in a public online project such as RomArchive?
RB: I think it’s important to share music on all the different platforms. People need music now more than ever. I think people love Romani music – the problem is they don’t necessarily like us. Hopefully that will change globally for the better.
Rights held by: Siv B. Lie | Licensed by: Siv B. Lie | Licensed under: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International | Provided by: RomArchive