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Krilja: The Wings of Romani Melodies in Modern Times

About Krilja
Jan 9, 2024
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Krilja, a Swedish trio from Gothenburg, has been enchanting audiences since 2010 with their distinctive fusion of traditional Roma and Gypsy songs from Russia and Eastern Europe. Comprising Marita Johansson, Jonas Liljeström, and Emil Pernblad, the band blends lyrical melancholy with fiery intensity, preserving and reinterpreting Roma music. Their unique approach, mixing traditional idioms with diverse genres, showcases the depth and versatility of Romani melodies.
Krilja: The Wings of Romani Melodies in Modern Times Krilja, a Swedish trio hailing from Gothenburg, has been gracing the world music scene with their unique blend of traditional Roma and Gypsy songs from Russia and Eastern Europe. Founded in the autumn of 2010, the band comprises Marita Johansson (vocals, guitar, tambourine), Jonas Liljeström (fiddle, vocals, percussion), and Emil Pernblad (guitar), each bringing their distinct musical influences and styles to the table. Their music, characterized by a mix of lyrical melancholy and fiery intensity, reflects the group's dedication to both preserving and reinterpreting Roma musical traditions.

Krilja, meaning "wings" in some Romanes dialects and Russian, aptly represents the band's mission to elevate and spread the Roma musical heritage. They focus on a less-explored aspect of Roma music, different from the Balkan/South-East European tradition. This dedication to showcasing a unique facet of Roma culture is evident in their performances and recordings, where they stay true to the traditional idiom while incorporating influences from various genres like flamenco.

Their debut album, released in January 2022, was a critical success, appreciated for its authenticity and musicality. This album, a remix and remaster of their original debut, offers a glimpse into the depth and breadth of Romani music. Tracks like "Me Ke Tume", "Lumba", and "Xabarka" showcase the group's ability to convey intense emotions through music. Their second album, "Sosnitsa", recorded at Studio Epidemin in Gothenburg and released in the autumn of 2023, further cements their status as purveyors of traditional yet innovative Roma music​​​​​​​​.

The band members bring a wealth of experience and diversity to Krilja. Johansson, the initiator of the group, is not only a skilled vocalist and guitarist but also a cultural ambassador for Roma music, having collected and performed traditional Roma songs since the early 1990s. Pernblad's expertise in flamenco adds a distinct flavor to their music, while Liljeström's versatility in various musical styles enriches their sound. The trio has performed across Sweden and internationally, including tours in Scotland and Iceland, bringing their distinctive sound to a global audience.

Krilja's commitment to education and cultural preservation is also noteworthy. They offer a combined lecture and concert program focusing on Romani music history, which includes an outline of Roma history and the role of music in Roma culture. This educational aspect adds another layer to their performances, making them not just entertaining but also informative.

The band's online presence on platforms like Bandcamp and YouTube offers easy access to their music, allowing audiences worldwide to experience the rich tapestry of Roma melodies. Krilja stands as a testament to the power of music in bridging cultural gaps and preserving heritage, all the while pushing the boundaries to create something new and resonant in today's world music landscape.
2 times in the Global Top 40
3 times in the Global Top 40
2 times in the Global Top 40