Julia Kozakova releases her debut album Manuša, which tracks old traditional Roma (Gypsy) songs and their stories from Slovakia and Central Europe. Her voice is accompanied by a traditional cimbalom band composed of some of the most recognized Roma musicians from Slovakia.
Júlia Kozáková, is a world music singer currently at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies. As a child she sang Slovak traditional music and later discovered the beauty of Roma music rooted in Central Europe. She collaborated with the Roma in Slovakia to develop an authentic voice within this tradition. These songs are a crucial part of the Roma people and their cultural identity; sadly still challenged by the marginalisation of this community. Julia’s music style is described as immersive and empathic and her performance as genuine and authentic. Her band is composed of the best contemporary Roma musicians from Slovakia – Viliam Didiáš (violin), Ľubomír Gašpar (cimbalom), Vojtech Botoš (viola), Ján Rigo (double bass), and Zsolt Varady (guitar)
“In the Roma language Manuša means People.
People, the ancestors of the Roma, left us the songs to create this album. Written by life and confirmed by many generations. Treasure.
We are all people, regardless of origin or skin color. We live together on the same Earth and have many differences and peculiarities that can enrich each other. So it has happened to me, a person without Roma roots, that I have been enriched on my journey through Roma traditional songs. I am enchanted by their depth, simplicity, and passion. They teach me that sadness is as beautiful and necessary as joy. I have adopted these songs into my life so they are now a part of me. With sensitivity, love, and respect, I take the liberty of interpreting them on my first album.“ Júlia Kozáková