|Click here to visit Jet Set Gypsies official site - Artwork by Prince V
This is an exclusive interview with the enigmatic Prince V, Lead Vocalist/Songwriter/Composer for the band 'Jet Set
Gypsies'. He agreed to meet Ms. Angel Demon at an esoteric location and share a glimpse into his private world. Read on to
meet this fascinating gentleman!
|Click the rose to visit Jet Set Gypsies' Facbook
|Graphic provided by Prince V
Winding down the lavender and blue rose lined path, ahead an elegant mansion stands, ethereal and
majestic against the snow capped mountains. The sun is just beginning to set, water colored rosy hues mix with touches of
blue and wine. A falcon cries then flies over head to herald my arrival to its master. I climb the stone steps to knock upon
the ornate heavy door, embellished with wrought iron roses and the inscription "Jet Set Gypsies." Harpsichord melody beckons as the door slowly drifts open on its own. I have arrived at the clandestine estate of the Blue
Prince, V, and he has graciously granted us a private interview.
The foyer is lavish, filled with treasures gathered from centuries of world travels. Peacock
feathers, hand painted fans, ancient tableau, Venetian masks and human skulls are purposefully displayed all about.
The atmosphere of blended cultures is obvious with Medieval crosses, putti and Asian gods solemnly gazing knowingly from their
various perches. Emerging with a stately bird, named Liviu, perched on his shoulder, Prince V greets me with a gentle
smile. He bids me welcome. "I am inspired by romance, foreign cultures, religion, aristocracy, fashion,
fantasy, folklore, language, art, love, war, sorrow, revolution. I am also very pleased to name some of my biggest inspirations
musically such as Malice Mizer, Moi Dix Mois and D. All bands from the Japanese Visual Kei musical scene. A scene that is not too commonly known all around, but one day I hope will flourish." A true
Renaissance artist, V is stylish, mysterious and charismatic. His values? "My rosary, my voice, and my quill."
He also readily admits that without his music he would "be dead."
Prince V is one of two vocalists for the band Jet Set Gypsies. Not at all a typical music ensemble.
He describes it thus; "*deep breath* Its psychedelic- avant garde-visual- neo classical- gothic- industrial- break beat- film
noir- gypsy- circus-burlesque- hardcore- music of the world. No stereotype, no clichée just pure innovative experimental sound.
*another deep breath* To put it blissfully short, someone once described us as 'genre benders'." When asked how his
project came to choose this genre, V replies, "We want to create a new genre, not to choose it for ourselves."
A tour of the mansion settles for tea in a luxuriant athenaeum, abundantly filled with opuscules, tomes,
scrolls and omnibus culled from seemingly every era. Seated on a sumptuous velvet divan, a Royal Albert Moonlight Roses
china cup poised on my knee, I inquire about Prince V's musical background. "When I was a very young child," he pauses
to take a sip of tea, "I can't remember the exact moment I began to compose. Strangely enough, I remember always composing.
I was born with the music inside of me and I was privileged enough to born to a very musical family, which therefore allowed
me to pour my all into my work without ever being denied a creative outlet. Ever since I can remember, I was singing. Singing,
and playing any instrument I could get my curious hands on." He does admit to the opportunity to perfect his craft but
in a unique way, "Much of what I learned is from being taught, and trained formally, yes. Yet, informally so, as well, I was
able to live in a very free and open musical environment growing up, that so much of what I have learned, I was allowed to
discover on my own." He continues to explain, "I'd like to consider myself a jack of all trades, a master of none.
I can play rather fluently, every instrument I've ever taken a fancy to, and if given the opportunity to practice and apply
myself, I believe there isn't any instrument of my choosing, that I couldn't play. So far I've found I'm not very skilled
in woodwinds or brass." What does this enigmatic, polyglot, maestro enjoy listening to? "Good music in general;
from all over the world, from each era, each generation."
The creation of Prince V's project, Jet Set Gypsies is a triumph of music over adversity. Placing
his hand on an antique globe and setting it spinning, he seems to have his fingers on the pulse of the world. "So far
it has been the challenge of all of us all coming from different countries and joining together as one. Dealing with bureaucratic
mess is oftentimes aggravating, but it hasn't stopped us from pushing forward to see our dreams through. So far it has been
a great testament of faith and trust and good will, and its only just the beginning of our journey. We have proven that family
can be found along the way. No matter where you come from, or who you are, you can be my brother, and I, yours." So
why is the band called the Jet Set Gypsies, Prince V smiles slyly, "The band name fit like a glove as soon as it was conceived.
'Jet Set' to describe something refined and aristocratic, and 'Gypsies' which as a whole, suits us. We feel like a family
of Gypsies, all hailing from different continents and countries, different walks of life and religions, all coming together
to show that borders and barriers can be crossed, and brotherhood can be found, and within that, the only language that need
be present is the language of music."
After tea, Prince V shows me his conservatory. An antique harpsichord sits among pots of roses
in every hue. A fountain bubbles with potential inspiration. With the drape of evening splendor showing through
the glass panels, it is the perfect atmosphere for creative pursuits. Cupping a rose to take in its sweet scent, Prince V
reveals his inspirations, "For a good fraction of my life, Asagi of D has been a fairly prominent influence of mine vocally and aesthetically. However, going back even deeper, it was the musical
greats from the baroque, classical, and romantic periods that leave the deepest imprint in the music I make today."
He sits down to the harpsichord and shares some enchanting melodies he has crafted. "Being able to read others emotions almost
exactly. As well, the ability to motivate others through speech. Thus far it has been reaching others through song.
Its such an intimate connection between artist and listener. I'm proud of the relationship I hold with ever single one of
those people." When asked how he feels about internet distribution of his music, Prince V is in touch with his fans,
"I think the fans are the true crusaders in all of this. If they love a band, they will do whatever they must to get a hold
of their music. Whether it be spending what little money they have on it, or by scrambling frantically to download it online
for free. Personally, as a musician, I see it as just another means of having the fans get a hold of the music they love by
the musicians they adore."
Prince V gracefully raises his arm and Liviu, the falcon, comes like a serenade on the wind.
The bird's eyes flash like crystals in the candlelight as it accepts a treat. V shares his plans and vision for his
future "Somewhere down the road, furthering this wondrous journey. A little better, a little brighter, a little more
grown up all around. (I want) just to be happy with what I do, always, and to make everyone I come in contact with happy with
me, and themselves, and their lives."
There are exciting things to expect from Prince V and his Jet Set Gypsies as they surreptitiously scheme.
The band is adamantly crafting an album that is sure to start a revolution on the music scene in the near future. V
shares his credo "Love who you are, and love what you do. Never compromise, Never settle, Express yourself, Be honest, kind,
and open to others, take criticism and appreciate compliments. Be dedicated, Be diligent, and there is nothing you can't achieve
in this world."
|Click here to visit Jet Set Gypsies' Myspace
|Graphic provided by Prince V