But I try to come as close as I can. And I’ve learned some of my material from actual Roma, just as I’ve learned Slovak music from singing in choirs in that country, and I even picked up a few from a budding folk artist who now, after earning a Ph.D. gives regular seminars (in dance) in Slovakia. Also when I was in grad school at Ohio State for Slavic languages, I sang in a group called Rusalka, which aspired to sing Russian folk music—but our leader always told the audience that, no matter how much we studied it, we always came up a little short. In short, as long as your emulation is sincere, you should always be proud to bring the music of different countries to a broader public.
And Yma Sumac had an amazing voice, over five octaves. I’m at about two and a half, Freddie Mercury made it to four and a half. Just listen to the clip of her most famous “Chuncho,” which displays the overall versatility – not just range – of her voice. Also, here’s Time’s take on Sumac.