Musical Road to Womex – 79rs Gang

Expect the unexpected” is their motto, and it couldn’t be any other way.

When Big Chiefs Jermaine Bossier and Romeo Bougere joined forces to launch 79rs Gang, their aim wasn’t solely to form a new band but also to create groundbreaking music that seamlessly blends tradition with modern influences while overcoming gang rivalry. The Chiefs do, indeed, come from rival Mardi Gras Indian gangs – the 7th Ward Creole Hunters and the 9th Ward Hunters, respectively. Nevertheless, their story and music careers are tales of reconciliation and innovation. Set against the backdrop of the Black Masking Carnival, where Mardi Gras Indians engage in ritualistic musical battles, these two Big Chiefs set aside their territorial differences to create beautiful music together.

We couldn’t resist making a stopover in New Orleans on our Musical Road to Womex 2023, with 79rs Gang as the featured protagonist of one of its episodes.

Could you briefly introduce your music to someone new at Womex and share the key influences and origins of your unique sound?

It’s Mardi Gras Indian music but it’s really a mixture of a lot of different styles. It would be what New Orleanians call a gumbo—the definition of gumbo is a pot that is a mixture of a little bit of everything combined to make something special—and what I mean by that is we have Mardi Gras Indian music, African music, Latin music, hip hop—a little bit of everything that makes 79rs Gang stand out from the rest of the Mardi Gras Indian groups.
Could you share a personal anecdote or experience that significantly impacted your musical journey and the evolution of your sound?
That moment would be with my dad, Rudy Bourgere—he was the Big Chief of the 9th Ward Hunters and groomed me to be who I am and once he passed, I jumped into the streets because I wanted to learn. I learned how to elevate my voice, when it was time to scream, when it was time to sing low, when it was time to holler and sing over the crowd, how to take deep breaths and give yourself the air support you need to holler when you’re singing a song like “Ooh Na Nay” and you only have two or three seconds to think about what you’re going to say next. I chose those guys to learn from because I felt they were the best in the game. Once they gave me their blessings, I knew I was untouchable—when I knew that I was untouchable is when Jermaine reached out and we formed the 79rs Gang.
This edition of Womex will take place in A Coruña. Have you ever been there, and is there anything specific you’re looking forward to doing, visiting, eating, and/or drinking in the Spanish city?
As a musician, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to various parts of Spain, yet Galicia remains an unexplored treasure for me. From what I understand, Galicia is a region imbued with magic, caressed by the Atlantic Ocean and enriched by deep-rooted cultural traditions that have come to symbolize the essence of Spain on the global stage. I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to connect with fellow participants, sharing both musical experiences and insights throughout the event.
In addition to my love for music, I have a profound passion for culinary arts and global cuisine. Therefore, I am particularly excited about indulging in the exquisite flavor of La Gastronomía Gallega. From Pulpo a Feira and Lacón con Grelos to Empanadas Gallegas, Pimientos de Padrón, and Ternera Gallega. Bring them in, bring them all!!!


As Womex is not only a Worldwide Music Expo but also a lively global music funfair, are there any showcases you’re looking forward to attending and enjoying or artists participating that you would like to meet during those five days?
It’s truly an honor to be selected to showcase at WOMEX — Excited to meet and make connections from folks all around the world. We rockin’ the Parrot Stage on Friday at 9:45pm. Come holler at Jean Herve and Claire at CARAMBA, stand 274! 
Whole gang ready, y’all!
In a world full of diverse musical genres, styles, and traditions, how do you believe your music stands out and brings something fresh and exciting to the audience’s ears?
Mardi Gras Indian music is so singular and rare- it comes from one city and one community- New Orleans, LA.  But within this one culture, our seeds were planted by Africa, Haiti, Latin America, Cuba, France, Spain and the indigenous tribes of south Louisiana. New Orleans is singular in its brilliance and we are honored to bring some of that flavor straight from the 7th and 9th wards of New Orleans to Galicia, Spain! 
Womex is a unique opportunity to share and showcase your music with new people and inform them about your upcoming projects. Could you reveal some of your plans for the future?
Why would we do that?  New music is always on the horizon…. Expect the unexpected. 
If you had to draft an invitation card for our readers to join you at Womex and enjoy your showcase, what would you write in it?
79rs Gang boutta blow….your mind. Come experience Mardi Gras Indian music that borders a full-on dance party as well as a sacred ceremony of reflection and prayer.
Masked Indians adorned in pearlescent beads and elaborate feathers!  79rs Gang’s unique blend of Mardi Gras Indian music, funk, soul, hip-hop, and storytelling will both uplift and educate…. And everyone could probably use a little education. And a lot of dancing. Expect the unexpected!



- 79rs Gang will be performing at the Parrote Stage on Friday 27th October from 9.45PM -






- You can find all the previous episodes of Musical Road to Womex HERE -