He has been making music for 32 years now and is a household name in Seychelles. Having started his career at the tender age of 17, he has now recorded 11 studio albums and his love and passion for music is stronger than ever.
Speaking to Ralph, it was apparent that he fell in love with music at a very young age. At the age of 11 he remembers writing poetry, which he then began to put to music at 15 whilst in the National Youth Service (NYS).
At that particular time he could not play any musical instruments but after being disappointed one too many times with the music being produced for his songs by other musicians, he decided that he would start learning the guitar in order that he could produce the accompaniment to his lyrics himself. 34 years on, Ralph is now experimenting with percussions, piano as well as the guitar on his latest album, “Water”.
According to the artist, his latest album, “Water”, is named after a reggae song on the album, which evokes the sounds and smells of Victoria.
“It had originally been released on 7 July 2014 but following a sellout concert the album cover sales soared resulting in the album selling out in shops within two weeks” Ralph stated. “It was re-released with a new cover on 2 August 2014. The new cover was redesigned to show him and his band, the Suns, who he has been performing with since 2000, in action on stage”.
On listening to the album, there is definitely a travelers theme running through it. Island in the Sun is a fun song penned about a friend of his that visits Seychelles every six months and enjoys drinking Seybrew along the coastline. There is the beautiful and atmospheric intro, Aldabra, which creates a picture of the warm Indian Ocean lapping its beaches. Beautiful Day is enticing and has some creamy tones whilst “Revey Nou” is traditional erotic moutya.
Whilst growing up in music, Ralph admitted that he was inspired by old records and tapes. “Bob Marley is a well respected artist, not only does he have the roar of a lion on the musical scene but listening to his music has helped me to hone my skills, thus he has been an influential figure for me”.
Like it is the case for most artists, the majority had someone to teach them and help them grow throughout the different stages of their music, but Ralph pointed out that he had nobody to teach him. “I sat down with my guitar and whatever came into my mind ended up in my music,” he said. “I think this is the gift of being a true artist,” observed the singer/musician.
Ralph once recorded an album of traditional rhythms of Seychelles and would like to explore this moving forward in his career and is looking forward to working with innovative production teams to create a sound that can have international appeal. One of the artists that he is having talks with and would like to work with in a bid to reignite traditional Seychellois music is Jean Marc Volcy.
In his musical career Ralph has taken up some key positions to ensure that local traditional music is being valued, such as being the former chairman of the Seychelles Music Association (Sey-Mas), whose members are dedicated to preserving and promoting Seychelles’ musical heritage. One of the ways SeyMas is doing this is through Dimans Moutya, which they are putting on every quarter at locations across the country.
He recalled that the “First Dimans Moutya” was held on Sunday and was a big success, attracting well over 5 000 attendees.
Source: Today.sc 5-24-16