Artist: Ralf GUM
Title: Never Leaves You
01 Everything featuring Jocelyn Mathieu
02 Burning Star featuring Kafele
03 The Only Way featuring Kenny Bobien
04 Do It For Love featuring Jaidene Veda
05 Take Me To My Love featuring Monique Bingham
06 Linda featuring Oluhle
07 Fly Free featuring Robert Owens
08 So Good featuring Caron Wheeler
09 Greater Love featuring Kenny Bobien
10 Never featuring Jon Pierce & Kafele
Ralf GUM proves with his debut artist album that there is constancy – and consistency - to be found in this fast-moving world. His sound has spanned two decades to become an instantly recognizable trademark, warming airwaves and club sound systems with unique class and style.
Never Leaves You” is testament to the fact that Ralf GUM has stayed true to his roots and his particular, well-honed sound. Never one to skimp on the perfection of his arrangements, or sacrifice artful production to follow the latest trends, this album is his opus.
Since the start of Ralf GUM’s musical career, he’s tirelessly praised the importance of real songs, as opposed to simple, dancefloor-oriented productions and his new outing is homage to “the song”. While many categories and styles could be foisted on it as a description, “dancefloor soul music” is probably the best summation of the long-player.
Featuring an extensive list of top musicians, the music on the album is far from the average programmed dance “track”. And the impressive list of vocalists on the record means that, while it’s absolutely dancefloor-relevant, it’ll also warm the hearts of home listeners.
These vocalists include some huge-hitters, such as two-time Grammy Award-winning British R&B and soul singer Caron Wheeler, who gained fame writing and singing the lead vocals on two of Soul II Soul’s biggest hits, "Keep on Movin'" and "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)". Her collab with Ralf - entitled “So Good” - is her first ever real House track and is evidence of her outstanding talent.
Monique Bingham (with whom Ralf recorded “Kissing Strangers” in 2008 – the best-selling house track of the year on Traxsource) proves on “Take Me To My Love” that she’s still the first lady of deep lyrics in House music, while Oluhle (who was born in Zimbabwe and won the Zimbabwean Achievers Award for Best Female Artist in 2011) really makes her presence felt in such royal company. Ditto Canadian Jaidene Veda, who’s already seduced a number of heavyweight producers and countless listeners around the globe with her breathy voice.
The male faction of singers includes “the voice of house music”, Robert Owens, who features on “Fly Free”, the first single taken from the album which was a huge hit on download charts and playlists across the planet. Furthermore, “the king of Gospel House”, Kenny Bobien, contributes two songs to the album, and Kafele delivers his second joint outing with Ralf, following their highly successful 2010 release “Complicated”.
In addition to these, Ralf GUM has recorded with one of France’s finest voices Jocelyn Mathieu, who gained fame for his releases on Vega Records and collaborated with highly talented soul singer, Jon Pierce. He completes a list of sterling singers that just prove Ralf’s relevance as one of the most sought-after international soulful house producers.
The title of the album says much about Ralf’s current situation and state of mind. He recently moved to the epicenter of House music, South Africa, and is deeply in love with the country and its sizzling music scene. Feeling inspired by it, he wishes to inspire the SA scene in return by lending his support, knowledge and skills. Currently equipped with a temporary residence permit, he wishes to NEVER LEAVE the country.
This album is a big gift back to South Africa: ten songs in which there’s much to hear and feel. The music abounds in soul; it’s jaunty and deep simultaneously. Combining traditional and contemporary elements whilst still being futuristic, it’s well crafted enough to “Never Leave You”.
- Vocal House