It’s not often you come across an artist that marries talent with charm quite so effortlessly as Ralph Taylor.
Having grown up on a diet of acoustic soul, funk and hip hop, curating and burning his own compilation CDs for his mum’s car in an age where Youtube and streaming services were beginning to lead physical music to the brink of extinction, Ralph’s wide-ranging influences are an intricate mix of hard copy albums and digital. This unique relationship with music discovery has played a core role in building his unique, distinctive sound today.
Ralph’s music is bursting with upbeat emotion. Blending deep, introspective lyrics into catchy hooks and playful beats is his forte, but this alternative musical style has been through many incarnations and is a token to over 10 years of honing his writing and production knowledge. A one-man-band in his own right, Ralph is the epitome of a ‘bedroom producer’ and has been channeling hip hop, rap, synth-pop and more since first laying down tracks using a Guitar Hero mic at just 11 years old. Given that his music today is created entirely from his own ideation, it comes as no real surprise he cites solo artist Prince as one of his idols and inspirations: “when I heard that guitar riff in Controversy hit for the first time, it was a moment that woke me up out of that auto-pilot state that day to day life can often allow you to fall into. Digging into Prince’s archives became a massive part of my world”.
And there is no doubt that Ralph’s music, which is peppered with warm synths and crisp percussion, has been constructed with Prince in mind. Almost on the contrary, Ralph identifies Paolo Nutini as another key influence, mentioning: “He always keeps true to himself”. This self awareness, you’ll soon come to realise, is just as important to Ralph’s unique character as anything else. Charismatic, yet observing and steady, Ralph is never the loudest character in the room, but you can be sure he’s the most intriguing. His gentle nature is reflected directly in his voice; his mellow tones draw in the listener to the point of transfixion. His lyrics are witty yet simple; perhaps the result of hours spent in his own space, mind and music.
This isn’t to suggest Ralph has always made music alone however: “When I first came to London, I spent a lot of time working with different producers [Alex Oldroyd, Luke Buttery, Nick Sheldon] and learning from/taking in what they did.” He’s a bonafide hardworking and multifaceted musician.
Ralph has toured extensively, including multiple shows with indie/alternative band Will And The People. He has performed with his trio set up, a 5 piece band and as a solo artist across the UK and Europe at venues such as Thekla, Bristol and The Haunt, Brighton, supporting Alt-pop group Franc Moody and also sold out his last headline show in February 2020 at The Century Club, Soho. Along with a dazzling array of fresh music primed and ready to release, pandemic-permitting, 2021 should see Ralph’s return to the stage, where he is a natural and relaxed performer. Cited as one to watch, you’re sure to be hearing much more from Ralph Taylor as he quietly and composedly becomes a singer/songwriting sensation.