About Anselmo Ralph
Angolan singer Anselmo Ralph is a vibrant performer whose romantic sound combines R&B, Latin pop, hip-hop, and African traditions. He broke through with his 2006 debut, Historias de Amor, which topped the chart in Angola and other Portuguese-speaking countries. Ralph has remained a chart favorite with albums like 2009's O Cupido and 2016's Amor e Cego.
Anselmo Ralf Andrade Cordeiro was born in 1981 in Luanda, Angola. He spent his formative years there before his father's diplomatic career brought the family to Madrid in the '90s. As a teenager in Spain, he developed an interest in music, exploring the connections between Latin and African traditions. He also discovered the music of singer Juan Luis Guerra, who would remain a major influence on his own career. After high school, he moved to New York to study accounting at Manhattan Community College. While there, he formed a band and sang in a gospel choir, later returning to Angola to pursue his music career. He then formed the hip-hop outfit NGB (aka Nova Geração Bantu) and released a 1996 album before eventually parting ways.
In 2000, Ralph returned to New York, where he ensconced himself in the vibrant Latin music scene, singing in a rock band and releasing tracks in Spanish and English. However, he eventually returned to Angola and made his solo debut in 2006 with Histórias de Amor. Produced by Aires Francisco, the R&B-infused album proved a hit, landing on top of the albums chart in several countries and leading to a successful tour. It also garnered Ralph accolades, including two Channel O Music Video Award nominations and an MTV Europe Music Award win for Best African Artist. On the heels of his success, he released a special edition of the album, As Ultimas Histórias de Amor, which featured the song "Um Dois." It earned him "Best Male Voice" at Angola's 2007 Rádio Luanda awards.
Ralph subsequently signed a recording deal with the Angola-based LS Produções and released his third studio album, O Cupido, again produced by Aires Francisco. Following an EP, Ralph issued his fourth full-length, 2011's A Dor do Cupido, which featured production by Nellson Klasszik and Dji Tafinha. The album hit number two on the Portuguese album charts and spawned several singles, including "Não Me Toca," "Está Dificil," and "O Que é Que Andianta" featuring Bruno M. A year later, he collaborated on the all-star Team De Sonho project, working with Peroloa, Zona, and others. The compilation Best of Anselmo Ralph arrived in 2012 and featured the previously unreleased song "Sem Ti." In 2014, Ralph joined The Voice Portugal as a coach. He then signed with Sony Music and in 2016 released the album Amor e Cego. He returned with the full-length Momentos in 2020. ~ Matt Collar