We were wandering through one of Singapore’s many (and I mean many) malls, and a catchy tune was playing through the loudspeakers at one of the stores.
I didn’t recognize it all, but thanks to the amazing Shazam app, I was able to find out what the song was and who the artist was, all in less than five seconds. If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is. Before you know it, there will probably be apps that offer voice driving directions…
Anyway, the song was Ride on a Rainbow by Raul Midon and Metropole Orkest. I had just caught the last 30 seconds or so of the song while in the store and assumed it was completely instrumental, but it was not. Here is the song:
I then went to read about the artist, Raul Mendol, and he is quite an accomplished musician. Here is part of his bio from Wikipedia:
Mendol is a Grammy-nominated American singer-songwriter and guitarist from New Mexico. He has received back to back Grammy Nominations in the Best Vocal Jazz Album category, in 2017 for Bad Ass and Blind and in 2018 for If You Really Want with Vince Mendoza conducting the Metropole Orkest (which is the album Ride on the Rainbow comes from).
Midon and his twin brother Marco were blind as infants after spending time in an incubator without adequate eye protection. The sound of music became integral to Midon’s life at age four when his father introduced him to the drum. Midon learned how to play guitar while performing in educational programs at a school for the blind, then at Santa Fe Preparatory School while completing his last two years of high school in 1984. Midon then attended the University of Miami, which he selected for its jazz curriculum. He graduated from the University of Miami in 1990.
From there, he began his career as a musician, at one point. His debut album in 2017 featured a guest performance by Stevie Wonder, one of his idols.
Here is a video of him performing that highlights his many talents:
I was also intrigued by the Metropole Orkest, who accompanied Midon on his second album. I had never heard of them, but they are apparently quite well known and quite accomplished. From Wikipedia:
The Metropole Orkest (or Metropole Orchestra) is a multiple Grammy-winning jazz and pop orchestra based in the Netherlands and is the largest full-time ensemble of its kind in the world. A hybrid orchestra, it is a combination of jazz big band and symphony orchestra. Comprising 52-97 musicians, it is versatile across many musical forms, and is equipped with a “double rhythm section“ – one for pop and rock, and one for jazz-based music.
Here is a great video of the Orkest playing some Quincy Jones songs:
So thank you, Shazam, for not only helping me discover two new musical artists, but for also giving me an idea for my blog.
*image from Billboard