Anselmo Cordeiro da Mata (born March 12, 1981 in Luanda, Angola), better known as Anselmo Ralph, is an Angolan singer.
Ralph attended school in Angola, then emigrated to New York to finish school where he majored in accounting in college. A former member of an alternative rock band from New York, Anselmo began making projects as a solo artist.
In 1991 and 1992, he resided in Madrid and was greatly influenced by Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra. In 1995, he returned to Angola forming the hip hop group NGB (standing for Nova Geração Bantu). The group released the album Tá-se Bem the following year on EP Studios (EP standing for Eduardo Paím), although various financial difficulties hampered distribution which lagged until 1999.
In 2000, he returned to New York to try to make it in the States. He was part of a Latin rock band singing in Spanish for the American Latin market, but with limited success again because of disputes with record labels and promoters. In 2001, he also tried promoting songs in English, finding some appeal with universities and religious associations, but no commercial success.
Disappointed he returned to Angola in 2003, working on his Portuguese language album Histórias de Amor, destined for local Angolan and Portuguese markets. The album was mostly produced by Angolan R&B producer Aires Francisco aka Aires no Beat on the label Bom Som was an immediate success in 2006 in both markets. His concert tour attracted record numbers approaching 6-7 thousand. He was nominated by the Channel O Music Video Awards in the "Best R & B" and "Best Director" categories, and he won the MTV Europe Music Awards 2006 in the "Best African Artist" category. He received the award during a gala in Copenhagen.
After the critical and commercial success, he released the follow up and equally successful album As Ultimas Historias de Amor in February 2007 on St. Valentine including the single "Um Dois". For the album, he won "Best Male Voice" by Rádio Luanda in 2007. Appearing with a great number of international artists from Europe and Africa, he was signed to the major Angolan label LS Produções for a three-album deal.
On 14 February 2009, he released his third album O Cupido (as a double CD and DVD), produced by Aires (Aires no Beat), recorded in Bom Som Studios as well as in South African Jazzworx and mastered by Mike Manitshana. Promotional concert on Pavilhão Da Cidadela attracted more than 40,000 in 2 days.
Anselmo Ralph pre-released his maxi single "A Dor do Cupido" in 2011 that was certified four time platinum in Portugal. The fourth album A Dor do Cupido was released in March 2011 in collaboration with the Swiss Klasszik label and producers Nellson Klasszik and Dji Tafinha. Hit singles from the album included "Não Me Toca" and " Atira Água" the latter featuring Nelson Freitas and Eddy Parker. He gave more than 50 concerts to promote the album. It has reached number 2 on the Portuguese Albums Chart. The song "Não Me Toca" reached number 2 on the Portuguese singles chart.
In 2012, he participated in the collective musical project "Team De Sonho" (literally The Dream Team" in Portuguese), singing on 5 of the 17-track release. The collective gave two big concerts in Johannesburg and Maputo.
He also released his own compilation Best of Anselmo Ralph with one unpublished song as potential single titled "Sem Ti" engaging in a further tour in Angola.Best of Anselmo Ralph, reached number 5 position on the Portugal Albums Top 30 chart.
In popular culture:
In 2012, Coca-Cola announced a promotional campaign featuring Ralph, their first with an Angolan artist.
Anselmo Ralph and Anna Joyce interpreted the first Angolan Christmas music, in an initiative of the mobile operator Unitel.
Awards and nominations:
Ralph was nominated in the Best Male category at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards.
Anselmo Ralph gave the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, the first platinum record conquered by an Angolan in Portugal.
The latest singer's music album "O Melhor de Anselmo Ralph" (2014) reached the gold disc in Portugal, in just two weeks.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license