Ruben Hein
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Ruben Hein

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands | MAJOR

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands | MAJOR
Band Pop Jazz




"Review Nederlands Dagblad (12-11-2010)"

Loose Fit
Ruben Hein – Blue Note / EMI

Aan het einde van het jaar verrast Ruben Hein (1982) met het verfrissende album Loose Fit. De in Bemmel geboren Hein is aan het Amsterdamse conservatorium opgeleid als pianist, maar hij kreeg het vak pas echt onder de knie door te spelen in verschillende jazzbands. De liefde voor het zingen en het maken van eigen liedjes ontstond later. Ruben Hein heeft een prettige soulvolle stem en hij koos voor medemuzikanten die houden van een eigentijds geluid: ,,Je zult mij niet zo snel standards horen zingen,” aldus Ruben Hein, die zich laat inspireren door zowel Miles Davis als Radiohead. Producer Stefan Kruger (van Zuco 103) bereidde uit soul-, hiphop- en vooral jazzinvloeden een smakelijk geheel, met ondermeer enkele mooie blaaspartijen. Het lied ‘Elephants die alone’, ondersteund door een Andy Warholachtige videoclip, is al opgepikt door verschillende media. Ruben Hein klinkt pittiger dan Wouter Hamel en origineler dan Caro Emerald. Als je hem toch met iemand wilt vergelijken dan komt zijn Engelse collega Jamie Cullum het dichtste bij, minus diens uitsloverige podiumgedrag dan. Het is terecht dat Ruben Hein debuteert op het Blue Note label; deze muziek mag overal worden gehoord (JB).
- Nederlands Dagblad (12-11-2010)


Debut Album LOOSE FIT (Release November 2010)
1st Single: Elephants (Release September 2010)
2nd Single: Somebody To Love (Release February 2011)

LP LOOSE FIT (Release March 2011)



RUBEN HEIN: Debut Album Loose Fit
It doesn’t happen very often; a talent that completely grabs you with his debut album. Ruben Hein is such a talent. This Dutchman seems to have come out of nowhere. With his album, Loose Fit, the singer/piano player or vice versa comes roaring onto the international music scene big time. Ruben Hein has pretty much everything to make him a big star: vision, presence, beautiful songs and most of all, oodles of talent. On his debut CD, Hein not only sings all the songs to his own fabulous piano accompaniment but also shows in an almost offhand manner what he is made of. No wonder then that the world-renowned Blue Note label is proud to release his debut album. Hein considers himself a cross between soul singer Bill Withers, Miles Davis, and the English super group, Radiohead. Some great names to compare with. Hein has come out with twelve diamonds in the rough that on a first listen already reveal plenty of sparkle.

Loose Fit was produced by Stefan Kruger (Zuco 103) and Fons Merkies (responsible for the music score of the Dutch movie, De Tweeling). The innovative Kruger functions as Hein’s mentor and Merkies is responsible for the sound, arrangements and vocal coaching. The album was recorded in various places. ‘The band backing tracks were recorded in a studio in Malmö, Sweden. We specifically wanted to leave Amsterdam behind and to focus in new surroundings. They also have a mixing desk there we really wanted to use as we were looking for a warm sound, which can only be realized with that specific desk.’

Hein was raised in Bemmel, a village near the town of Nijmegen. After secondary school, Hein went to Amsterdam to study jazz piano at the academy of music there. ‘The level there was, and is, exceptionally high but after getting my bearings for a year I made rapid progress as a piano player.’ At that time, Hein had not taken up singing yet. ‘Only towards the end of my musical studies at the academy did I start to focus more on singing. In 2007 someone suggested I enter a vocal competition and that proved to be a jump-start.’ In that prestigious competition, previously won by such singers as Wouter Hamel and Francien van Tuinen, Hein unexpectedly won second prize. But he had just started a career as a pianist and that career came first. ‘At that time, jazz drummer, Joost Patocka, took me under his wing and introduced me to the saxophone player, Benjamin Herman (New Cool Collective). Through Herman I eventually landed a spot in Pete Philly & Perquisite, playing with them on the Lowlands Festival, and later I joined Hans Teeuwen’s jazz band.’

Patocka also suggested to Hein to have a chat with Stefan Kruger, the drummer of Zuco 103. ‘Stefan is a man bursting with ideas. We hit it off straight away and started composing songs together in the beginning of 2009.’ This resulted in the song Rosie, which is included on his debut album. Hein feels that Kruger is very important to him. ‘When I started out I didn’t really know which musical direction to take. Stefan steered me in the right direction and also turned out to be the perfect producer for me.’ The twelve songs gracing Hein’s debut album were written with Kruger, guitar-player Paul Willemsen, Nienke Gaastra (Martinez Move), Stan Vreeken (Along Came Stan) and the American, Liset Alea. ‘Working with all these different people underpins the diversity of my music. The main thing for me was not to embrace the typical jazz idiom. I was aiming for an understated soul like sound that emphasizes the warm quality of my voice. But when I really use my voice full bore it hits home all right.’

Since his youth, Hein has been influenced by many different styles of music, enabling him to discover his own sound fairly easily. ‘Don’t think I’ve been working on my debut album for years already. It all happened very naturally and smoothly. There are many early influences in there. My parents had classical leanings but also listened to stars such as The Beach Boys and Ray Charles. That is why the switchover to Miles Davis was not so big.’

Hein’s debut album marks the beginning of an outstanding career. ‘I want to develop further as a songwriter and I know I have the potential to do so. But I am already very proud of Loose Fit. I have tried to reach for the essence of a song in the way that Paul Simon and Ray Charles did. And I love a spatial quality in my music, of the kind you can hear on the album, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.’ And Hein adds: ‘I have waited for this a long time. I am 28 now and fully ready for what lies ahead.’

Biography by Jean Paul Heck