Jonathan Ansell (of British vocal troupe G4) and Rhydian Roberts have joined forces for a celebration of the songs from musical theatre in a new project entitled Les Musicals. Collectively selling over 3 million albums worldwide to huge international acclaim, Jonathan and Rhydian are giving their unique interpretation to some of the greatest songs, from some of the biggest musicals, of all time. Their Les Musicals PledgeMusic campaign is full of great fan experiences and offers, including personal birthday calls from both Jonathan and Rhydian, attending recording sessions, tea at the Ritz, a special weekend in Vegas with the guys and much, much more. Alongside these are signed CDs, posters and limited-edition merchandise. Jonathan and Rhydian recently spoke to us about the new project.
[[jpg213825]]How did you first hear about PledgeMusic and can you tell us a little about your latest PledgeMusic project, ‘Les Musicals’?
Rhydian – I released an album through PledgeMusic before in 2014 and with the help of my fans, we secured a number one album! Having a strong fan base, it seemed fitting to involve the fans in our first Les Musicals album together.
Jonathan – I heard of the platform through seeing other artists projects online and immediately realised what a brilliant concept it was, to be able to create music directly with the fans. That’s why I am delighted to be collaboratively back on PledgeMusic with this new album. We are excited to be able to celebrate Musical Theatre in its own unique way with this album, following our sell-out tour in 2018 and with many more shows booked in 2019. Les Musicals is set to keep thrilling audiences both onstage and on albums, for many years to come.
Although maybe a few parallels in your careers to date, you both have quite distinct ‘back-stories’, fill us in on how you came together in this musical collaboration?
R – I have often admired Jon, we came from the same show, namely X-Factor. We were both runners-up. He is a tenor, I am a baritone. One day we just decided to get together and collaborate. We were thrilled with the response.
J – We both met at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday party celebrations in Hyde Park. It was a massive show with incredible artists on the billing. Rhydian and I seemed to hit it off straight away and were delighted to begin a friendship, which is now flourishing more and more through the recent tour.
The PledgeMusic campaign that you have put together for ‘Les Musicals’ is quite amazing. Lots of really inventive and creative experiences for your fans – from attending the recording sessions in Prague to a skydive with Jonathan and a weekend on a private yacht. How did you come to think all these up?
R – Jon is full of great ideas! The yacht in Majorca was my idea though and thanks to my uncle, who will lend us his.
J – We have both run successful PledgeMusic campaigns for other albums and have loved the way that you can create exciting experiences for the fans to engage with. The obvious ideas sometimes seem a bit dull, so we decided to spice things up a little and that’s why there is such variety in our ‘exclusives’ on offer. I genuinely hope that someone takes the plunge and goes for the skydive, as it’s a great excuse for me to fulfil an ambition to do one. Come on folks, let’s make this happen!
The album is featuring ‘smash hit songs from some of the greatest musicals of all time’, can you give us an insight into some of the titles that you are looking at to include on the album?
R – There will be a selection of songs which audiences have heard on our last tour. There are also some new arrangements of great Broadway songs yet to be heard.
J – We recently released ‘And I Am Telling You I’m not Going’ as a track on Rhydian’s new album The Long Road and that is likely to also feature on this album. We plan to record the big show stoppers from the latest tour. Tracks from Les Miserables, Wicked, Blood Brothers and many more, I can’t wait to get the list going!
The album is released next year; can we look forward to seeing you together live on stage sometime in 2019, belting out songs from Les Musicals?
R – If all things go to plan yes, but we need to make this album first.
J – You most certainly can, we have an extensive 2019 tour hitting the road around the UK and we can’t wait to share the tracks from this album, plus many more smash hit songs from the shows.
Find Les Musicals tour dates in 2019 here
Rhydian went on to tell us that the first record that made a big impression on him was Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’ back in 1991 and his favourite album of all time is Queen’s Greatest Hits. Jonathan opts for ‘Love Changes Everything’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love musical. When away from making music and relaxing from their busy work-schedules, Jonathan has a penchant for fishing and Rhydian confesses to being ‘a wonderful house husband’ and a love of domestic chores. However, performance is the ultimate high for both guys especially for Jonathan when there is “an electric audience and thrilling atmosphere…which enables you to notch things up a little and really give people a show”. Continuing on the live theme, Rhydian has very special memories of performing at The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. For Jonathan, The Royal Albert Hall does it for him; “a cherished space that evokes many fond memories…I’ve been fortunate enough to sing there with various shows, including our show with G4 plus the Classical Proms and the Festival Of Remembrance in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen”.
Thanks Jonathan and Rhydian for sharing your thoughts with us and we wish you luck with your PledgeMusic campaign.
PS: we’ll draw a veil over Rhydian telling us that the strangest thing a fan has ever given him was a belly-button brush (true!) and how some of Jonathan’s more ‘enthusiastic’ fans have tattooed themselves with his image, that’s for another day.