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Saturday, March 15, 2014


The Durban launch of Natalie Rungan’s new album Heart Aflame has been set for March 20 at the Durban Jewish Centre.

Heart Aflame, which is an 11-track album, has been written, arranged and produced by Natalie Rungan. At the start of 2013, the singer songwriter spent a lot of time thinking about the direction she wanted her music to take. Having previously done two albums, Love Is and This is Me, Natalie decided to go out on her own as an independent recording artist. The songstress felt the need to be more transparent in both her writing and performance. This took much thought and careful consideration to not stray too far from the profile already established. A year later she penned this new album, which is an expression of her journey over the past two years.

Rungan came up with the idea of Up close and Personal (UCP) © which is concept that is all about how the audience feels while they are taken through this musical journey. She wrote new compositions for the concert, which were different in style and lyrical content and based on its success decided that she wanted to share them with fans both nationally and those abroad. It was Natalie’s desire that Heart Aflame would capture the energy and synergy that she had on stage with her band each time they performed.

For the concept to work, the artist had to have musicians with her that would follow her every move, that could read her like a book. Natalie certainly has that with her long-time friend and keyboardist Mark Royeppen who over the years has learnt to predict Natalie’s musical heartbeat. The final and certainly most crucial member in bringing this concept to life, is drummer extraordinaire Bruce Baker. He introduced a reduced drum set that is centred on a percussion instrument the ‘Cajon’ featured on Come Dance. Bruce’s incorporation of drums and percussion, together with his in-depth knowledge of rhythm, perfectly balances the trio.

Natalie, Mark and Bruce went into studio and recorded these 11 songs live. The process of making an album like this is both exhilarating and a little daunting, as songs have to be performed perfectly from start to finish. There are no overdubs and tweaks like one could have in a programmed album. As the listener hears it, is exactly how it happened in studio.

Joining the trio on Africa and Come Dance is Ian Alexander Reid; an acclaimed bass player, and dear friend of Natalie’s, who is based in London. Brent Quinton, owner of Hit Record Studios who engineered the album, also features on guitar on Love began when you smiled. For the first time Natalie has been able to credit someone other than herself for lyrical content on one of her songs. Media and radio personality Alan Khan co wrote the lyrics to I still remember which is inspired by a prose written to his wife.

Natalie Rungan’s album launch takes place at 19h30 on March 20 at the Durban Jewish Centre. Tickets can be purchased from PLANKTON.MOBI at R85 ( or R100 at the door. CD’s will be available for sale on the night.