Soul, R & B, folk, jazz, rock and pop… Rouhangeze is very much at ease singing songs in all of these genres with an extra special feel for the blues!
Born and raised in Mauritius, Rouhangeze started singing at the age of five for the Baha’i community at MACOSS community events and at UNICEF children’s charity events. As a pre-teen, Rouhangeze regularly performed at the State House International Children’s Day in Mauritius and won the National Conservatoire Singing Competition when she was just 11 years old.
Aged 16 years, she started writing songs and putting musical arrangements together, working with Pipo Nairac for his trilogy of French/Creole folk ballads, Nostalgie des Iles, Nostalgie Creoles, and Nostalgie des Iles 2. Released throughout the Indian Ocean territories via Discorama, one of the songs from this trilogy, “P’tite Fleur Fanée”, is widely regarded as the finest interpretation of this song ever recorded.
Rouhangeze re-located to the UK in 2008, aged 21, initially to Retford in Nottinghamshire, and started to perform with local musicians. Following a move to Wimbledon in March 2011, Rouhangeze collaborated with various musicians from different parts of Europe before meeting Michael in January and forming their musical partnership in April 2012.
Originally based in Burnley in Lancashire, Michael started out playing guitar and singing at folk clubs in 1964, aged 15. As a duo with singer/harmonica player Les Walker, Michael explored all the popular folk-blues repertoire of Josh White, Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, Little Walter, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters.
Strongly influenced by Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Ewan MacColl, Paul Simon, Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary, The Everly Brothers, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, an early success was a solo appearance at the Halifax Folk Festival in 1965, supporting Martin Carthy – another major influence.
Michael continued to perform solo, playing Robert Johnson’s acoustic bottleneck blues songs whenever opportunities arose throughout the busy 4-year period that followed during which Michael played electric guitar with R & B band the Atlantics. Naturally, Michael’s repertoire grew to include the pop, rock and roll, blues and soul of the 60’s and he toured throughout the UK with the band in the summer of 1969.
Throughout the 70’s, Michael explored everything from country music to reggae, funk, jazz, fusion and music from other countries around the world, playing regularly at The Band On The Wall in Manchester and at other venues throughout the North of England.
In 1981, Michael moved to London and initially became a songwriter for Chappell and Dick James Music publishers. Since the early 80′s, he has also worked extensively as a studio musician and producer on all kinds of commercial music for radio, TV, films and records.
In 2010, Michael returned to ‘live’ music, forming a duo with French singer Aurora Colson and gigging around London throughout 2011. Michael and Aurora released 10 singles and 3 EPs between October 2011 and March 2012, at which point Aurora decided to pursue different directions musically.
In April 2012, Michael and Rouhangeze established their new creative partnership to write and record songs and perform together.