This week's New Music Monday features an extremely gifted artist and American Idol alum, Ron Bultongez.
Ron was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but, as conflict began to ensnare the country, his family chose to immigrate to the United States, according to a biography on his website. Turmoil unfortunately made its way into the family. Ron found himself in an abusive environment, according to the biography, and went from homeless shelter to homeless shelter; often being separated from his family. Ron was also set to play college football after receiving several scholarship offers but he suffered multiple concussions. However, one thing remained constant: music. After suffering set backs with his sports aspirations, Ron’s foster mother urged him to pursue music and he did just that.
It’s not hard to infer that music is a cornerstone of Ron's life. Indeed, it was music that guided Ron through the difficult times in his life. In 2018, Ron took his talents to ABC's American Idol, where he was a Top 24 Finalist on the show. It was there that I became acquainted with Ron and his immense talent.
Ron's life experiences at a young age have shaped his songwriting and performance. He has a collection of exquisite music on iTunes; his latest release being Learning to Love, a six-song EP. What Ron does impeccably well is connect with his listeners. Each of the six tunes on Learning to Love is heartfelt and truly original and Ron's vocals have an otherworldly grace and beauty to them. I would describe it as controlled power and a pristine range with just a hint of raspiness. I'm not lying when I say this, Ron's voice and sheer talent are some of the best I've seen in some time.
On a personal note, Ron is really appreciative of his fans and treats them more like friends. I've had a couple conversations with him via social media and he seems like an awesome dude. I sent him some potential locations to perform at in North Carolina, so hopefully I can see him perform live and meet him someday soon.
Get your copy of Learning to Love and take a listen to the title track off the EP below!