J. Ralph

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J. Ralph
Background information
Birth name J. Ralph
Born 1975
New York City
Occupations Composer, singer-songwriter, producer, engineer, mixer, arranger
Years active 1997–present
Labels Lava, Atlantic Records, Universal, Sony Classical, Rumor Mill Records
Website therumormill.com

J. Ralph (American born 1975) is an Academy Award nominated composer, singer/songwriter, producer and social activist. [1][2] His professional career began when he was signed to Atlantic Records at the age of 22 as a recording artist.[3] He is the founder of the award winning music production company The Rumor Mill,[4][5][6] and has written and produced the music for numerous Oscar winning films, Grammy Award winning artists, The United Nations, The President of The United States.[7] and more Oscar winning/nominated documentaries then any other composer in the history of the Academy Awards. His music has sold more than 10 million records world wide reaching the number one position on the Billboard "Hot 100" charts in over 22 countries.

Music career[edit]

Described by The Hollywood Reporter as the "go-to producer of documentary film scores",[8] and considered by many to have had a profound impact on the documentary medium, [9] J. Ralph has written and produced the music for 6 out of the last 7 Oscar winning/nominated documentary feature films including Man on Wire (2009),[10] The Cove (2010),[11] Hell and Back Again (2012),[12] Chasing Ice (2013) for which he received an Academy Award nomination for "Best Original Song",[8][13] Finding Vivian Maier (2015), and Virunga (2015). In the 87 year history of the Academy Awards, J. Ralph's song "Before My Time", performed by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell from Chasing Ice, is one of only four songs from a documentary ever to be nominated for an Oscar. Additionally J. Ralph is the first composer in Academy Award's history to write and produce the original music for multiple Oscar nominated documentary films in the same year.

J. Ralph is completely self-taught[14] and does not read or write a single note of music.[15] He is the founder of the internationally award winning production company The Rumor Mill and many of his songs have been featured in modern commercial advertisements for companies including Porsche, Nike, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Chrysler.[16]

Ralph has recorded two CDs, The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu (2005) and Music to Mauzner By (1999), the latter under the moniker "Spy".[17][18] He has also written for live performance, with 2008's "Fanfare for the Uncommon Ellie and Mr. Greene" performed by the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus.[19]


- J. Ralph has scored more Oscar winning/nominated documentaries then any other composer in the history of the Academy Awards. [20]

- J. Ralph appears in the opening of Morrissey's concert film "25: LIVE" along with Patti Smith, Joaquin Phoenix, Heather Graham, Patrick Dempsey and Russell Brand. The concert was filmed live at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California on March 2, 2013. [21]

-On Saturday, February 22, 2014 J. Ralph was invited to perform a special concert with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra in Colorado. The orchestra performed several of his works including his Oscar Nominated song "Before My Time" which J. Ralph sang. [22]

- J. Ralph is the composer of the original opening theme music for the New Yorker's television show directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney. The show marks the first time the iconic print magazine has created a live action version of the magazine. [23]

- In april of 2014, Vanity Fair featured a profile written about J. Ralph and his recording studio in NYC. The studio was one of New York city's oldest vaudeville theaters where Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin would perform. [24]

- Was featured on featured guest on NBC's Last Call With Carson Daily. [25]

- For the Academy Award nominated documentary VIRUNGA J. Ralph wrote and produced the song "We Will Not Go" which was performed by 3 of Africa's most famous music legends: Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita, and Fally Ipupa. For the project he traveled across 3 continents (Africa, Europe, USA), 4 countries (Bamako, Mali / Paris, France / London, England / New York, United states) while writing and recording the song in 5 different languages (Bambara, Lingala, Wolof, French and English) [26]

- He is self-taught and does not read or write any music. [27]

J. Ralph was commissioned by Discovery and Volkswagen to write an original symphonic piece for shark week 2015 called "Theodora" to raise awareness for species extinction, oceanic preservation, and sharks. Featuring Grammy award winning violinist Joshua Bell, The London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices, the piece was recorded at Abbey Road studios in London. [28]


J. Ralph has written and produced songs in collaboration with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Liza Minnelli, Willie Nelson, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), Joshua Bell, Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's), Ezra Koneig (of Vampire Weekend), The London Symphony Orchestra, The London Voices, Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita, Fally Ipupa, Sean Lennon, Philippe Petit, Dr. John, Devendra Banhart, Stephen Stills, Carly Simon, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johansson, Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead), Aston "Family Man" Barrett (of Bob Marley & The Wailers), Matisyahu, KRS-One, Paul Brady, Bonnie Bramlett, Vashti Bunyan, Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Leah Siegel and Ben Taylor.[29][30][31][32][33]

Filmography as composer[edit]


  1. ^ "J. Ralph Could Make Oscar history". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  2. ^ "OSCARS: Reactions To Academy’s Nominations". Deadline. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Kurutz, Steven (2011-2-15). "A Prodigy's Second Act". The Wallstreet Journal.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Sun, Rebecca (2013-03-13). "Oscar-Nominated Songwriter Signs With WME". Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ "Volkswagen Adverts & Commercials Archive BIG DAY". Advertolog. 
  6. ^ "Volkswagen Squares". We Love Ad. 
  7. ^ "J. Ralph on Chasing Ice". ASCAP Playback. 
  8. ^ a b Carlson, Erin (2013-2-20). "Oscars 2013: Best Song Contender J. Ralph on Scarlett Johansson's 'World-Class' Singing Voice". Hollywood Reporter.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ goseetalk.com http://goseetalk.com/interview-composer-j-ralph-on-documentaries-real-life-heroes-and-the-call-to-action/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Nominees & Winners for the 81st Academy Awards". Nominees & Winners. AMPAS. Retrieved 2009-2-22.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ "Nominees & Winners for the 82nd Academy Awards". Nominees & Winners. AMPAS. Retrieved 3/7/2010.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  12. ^ "Nominees and Winners for the 84th Academy Awards". Nominees & Winners. AMPAS. Retrieved 2012-2-26.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ "Nominees for the 85th Academy Awards". Nominees & Winners. AMPAS. Retrieved 2013-2-24.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ Rosenbloom, Etan (2012-11-23). "J. Ralph on Chasing Ice". Playback. 
  15. ^ Block, Melissa (2005-07-22). "J. Ralph: Ad Tune Master (4:55)". NPR. 
  16. ^ "J. Ralph: Ad Tune Master". NPR, All Things Considered. 22 June 2005. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Bush, John. "Spy". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Zuck, Barbara (November 9, 2008). "Soloists, premiere cap energetic night". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Multi Channel News http://www.multichannel.com/prfeed/discovery-channel-volkswagen-debut-world-premiere-theodora-original-symphonic-work-shark-week-academy-award-nominated-composer-j-ralph/391929.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Special Guests In The Opening OF Morrissey Film" (DVD). 
  22. ^ "Boulder Philharmonic Celebrates 10 Years Of BIFF". 
  23. ^ "The New Yorker Presents". Jigsaw productions. 
  24. ^ "Inside New York's Most Hidden Studio". Vanity Fair. 
  25. ^ "Last Call With Carson Daily". IMDB. NBC. 
  26. ^ "J. Ralph Could Make Oscar History" (ARTICLE & ONLINE VIDEO). The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. 
  27. ^ goseetalk http://goseetalk.com/interview-composer-j-ralph-on-documentaries-real-life-heroes-and-the-call-to-action/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ "Discovery To Feature New Music By Composer J. Ralph". thehollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. 
  29. ^ Barker, Andrew (2010-11-18). "Ralph’s score veers to the vulnerable". Variety. 
  30. ^ "Wretches & Jabberers Soundtrack". Wretches & Jabberers Official Website. 
  31. ^ "INTERVIEW: J.Ralph". Globecat. Globecat. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  32. ^ Jeffries, David. "Matisyahu Spark Seeker (Credits)". Crossroads. Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  33. ^ Florino, Rick (2011-10-19). "J. Ralph Talks "Hell and Back Again"". Artist Direct. 
  34. ^ "J. Ralph IMDB". 

External links[edit]