Splash Music Productions was formed by David Ranalli & Julian Fontenell in February 2014, but in actual fact, the principles behind the label were subconsciously developed in their minds over many years previously. At the beginning of 2015, David & Julian joined forces with Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick of Incognito and Ravi Chindambaram to launch a subsidiary label – ‘Splash Blue’.
SPLASHING OUT . . . INTO THE BLUE
Bluey talks about Splash Blue and how this venture came about...
So many inventive soul-, funk-, and jazz-based bands don’t fit into a narrow box and are overlooked by the mainstream music industry, prompting David Ranalli and Julian Fontenell to form Splash Music Productions — and for me, along with Ravi Chidambaram to join them with my own imprint, Splash Blue.
As a songwriter and producer, I have worked with a host of legendary artists, from R&B icons and powerhouse vocalists to contemporary jazz musicians to international multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, including George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Philip Bailey, Jocelyn Brown, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Marcus Miller, Paul Weller, Maxi Priest, Mario Biondi, and many more.
For my work as a performing artist, I’m widely known as a founding member of several groundbreaking British Jazz-Funk and Soul bands, including Light of the World, Freeez, The Warriors, and Para:Diso, as well as the internationally renowned band, Incognito, now in its 35th year.
With passion, creativity, and a deep-rooted love of music, David, Julian, Ravi and I are thrilled to bring you on a sonic adventure that will open your ears, blow your minds, fill your souls, and move your feet (and hearts) to dance!
Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick
Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick
A man that needs no introduction, Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick is the founding member of several groundbreaking British Jazz-Funk and Soul bands, including Light of the World, Freeez, The Warriors, Inner Shade, Citrus Sun, and Para:Diso, as well as the internationally renowned band, Incognito, now in its 35th year.
As a songwriter and producer, he has worked with a host of legendary artists, from R&B icons and powerhouse vocalists to contemporary jazz musicians to international multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, including George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Philip Bailey, Jocelyn Brown, Carleen Anderson, Miki Imai, Maysa, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd, Larry Carlton, Paul Weller, Maxi Priest, Lulu, Anastacia, Ed Motta, Mario Biondi, Terry Callier and many more.
David attributes his musicality to his Mother – herself a professionally trained opera singer with a penchant for Vivaldi, Doris Day, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight and the Pips (not necessarily in that order). This heady mix was the soundtrack to his early years and the catalyst for his passion for music that continues to burn bright within him. A brief sojourn into rock, SKA and electronica during his mid teenage years aside, his true love is funk, soul, raregroove and disco (indeed, the first record he brought was ‘Boogie Nights’ by Heatwave).
As soon as age and finances permitted, David embarked on a lifelong obsession with live music and (along with Splash Co-Founder, Julian), he can often be found at a live event somewhere in London or further afield.
In 2011 David became directly involved in the business of making music for the first time on the production of Afro Elements second studio album ‘Out Of The Centre’. He has subsequently built up an impressive track record of artist sponsorship, working with both new and established artists within the Soul/Jazz Funk scene.
He has also diversified into the management and executive production of two artists at the cutting edge of the UK Raregroove scene, Soulpersona and Princess Freesia – both of whom are also close personal friends.
A self-confessed Incognito nut, David is fortunate to have the benefit of the guidance and friendship of one of his idols, Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick, a man who has not only had a major musical influence on his life, but whose ethos and spirituality, David strives to emulate.
It was through music that David met Julian and although they did not know it at the time, that chance meeting and the realisation that they had mirrored musical tastes and shared aspirations, set in motion a chain of events that lead to the formation of Splash Music Productions – a label that was born out of a desire to promote and support the music that they love.
Jools Fontenell started collecting vinyl from the age of 14, whilst being brought up on a mix of Calypso, Rock & Roll and Country & Western he discovered a love for Soul, Jazz & Funk music whilst attending the local youth centre on Vassall Road in SW London and there was no turning back. With DJ stints in various venues in Brixton, Camberwell & The Old Kent Road he created a great network of friends and has fond memories finding new tunes at Page 43 records and rare deleted gems in Reckless Records. Whilst he has many musical influences Incognito, Loose Ends & Cameo hold treasured moments in time.
Jools passion for music has seen him frequent the live music scene over the years and can be found frequently in the likes of Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Café, The 606 and The Hideaway amongst many other good venues. Ironically it was in 2008 when he met a group of fellow funksters including Splash co-founder David Ranalli at the Mau Mau Bar for an early Princess Freesia gig where they discovered a mirrored taste in music. Today this has evolved into Splash Music Productions a company that truly has music at heart.
Coupled with his love for music is photography and Jools is building up a nice portfolio of great artists who have engaged him over the last few years such as Carl Hudson, Soulpersona, The Brand New Heavies, Imaani, Resolution 88, Afro Elements, Brandon Allen, Katie Leone, Soul Purpose, Myles Sanko, Lola’s Day Off, The Doggett Brothers, JD73 and The Fontanas.
Ravi is an accidental banker who in his karmic moments manifests himself as an accomplished composer, arranger and player of some of the most cutting edge, uber-cool jazz and soul music around. So it was only natural that in this parallel universe he co-found a record label like Splash Blue.
Splash Blue is a distillation of the dreams and values that Ravi has come to embody – from the team spirit of the founders group, to the roster of musicians on the label, to the music they represent.