Ralf Schmitt Opens Up On That Viral South African Cover Of ‘Shape Of You’
A few weeks ago, The Ndlovu Youth Choir and Grammy winner Wouter Kellerman’s version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ took the country by storm. The song was arranged by Ndlovu Youth Choir musical director Ralf Schmitt and award-winning flautist, composer and producer Wouter Kellerman and now, Ralf has opened up about the incredible success of the song.
“It has been a rollercoaster ride for all of us,” says Schmitt. “The song has exploded on social media and we have had incredible feedback from all around the world. Ralf adds that “It’s been such a privilege to work with the choir. When I first heard them, I fell in love with their sound. They have so much talent, enthusiasm and spirit – and it’s really infectious! Each child spreads hope and a message that anything is possible.”
The Ndlovu Youth Choir is part of the Ndlovu Care Group and is based in the Moutse village in South Africa’s Limpopo province. It’s a remote, rural area, about two hours’ drive from Johannesburg. “Youth unemployment in the area is extremely high, and one of our goals is to create jobs through art,” explains Schmitt. “The collaboration with Wouter Kellerman has given us access to a huge international audience, which will help us to expand our global appeal. We have seen a considerable uptick in booking enquiries in the short time since the release. Obviously South Africans and people from further afield have realised that we have a world-class act right here at home and are keen to hear the choir singing live! The benefits of this collaboration go beyond the realms of music. The interaction and synergy between the choristers and Wouter are a testament to Nelson Mandela’s dream of youth empowerment and togetherness.”
Haven’t seen the cover yet? Where have you been? Watch it here: