Ron Bultongez is dreaming of a day under hot stage lights, performing in front of thousands of people, singing along with him. His life would be a great movie. He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and cites Michael Jackson as one the first people who made him love music. “Everybody knew Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Elton John,” he says. “And then there was Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris. Those were the five people everybody knew.”
Caught between warring parties, their family of seven fled the Congo for the States when he was entering middle school. “I still remember soldiers breaking into our home. Every year it grows more and more faint. It gave me a different perspective on the world. Sometimes people here don’t realize all that is happening,” he explains.
He doesn’t remember the paperwork or all of the journey, taken on “speed boats, on travel buses that looked like Volkswagens and had like twenty people crammed in there, hanging off the roof,” walking miles and miles from country to country. They were robbed on the way multiple times and were stranded in Cameroon for about a year, before finally making it to Europe and then America. Later Ron discovered that there was a 13 percent chance of making it all the way to America from the Congo then.
“America was so crazy,” he recalls his first view of New York City. “Subways, tall buildings, a lot of white people. It was so different.” Calvary Church helped them reach Texas. When they arrived, their family was greeted on the other side with a celebration, people who had never met them but were happy for them anyway. He still goes to Calvary Church.
Ron never chose to do music. In sixth grade, when all kids are cordoned off into choir, band or orchestra, he chose band. A scheduling mix-up landed him in choir anyway at Armstrong Middle School in Plano. He still remembers his choir teacher, Mrs. Dent. He started singing. His incredible range and natural talent meant he got solos and once, he remembers fondly, two solos in one song. In a big performance, he forgot the second one. He rapped in school talent shows and afterward, classmates sang his songs in the halls. It lit a fire.
During college, he quit to pursue music full time and now he performs all over Texas. A verified vocalist, he works with producers from all over the world. His true passion is writing his own songs that he hopes will inspire people the way he is inspired by music he loves.
You can find Thank You PLANO here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/thank-you-plano-ep/id1252621031
A thoughtful and melancholy album leads with “Juliet,” a longing ballad about a girl he hasn’t met yet. This powerful opener lets Ron cut a little loose and show off some of the gravel in his voice. In contrast, “The Calm” rests on a melancholy piano melody and haunting harmonies. “I Believe In Me” is both an uplifting prayer and a vow to believe in oneself even when no one else does. “Selfish Love” reveals a need to value one’s own well-being and end a one-sided relationship. It finishes with “I Don’t Understand,” a plea to a lover who has moved on.
Ron Bultongez takes after crooners like James Bay (“Let it Go”) and Thank You PLANO showcases his unique voice, approachable lyrics and stirring melodies full of heart.
We’re excited to hear what he does next.
(You’re very welcome! Love, Plano)