One of the most successful, international dance acts of the '90s, 2 Unlimited will be performing in Australia again after a 20-year break.
The Mega 90's tour will have any '90s pop-music fan bouncing. Other acts on the bill include: Real McCoy, Dr Alban and Technotronic. 2 Unlimited’s Ray Slijngaard talks about how it feels to tour with artists who are not only successful acts, but also long-time friends.
"We have played every weekend for a long time, so it's like we are one, big family. “The only person I've never played with [on this tour] is Real McCoy, but I know him and it'll be great. We are all good friends, we have known each other for years so it's just one, big, fun party to be a part of."
Although a tour veteran, Ray can hardly contain the excitement he feels for finally coming back and performing in Australia.
“We have been touring for the past eight years, but Australia is still very special for me. We have filmed two videos in Australia and after the last video we never came back. I love the country; the beaches are beautiful, the people are beautiful. I'm very happy to come back after almost 20 years.”
With a life-time spent singing 2 Unlimited's hits world over, Ray openly discusses why he doesn’t get bored of singing their material and tour life. “You know people often ask: 'Oh, don't you get tired of playing the same songs?'. But I always say no.
“Being on stage and seeing all the people singing-along: it's like one, big party. People all over the world know the songs whether it be in Japan, the UK or Australia. It's a great feeling when people say: 'Oh I had my first kiss to that song or that song's my favourite.' It’s always an amazing feeling.”
With '90s music enjoying a revival (c'mon, the Spice Girls are back in the headlines), Ray thinks the genre's popularity relates well to Gen Y. “It's in the music, whether it's the EDM music, Calvin Harris, Afrojack or Martin Garrix the sound feels like the '90s.
“Our song, 'Get Ready For This', is special because people can relate to it and they can bounce to it, like a lot of music today. Of course, the production of the music has gotten better; when we started we had very thin bass, but now with remixes we can make it stronger,” he says.
“Also, people my age group grew up with our music and then Gen Y's also know it because of their parents. At shows we have families with kids that are 17, 18. So it just covers so many different ages and people because the hooks are catchy, the loops are great and it's all about fun."
No matter who Ray is performing with or where, his top priority is always entertaining. “I don't want to leave the stage until everyone is jumping. I think that makes me a true entertainer.
“Even when I'm in the store, if the cashier girl doesn't have a smile on her face I will crack a joke and try to make her smile before leaving. It's the same when performing; if I see someone who isn't really into it I pay a lot of attention to them until they start jumping and being a part of the party. It's just something I love to do.”
Mega '90s Australian Tour Dates
Fri 17 Mar - Metro City (Perth) Sat 18 Mar - Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide) Mon 20 Mar - 170 Russell (Melbourne) Thu 23 Mar - Discovery (Darwin) Fri 24 Mar - Eatons Hill Hotel (Brisbane) Sat 25 Mar - Big Top (Sydney)