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1998 - current




Soul hiphop group from Haarlem that has built up a solid reputation as a live act.
Full biography


Merlijn De Graaff   achtergrondzang, toetsinstrumenten
Bart Possimus   achtergrondzang, basgitaar
Billy Bob Tattoo   achtergrondzang, toetsinstrumenten
Colin Benders   achtergrondzang, trompet
Llewy Is Sel   rap, zang
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Former members

Elected   draaitafels, zang
Niels Zuiderhoek   gitaar, zang
Jonas Filtenborg   drums

Mentioned in the biography of

1977   Giovanca
1987   Kyteman
1990   Bart van Veen
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Biography Relax

Soul hiphop group from Haarlem that has built up a solid reputation as a live act.


Relax is formed by Llewy Is Sel and some of his fellow musicians from punk rock band Nayberhood. Their aim is to make hiphop with a live band. They record a demo and reach the finals of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands talent show.


Relax tours the Dutch clubs and performs at several Dutch festivals. The band releases a new single through the Paradiso Amsterdam Records label (a.k.a. P.A.R.): If It Don't Hip It Don't Hop. Later this year Relax is nominated for a Heineken Crossover Award, an award for Dutch acts that make a crossover between several musical styles.


Relax supports the Roots in Paradiso, Amsterdam, and performs in Belgium, Germany and Malta.


Relax performs at the Popronde, a festival that tours around the country. The band signs to PIAS and starts preparations for the album. They perform at the Drum Rhythm Festival afterparty, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Lowlands festival.


Relax Relax quits PIAS and signs to Warner Music. Llewy works with Jagga Bite Sound System on the track Introduction from the album Insert Credit. In May Relax performs at the Drum Rhythm festival. The band's debut CD is a live album, recorded in club Panama in Amsterdam on 10 and 11 June. Hence it is called Live@Panama. In August they play at the Lowlands festival. In September the band plays at the OppiKoppi Festival in Pretoria, South Africa, where the album is released too (Gallo Records). Additionally Relax plays a few South African club dates plus a one-off at the Mamelodi School in the same-named township.


Relax In January the band, which appears live on the Noorderslag festival in Groningen, wins a Zilveren Harp ('Silver Harp') award. In March Relax also picks up an Edison Award in the category Best Newcomer along with some cultural prizes in their hometown Haarlem. In the same month drummer Satindra Kalpoe replaces Jonas Filtenborg. After its gig on the Fret@Live festival in Tilburg's 013 club, the band again leaves for South Africa, where it will perform on the Northsea Jazz Capetown festival. In May Relax once more goes to Africa. This time they play at the B-Connected festival in Ethiopia. At home they are on the bill of the Pinkpop festival in June. Dubbed Live @ Panama - Much More, Nothing Less, a DVD version of Relax's debut CD is released.

Birgit Brainpower Postmen Sita


Relax Due to financial cuts up to 20%, Warner Music Benelux is not only forced to make various staffers redundant, but also to delete its entire local roster, including Relax. Guitarist Niels Zuiderhoek leaves the band. New members are keyboardist Billy Bob Tattoo and trumpeter CJ. The band signs a (licensing) deal with Universal Music for its upcoming album Odeur de Clochard (release date: February 2005). Also, it has a new booking agency, renowned The Hague-based AT Productions, home of Kane among others. Llewy Is Sel and Bart Possimus write the bulk of the set of Idols winner Boris, who on his turn contributes vocals to the upcoming Relax album.



Relax Previewing second album Odeur De Clochard, on January14 the single Mr. Sleeves comes out. A video is made for H.I.P. H.O.P., the second track on the single. Odeur De Clochard features guest appearances by Stuurbaard Bakkebaard, Jacqueline Govaerts (Krezip), Boris and US trombonist Joseph Bowie (Defunkt). The single No Sunrise contains a cameo appearance by Bo-Rush (Boris). It contains a remix by Gunther Glock and That Geazer Gun. Relax (featuring guest vocalist Boris) plays at North Sea Jazz. On August 13 Relax supports Kane on the Almere Beach in front of 32.000 fans. Relax supports UK jazz star Jamie Cullum on his Dutch shows at Amsterdam's Heineken Music Hall on December 14, 15 and 16. Reportedly, Cullum himself asked the band after the North Sea show. Together with Cullum Relax cuts the track Bitter Sweet at Studio Zeezicht in Spaarnwoude, just out of Haarlem.

Boris Kane Krezip Stuurbaard Bakkebaard


Relax Members of Relax contribute to Myriam Gaasbeek's single The Gods Must Be Crazy, the theme song of the film Ik Omhels Je Met 1000 Armen ('I Embrace You With a 1.000 arms'). On 26 August Relax is support act for Kane during their massive open air show in The Hague. Singer Llewy Is Sel is admitted into hospital suffering from an inflammation of the pancreas.


Relax Because of Llewy Is Sel's illness the gigs scheduled for February are now played in April. Relax and Flemish band Kawada take part in the MTV show Road Rally 2. Bart Possimus and Llewy Is Sel work as producers under the name Équipe De Clochard. Together they work on the album Holy Pleasure by singer Boris. On 27 April the band presents its third album called Pirates Among Puppets. British jazz pianist and vocalist Jamie Cullum guest stars in the song Bittersweet.


In the spring The Hermit Sessions is released, the first solo album by trumpet player Colin Benders alias Kyteman. He performs his music live with a 12-piece hiphop orchestra and eight MCs.


Discography Relax

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

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