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2 Unlimited Biography

Last updated: 09/20/2008 12:00:00 PM

2 Unlimited??? Do they still exist? I thought they split up? Yes, that's true. The old formation of duo Ray Slijngaard and Anita Doth has left 2 Unlimited. 1998 was the year that the new formation was presented to the world.

They're young, they're hot and they're absolutely gorgeous. Nowadays Romy van Ooijen and Marion van Iwaarden are 2 Unlimited! They released their first single "Wanna Get Up" on the 16th of March 1998 in Holland and Belgium!!! The rest of Europe followed in May and the UK followed in June. The US still have to wait for the first release...

After several try-out concerts in Russia and England they're finally ready to conquer the world as their predecessors, Anita and Ray, did in the 5 years that they were fronting 2 Unlimited.

What happened to Ray and Anita anyway?!? Here's in short what they've been doing in the meanwhile...
Ray Slijngaard and Anita Doth, who used her stage name Anita Dells when she was still with 2 Unlimited, have both left 2 Unlimited to get on with their solo careers.

Ray is busy with his own record label, called Rayvano Records (named after his son), and Anita is currently busy with her own production company.

Anita used to have her own dance program on The Music Factory, a Dutch music television station. But what everybody is awaiting still has to come. And that's her first real solo single! She has already appeared as a guestvocalist on dance singles like "That's When I Stop Loving You" from Dutch artist Rene Froger.

Personally I'm hoping that she will release the titletrack of her show called "Welcome 2 The Pleasure Zone". This song is an upbeat happy hardcore track, produced by Digidance (better known as the Klubbheads), who also made remixes for "Jump For Joy" and "Spread Your Love". This song will keep you dancing on the dancefloor from the very beginning!!

The latest word about Anita is that she will release her debut album, which is almost finished before the end of 1998.

But back to the 'new' 2 Unlimited...
How did Romy and Marion get involved in the this project of Belgian producers Jean-Paul de Coster and Phil Wilde? Well, that's easy... through auditions. But it didn't go that easy. It took a while before Marion and Romy actually got in contact with 2 Unlimited.

At first it looked like Sylvia Samson was going to be 2 Unlimited all by herself, but when the time came for her to sign the contract she refused...
Sylvia who??? Sylvia Samson. She has done backingvocals for several 2 Unlimited songs when Ray and Anita were still part of 2 U.
Her lawyer advised her to take a good look at the contract, and finally she made the decission not to join 2 Unlimited. She just didn't want to be tied up for 5 years. For more about the connection between Sylvia and 2 Unlimited you can read the 'facts and discography' section!!!

So the producers had to start their search all over again. And surprise, surprise... the NEW 2 Unlimited turns out to become an all female duo! Following in the footsteps of Magic Affair, who once were a female duo too, two Dutch girls have signed a contract which will see them fronting 2 Unlimited for about 5 years.

Romy, 26, the blonde half of 2 Unlimited, found out that Sylvia refused the contract... So she went to Jean-Paul and said that she was interested. After many talks, auditions and try-outs they came to an agreement and she joined 2 Unlimited.
Romy has already released several solosingles and one of them is called "Hungry For Love". At that time she released this song, she was contracted by Ray Slijngaard at his recordlable!!!! Wow, what a coincidence!!!

I have to say that, at the time, I was not impressed by Romy's voice. Her solosingles flopped and it looked like that was the end of Romy... But she's back with a much stronger voice and ready to take 2 Unlimited back to the highest regions.

Of course Marion, 23, is going to help Romy in their attempt to reconquer the world. Marion is the brunette in the picture. Marjon van Iwaarden is her full name. As you can see it is written with a "J", but that was changed into an "I" because it's easier to pronounce in foreign countries. She still lives with her parents in Kruiningen (The Netherlands), but I think that will change very soon.

Marion isn't a stranger in the music business. Before joining 2 Unlimited she used to sing in a 5 man band called Try-Out. She is an excellent live-singer judging of the pieces she sang on Dutch radio and on television where she sang the chorus of "Tribal Dance"!!!! She just loves to do jam sessions with a groovy bands now and then.

2 Unlimited started out as a dance-act, but Marion stated in an interview that they will be heading in a pop direction. Maybe they'll even do an R&B track now and then. But luckily for us they decided to go back to the dancefloor for their first single "Wanna Get Up".

At the time that Romy and Marion joined 2 Unlimited, most tracks for the new album were already finished. Romy and Marion just had to sing in the vocal parts and it was ready for release. At first all the new tracks were sung in by Sylvia Samson. But because she refused to sign the contract, her voice was erased out of all the new songs and Romy and Marion re-recorded them with their own vocals.

But the big question remains.... Can the new 2 Unlimited top the succes of the old 2 Unlimited?? You'll have to wait and see!! It remains a fact that the 'old' 2 Unlimited still is the most popular and successfull dance-act in the world ever.

A few weeks after the release of "Wanna Get Up", which got heavy airplay in Holland on TV and radio, the new album "II" was released worldwide.... The 20th of April 1998 is the day that the new album got it's press release with more than 60 press bureaus from over the world attending it's presentation. One week later it hit the stores!!

I have to add that the album was not released in all countries though... the US still have to wait and some countries are simply waiting to see how people will react to the new singles, before deciding whether or not to release the new album.

One of the trademarks of the new 2 Unlimited will be that their will be no more technobeats, no more raps, (cause Marion and Romy both can't rap), but fresh pop/dance songs which will keep you happy and moving around for hours. The new album has certainly delivered some fresh new songs and most of them are energetic eurodance songs with future trance influences. As stated in interviews 2 Unlimited has moved on to newer sounds, just like they did in the past. You can also find some eurodisco tracks... Booming euro bassdrums combined with disco sounds and the typical 2 Unlimited melodies of Phil Wilde and Jean-Paul de Coster! Jean-Paul de Coster stated that it shows the current sound of the European clubs and he's so true. This type of dance is hot right now!

The album contains several powerfull eurodance tracks too, so the fans will definitely NOT be dissappointed! Check out songs like "Never Surrender", "I Am Ready" and "Be Free Tonight"... stomping dance tracks... "I Am Ready" sounds a lot like Sash!'s "Ecuador"!! Also check out" Closer 2 U" which is a superb jungle/Drum & Bass track!

If you're curious on how the new 2 Unlimited sounds... then go to the Dance Music Download section to download all the album tracks, interviews and live samples!!!!

Well... "Wanna Get Up" is still storming the international charts or the second single is already out in the Netherlands and Belgium!

"The Edge Of Heaven" is the second track taken from the new 2 Unlimited album and expectations are even higher than they were with "Wanna Get Up"!!!
The reason is simple... "Wanna Get Up" brought a new sound for 2 Unlimited. It was a happy, bouncy eurodance track with club influences. But "The Edge Of Heaven" sees the return of the 2 Unlimited techno sound trademark!!! Yes it's true!

"The Edge Of Heaven" is a Future Trance song with an amazing main hook played by a trumpetist. It reminded me slightly of a mixture between "Infinity" from Guru Josh and the Mas Mix of RAF's "Ocean Whispers"! It's absolutely stunning! And just before the chorus you can hear that typical 2 Unlimited sound which made them famous.

The video that comes with the new single was shot in Sri Lanka and it shows that both Romy and Marion are ready to take on the world. Great video to a dance track which starts out very dreamy but turns out to be a superb future trance song. This certainly sounds like the future of eurodance!

The producers say it's the best 2 Unlimited album until now... I don't know about that, but II is certainly worth buying!!!

Yes!! 2 Unlimited are certainly "Back In The Groove"!!!

The third single of the 'restyled' 2 Unlimited will be the hi-nrg Future Trance song "Never Surrender"! Nope, they will never surrender... 2 Unlimited will keep on going and they're doing a great job with this new song! The vocals in this tune are absolutely stunning. Marion does the verses and the main part of the chorus and Romy does the climb to the chorus, which has a very dark feel to it... And in the chorus she steps in with her low pitched voice to turn this track into one of the best 2 Unlimited singles to date!

Januari 1999: Romy announces that she has quit 2 Unlimited to pursue a solo career!! She was unsatisfied with how things turned out in 2 Unlimited. The record company Byte Records didn't give her the opportunity to explore her full capabilities like songwriting... something they had promised her to give her a chance at. She was limited in her artistical freedom and that was one thing she didn't want.

Romy has already got several offers from recordcompanies who will publish her own songs! The direction she will be heading is the pop/R&B type of music.

So what about 2 Unlimited? Marion will stay and she and Romy still have a lot of contact. Marion already new in December '98 that Romy felt the urge to leave the group. So they didn't part in disagreement, but Romy just wanted to do something else, while Marion still feels that she can contribute a lot to 2 Unlimited. Most probably a new vocalist (male or female) will be attracted to the group. The sudden departure of Romy means that the whole 2 Unlimited concept will see a revision of their marketingstrategy. A 4th single was planned from the "II" album, but now everything seems different. They are already working on a new album and we will just have to wait and see what the future brings.

2000. It looks like the 2 Unlimited project has been put on hold indefinitely. No new singles have been released and word has it that Marion also quit 2 Unlimited because of a disagreement between her and Jean-Paul de Coster. Wasn't this the reason why Anita and Ray quit the band? It's a shame to let an amazing vocalist like Marion van Iwaarden slip away. I hope you know what you are doing JP...

Ray has recently died of a overdose in his home in Holland wrote:

I'm sorry but I Don't believe this is true.. I recently have seen Ray appear in the media and I'm sure it would have been an news item when he did die, so I think you are wrong about this!

Thanks to freda for submitting the biography.