Ralph Smit grew up in Swaziland to an expat family and with an interest in indigenous instruments that he taught himself to play. After schooling, he was introduced to a then Swazi-based French designer, musician and producer and an English jazz guitarist who introduced him to the concept of jamming or improvisation, jazz, experimental and traditional African music. He also received his first trumpet and a handful of lessons. He eventually picked up the bass guitar and kalimba, a modernized African thumb piano, and the Ableton Live, a production/performance program. His music brings together three elements – African music, free jazz and electronic music.