Charley says WHY SO QUIET?

March 2, 2013

Sony Music

 

So what happened here? Well, as mentioned below I am now officially working at Sony Music Belgium!

I would LOVE to get back to blogging, but unfortunately spending about 4 hours a day commuting leaves little time for that at the moment. However, if you still want to follow my pop ramblings you can still do so over on Twitter @charleysayspop!

Also, I’m now rambling about pop professionally over at the Sony Music Belgium social media accounts. Make sure to follow us over at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the likes! As part of the digital team I’m making sure there’s plenty of pop on there!

Finally, if you want you can follow some of Sony Music’s Spotify playlists! I’m personally curating some of ‘em, so subscribe if you want me to weekly keep you up to date with the latest teen pop (Joepie Pop Hits), R&B (RNB Party)…

Thank you for reading Charley says POP! and hopefully till soon, one way or another!

Charley says LIST! Soundtrack To Working From Home

September 24, 2012

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

You may have noticed how I haven’t exactly been keeping you up to date this summer. (At least I left you on a killer track though!) BUT I have a very good reason… I got my first proper real life job! At Sony Music Belgium no less! I’m having the time of my life being able to make a living out of my passion. *sound the cliché claxon* On the downside however, I have next to no time left to blog… (You can thank a total of 3,5 hours of daily commute for that) However, since I notice you guys keep coming back to delve into the Charley says POP! archives, I want to keep this blog around, even if just to post every once in a blue moon.

Like today, when a truckers’ strike shut down the country, allowing me to work from home. Why is this benefitting Charley says POP? Because not only did I get to revisit some great albums in peace while working, I actually have the time to tell you about it, not spending half of my evening stuck in traffic!

So without further ado, here’s… the soundtrack to my day working from home

Artist: Hunter Parrish
Album: Guessing Games (EP)
About: The Weeds’ actor’s debut EP is properly very good. Honestly, even without a music video to ogle Hunter delivers a brand of honest singer/songwriter-y pop/rock that’s both catchy and beautif- … HOLD THE PHONE THERE IS A MUSIC VIDEO AFTER ALL. I WAS NOT AWARE. WHY WAS I NOT AWARE?!

Artist: Frida Amundsen
Album: September Blue
About: I first heard of EMI Norway’s Frida Amundsen when she duetted on EMI Denmark’s Christopher’s album. Who in turn was featured on the most recent release by EMI Sweden’s Molly Sandén. That’s some proper EMI Scandi-crosspromotion for you! Anyway, on “Closer” Frida manages to be endearing rather than the oh-aren’t-I-kooky kind of annoying these singer-songwriters sometimes end up as being. Or if you want to take no risks whatsoever can just check out her Robyn cover “Be Mine“.

Artist: Christopher
Album: Colours
About: With “Against The Odds“, “Nothing In Common” and “Mine, Mine, Mine” Danish guitar strumming popstar Christopher has managed to release a run of singles that are increasingly undeniable music-wise and increasingly adorable video-wise. Or if you want to take no risks whatsoever you can just check out his Robyn cover “Call Your Girlfriend“.

Artist: Kreayshawn
Album: Somethin ‘Bout Kreay
About: This album is way better than it ever had any right to be. Some viral hits are better left at that, but getting the “Gucci Gucci” lady in a studio with the likes of Diplo resulted in what can only be described as a SICK album. (Yes, I’m using the word sick now) Honestly, there’s some delicious production on these tracks , some, er… interesting lyrics (“Bout to burn this fucking house down like I’m Left Eye”) and a musical ride in general that mercilessly stampedes along. And while it’s far from my favourite on the album, I’ve seen “Luv Haus” being described as Ke$ha remixed by Ladytron, so that might tickle your fancy.

 
 

Artist: Various
Album: PBR&B: The Next R&B Generation (Playlist)
About: A couple of days ago I compiled this PBR&B playlist for the Sony Music Belgium Spotify channel, but when I sent it to my co-workers I was met by a giant #no1curr. Woe is me. My evening tweaking the 20 track choices and running order to perfectly showcase how this reincarnation of R&B brilliantly incorporates elements of electronic and ïndie music hasn’t been in vain though, I listened to it twice all the way through today and I can confirm that it is VERY GOOD INDEED.

Charley says VIDEO! Eva Simons – Renegade

June 16, 2012

By now you’re surely familiar with Dutch pop promise Eva Simons (and if you’re not, there’s always this post I made some time ago to bring you up to date!) Since we last saw her, the mohawked singer has teamed up with Will.I.Am, toured with LMFAO and is preparing to join Eric Prydz, Nero and the likes for their Identity Tour.

Even more importantly though, this week we’re one step closer to that long awaited debut album! Eva has unleashed her brand new video “Renegade“, which frankly features some of the worst road safety in pop. Eyes on the road, Eva! Hands on the wheel! No standing on the motorbike!

The song however is top notch. Eva sings “Success is being who you are… and you only… Me, I’m a renegade” over dubstep pop done right. Yes, after taking on the dance scene with the likes of Afrojack and Zedd by her side, Eva is now coming for Katy B’s crown!

“Renegade” by Eva Simons is available soon.

See also: Charley says SONG! Eva Simons – I Don’t Like You

Charley says VIDEO! Hadise – Biz Burdayız

June 16, 2012

New Hadise! The Belgian Idool 2003 hopeful turned Eurovision finalist turned Turkish superstar starts off her next album campaign with “Biz Burdayız“. With this song and video the Charley says POP! favourite seems to have gone more urban than ever before.

I’ve only listened through the song once at this point, so I can’t really offer any major pop insights, but, you know, I’m just happy there’s new Hadise music and that I know about it. I’d completely missed her last Turkish album campaign until the ever amazing Mike over at Pop Trash Addicts posted about it. Always awkward when you’re supposed to be “that Belgian pop guy” and you don’t even know something’s been released…

I don’t want this post to be all “COME BACK TO BELGIUM HADISE”, but then again, yeah, kind of. Look, Hadise is a kind and talented girl, so I wish her all the international success in the world. And, I mean, when presented with the choice of being A-list in the giant Turkish community or fighting an uphill battle in the Belgian pop scene, it’s pretty clear where your priorities would lie. So I’ll be supporting Hadise’s foreign endeavours and if I have to resort to random German eBay importers for a physical copy of her next pop gem then I will. But deep inside I’ll quietly be counting down the days for Hadise’s triumphant return to Belgium, even if just for one more glorious English album, just to show them lessers how it’s done.

I’ll be waiting, Hadise.

“Biz Burdayız” by Hadise is available… in Turkey.

PS: Just because it wouldn’t be a Charley says POP! Hadise post without it, let’s watch that clip of her 2006 TMF Awards performance again, shall we?

Charley says VIDEO! Jill Shaw – Summer Sucks

June 2, 2012

Without a doubt, Jill Shaw is the new artist of summer 2012 for me. “Summer Sucks” is one hell of a debut single and one of the best things to come out of Belgium in a while. Even that single cover is popstar perfect!

Jill’s voice has that bubblegum pop quality to it (God, how I’ve missed that in the charts) but she roughens the total package up with confidence, guitars and attitude. Think a harder pop/rocking M2M if they weren’t such prudes. “Don’t say you love me, you don’t even know me“? Jill wouldn’t even have bothered with your name.

Two years ago a then 15-year-old by the name of Jill Van Vooren entered the Belgian Junior Eurovision selections. As one half of duo Jill & Lauren she deservedly won a ticket to Belarus with “Get Up!“, still the pop-iest Belgian JESC entry to date.

Her partner in crime Lauren De Ruyck has since launched a solo career as Lauren Anny J, is starring in musicals and has been cast in the popular kids’ series Galaxy Park. Now it’s Jill’s time to shine, having signed to Sony Music and working with the team who were behind Eline De Munck’s excellent Ellektra phase.

Summer Sucks” comes with a gorgeous video which was shot in Costa Rica. The track starts with an intro reminiscent of the opening to Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever” and once you rock your way through the undeniably catchy chorus there’s no turning back. This’ll be in your head till fall. If summer’s going to suck, having this song around will no doubt make up for that.


International readers, should the YouTube video not work, you can check out “Summer Sucks” here too.

“Summer Sucks” by Jill Shaw is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Follow Jill on Facebook and Twitter.

Charley says VIDEO! Abs – You Can Try (Produced by Moonflower)

May 19, 2012

Lester & Abdou were the X Factor 2008 contestants who with ‘U Should Be The One‘ and ‘This Song Is Gonna Save My Life‘ went on to have two excellent Future Presidents produced singles. After that Lester went on to rejoin his friend Gavin in DJ duo Moonflower, but didn’t leave his buddy hanging. The three of them joined forces as Moonflower ft. Abs and became the people behind that brilliant dance track ‘Nobody’s Missing You‘ that was all over Belgian dance radio last summer.

The trio is back for summer 2012 with ‘You Can Try‘. The single is credited solely to Abs, but was produced by Moonflower, so you can rest assured that everything you loved about their previous efforts is still present in this next hit!

‘You Can Try’ by Abs, produced by Moonflower, is available on Spotify and iTunes.

Charley says VIDEO! Axeela & Stéphanie Onclin – Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi

May 19, 2012

Axeela, easily the most talked about The Voice contestant on my blog, has teamed up with fellow finalist Stéphanie Onclin for their first release since appearing on the talent show. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for a major pop stomper from Axeela (and a pop/rock anthem from Stéphanie while we’re at it), but for now their take on ‘Lady Marmalade’ serves as the perfect tastemaker for their upcoming concerts with The Voice Live On Tour!

After you get ‘Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi‘ on iTunes or add the track to your Spotify playlists, be sure to also stop by the Hoegaarden Rosée Facebook page for a free download of the song’s special ‘Voulez-Vous Rosée Avec Moi’ edit in collaboration with the raspberry flavoured beer brand!

‘Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi’ by Axeela & Stéphanie Onclin is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Tickets and info for The Voice Live On Tour with Glenn, Silke, Bert, Stéphanie & Axeela are available at Sherpa.be.

See also: Charley says LIST! The Voice Van Vlaanderen: The Aftermath
See also: Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen
See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile At SonicAngel…
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Axeela
See also: Charley says ARTIST! Axeela
See also: Charley says ARTIST! Glenn Claes (Winner Of The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

Charley says VIDEO! Leki – Get Over

May 16, 2012

Last time Leki was getting ready to release an album she still had The Sweet Mints by her side. ‘Love Me Another Day‘, the lead single from their eponymous album, was all smiles and handclaps ahoy. With a shiny, glossy production from King Of Sweden (who’s actually Finnish, if I remember correctly) the project was one of 2009’s most joyful things in music. Why do I mention this? Well, because the theme of her fascinating new single ‘Get Over‘ couldn’t be further away from that.

For years now Leki has been involved in the Nanda charity. She’s set out to finish the hospital her father once started building in their native country of Congo. Whereas her previous Nanda single, ‘Peculiar Places‘, embodied hopefulness, ‘Get Over‘ faces the demons of the dark time she went through after a recent charity trip to Africa. In Leki’s own words: “To find my inner peace I first needed to reignite the spark to that inner fire! One of my personal mantras to get me going, get me out of the mental rut, reignite my spark and stir up my inner fire to melt away my bitterness and connect to heart and soul is “Get Over”…”

It may take a couple of listens to get over the shock of seeing the woman who sang about everybody wanting to be Elvis releasing a track this dark, hard and in your face, but it’s worth sticking around for.

‘Get Over’ by Leki is available on Spotify and iTunes.
More information about Leki’s charity Nanda is available at www.nandavzw.org.

Charley says VIDEO! – Kate Ryan – Robots

May 14, 2012

Kate Ryan is one third of Charley says POP!’s Holy Trinity. Alongside Hadise and Katerine Avgoustakis she is, to me, one of the best popstars Belgium has given the world. So naturally seeing Kate release a brand new music video is a PRETTY BIG DEAL.

And boy, does she deliver! Kate is honestly looking in-cre-di-ble. She’s been mostly pants-less throughout this campaign (just check her last two videos) but for ‘Robots‘ she ups the sexy even more. There’s a very flattering futuristic/space/robot corset! There’s a skintight catsuit! There’s an awesome looking headgear thingy! And I’ll try to contain my not-so-secret inner fanboy before I start complementing hair and make-up as well.

Even more importantly, it’s a bit of a brilliant pop tune, isn’t it? The track has been written by Paul Drew, Greig Watts and Pete Barringer, who have previously been responsible for Kate’s ‘LoveLife‘ and Katerine Avgoustakis’ 2006 Eurosong entry. ‘Robots‘ has Kate sounding more pop than ever before, like how it might sound if Daze were to sample ‘Living On Video‘ by Trans-X in the year 3000.

Bring on that album!

‘Robots’ by Kate Ryan and its Extended Radio Edit, Shutterz Remix, Chris Feelding Remix and William Burstedt Remix is available on SpotifySoundcloud and iTunes.

Charley says VIDEO! Lasgo – Sky High

May 9, 2012

Lasgo lead singer Jelle may have just had a baby, but she’s not letting that get in the way of being one of the most consistently amazing dance acts in Belgium. ‘Sky High‘ is another surefire classic and between this, AnnaGrace’s ‘Ready To Fall In Love‘ and his own ‘Everyday‘ producer Peter Luts seems unstoppable at the moment! Now all we need is for him to capitalise on Charlotte Buyl’s newfound The Voice fame to revive Pearl and we’ve got all our boxes ticked!

Despite its joyful lyrics ‘Sky High‘ seems to have kind of a melancholic touch to it in an “Oh my God, is this really happening?” kind of way. Then again, if you were in a music video where the plotline is to get Meysam from So You Think You Can Dance shirtless as often as possible you wouldn’t be able to believe your luck either. You’ve stopped reading at “Meysam from So You Think You Can Dance shirtless”, didn’t you? Fair enough.

“Sky High” by Lasgo is available on Spotify and iTunes.


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