Archive for May, 2010

Charley says VIDEO! Zornik – Scared Of Yourself (Peter Luts Remix)

May 31, 2010

Above is the video to the Peter Luts Remix of ‘Scared Of Yourself’ by Belgian rockers Zornik. It isn’t lead singer Koen Buyse’s only foray into dance music. He also co-wrote a bunch of tracks on Regi from Milk Inc.’s ‘Registrated‘ album and featured on a single from the same project. As far as ‘Scared Of Yourself’ goes, I do recommend also checking out the original version. The remix, amazing as it sounds, doesn’t do justice to the great video which features Koen in drag.

Peter Luts is the producer behind Lasgo and AnnaGrace. You may remember me posting about his solo single ‘The Rain‘ some time ago.

I’m writing about this because I’ve got something exciting coming up tomorrow and it has, in a way, a connection to this. Well, that and because it’s a very good song and a very good remix.

Be sure to check Charley says POP! again tomorrow!

See also: Charley says TV! Looking For Pearl
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Peter Luts ft. Lien Vervoort – The Rain

Charley says POP! My First Press Releases

May 31, 2010

A little over a month ago I received my very first press release.

While Charley says POP! specialises in Belgian pop, I love finding out about artists from all over the world. Especially if they’re as nice as gorgeous new popstar Marla, but I’ll get back to that later on.

The person sending me this press release was super friendly and what I loved most about it all was the personal approach. The e-mail she sent me wasn’t just a copy/paste job, she started it by telling:

“First of all, I had forgotten all about Milky’s ‘Just the Way You Are’ but I just listened to it and it has transported me right back to the summer when I was 19.  Happy times!  It was a complete blast from the past and very glad to have heard it on your blog!”

So not only did she bother checking out what my blog is about, she browsed further than simply what was the latest post at the time!

In any case, the music would have done the talking regardless. You may remember Marla from the Hollyoaks Music Show. Her debut single ‘Lipstick For The Vampires‘ is out now and while comparisons to a slightly darker Lily Allen would be lazy, it gives you an idea of what Marla is about. Her music is undeniably British, but has that certain groove that would have it being played on an episode of ‘The Hills’. In fact, songs like ’40 Winks’ and ‘Home’, have been featured in the likes of ‘Labor Pains’ and ‘Off The Hook’. Another track to listen out for is ‘One’, which was recently added to Marla’s MySpace profile.

‘Lipstick For The Vampires’ comes with a Ladybugz remix, which I was curious to hear. When there was some sort of delay when it came to that I got to hear the brilliant Prince Vince remix instead. Fresh from remixing Sia’s ‘Clap Your Hands‘, Prince Vince took all the best bits from the song and turned Marla from a sultry Lily Allen into a female Frankmusik. I’ve basically had it on repeat for ages. Brilliant.

Another thing I love about the press releases I’ve been getting over the last few weeks is that it gets me listening to music that I otherwise may not have checked out.

For example, I got sent a copy of ‘We Are…‘ by Cha-Cha. I have to admit it, at first sight I didn’t think I’d enjoy it very much. However, when I gave it a spin I turned out to really like lead single ‘Phonographic Love‘. Which, by the way, has a really cool looking video. Another favourite of the album is ‘Second Chances’. It has lead singer Blain McGuigan singing a song that reminds me of the verses of Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me‘, ending with a guitar bit reminiscent of Luv’s ‘Trojan Horse‘. Which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

So if you’re a popstar, signed or unsigned, if you’re a manager, if you’re a PR company… Whoever you may be, if you’ve got pop you think I’d like, send me an e-mail at charleysayspop[a]hotmail.com!

However, I don’t want to turn this blog into a copy/paste press release kind of affair, so while I can’t promise that I will definitely feature everything I get sent, I can promise that I’ll listen to it all!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Charley says WEEK! 2010.21

May 30, 2010

Idool 2004 finalist Born Crain had some major label hits with ‘Don’t Ever Go‘ and ‘Walking In The Sun‘. Even Japan had a soft spot for the red haired Belgian with the glasses. Earlier this year uplifting pop/rock anthem ‘Tell The World‘ marked his comeback as an independent artist. Born co-wrote the song with Mark Frisch and Anthony Galatis, the people responsible for Katerine’s ‘Here Come All The Boys‘. (By now you’ve probably figured out that I may just as well retitle this blog ‘Six Degrees Of Katerine Avgoustakis’)

Charley says VIDEO! Wouter Hamel ft. Giovanca & Dox’ Family – As Long As We’re In Love
[http://tinyurl.com/3yyrc7l]

Charley says ARTIST! Yasmina Karraz aka Yazzmin
[http://tinyurl.com/38db6a5]

Charley says SONG! The Tamperer ft. Maya – I Love Being A Girl
[http://tinyurl.com/2v683ca]

Charley says LIST! If You’re Only Just Joining Us
[http://tinyurl.com/358z9zb]

Charley says ARTIST! Katy Satyn
[http://tinyurl.com/32p3hpd]

Charley says SONG! Dean – Someday
[http://tinyurl.com/39wy6mf]

Charley says SONG! Nicole & Hugo – Baby Baby
[http://tinyurl.com/2w8qh7s]

Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops
[http://tinyurl.com/38dhzuv]

Charley says ARTIST! Louis Talpe
[http://tinyurl.com/3xwv5b6]

Charley says SONG! Femme Fatale – Décadence
[http://tinyurl.com/32gtoyd]

Charley says EUROVISON! The Year Flanders Saved Itself
[http://tinyurl.com/3453e6l]

Charley says EUROVISION! Oslo 2010 In A Tweet (Parts 1-8)
[http://tinyurl.com/34vuykf]

Charley says EUROVISON! The Year Flanders Saved Itself

May 30, 2010

Well, we did it!

Tom Dice came sixth in the final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest.

He may have lost out to Lena’s ‘Satellite‘ and he may have slipped down a couple of places after being in the top three throughout most of the voting, but Tom proved that Belgium can be a contender for Eurovision victory.

More specifically, Tom proved that a Flemish entry can do well.

Credit where it’s due, even though their output since ‘Sanomi‘ has been disappointing, it’s our friends from Wallonia who have given us Urban Trad, Melanie Cohl and even a win with Sandra Kim.

Next year may not be our turn to select an entry, but I’m already curious to see who will follow up Tom for Flanders in 2012.

Maybe Ellektra? Her ‘Do You Really Wanna Be With Me‘ would have made for a great entry, wouldn’t it? Maybe someone like Nelson, who competed in Eurosong 2008, but has since settled for a great pop/dance sound? Maybe an artist we don’t even know yet, like someone who might come out of Idool 2010 later this year?

I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.

Oh and you may have noticed that the song above is not ‘Me And My Guitar‘, but let’s not forget that just a couple of months ago Laura sang Belgium to a fourth place at Junior Eurovision! If you’re not familiar with ‘Zo Verliefd (Yodelo)‘ yet, you can hear her bubblegum pop yodel anthem above.

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Tom Dice
See also: Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops

Charley says SONG! Femme Fatale – Décadence

May 29, 2010

While I definitely have some favourites in tonight’s Eurovision final, there seems to be a lack of proper pop beats among the finalists.

Therefor, let’s have a look back on what could have been a Belgian entry. Big Brother superstar Betty Owczarek had previously sung under her own name and as Biba Binoche, but for Eurosong 2008 she reinvented herself as Femme Fatale.

Dark and dirty pop anthem ‘Décadence‘ was written especially for Betty by Gerard James Borg and Mik Tanczos. Having been responsible for ‘7th Wonder‘, ‘On Again… Off Again‘, ‘Desire‘, ‘Vertigo‘ and ‘Vodka‘, Gerard James Borg is practically Maltese Eurovision royalty.

A final point of interest is that you may recognise one of the shirtless dancers on dog leashes (I bet you’re going to watch that clip now, aren’t you?) as the dancer in Katerine Avgoustakis’ ‘Treat Me Like A Lady‘ video!

Charley says ARTIST! Louis Talpe

May 29, 2010

Nicole Scherzinger may reign supreme on the American dancefloor, but here in Flanders it’s actor Louis Talpe who got to take the Dancing With The Stars trophy home.

We first met Louis in 2006 as police officer Toby on tv series Mega Mindy. The show is a bit like a reverse gender Superman. Police officer Mieke turns into superhero Mega Mindy and Toby doesn’t realise that the hero he’s falling for is actually his colleague in disguise. The series proved to be a big hit with the kids and soon there were movies, stage shows, merchandise and albums sung by lead actress Free Souffriau.

With Louis’ star on the rise, he managed to secure a role in restaurant drama ‘Goesting’ and a place as one of the finalists on Dancing With The Stars 2010.

Now what I wanted to tell you about today is that a year before his freestyle would win him the dancing show, Louis had already competed in another celebrity reality show. With Free Souffriau being Soapstar Superstar’s 2008 winner and officer Toby having already featured on one Mega Mindy song, Louis was asked to show off his singing skills.

Louis turned out not to be the greatest singer, but he managed to stay in the competition for three weeks. We got to hear him sing ‘Jessie‘, ‘Save Tonight‘, ‘New York, New York‘, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love‘ and  ‘She Moves In Her Own Way‘, but it’s his performance of Liquido’s ‘Narcotic‘ that I’m going to put up in celebration of his Dancing With The Stars victory!

Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops

May 28, 2010

I’d promised you a review of the Tom Dice album and what better day to do it than the one on which he will be singing in the big Eurovision final after becoming the first Belgian ever to make it out of the semi final?

This post will focus on the album ‘Teardrops‘, but if you want read about Tom’s career pre-Eurovision there’s always this one I wrote some time ago.

In short, the Tom Dice album is very good. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good. I usually listen to a selection of the tracks as posted below. The other songs aren’t bad, but I mostly feel they either don’t fit (‘A Soldier For His Country‘) or just add too little to the album (the Isbells sounding intro ‘Start Without The Ending‘).

1. Me And My Guitar
2. Lucy
3. Too Late
4. Murderer
5. Why?
6. Always And Forever
7. Broken
8. Bleeding Love (Bonus Track)

There’s little need to introduce ‘Me And My Guitar‘. When Tom was announced to be Belgium’s 2010 Eurovision contestant reactions varied between “Who?” and “Why?”. Suffice to say that expectations weren’t exactly sky high when he premiered his entry. However, with the simple tale of a boy and his guitar he managed to convince Flanders and the song ended up topping the charts. ‘Me And My Guitar’ was co-written by Tom, Ashley Hicklin and producer Jeroen Swinnen. Jeroen previously had a hand in songs like Ellektra’s ‘I Hate It But I Love It‘ and Born Crain’s ‘Tell The World‘.

Lucy‘ is set to be the follow-up single from ‘Teardrops’. The summery track was co-written by Tom Helsen, a singer/songwriter we mentioned earlier when he released a track with Belgium’s 1993 Eurovision entrant Barbara Dex. With a chorus that has Tom pleading “Lucy, I love you, why don’t you love me?” the song sounds like a male version of Colbie Caillat’s ‘Realize‘.

People who followed Tom on X Factor may recognise ‘Too Late‘. Tom performed the selfwritten track in the final episode of the show. It may not have won him a record deal at the time, but I’m glad it’s included on the album. The song was given a makeover by Erhan Kurkun, who produced nearly the entire album. The new version sounds a lot ‘fuller’ than its acoustic original. A definite favourite with a chorus so catchy that we can even forgive the wonky lyric “I still love you, even if you slap me every day”.

Murderer‘, ‘Why?‘ and ‘Broken‘ continue the theme of great pop/rock tracks with catchy bits, bits where the music drops out on Tom’s vocals only to come back full force and bits where Tom asks “I’ve been searching for a girl like you, why did you leave?”.

My favourite song on ‘Teardrops’ however is ‘Always And Forever‘. It basically makes Tom sound like the most romantic boyfriend ever. He may be always on the road, but finally Tom gets to announce “I am on my way to visit you tonight, but the detail you don’t know is that I’m staying for a while”. And how does Tom tell you? “Now what’s your favourite movie, cause I’ll be coming home soon…” However, tragedy strikes before Tom and your DVD of choice ever get to arrive. The song builds to its finale with Tom defeatedly asking “But I wanted to stay?” Oh, Tom…

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Tom Dice

Charley says SONG! Nicole & Hugo – Baby Baby

May 27, 2010

If you have just been watching the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest you may have spotted this immortal duo in the red lantern montage.

Nicole & Hugo were originally supposed to represent Belgium back in 1971 with ‘Goeimorgen, Morgen‘. Unfortunately Nicole became ill right before the contest and the couple had to be replaced with Jacques Raymond and Lily Castel.

Determined to get there, they tried again in 1973. ‘Baby Baby‘ was the song that got them to Luxembourg. Despite their flashy outfits and dance moves, which could be described as revolutionary for the Eurovision Song Contests at the time, they failed to get Europe behind them.

Not hindered by their last place, the real life couple became pop icons in Belgium.

Almost 30 years on, Nicole & Hugo are still married, still performing and aren’t thinking of quitting any time soon.

And the purple outfits? They still fit!

Charley says SONG! Dean – Someday

May 27, 2010

Former Idool 2007 and Dancing On Ice winner Dean Delannoit is back with ‘Someday‘, a brand new single just in time to cash in on his presenting gig on Disney Channel.

Dean was never the strongest singer, especially compared to some of the competition he managed to beat, and his first album full of covers wasn’t particularly convincing. His second album ‘Desire’ however was an entirely different story with some proper pop/rock on it. He can even claim a Max Martin writing credit, be it in the form of a Tobias Regner cover.

I’m excited that we might get a third album, even if just for the fact that it may contain a couple of tracks as good as some of the singles on ‘Desire’, the specifics of which I’ll get into another time.

You can hear a sample of ‘Someday’ on Dean’s official website and iTunes, because apparently his people think 30 seconds is all it’s going to take to get people to buy it. I’ll let you decide for yourself if that’s the case.

Charley says ARTIST! Katy Satyn

May 26, 2010

Katy Satyn must be one of the most underrated singers to come out of a reality show in Flanders.

In 2005 Katy participated in Star Academy. Having already gotten to the final of Stars In Their Eyes in 1998 with ‘I Know Him So Well’, she’d been one of the main contenders all along. She was the first to get to sing a solo and was chosen to duet with Bonnie Tyler. Unfortunately Katy never got to perform Lara Fabian’s ‘Je T’Aime‘, which you can see her rehearsing above, in the closing part of the final as she finished third behind Katerine Avgoustakis and Afi Oubaibra.

Three years later we finally got some music out of Katy. She won the first heat of Eurosong 2008 with ‘Magical Sensation‘, think Slovakia 2010 with a beat behind it. The song was written by former Melodifestivalen contestants Sarek, who would later release the song themselves as ‘Magiska Sekunder‘. Sadly, Katy stranded in the semi-finals and her entry failed to chart. Once again, the dream was over before it had properly begun.

These days Katy is still working as a nurse. Last year this ironically gave her the most media attention she’d gotten in ages as she was one of the main characters on hospital reality show ‘De Verpleeg-sterren‘.

As far as music is concerned, she is now performing with coverband Het Swingschaap. She has also become a regular at Het Witte Paard, a revue which runs at the Belgian coast every summer.

It’s not the success story she, and us along with her, may have hoped for, but at least she’s still singing.