Archive for April, 2011

Charley says VIDEO! Pearl – Like A Video Game

April 24, 2011

I jumped up out of my seat in excitement when I spotted this!

Nearly a year ago I interviewed dance producer Peter Luts in anticipation of his new talent show Looking For Pearl. A year earlier he’d found a new singer for his best known project, Lasgo, through a similar contest. This time round the goal was to start up something entirely new.

Some well known faces came to audition, Marjolein Lecluyze being one of them. You may remember her as part of the ill-fated group Popz, but she is best known for the music she released in 2006 and 2007. Singles like ‘Luister Naar M’n Hart‘ en ‘Kamer‘ may have been aimed at kids, but with Milk Inc.’s Regi on production duties I can’t deny playing the hell out of these songs.

Another known face was Charlotte Buyl. A couple of years earlier she’d made her first steps in the music business as part of Miss Behave on the Tom Dice season of X Factor. The group lost two members when they were booted out of the competition and after Charlotte decided to quit the band as well, the two remaining members formed Glamm. Free to pursue solo ambitions Charlotte entered Looking For Pearl.

Pearl – Speechless
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzEudd84sg0

The two girls made it to the final, with Charlotte taking the prize in the end.

Together with two dancers who were chosen on the show as well, she was now the face of Pearl.

The video for ‘Speechless‘, their very first single, was released soon after the contest ended. The Peter Luts produced dance track did pretty well in the charts, and deservedly so, as Charlotte delivers on the song’s awesome chorus.

Now, about seven months later, Pearl is finally back for music video number two.

Like A Video Game‘ has Charlotte strutting through Movie Park Germany, with none other than Pacman as love interest. The song may take a couple of listens, but will lodge itself firmly into your head.

And one thing’s for sure, it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to those Peter Luts synths.

See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts

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Charley says SONG! Lana Lewis – Dirty Love

April 19, 2011

‘My Name Is…’ was a 2010 talent show in Belgium and The Netherlands which can best be described as Stars In Their Eyes done through Britain’s Got Talent’s format of audition / semi-final / final.

Amy Winehouse impersonator Merante took home the crown in the adult category, but the breakout star was Lana Lewis.

The then 14-year-old told how she’d been bullied all her life, up to the point of being beaten with iron chains. She’d found comfort in the music, style and personality of Lady Gaga and decided to finally pursue singing herself. Her rendition of ‘Bad Romance’ was enough to convince the judges and Lana went on to win in the children’s category.

You can check out her English subtitled audition and semi-final performance in the YouTube video below.

A year on, Lana is finally ready to step out of Gaga’s shadow and release her very own first single.

Songwriter Wim Claes and singer Gene Thomas penned her ‘Dirty Love‘. The two previously worked together on Gene’s pop group X-Session and his solo material. Wim is also the man behind Kim ‘Kay’s ‘Lilali‘ and Dean’s Idool 2007 winner’s single ‘So Many Ways‘.

The iTunes release is listed as being the ‘Elektrokid Radio Edit’, so I’m assuming the ‘Eye Of The Tiger‘ DJ was on production duties.

This lead to ‘Dirty Love‘ being set over thumping ‘Bad Romance’ inspired club beats, with a chorus reminiscent of Annemie’s brilliant ‘Animal Instinct‘.

Lana’s robot-ified vocals tell how she “feels like dirty love tonight”. With lines as “You heard me boy, pick up the toy, make me lose my mind” and ‘You touch my mmm…” this 15-year-old’s debut would make even Miley blush.

Charley says VIDEO! David Latour, Hi-Mode & Narco – Venus vs. Mars

April 15, 2011

DJ David Latour has teamed up with Hi-Mode, formerly of Les Mecs, and together with Narco they’ve released ‘Venus vs. Mars‘.

This club track sounds like the Belgian equivalent to Swedish House Mafia and is not only starting to make an impact in here, the rest of the world is taking notice as well. The song got signed to Spinnin’ Records in The Netherlands and is gaining momentum in Denmark.

Even Kate Ryan is a fan! She posted the video on her official Facebook page and expressed an interest in working with the trio.

After Laurent Wery’s ‘Hey Hey Hey‘, this is upcoming dance label La Musique Du Beau Monde’s second release to go international.

LMDBM were also the people behind Glamm, the dance/pop duo I told you about a year ago, and Jessy’s Michael Beltran collaboration ‘Can’t Get Enough‘.

Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 1) Ian Thomas

April 12, 2011

America’s got the original one, Australia has Cody Simpson, so it was only a matter of time before even more Justin Bieber clones popped up on the music scene.

Spread across two posts I’ll be introducing you to the Benelux Biebers.

Different nationality, same formula: swishy hair, catchy pop and teenage girls stanning.

Ian Thomas is taking on duties for Belgium.

Launching himself through a viral video, this 14-year-old is sticking closely to the Justin Bieber playbook. The YouTube hit was shot by his stepdad, soap actor and singer Chris Van Tongelen, who secretly filmed Ian singing.

To solidify his place in pop as the Flemish Justin Bieber, his label had Ian release a translated version of Justin’s ‘Baby’. The song got him to a 15th place in the charts, just three spots down from where the original stranded.

However, being one of the most talked about new artists in Belgium has its downside too. After death threats on Facebook Ian had to have a police escort to school for his final exam.

Now, the question remains… Is Ian any good?

Well, is he the best singer ever? No. Is he the best dancer ever? No. Was that ‘Baby’ cover really necessary? Not quite.

But am I excited to hear more? Yes, I am.

The Belgian music scene could do with another male popstar. Yes, we have the likes of Nelson and Brahim, but who’s going to give us our own ‘All Day‘, ‘iYiYi‘ or ‘One Less Lonely Girl‘?

I’m hoping Ian Thomas will.

PS: I’m pretty sure the video below will make some of you never want to check out an Ian Thomas song ever again, so I thought it was worth mentioning that this one was produced by AJ Duncan.

I’m assuming he’ll be on board for the entire project, so considering his past credentials as half of Duncan & Wilde, producing Kate Ryan and Zirkus Zirkus‘ first albums among other things, you may want to not write Ian off just yet.

Update 22.03.2012:

Since writing this post Ian Thomas has released two more singles. The excellent second single “Autograph” was released both in Dutch and in English.

Originally “Kiss Kiss” (which you may know in the version of Kim Hyun) was planned as a third single, but when Ian broke his wrist during the video shoot, “You Got Me Down” (whose video had already been shot) was released instead.

All singles are available on his debut album “More Than A Game” of which an expanded Limited Edition has been released. It includes four extra songs, one of which is Ian’s take on “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.

“More Than A Game” by Ian Thomas is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 2) Ralf Mackenbach

Charley says VIDEO! A Butterfly Mind – Lonely Heart On Wheels

April 7, 2011

Cappaert sisters Annelies and Sarah first came to Belgium’s attention in Idool 2004, went on to be runners-up in X Factor 2005 as a duo and changed their name to A Butterfly Mind for their first album campaign a couple of years later.

This is their Eurosong 2008 entry ‘Lonely Heart On Wheels‘.

Just because.

Charley says SONG! Tina Bride – Perfect Love

April 5, 2011

So last week a friend of mine was preparing a photoshoot and found himself in need of a chihuahua.

Eventually a lady by the name of Kim Poelmans gladly agreed to have her dog model for the day. Little did my friend know that in the early 00’s Kim was better known by her stage name Tina Bride!

Ever since we heard about Tina’s newfound dog manager status, my friends and I have had her 2001 hit ‘Perfect Love‘ lodged firmly into our heads.

In the days when every country was launching its own Britney, Tina Bride was one of the Belgian efforts with aforementioned song as her most successful single. The bandana wearing singer ended up releasing one album, ‘The Bride Side Of Life’.

These days Tina’s back to being Kim. She’s happily married to her wife Barbara and last we heard she’s now a dance teacher with her own photo studio.

See also: Charley says SONG! Winsome – Chilly Cool