Archive for the ‘Charley says ARTIST!’ Category

Charley says ARTIST! Dum Dum Club

March 25, 2012

Dum Dum Club is a side project of David Vervoort.

You probably know him best as co-producer and songwriter of Lasgo’s first two albums. In recent years he’s ventured into writing and producing for all kinds of genres, from pop (Fourlicious‘ new tracks) to schlager (most notably the epic “Dos Cervezas” by Tom Waes). David has also had chart success of his very own, with “B*tch” being his biggest hit to date under the moniker Dave McCullen. With the line “I just like to call you my bitch” as the song’s catchy hook and a brilliant video of old people raving to his dance beats, the track got to number 6 back in 2004.

In 2009 David created the first Dum Dum Club release. “I’m Sorry” was a cheerful little pop tune that sees a lover apologising for what he’s done wrong in the hope of getting back together. As he did with the odd Lasgo album track David provided the vocals himself. In the video however he’s nowhere to be seen, with a group of his friends taking to the stage instead. Among them you may recognise former Lasgo singer Evi Goffin, Edmée and Flor from DHT ft. Edmée and Temptation Island contestant turned singer Reshum Van Til!

Dum Dum Club – Don’t Go
http://open.spotify.com/album/4Furqp4UipUZqpAy4kqdBf

I have to admit that Dum Dum Club’s second single kind of passed me by when it was first released. “Don’t Go” came out in 2010 and sadly all traces of it seem to have vanished from YouTube since. It is however available on Spotify, where you can hear David’s sad tale of lost love set to summer-y reggae-light beats. Think crying into your cocktail at a beach party.

Now Casino Total, David’s imprint on the Solid Music label, brings us a new classic for 2012. “Oh Boy” marks a change in musical direction, although it does continue Dum Dum Club’s run of setting non-happy lyrics to cheery backing tracks. This time an as of yet unidentified lady tells her lover for the night to take a hike. “Cause boy, it was fun just for a while, you even made me smile and now I realise and see that you’re no good for me”. I’ll tell you what though, there couldn’t be a more swinging way to get shown the door than by hearing this tune! It’s “We No Speak Americano” without the dance bits. It’s Caro Emerald or Lady Linn if they were into cheeky one night stands. It’s awesome.

“Oh Boy” by Dum Dum Club is available on Spotify and iTunes.
“Don’t Go” by Dum Dum Club is available on Spotify and iTunes.
“I’m Sorry” by Dum Dum Club is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says ARTIST! David Vervoort (Formerly Of Lasgo)

Charley says ARTIST! Glenn Claes (Winner Of The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

March 21, 2012

Meet Glenn Claes, the very first winner of The Voice Van Vlaanderen.

Flanders fell in love with the singing plumber from the moment he poked his head out of his camper’s door. Worried about being late to his audition, he’d decided to drive to the studio the day before, parked his camper van on the parking lot and spent the night there.

For his much hyped audition he sang “I Shot The Sheriff”. Before he’d even properly sung the first two lines all four chairs had turned. Under the guidance of his coach, Arid lead singer Jasper Steverlinck, Glenn sailed through the battles and secured his spot as one of the red hot favourites for the live shows.

Glenn Claes – The Sound Of Silence
http://vtm.be/the-voice-van-vlaanderen/artikel/emotionele-glenn-met-sound-of-silence

In those live shows Glenn impressed even more with renditions of “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man“, “Have A Nice Day“, “Big Jet Plane“, “Message In A Bottle” and “Naive“.

However, it was his take on Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence” that really captured the nation and even shot to number 2 in the official charts. An emotional Glenn wore a Pukkelpop t-shirt for his heartfelt performance. He dedicated the song to the victims of the 2011 festival drama, one of which was his friend.

In the final Glenn beat runner-up Silke to the title with 52% of the votes. His winner’s single “Knight In Shining Armour” was written by coach Jasper Steverlinck, because they didn’t like the proposed song he was handed. Not a bad move, considering the lovely acoustic-y song got him straight into the Flemish top 5. With a physical single now in stores as well, that number 1 seems within reaching distance!

“Knight In Shining Armour” by Glenn Claes is available in stores and online at Spotify and iTunes.
Studio versions of “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”, “Naive” and “The Sound Of Silence” by Glenn Claes are available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! The Voice Van Vlaanderen: The Aftermath

Charley says ARTIST! Iris aka Airis aka Laura Van den Bruel

March 18, 2012

So who is this Iris that’ll be representing Belgium at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan?

Longtime readers of Charley says POP! may remember her from this post, but for those of you just joining, let me introduce you.

Iris was born in 1995 as Laura Van den Bruel and has been into music since she was a kid. As about half of Belgium’s talented youngsters she auditioned for Junior Eurovision at one point, but narrowly missed out on a place among the finalists.

But she needn’t worry, her big break would come just a few years later. A then 15 year old Laura submitted a YouTube rendition of Céline Dion’s “I’m Alive” to Joepie’s Talentbooth. This online competition was a joint effort by Belgium’s leading teen magazine Joepie and record label Sonic Angel. Laura’s impressive vocals earned her a spot among the five finalists and she went on to win the entire competition.

With a Sonic Angel record deal secured, it was time to decide how she would go about releasing her very first single. With the Flemish music scene saturated with Lauras (Laura Lynn, Laura Omloop, Laura Ramaekers…) she decided to go by the name of Airis. That’s Iris pronounced in English, with an extra A to make it all more Google-friendly.

For her debut Airis teamed up with Piet Vastenavondt, Wouter Vander Veken and Guus Fluit. The first being the lead singer of Owen and the latter two being the musical masterminds behind Bandits and Ellektra‘s musical output. The result was “Wonderful“, a country-light feel good song, that got her playlisted on radio and into the Flemish top 30.

Then late last year came the news that would make her a household name in Belgium. Iris, now without the extra A, was internally selected by Flemish public broadcaster één to represent Belgium at Eurovision, beating the likes of crooner Yannick Bovy to the spot.

An appeal was launched to submit songs for Iris to sing in Baku. No less than 270 tracks were submitted and after much deliberation just two remained.

Safety Net” was written by Boots Ottestad, Aimée Proal and Barrett Yeretsian, who among them have writing credentials for the likes of Robbie Williams and Kelly Clarkson.

However, in last night’s national final Belgium chose to send “Would You“, written by Jean Bosco Safari, Walter Mannaerts and 18 year old Nina Sampermans. Jean is a renowned Belgian singer/songwriter, Walter was the driving force behind Bab‘s excellent and majorly underrated debut album and Nina is working on a debut album of her own.

So with her entry chosen and a ticket to Azerbaijan in her pocket, what is next for Iris?

Eurosong.be have managed to find out that a full album will be released on April 27th. The album will include “Wonderful“, her two Eurovision songs and brand new tracks of which five have been chosen from Iris’s Eurovision entries that didn’t make the cut.

With Iris citing Carrie Underwood as her biggest idol in a recent interview, I’m excited to hear an entire album of Iris’s country-light pop!

“Would You” by Iris is available on iTunes.
“Wonderful” by Iris is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Iris’s debut album will be available as of Friday April 27th, you can still buy a FanShare and help fund this album.

See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile At SonicAngel…

Charley says ARTIST! Kate Ryan’s Mystery Guest Vocal

July 23, 2011

Kate Ryan celebrated her birthday by treating her fans to an exclusive snippet of a brand new track.

Despite the more pop oriented direction of Kate’s upcoming ‘Electroshock’ album, ‘Broken‘ takes the Belgian diva back to her full-on dance roots. Joining her on the track is a mystery male whose identity is the source of much speculation.

Charley says POP!’s official guess? Narco!

The name might not sound familiar, but a couple of months ago I introduced you to ‘Venus vs. Mars‘. Narco provides vocals on this David Latour and Hi-Mode produced track from upcoming dance label La Musique Du Beau Monde. The single shot to number 16 in the charts, getting the attention of many international labels and… a certain singer by the name of Kate Ryan.

Yes, when ‘Venus vs. Mars‘ first started making waves Kate posted the video on her Facebook account, expressing an interest in working with the musical trio. Did they take her up on her offer? It would certainly explain Kate’s return to dance and that vocal does sound rather similar, no?

Update: As Kate Ryan herself said in the comments, my research turned out to be spot on! Narco of ‘Venus vs. Mars‘ fame is featuring on Kate Ryan’s new single ‘Broken‘!

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

Charley says ARTIST! Stefanie Callebaut of SX

May 24, 2011

I finally get it.

At first I let lead singer Stefanie Callebaut’s odd vocal delivery put me off SX’s ‘Black Video‘, but then one day it just hit me.

The full atmosphere of the song just kind of took over and I now see that this song is one of the most intriguing musical journeys in Belgian music at the moment.

You may be wondering how a band like SX ends up on a pure pop loving blog as this one. Well, you know I’m a sucker for talent show contestants soldiering on and – I’m not sure if she minds you knowing this, but – Stefanie is exactly that.

Way back in 2005, in a time long before being geek chique and making trippy videos, she was one of the finalists on Flanders’ only season of Star Academy. She may have been one of the first to be booted out, but she was there for the group cover of ‘Fame’, the tie-in album and the ‘Sex Medley‘ performance. (‘Bad Girls’, ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ and ‘Sex Machine’, if you were wondering)

About a year later Princesss emerged, Stefanie’s pop/rock alter ego. Despite Zornik’s Koen Buyse having a hand in ‘Get Up‘, nothing much seemed to be happening with this project. More music was in the works and even posted to MySpace, but Princesss ended up slipping into oblivion.

It wouldn’t be until 2009 when things would finally fall into place for Stefanie. Since joining SX things started speeding up. ‘Mister Lion‘ won the indie electro band TMF’s Road 2 Fame contest and got them their first round of mainstream attention. Now, two years of gigs and contest later, ‘Black Video‘ is the band’s first proper hit.

I guess what I like best about this whole story is how being on a talent show doesn’t mean you’re pigeonholed for life.

Sometimes it really is about who it gets you to meet, finding your style and then giving it all you’ve got.

Charley says ARTIST! Da Boy Tommy

October 31, 2010

What better day to tell you guys about Da Boy Tommy than October 31st?

But first, true story: Tommy Debie, as he is known offstage, was the first artist I ever interviewed! When I was in sixth grade I used to run a class newspaper. It was only a couple of pages long and I would write one every couple of months on my computer at home. (Yes, I was that geek)

In between scandalous cover stories (“Did Britney get a boobjob for the ‘Sometimes’ video?”) and music recommendations (This new singer by the name of Jennifer Lopez who seemed like she’d be around for a while) I managed to score an interview with that year’s number one Belgian artist!

12 year old me had gathered all his courage and sent in some questions to the contact info on the back of one of Da Boy Tommy’s singles. And got a reply! My first exclusive interview! It was all very very exciting.

So why am I telling you all this on October 31st? Well, because I wanted to make sure that if you guys were hosting Halloween parties tonight, that at least you have the ultimate Halloween songs set on your playlist!

Da Boy Tommy – Kol Nedra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lHwyno_cn

In 1999 Da Boy Tommy released ‘Halloween‘. Just like its follow-up ‘Candyman‘ it would become huge and grab the number one spot in the Flemish charts.

What makes these songs equal parts creepy and amazing is their references to all your favourite slasher films! ‘Halloween‘ samples the theme of the Michael Myers movies, while ‘Candyman‘ uses the melody of ‘Tubular Bells‘, best known as the opening theme from ‘The Exorcist’.

And if that’s not enough ‘Halloween‘ also has Ann Duerinckx reciting dialogue from ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’. ‘Candyman‘ on the other hand has, as you’ve probably suspected by now, people making the fatal error of calling up the Candyman by repeating his name into a mirror. Finally, a “Theeeey’re heeeeeeere” from ‘Poltergeist’ is thrown in for good measure.

Mix all this into some of the, if not the very first mainstream jumpstyle tracks (long before its Dutch revival in the late 00’s) and you’ve got some classic songs that to this day can make a dancefloor go crazy.

Da Boy Tommy went on to release one album, ‘I Love School‘, and a string of singles that included ‘Kol Nedra‘, ‘Full Moon‘ and the ‘The Sixth Sense’ inspired ‘Dead People‘.

Tommy was also involved in Da Rick and Drive By Shooters, all the while aided by Flor Theeuwes who you may know from DHT ft. Edmée.

PS: While we’re talking about scary movies, let me take this opportunity to link you to Vegan Voorhees. An excellent blog about slasher movies, both for people too chicken to watch them themselves (like yours truly) and people looking for well written, fun and honest reviews of the genre’s obvious classics and hidden gems.



Charley says ARTIST! Nathalie Gabay

October 24, 2010

Let me introduce you to Nathalie Gabay, a Belgian singer who had a run of singles in the 80’s. She simply went by the name of Nathalie, because who knew your stage name would be super Google-unfriendly almost 30 years later?

A couple of weeks before writing this post I was flicking through tv channels and stumbled upon the cheesiest duet you can imagine. I didn’t catch who it was by and had forgotten most of the lyrics by the time I got to a computer.

Then today I found myself browsing through Belgian 90′s singles online. One of those was by a young singer going by the name of Cath. This was Kathleen Aerts’s moniker under which she released a solo single before making it big with her group K3 and their iconic hit ‘Heyah Mama‘.

Now this is where Nathalie comes in. Kathleen’s 1998 release was a cover of ‘My Love Won’t Let You Down‘, which was a hit for Nathalie Gabay in 1983!

It got Nathalie into the Flemish top 10, the Dutch top 20 and from the introduction to this tv performance I would assume that internationally it was a hit in at least Italy as well. A French version, ‘Mon Cœur Qui Craque‘, did the job for the French and Walloon markets.

Plastic Bertrand & Nathalie – L’Amour OK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npohA3FpwxU

Now how did it all start for Nathalie? Well, with our aforementioned mystery duet, which I’ve now learned is called ‘L’Amour OK’!

Nathalie was joined on this 1982 hit by Plastic Bertrand, best known for his wildly successful ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi‘.

The amazingly inane lyircs of ‘L’Amour OK‘ include gems as:

Plastic Bertrand: Tu te sens comment? (How do you feel?)
Nathalie: OK.

and

Plastic Bertrand & Nathalie: L’amour c’est super quand on se dit “Je t’aime” (Love is super when you say “I love you”)

Besides these two pop nuggets Nathalie also released ‘Heaven On Earth‘ (1984), ‘Don’t Look’ (1985), ‘Femme Fatale’ (1989) and ‘The Beat Goes On’, a 1983 Sonny & Cher cover.

As far as I can tell an album sadly never materialised and finding one of her songs on CD seems to be next to impossible. Shame.

Charley says ARTIST! Simon Sinnaeve

October 1, 2010

Because every self respecting tv channel needs its own talent show, TMF launched Wanna Sing? in 2007.

The Flemish music channel used the same concept as it did for Rate The Video and Rate The VJ. While each contestant does their bit, viewers get to text in their comments and a score from 0 to 10. The person with the highest average score gets to progress.

The show attracted some familiar faces like Popstars and Eurosong 2008 contestant Kenza. Also taking part was Miss Belgian Beauty finalist Tamara Opdebeeck, who was already recording as Noa Neal and went on the be the runner-up in ‘K2 Zoekt K3’ in 2009.

However, there can only be one winner and for Wanna Sing? that was Simon Sinnaeve.

The West-Flemish boy won a performance at the TMF Awards and got to release ‘Your Eyes‘.


Simon Sinnaeve, popstar and Belgium’s first national beerpong champion.

While the song isn’t particularly spectacular, I do love this pop/rock-ish tune. It’s refreshing to have a winner’s single that sounds current enough, fits the singer well and has a lovely looking video. Three points not many Belgian talent show debuts manage to tick off!

Wanna Sing? being on a small channel may not have stopped the product from being a bit amazing, but it did mean few people got to know about Simon’s music career. ‘Your Eyes‘ unfortunately never made it out of the Bubbling Under chart.

With no plans for a second single at Universal, Simon took to MySpace profiles and various YouTube accounts to have his voice be heard. An overview of his many projects can be found here on what I’m assuming is his personal MySpace.

Earlier this year he uploaded a video onto the SonicAngel and Joepie Talent Booth site. A girl by the name of Laura van den Bruel beat him to the top spot of the competition, but does this video shot at the SonicAngel studios indicate that Tom Dice’s label has a spot ready for Simon?

We may still be waiting for news on his music, but Simon was in the papers just a couple of days ago! What for? He hosted and won the very first Belgian beerpong championship.

That was a bit random.

Charley says ARTIST! Lords Of Acid

September 17, 2010

A month ago I was watching the ‘Sucker Punch‘ trailer and noticed a familiar song being used.

Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Browning were kicking ass to the 1994 Lords Of Acid single ‘The Crablouse‘!

I never got round to mentioning this on Charley says POP!, but I was just watching ‘De Vrijdagshow’, an entertainment news program, and apparently this is still considered ‘news’, so here I am posting about it anyway.

Lords Of Acid is a music project by Maurice Engelen. Maurice is also the man behind Praga Khan and late 90’s / early 00’s record label Antler Subway. Most recently he was an X Factor judge, co-founded the new label Sonic Angel and mentored Eurovision 2010 revelation Tom Dice.

In 1988 Lords Of Acid had their first hit with ‘I Sit On Acid‘, which would be ripped off years later on The Chemical Brother’s ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl‘. They went on to release four studio albums and were touring the States as recently as this year.

What with being born the year they broke through, I only got to known about this band around the time former ‘Wheel Of Fortune’-girl Deborah Ostrega was their lead singer.

In 2003 they released ‘Private Parts‘, an album which served as a collection of new songs and their greatest hits rerecorded with Deborah’s vocals.

It also includes the controversial video to ‘Gimme Gimme‘, which made a lasting impression to say the least!

Charley says ARTIST! Richy Brown

September 12, 2010

Dutch singer and tv personality Gordon, who was part of the 2009 Dutch Eurovision entry De Toppers, premiered his new project on this week’s Holland’s Got Talent finale.

The group Los Angeles: The Voices is supposed to be a Dutch Il Divo with some Marco Borsato elements thrown in for good measure.

Those of you who watched the live performance of their debut single ‘Blijf Veilig Bij Mij‘ may have noticed a familiar face.

We first met Richy Brown during Dutch X Factor 2007, where Sharon Kips beat him in the finale to be the show’s very first winner.

Each finalist had their own song to release if they won. Sharon’s epic (that “That’s the beauty of GOOODBYYYYEEEEE” line!) ballad ‘Heartbreak Away‘ took the gold, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Richy’s ‘The Way‘. Claymates will remember the song as being previously released by American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken.

After X Factor Richy took a shot at a music career, but hadn’t been heard from since his single ‘Ga Je Mee‘ failed to make an impact on the charts.

Until now that is! Hopefully his spot in Los Angeles: The Voices means we’ll get some more Richy in the future!