Posts Tagged ‘Belgisch’

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…

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Charley says ARTICLE – A Brief Post Idool 2011 Overview Including Maureen’s Everyday Thing

March 16, 2012

Idool 2011 will not only be remembered as the talent show that with “More To Me” had the best group single ever. Its refocus on looking for proper popstars -this is the “Idol” franchise after all- left us with a young, fresh-faced top 10. Gone were the days when finalists would be pregnant mums or classical singers, this lot was ready to take over the charts!

And indeed, an impressive number of contestants went on to make an impression on the Belgian music scene. Winner Kevin and runner-up Kato‘s debut albums both went gold, Dennis and Kristof had the innovative idea to release a double album together with each filling up one disc and Alyssa has just unleashed her first pop stomper.

Rocker Izzy didn’t make it out of bootcamp but has been working with his band Epic Lane ever since and gay-teenager-who-likes-to-wear-heels Falko, who stranded in the final 15, is said to release his Kylie inspired debut single any time now.

Even those who didn’t get a record deal are still doing music. Manuel has enrolled in music school, Astrid got through to the battle rounds in The Voice and Jonas & Lora have teamed up as cover band The Pony Express.

 listen to
Maureen – Everyday Thing
at www.maureen-music.be

Finally, let me present you one more addition to the list! Maureen Vanherberghen was the curly-haired girl who made an impression with her “Rolling In The Deep” rendition. The former girl scout (well, it’s called “chiro” here) was one of the most consistent singers in the competition and ended up finishing fourth.

After the show she went on to record a translated cover of James Blunt’s “Stay The Night”, which served as the new theme tune to Belgium’s longest running soap opera, Familie.

Now, 2012 finally sees the release of Maureen’s own material! She has signed to brand new up and coming label Pop’m who will be guiding her towards an Eliza Doolittle and Joss Stone inspired sound.

Her debut single “Everyday Thing” already sounds like a firm step in the right direction! The cheerful track was written by songwriting team Chicks With Hits, previously responsible for “The Joker” by Maureen’s Idool friend Kato.

There’s no sign of “Everyday Thing” on YouTube or Spotify yet, but Maureen has put it up on her official website’s player! You can check out the full song over on www.maureen-music.be! It’s sure to get you tapping your feet in no time!

“Everyday Thing” by Maureen is available on Spotify and iTunes.
“More To Me” by Idool 2011 is available on Spotify and iTunes.
“Get On Your Feet” by Alissa is available on Spotify and iTunes.

The Idool 2011 album is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Kevin’s album “Thank You” is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Kato’s album “Flamingo” is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Dennis’s album is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Kristof De Cleyn’s album is available on Spotify and iTunes.
Epic Lane’s EP “Born In The Eighties” is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says VIDEO! Alyssa – Get On Your Feet
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Idool 2011 – More To Me

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Update

March 14, 2012

Just a couple of days ago I brought you up to speed on everything that’s happening on the Belgian dance scene and already there’s new things for me to report on! So without further ado, an update!

When we last spoke only a preview of Jessy’s 2012 remake of her classic “Innocence” had been online. Now, I can present you the diva’s shiny new video for “Innocence ’12“! Having heard the full thing now, we can assure you that producer Regi has found a way to make Abie Flinstone‘s rap blend in seemlessly with all the things you loved about the original song. And yes, the epic “it feels so good… come on and take me” bit is still there!

Oh, and be sure to compare my earlier write-up of the song with the YouTube description for the “Innocence ’12” video! Someone at Jessy’s label Mostiko must be reading Charley says POP!

There may not be a video for her group Sylver’s new single “City Of Angels” yet, but Silvy De Bie has shot scenes for her latest solo song. The result of that is now on YouTube! Newly redhead Silvy looks gorgeous in the video for “Without You” which is credited to David Latour ft. Sil!

Lastly, here’s one I missed out on in my previous post. You may recognise Elisa Guarraci from her time on Topmodel, her 2008 Eurovision effort or her audition for The Voice Van Vlaanderen. These days though she’s mainly busy with her girlgroup Fourlicious, who are promoting “Over You” and are said to be working with former Lasgo co-producer Dave McCullen on new material.

In between all of that she’s found the time to record “In My Arms“. The song marks the Belgian/Italian singer’s second collaboration with producer Philip D. Earlier the two worked together on the breezy “When Love Takes Over” soundalike “The Last Goodbye“.

So there you go, until further notice, consider yourself updated on the main new releases in Belgian dance music!

“The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012″ by Jessy is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“Innocence ’12″ by Jessy ft. Abie Flinstone is available on iTunes.
“Without You” by David Latour ft. Sil is available on iTunes.
“In My Arms” by Philip D ft. Elisa is available soon.

See also: Charley says ARTICLE! Life After Jameerah
See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music