Posts Tagged ‘Ellektra’

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 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 COVER! Hooverphonic / Ellektra – Identical Twin

November 26, 2010

Hooverphonic managed to do the unthinkable. They found a worthy replacement for Geike Arnaert!

New singer Noémie Wolfs immediately made an impact as the superb new single ‘The Night Before‘ shot into the top 3 in no time.

An album with the same name was released today and I’m sure it’s set to top the charts.

Now what surprised me when checking out the album samples on 7Digital, is that one of the tracks is a cover!

Yes, they previously released their own take on classics like ‘This Strange Effect‘, but this new track was only just released earlier this year! By Soapstar Superstar alum Eline De Munck no less!

Hooverphonic – Identical Twin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oF2pH0rZjk

Identical Twin‘ was first released last February on ‘More Is More‘, the debut album of Eline’s musical alter ego Ellektra. An album that spawned the best first three singles run of any Belgian pop artist this year, if I might add.

But why would Hooverphonic cover an Ellektra album track? The answer’s in the writing credits. Hooverphonic mastermind Alex Callier penned the song himself! With the help of none other than Cathy Dennis!

Now that we have that cleared up, the question remains… Which of these twin songs do you like best?

Charley says SONG! Regi ft. Stan Van Samang – Hang On

June 11, 2010

The people over at FIRSTmusic discovered a radio rip of ‘Hang On‘ on YouTube!

The song was produced by Milk Inc.’s Regi and features vocals from Flemish ‘Soapstar Superstar’ winner Stan Van Samang. The ‘Scars‘ singer also had a hand in writing the track. If you’re curious about Stan’s music, be sure to check out his acoustic cover of Madonna’s ‘Ray Of Light

Hang On‘ the new single from Regi’s second collaborations album ‘Registrated 2’. The first one featured the likes of Tom Helsen, Scala and Charley says POP! favourites Katerine Avgoustakis and Kate Ryan. The follow-up will include the single ‘Loaded Gun‘ with Tyler Connolly from Theory Of A Deadman and vocals from Ameerah, Ellektra, former Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones and Turbo B from Snap! The double album with a whopping 26 songs will be released on June 25th.

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 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 TV! Looking For Pearl

May 22, 2010

Colour me super excited.

Music station JIM has announced that a follow-up for talent show ‘Let’s Go Lasgo’ will be airing this summer!

In 2008 Lasgo producer Peter Luts set out to find a new singer for the early 00’s hit dance project. Two years, three top five hits, one top ten album and a ‘Dancing With The Stars‘ participation later, ‘Let’s Go Lasgo’ winner Jelle Van Dael is one of the hottest celebrities out there and Lasgo is bigger than ever.

In ‘Looking For Pearl’ Peter will be putting together an entirely new act, consisting of one singer and two dancers.

As far as I understand the group will be named Pearl, after main sponsor Tampax’ product line. With also The Saturdays promoting them in the UK, these must be the world’s most music friendly tampons ever.

Except for the vocals, Pearl’s first single is completely ready and good to go. It looks like it might be a proper club banger of ‘Gone‘ proportions. Even with only the instrumental finished the track got signed all over Europe and the US.

Girls between 17 and 24 can apply as of Monday the 24th on www.jim.be. Participants must be free from June 28th till July 12th for the show which will be hosted by popstar and tv host Ellektra.

I can’t wait!


Above: The final performance of Jelle en Elke, the two finalists of Let’s Go Lasgo.

See also: Charley says VIDEO! Peter Luts ft. Lien Vervoort – The Rain

Charley says LIST! Coming Soon

March 13, 2010

Let me introduce you to three albums I bought today and that after some extensive listening and investigating might just pop up again on this blog!


What: Ellektra – More Is More
Includes the single: Do You Really Wanna Be With Me?
In a tweet: Soapstar Superstar finalist releases her debut album after three incredible singles.


What: Ingrid Mank – Ingridients
Includes the single: Song That Makes Me Laugh
In a tweet: Songwriter to the stars steps into the limelight and releases her own debut album.


What: Lynn Verlayne – Drifter
Includes the single: Drifter
In a tweet: Flemish girl moves to New York to become a singer/songwriter and succeeds.

Charley says LIST! Now That’s What I Call 2009!

February 22, 2010

A couple of months ago I compiled my very first end of year list ever. What I did was take my 50 most played songs that were released in 2009, pick out my favourites and rearrange them for the perfect flow. I tried to not go for the usual suspects, so that I’d end up with a list that’s very… me.

You may have seen this list before, but I thought it would make for a perfect first post that indicates what you can expect here in the future.

Enjoy!

YouTube Playlist and an overview of all the songs after the jump!

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