Posts Tagged ‘Eurovision’

Charley says SONG! Elle Oui aka Elvira Michieva – Blood On My Face

February 11, 2012

Elvira Michieva is probably best known for being the German Popstars contestant that got into a fight with Senna Guemmour after the latter spoiled the launch of Bisou, Elvira’s girl trio formed of singers that didn’t make the final Monrose lineup. The Clea to Monrose’s Girls Aloud, if you will.

Bisou went on to score two minor hits with “Die Erste Träne” and “Die Sonne Geht Auf“, both from the album “Hier Und Jetzt“. After the group split up Elvira tried to represent Azerbaijan at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, participated in a German reality show comparable to Paris Hilton’s My New BFF and has had several songs floating about.

The definite highlight of her attempts at a pop career however remains “Blood On My Face“. Back in 2009 it was meant to be her big breakthrough under the name Elle Oui and considering how catchy it is, I wouldn’t have minded her succeeding one bit. I mean, try it. Try not to sing along to the “show you… what is… right and what’s wrong” bit!

Impossible indeed.

Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen

February 10, 2012

Back in 2010 I posted how Axelle Aerts just might the new best thing in Belgian pop and come 2012 it looks like the rest of the country is starting to agree!

Having taught herself to sing by recording Christina Aguilera’s “Stripped” album over and over on a tape recorder, at the age of 10 Axelle knew exactly what she wanted in life. She took her first steps towards fulfilling that dream of singing by competing in the 2006 Belgian Junior Eurovision selection as one half of girl duo Lizz@xy and winning a support slot on Flemish superstar Natalia‘s Glamorous tour a couple of years later.

In 2010 pop stardom was just around the corner when Axelle recorded “What Do You Want From Me” and teamed up with then upcoming label SonicAngel for its release. Despite having cost her dad €6000 at the time, the video for her first release under the name Axeela is no longer up online. Despite introducing the song at Eurovision star and label mate Tom Dice’s album launch, the catchy pop anthem peaked at a disappointing #48 in the charts. After follow-up “Hump Hump” was given away as a free download on www.axeela.com things sadly went quiet around the promising singer.


Axelle – It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
(Audition at The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

http://vtm.be/the-voice-van-vlaanderen/artikel/axelle

Enter The Voice. The talent show that brought her idol Christina back to relevance, was set to do the same for Axelle. Before she’d even finished the opening line of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” all four chairs had turned and she found herself a red hot favourite in Belgium’s best watched talent show. Under guidance of coach Natalia (yes, the same Natalia she’d toured with earlier) she got rid of her annoying “diva hands” and steamrolled her way through the battle episodes with Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone”.

Tonight sees Axelle taking the stage in the The Voice Van Vlaanderen live shows. Here’s to hoping her rendition of Jessie J’s “Domino” will convince Flanders to pick up their phone, as despite being up against some great voices and likeable talents Axelle is without a doubt the proper popstar of the bunch.

However, even should she get booted off by some freak televote accident, at least we’ll have a brand new shiny studio recording from the girl. As with other international adaptations of The Voice all performances are available for purchase on iTunes right after each live show.

Even better, the first tracks by all 24 finalists have been bundled on one CD that is in stores as of today! Considering her prominent place on the album cover I can’t imagine being the only one to believe in Axelle’s popstar power…

If you can’t wait for tonight’s episode -or for international readers, tomorrow’s performance clip here– check out some more songs from Axelle’s past in this old blog post while reading my 2010 interview with her!

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Axeela
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Axeela

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 VIDEO! Rollergirl – Dear Jessie

September 18, 2010

German dance singer Rollergirl, real name Nicole Safft and currently married to producer Alex C., had her own take on Madonna’s ‘Dear Jessie‘ back in 1999.

This never fails to be as amazing as you remembered it to be.

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!

Charley says EUROVISION! Junior Eurosong 2010

September 4, 2010

This year’s Belgian national Junior Eurovision selection has been bumped from main public channel één to the kids oriented Ketnet. To ease the pain we’re getting videos for every entry now, whereas in previous years even the winners could consider themselves lucky if they got more than their live performance dubbed with the studio track.

So who am I backing to win? Well, based on the studio versions there’s three songs that really stand out for me.

First up, and the one I think will be most likely to get the approval of Charley says POP! visitors, is ‘Get Up!‘ by Jill & Lauren. Both first stepped into the limelight as part of KetnetPOP 3. KetnetPOP is a yearly album and concert series that has former Junior Eurosong stars and new talent release music together.

Jill & Lauren’s entry is probably the most proper pop song of the bunch and seems like it could have just as easily been recorded by Bo & Monica. Actually, ‘Get Up!‘ was co-written by Miguel Wiels, who was also responsible for Bo & Monica’s ‘Gonna Be A Star‘.

Then there’s Ferre. This 14-year-old easily has the best voice of the bunch. I love his pop/rock song, but if the JESC efforts of Oliver and Trust have proven us anything, it’s that Europe doesn’t seem to like it when we send in this kind of song. However, I’m pretty sure ‘(Met Mijn) Ogen Toe‘ is the one song I’ll keep coming back to in the years to come.

On production and co-writing duties is Jeroen Swinnen, who also had a hand in Tom Dice’s wildly successful Eurovision entry ‘Me And My Guitar‘. One last pop connection Ferre has going on is that his video was shot at the same place in Antwerp as Idool 2003 winner Peter Evrard’s debut video ‘For You’.

Finally, ‘Power Aan De Kids!‘ is my third favourite. Daan & Anne-Sophie of DnA penned this ‘So What‘ sounding anthem together with former Nailpin frontman Sean D’Hondt.

Other notable collaborators are Ingrid Mank and Born Crain on Ymke’s ‘Vive La Fête‘, Katerine Avgoustakis’ producer Yannic Fonderie and Flemish X Factor winner Udo on Ine’s ‘Kusje Van Mij‘ and actor / Eurosong 2006 contestant Tom Van Landuyt who co-wrote this year’s super catchy group song ‘Superidee‘.

Charley says VIDEO! Hind – Don’t Leave Me Behind

August 29, 2010

You’ve probably read how Ruth Lorenzo is getting her fans to fund her album. It might be a good idea for her to give Dutch singer Hind a call for advice.

In just 11 days Hind managed to collect €40.000 on Sellaband.com to put towards her third album.

Hind Laroussi became a household name on the very first Dutch season of Idols. To this day I still dig up the ‘Idols: Greatest Moments’ album every once in a while to listen to her Robbie Williams cover ‘Feel‘.

She went on to release two albums, fronted by hits like ‘Summer All Over Again‘ and ‘Give Me A Sign‘. In 2008 she represented The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Your Heart Belongs To Me‘.

Now, Hind is getting ready for the October release of her third album ‘Crosspop’. Steve Power, who has previously worked with the likes of Robbie and Kylie, took on production duties. If you’re curious about the result, you can already check out song samples here under ‘Geluidsfragmenten’.

Though perhaps the best taster for the album is ‘Don’t Leave Me Behind‘. This lead single represents what I’m expecting from the album, not necessarily songs that go out with a bang, but a musical atmosphere to get soaked in. With its blend of Spanish guitars and a ‘Free Me‘ era Emma Bunton sound, it also gives an idea of what exactly this crosspop might be.

I’m intrigued.

Charley says INTERVIEW! Axeela

July 8, 2010


“There’s a lot of people saying Christina’s copying Lady Gaga, but I don’t think she is”

A while ago I introduced you to Axeela, a promising new popstar from Belgium.

Since then, she’s released her debut single ‘What Do You Want From Me?‘, premiered the video for it and started her conquest of the Belgian pop scene.

It’s good to finally hear the studio version of the song and rest assured, the “Aw Aw, Aw Aw…” bits in the intro still sound amazing!

I recently got to talk to this young singer. After the jump you’ll find our conversation where we discussed her new single, being on the hottest new label, her Eurovision history and how Christina Aguilera did the Lady Gaga thing first!

Dutch: Ook voor de originele Nederlandstalige versie van het interview kan je doorklikken!

(more…)

Charley says TV! My Camp Rock

July 7, 2010

Yesterday I spent some time watching the audition episodes of My Camp Rock on the Belgian Disney Channel site.

My Camp Rock is a co-production between Belgium and The Netherlands. Inspired by the movie of the same name the show is looking for a new kid or teen singing sensation. The show is hosted by talent show veterans Dean and Sita. Dean won Idool 2007 in Flanders, while Sita won a place in the band K-Otic on the Dutch show Starmaker back in 2001. Head of the judges is vocal coach Babette Labeij, who works on all the big Dutch talent shows. Earlier this year she released an album of her own, fronted by the amazing pop/rock single ‘Stupid Woman’.

Local adaptations of My Camp Rock have already aired on various Disney Channels around the world. British winner Holly-Anne Hull got her trophy handed to her by Demi Lovato and Martina Russomanno from Italy was even joined by Joe Jonas himself on winner’s song ‘This Is Me‘. I only found one series where a duo won. Cynthia and Félix released a translated cover of ‘We Rock‘ after winning the French version of My Camp Rock.

It’ll be a while before we find out who wins for Belgium and The Netherlands, as for some reason the next few episodes will only air at the end of August. What we do know is that there is some Junior Eurovision talent taking another shot at stardom. Among the participants were duo Cheyenne & Mayleen, who reached the Dutch national final in 2009 with ‘Druk‘. Also present were semi-finalist Haruka and runner-up Manou from Belgian Junior Eurosong 2009.

While we’re talking Camp Rock, my favourite cover from this movie has to be Nikki’s version of ‘This Is Me‘. Having just won Idols at the time, the Dutch singer recorded this video to promote the movie’s then upcoming release.