Posts Tagged ‘Flanders’

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

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Charley says VIDEO! Renée – Dum Dum Dum

March 14, 2012

It’s always brilliant to see people you know make it in music. I don’t think Renée Sys knows who I am, but she went to the same high school I did. When she graduated a couple of years before me, she went on to be a bit of a school legend. The story was that when studying at film school she’d been working for a prestigious drama series, “De Parelvissers” if I remember correctly. Someone at this high school made it in the entertainment industry! She’s made it big! THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL OF US!

Now Renée is once again in the spotlight proving that if you’ve got the goods to back it up, anything is possible.

She has released her debut album “Extending Playground“, which you can discover in its entirety over on Soundcloud. Lead single “Dum Dum Dum” sets the tone for what can best be described as intimate pop. Think Scandinavian girl songwriters’ music to listen to by the fireplace. Except Belgian. Although, it has to be said, Renée wrote the song when she spent time abroad in Finland.

Her talent has drawn comparisons to the likes of Feist and her music has been picked up by influential radio station Studio Brussel and late night talkshow De Laatste Show, to name just a couple.

You too should discover Renée as her songs prove to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time with lines as “Here’s what I wanted to say on this odd Valentine’s Day, it’s been 274 hours that we’ve been apart…”

“Dum Dum Dum” by Renée is available on iTunes.
Her album “Extending Playground” is available for streaming on Soundcloud and for download on iTunes.

Charley says VIDEO! Tom Dice – Utopia

March 13, 2012

For “Utopia“, the lead single of his upcoming sophomore album, X Factor 2008 runner-up Tom Dice has rejoined forces with Jeroen Swinnen and Ashley Hicklin. You may remember how the three of them wrote the lovely “Me And My Guitar” which went on to become the most successful Flemish entry in Eurovision history.

I had the pleasure of accompanying Tom a couple of times when he was promoting “Il Nous Faut“, his gorgeous duet with French singer Elisa Tovati. He’s genuinely a nice guy who loves what he’s doing and doesn’t mind working hard to get there, even when he was ill on some of those aforementioned promo dates!

With Tom being the biggest success story of his label and keeping in mind how much I liked his first album, I have high hopes for whatever he comes up with next!

“Utopia” by Tom Dice is available on iTunes.

See also: Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops

 

Charley says VIDEO! Minno – Dreaming (Pops & Boom Radio Edit)

March 13, 2012

Jeroen Minnebo has released his first single under the name Minno for a while now. “Dreaming” was written by Ray Klaassen & Joost Griffioen and produced by The Rocketeers, the production team behind some of Idool 2007 winner Dean Delannoit’s most recent releases.

In its original version the track was a pleasant little pop/rock tune, but earlier this year two brand new versions have been presented. Both have put a dancefloor twist to the song with the Pops & Boom Radio Edit nodding towards the current dubstep-in-pop sound and the Yoshimitsu Sama Radio Edit incorporating classic dance synths.

“Dreaming” by Minno is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music

March 6, 2012

There’s a truckload of new releases from the Belgian dance scene, so why not bring you up to speed in one big post?

Let’s kick things off with AnnaGrace, formerly known as the lady who sang the likes of “Will I?” into the UK top 10 with Ian Van Dahl. Since 2008 Annemie Coenen has reinvented herself as AnnaGrace. She’s had her fair share of club hits, but her main achievement under this new moniker remains “Let The Feelings Go“, which brought her into the Flemish top 5 for the very first time. Now the dance diva is back to kickstart her new album campaign with Ready To Fall In Love. The track doesn’t stray too far from the familiar AnnaGrace sound, but why should it? Annemie’s vocals over those Peter Luts produced beats is exactly what we wanted and it doesn’t disappoint.

Another legend that has been around since the very start is Jessy. She’s been celebrating her legacy in Belgian dance with a best of release, “The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012“. Lead by the Kaliq Scott & DJ Rebel featuring “Angel“, this compilation collects the best tracks from Jessy’s time with The Mackenzie, her solo hits and four brand new tracks. As an extra treat for her fans, she’s now given “Innocence“, the biggest The Mackenzie ft. Jessy hit, a 2012 reswizzle. Jessy is joined on Innocence ’12 by Abie Flinstone, Belgium’s upcoming answer to Nicki Minaj. The brand new production comes courtesy of Milk Inc.’s Regi Penxten.

And that’s not all Regi‘s been up to. He’s also teamed up with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. You may remember them from remixes for the likes of Katerine Avgoustakis or “The Way We See The World“, the mindblowing theme song to dance festival Tomorrowland. Their collaboration has resulted in Momentum, an instrumental track that has shot straight into the Flemish top 10 in its first week on the charts.

More male music is brought to us by Danzel who is featured on DJ Rebel‘s new offering. Who’d have thought that almost 10 years after not making it out of the final 50 in Idool 2003 Johan Waem aka Danzel would still be releasing music? His Black & White Brothers cover “Pump It Up” even made it to number 11 in the UK singles chart! The DJ Rebel produced You Make Me Happymashes the feel of “I Gotta Feeling” with Guetta synths while at the same time sounding like vintage Sash!

Silvy De Bie has been a busy lady as well. She’s reportedly filming for her own reality show and has two new singles coming up. The first is a collaboration with David Latour. This Belgian DJ scored himself a dance hit in 2011 with “Venus vs. Mars” and recently remixed girl group About E’s second single. His collaboration with Silvy, under her solo stage name Sil, is called Without You and despite being released on iTunes last month, only a teaser seems to be online for listening so far.

Finally, Silvy’s also been busy recording a new album with Sylver, the band that shot her to international fame with “Turn The Tide“. It’ll be the group’s first new studio album in three years, not counting their 2011 Best Of “Decade“. Last year we were treated to “Stop Feeling Sorry“, a first taste of what’s to come, and now there’s the brand new City Of Angels to whet our appetites even more!

“Ready To Fall In Love” by AnnaGrace is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“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.
“Momentum” by Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike & Regi is available on iTunes.
“You Make Me Happy” by DJ Rebel ft. Danzel is available on iTunes.
“Without You” by David Latour ft. Sil is available on iTunes.
“City Of Angels” by Sylver is available on iTunes and Spotify.

See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Update

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 ARTICLE! Life After Jameerah

July 13, 2011

Tanja Dexters had been trying to make it in the music business for years.

While her early noughties dance cover of ‘Born To Be Wild’ is still her highest charting single to date, she’d never really recovered from a disastrous attempt at Eurovision glory in 2002.

That is until 2008 when this Belgian blonde wanted to prove once and for all that she could sing. The Thomas G:Son penned ‘Addicted To You‘ got her a place in the Eurosong 2008 final and finally kickstarted her musical plans.

Tanja decided to form Jameerah, an international celebrity girl group. Originally called Models & Misses, the group consisted of Tanja, herself Miss Belgium 1998, Belgian Topmodel contestant Elisa Guarraci, Dutch actress Jasmine Sendar and former Miss Germany Nelly Marie Bojahr.

The summer of 2009 saw the release of Jameerah’s first hit. Catchy pop tune ‘All Eyes On Me‘ had previously been recorded by boyband MaddHouse, but with Bill Padley on production duties Tanja & co. were the first to take it to the charts.


Jameerah – All Eyes On Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MCD6eGXmas

After their first single peaked at 25 the girls got themselves another top 50 hit with ‘Stickup‘. Two versions of their sophomore video were made, one for the Les BoyZ remix and one for the main radio edit.

This is where things started falling apart for the foursome. Promotion for ‘Stickup‘ was interrupted by Tanja’s pregnancy. Rather than get on with a third Jameerah single after her maternity leave, their manager got Tanja her own post-baby reality show.

In the end she and manager Dany Peleman could no longer agree on their plans for the future. The two parted ways after eleven years of working together.

Tanja’s first project without a manager was B-A-B-E, somehow short for Blonde Ambition Babes. She was joined by model Griet Vanhees and Lesley-Ann Poppe, best known for her prominent cleavage on the Belgian version of Come Dine With Me. The trio recorded the cheeky ‘(Itsie Bitsie Boe) Geef Maar Lekker Toe!‘. Naughty lyrics, a (literally) homemade choreography and a 2011 beat with some Luv’ influences thrown in for good measure got B-A-B-E a whole lot of press. Sales however were less than stellar and the trio got dropped by their label shortly after.



B-A-B-E – (Itsie Bitsie Boe) Geef Maar Lekker Toe!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yDYL1ccfv8

Still keen on a proper pop career, Tanja was hoping to pick things up with Jameerah where they left them in the summer of 2010. However, since their former manager owns the group name, the four girls were forced to reinvent theirselves.

Tanja, Jasmine, Elisa and Nelly finally decided on the name Fourlicious. New music from the band formerly known as Jameerah isn’t online yet, but their Twitter and Facebook accounts will keep you updated on their progress.

If, however, one fourth of the group is enough to tide you over until the first Fourlicious release then you’re in luck. Elisa Guarraci is making a third foray into solo stardom, having previously been a contestant on Topmodel and Eurosong. On ‘The Last Goodbye‘ the Belgian/Italian singer has teamed up with Philip D, producer of ‘Stickup‘ and the ‘All Eyes On Me’ video edit. Together with David Vervoort, formerly behind Lasgo, he wrote Elisa her own trance anthem.

Elisa really delivers on this ‘When Love Takes Over’ inspired track. I wouldn’t have minded ‘The Last Goodbye‘ being a Fourlicious song one bit. In fact, let’s just edit in some shots of the other girls and BAM, you’ve got your big Fourlicious hit!

Charley says VIDEO! Petra – Angel

May 12, 2010

 

Petra De Steur is a Flemish singer who is probably best known for her wacky hair styles (Eat your heart out, Lady Gaga) and putting a couple of children’s songs to dance music.

One of her best known singles is ‘Laat Je Gaan‘, of which an English version called ‘Just Let Go‘ exists as well. The song fits perfectly into the New Beat craze that was emerging from Belgium at the time, taking cues from the likes of The Confetti’s.

Petra is also a Eurosong regular. She appeared on the Belgian National Final in both 1993 and 1999, but it wasn’t until her 2006 participation under the moniker La Sakhra that she did well in the competition. In fact, was it not for Kate Ryan’s Eurovision stomper ‘Je T’Adore‘ it would have been ‘Wonderland‘ that represented Belgium in Athens.


Just Let Go
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_isV8q8i4U

However, today I wanted to tell you about ‘Angel‘, the song Petra hoped to shake off her old image with back in 2001.

I was surprised to find out that none other than Pole Folder was involved in the making of this song. This Belgian DJ, real name Benoit Franquet, is a brilliant trance producer who has had his music featured on shows as ‘Nip/Tuck’. My favourite song of his is ‘Faith In Me‘. It’s an incredible song that features the unbelievably chillingly gorgeous vocals of trance queen Kirsty Hawkshaw whom you may know as the voice on Tiësto’s ‘Just Be‘.

Unfortunately, just the involvement of this producer wasn’t enough to guarantee the success of this breathy tune. The single promos had to be sent out without a mention of who was singing on it for the “credible” radio stations to playlist it. If I remember correctly the song was pulled from certain channels when it was revealed that this was actually Petra’s latest effort. In the end, even a video featuring the singer only covered in a towel and her long hair fondling an almost naked black guy didn’t help.

Angel‘ spent one week in the Ultratop at number 50.