Posts Tagged ‘Idool’

Charley says VIDEO! Hadise – Biz Burdayız

June 16, 2012

New Hadise! The Belgian Idool 2003 hopeful turned Eurovision finalist turned Turkish superstar starts off her next album campaign with “Biz Burdayız“. With this song and video the Charley says POP! favourite seems to have gone more urban than ever before.

I’ve only listened through the song once at this point, so I can’t really offer any major pop insights, but, you know, I’m just happy there’s new Hadise music and that I know about it. I’d completely missed her last Turkish album campaign until the ever amazing Mike over at Pop Trash Addicts posted about it. Always awkward when you’re supposed to be “that Belgian pop guy” and you don’t even know something’s been released…

I don’t want this post to be all “COME BACK TO BELGIUM HADISE”, but then again, yeah, kind of. Look, Hadise is a kind and talented girl, so I wish her all the international success in the world. And, I mean, when presented with the choice of being A-list in the giant Turkish community or fighting an uphill battle in the Belgian pop scene, it’s pretty clear where your priorities would lie. So I’ll be supporting Hadise’s foreign endeavours and if I have to resort to random German eBay importers for a physical copy of her next pop gem then I will. But deep inside I’ll quietly be counting down the days for Hadise’s triumphant return to Belgium, even if just for one more glorious English album, just to show them lessers how it’s done.

I’ll be waiting, Hadise.

“Biz Burdayız” by Hadise is available… in Turkey.

PS: Just because it wouldn’t be a Charley says POP! Hadise post without it, let’s watch that clip of her 2006 TMF Awards performance again, shall we?

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Charley says LIST! The Voice Van Vlaanderen: The Aftermath

April 12, 2012

With today’s announcement that vtm will be airing the first season of Belgium’s Got Talent (let’s just ignore 2007’s Supertalent on VT4 for now) it seems as though the dust has settled on season one of The Voice Van Vlaanderen.

Late last year tv channel vtm set out to look for the best voice in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. (French speaking public broadcast RTBF did the same for Wallonia with The Voice Belgique, but that’s for another post) Manning the spinning chairs were four of Flander’s biggest names in music: Clouseau frontman Koen Wauters, Arid lead singer Jasper Steverlinck, Idool’s biggest success story Natalia and Hooverphonic mastermind Alex Callier.

With this post I’ll try and do a bit of a round-up on what the musical future holds for some of this season’s best loved contestants. With few official announcement available, all information was acquired from various websites, newspapers, magazines, Facebook accounts etc. If I’ve missed out on anything/anyone, if you’ve got an update on the information posted or even if you’re with a label and want to tell us about your post-The Voice plans, don’t hesitate to comment below!

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

THE FINAL FOUR

Glenn Claes, winner: Last month I already introduced you to The Voice Van Vlaanderen winner Glenn and his debut single. Since then “Knight In Shining Armour” got into the top 3 before gently starting to slide down the charts. However, Glenn is currently doing a signing tour at Free Record Shop stores all over Flanders which will surely have a positive impact on physical sales, so don’t write the gentle guitar ballad off just yet! A rush-released album was originally planned for April, but was pushed back to September to allow for a quality collection of what will no doubt be radio friendly, Kooks-ish guitar pop. A second single for the summertime seems like a given.

Silke Mastbooms, runner-up: With her single ‘Awake‘ peaking at number 2 and, to this day, still clinging on inside the top 10, Silke is doing impressively well in the charts despite not winning. It’s no surprise she was offered a record deal as well. Silke impressed on a weekly base with her clear vocals, but the challenge for her will be to find her own musical niche. Will she be a Belgian Leona? Will she do quirky girl-pop like Carly Rae Jepsen? Will it be something completely different? I for one can’t wait to hear what Sony Music comes up with for this girl! (And, you know, if she wants to cover Jesper Nohrstedt’s “Take Our Hearts” then I’m not complaining at all…)

Iris Van Straten: Before she entered The Voice Iris was best known for playing Sabrina on the 90’s sitcom “De Familie Backeljau”. However, come 2012 the ditzy blonde had become a crazy-in-a-good-way smoky-voiced chanteuse. With Iris it wasn’t so much about every note being perfect, it was the unique sound of and character in her voice. Combined with coach Alex Callier’s impeccable song choices (Springsteen’s “The River”! Cash’s “Hurt”! Boy George’s “Somebody To Love Me”!) it was a story of success. Despite her single “Teasing” going top 10, she was deemed too much of an acquired taste at first, so an album seemed uncertain. Luckily, Alex stepped in and promised to write and produce it for her.

Bert Voordeckers: His “Come” was the least successful of the finalists’ singles, but that isn’t stopping Bert from making musical plans. He is said to release a studio version of his audition song, “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”, and has announced a theater tour with sports commentator Michel Wuyts. First though, he is recovering from getting a gastric band put in, in a bid to lose 70 kilograms.

THE 24 FINALISTS

Axelle Aerts: Going into it, Axelle Aerts seemed to have it all going for her. I even said as much in a post on this blog. She had talent show experience from when she did Junior Eurovision, she was the opening act on coach Natalia’s SingStar Glamorous Tour, she’d shown some major pop promise with her first proper single as Axeela and her The Voice audition was impressive to say the least… And yet, she had to leave the show in the first week. After forgetting to put in her in-ear monitors during her rendition of Jessie J’s “Domino”, the public chose not to send her straight through to next week. And when it came to it, Natalia decided to save Yass Smaali over Axelle, because she felt the latter still had a life of other opportunities ahead of her. And it does seem that Axelle’s talent didn’t go unnoticed… Not only will she part of the upcoming The Voice tour, she has been tweeting about being in the studio! It is however unclear if a future single will be released through Sony Music or her old label SonicAngel.

Charlotte Buyl: Charlotte is another contestant who didn’t make it out of the first live show. Since leaving the show she’s hinted at a possible new single for her dance project Pearl. You may remember their excellent singles “Like A Video Game” and “Speechless“. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but with Charlotte more famous than ever, why wouldn’t N.E.W.S Records revive the Peter Luts produced project?

Stéphanie Onclin: Stéphanie may have stranded in the semi-final, but her rocking performance of Skunk Anansie’s “Weak” seems to have struck a chord with the Flemish public. Stéphanie will be part of “The Voice On Tour” and is said to have a single coming up. Here’s to hoping we finally have a new Laura Ramaekers!

Zusjes Vinken: The Vinken sisters’ rendition of “Hallelujah” managed to enchant the nation and even got The Voice to bend its rules and allow a musical trio. Surprisingly, Elisabeth, Gabriëla and Alexandra only lasted two live shows despite their “Bang Bang” being one of The Voice’s first chart hits. No announcements have been made, but considering the pre-live show hype and support from the likes of radio station MNM, it would surprise me if no one signed them eventually. Oh, and can I put in a request for them to do an Appleton and simply go by Vinken from now?

THOSE THAT STRANDED IN THE BATTLES

Claudia Decaluwé: I was so happy to hear Claudia auditioned for The Voice. When I was a kid her 90’s girl duo Sha-Na was perhaps the first act I was ever a fan of. After leaving the group Claudia went on to Eurovision fame, forming the band Spark with her then husband. They came second with the catchy “Someday” in 2002’s national final. Later she would also join Ameerah (of “The Sound Of Missing You” fame) in the Twinsband. Since not making it out of the Battles in The Voice, Claudia has restarted Spark, posting a cover of “Boys Of Summer” as a first taster.

Eva Jacobs: With an impressive rendition of “If I Ain’t Got You” Eva seemed a certainty for the live shows. Surprisingly, coach Koen opted to send through Pistice Yoka Mpela instead. But not to worry, Eva had her album recorded even before she auditioned. A single will be released just three weeks from now, with a Wouter Van Belle produced album to follow. If you’re curious as to what it’ll sound like, check out her 2011 single “Shine” (written by Das Pop’s Bent Van Looy!) and a sample of “Stay With Me” on her official website.

Lien Vervoort: Lien was no stranger to talent shows when she signed up for The Voice. She’d already taken part in Can You Duet and Let’s Go Lasgo, which had resulted in providing vocals on the Peter Luts hits “The Rain” and “Hands Up“. For her first release after The Voice Lien has teamed up with Peter’s former Lasgo colleague Dave McCullen. Lien is the voice on dance anthem “Calling Your Name” which hit iTunes at the end of last month.

Zippora De Brauwer: Being responsible for the epic “Lotus Eater“, Zippora will always be an early 00’s dance legend no matter what. Since stranding in the Battles of The Voice Van Vlaanderen she’s gone right back to her dance roots and we wouldn’t want to have it any other way! She released “Never Again” with producers Nils van Zandt and Sergio Silvano and considering she’s put out a couple of singles with BIP Records in recent years, I’m confident that there’s more to come.

spotify:track:3cHLqcPKi887E5pYKdlZyy

Update 4.5.2012: Sony Music has announced that Glenn, Silke, Bert, Axelle and Stéphanie will all be releasing a single before the summer.

See also: Charley says TV! Looking For Pearl
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Pearl – Like A Video Game
See also:
Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen
See also: Charley says ARTIST! David Vervoort (Formerly Of Lasgo)
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Peter Luts ft. Lien Vervoort – The Rain
See also: Charley says SONG! Peter Luts ft. Lynn Larouge – Hands Up
See also: Charley says ARTIST! Glenn Claes (Winner Of The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

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 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 VIDEO! Alyssa – Get On Your Feet

February 13, 2012

So remember how Friday I was raving about Axelle Aerts being the one to watch in The Voice Van Vlaanderen?

Yeah, she got voted off.

Axelle’s performance of Jessie J’s “Domino” got off to a shaky start when she came out on stage having forgotten to put in her in-ear monitors. Despite redeeming herself once she finally popped them in, the public decided not to send her straight through to next week. After the final sing-off Axelle’s coach Natalia decided she would eventually find her way to pop stardom anyhow, so put through “now or never” contestant Yass. Lame.

As mentioned before, it’s a small consolation, but a studio recording of Axelle’s song is available for download on iTunes as well as being on the first “The Voice Van Vlaanderen” compilation that’s in stores right now.

But not at all hope is lost for first week evictees! Axelle, record companies, take note!

When Idool 2011 narrowed its contestants down to 10 finalists last year, Alyssa Luypaert seemed to be the perfect pop star in waiting. Until she got booted off in week one. Boy, I sure know how to pick my early favourites…

Alyssa was picked up by SonicAngel and has just released her debut single “Get On Your Feet“, a dancepop anthem that suits her in a way her disappointing Idool performance of “Waiting For Tonight” sadly didn’t. The track was co-written by Ingrid Mank, Idool vocal coach, singer-songwriter and the woman responsible for the greatest talent show group single ever.

So, I guess what I’m saying is:

– Someone give Axelle a record deal, please
– Alyssa has released her debut single
– The chorus of said debut single reminds me of the Friends clip below. (The jury’s still out whether or not that last one’s a good thing)

Alyssa’s “Get On Your Feet” is available now on iTunes and Spotify.

See also: Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Idool 2011 – More To Me

Charley says SONG! Lana Lewis – Dirty Love

April 19, 2011

‘My Name Is…’ was a 2010 talent show in Belgium and The Netherlands which can best be described as Stars In Their Eyes done through Britain’s Got Talent’s format of audition / semi-final / final.

Amy Winehouse impersonator Merante took home the crown in the adult category, but the breakout star was Lana Lewis.

The then 14-year-old told how she’d been bullied all her life, up to the point of being beaten with iron chains. She’d found comfort in the music, style and personality of Lady Gaga and decided to finally pursue singing herself. Her rendition of ‘Bad Romance’ was enough to convince the judges and Lana went on to win in the children’s category.

You can check out her English subtitled audition and semi-final performance in the YouTube video below.

A year on, Lana is finally ready to step out of Gaga’s shadow and release her very own first single.

Songwriter Wim Claes and singer Gene Thomas penned her ‘Dirty Love‘. The two previously worked together on Gene’s pop group X-Session and his solo material. Wim is also the man behind Kim ‘Kay’s ‘Lilali‘ and Dean’s Idool 2007 winner’s single ‘So Many Ways‘.

The iTunes release is listed as being the ‘Elektrokid Radio Edit’, so I’m assuming the ‘Eye Of The Tiger‘ DJ was on production duties.

This lead to ‘Dirty Love‘ being set over thumping ‘Bad Romance’ inspired club beats, with a chorus reminiscent of Annemie’s brilliant ‘Animal Instinct‘.

Lana’s robot-ified vocals tell how she “feels like dirty love tonight”. With lines as “You heard me boy, pick up the toy, make me lose my mind” and ‘You touch my mmm…” this 15-year-old’s debut would make even Miley blush.

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 SONG! Karma – I’m Sorry

March 28, 2011

Continuing our theme of Chilean born Belgian popstars, meet Andres P. Quiroz. Going by the name of Karma, he is set out to be Belgium’s next R&B wonderboy.

The biography in his YouTube video descriptions mentions him working with the likes of Stargate and Underdogs, but things really got going for him when his music was posted on ShowbizzONE.

The article came to Peter Muls’ attention, who promptly took Karma under his wings and got him signed to Mostiko.

You may remember Peter as being involved with about half of Belgium’s R&B scene, most famously launching Kaye Styles. He also had a hand in Cru5h 5, one of my favourite two-hit-wonder girl groups.

While Karma is working on his first album, a bunch of tracks are already floating around the net. These songs include both original ones and covers like ‘Gallery‘, originally by Mario Vasquez.

Of the brand new tracks ‘Take Me As I Am‘ is mentioned by Karma’s official site as a potential first single, but out of the songs online I hope they end up going with ‘I’m Sorry‘.

It’s not that I don’t like the former song, I’m just not too crazy on Andres’ voice in the chorus. ‘I’m Sorry‘ on the other hand has him sounding like a Michael Jackson influenced Ali Tcheelab on a ‘How To Save A Life‘ inspired R&B downtempo.

Whatever they end up releasing, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Charley says VIDEO! Idool 2011 – More To Me

March 17, 2011

For those of you abroad, and those of you in Belgium who have been living under a rock, Idool is back!

The talent show that gave us the likes of Natalia, Brahim and Sandrine is back for its fourth season, unsurprisingly titled Idool 2011.

It’s been four years since Dean took the Idool 2007 crown and a lot of things have changed. The panel had some new additions, including Zornik singer Koen Buyse and where previous editions had pregnant housewives and classical singers, Idool 2011 finally seems to focus on the young, the attractive and, most importantly, the singers relevant to today’s music scene.

Following other current Idol adaptations around the world, there have also been some changes to the format, the most noticable one being bootcamp getting ditched in favour of a so-called beachcamp. The 25 remaining candidates were sent off to the Dominican Republic to not only show off their vocal skills, but to also record a video to the first ever Idool group single.

In fact, were it not for ‘Fame‘ from 2005’s Star Academy, this would be the first group single from any Belgian talent show.

And the Hans Francken produced track does not disappoint.

While it’s never easy to find a song that suits so many different singers, this one manages to not make any of the 20 at that point remaining finalists sound out of place.

Or maybe that’s just me thinking ‘More To Me‘ sounds awesome because the instrumental reminds me of Danzel’s ‘Under Arrest‘ with a chorus over it that Star Pilots would be proud of.

PS: Here’s a selection of four of the many finalists Charley says POP! will be rooting for in Friday’s first liveshow!


Manuel, because I’m kind of biased knowing Manuel personally, but also because this early favourite hasn’t even shown all he’s got to give yet. Someone have this guy do James Morrison’s ‘Wonderful World‘ sometime soon, please!
Line in the song: “I was sucked into temptation”


Alyssa, because while we haven’t seen much of her personality yet, she’ll probably make the most Charley says POP!-friendly popstar out of all 15 finalists.
Line in the song: “Suddenly it dawned on me”


Gregory, because awww…
Line in the song: “More, more, moooore…” *splashes water*


Falko, because he’s just your average 16 year old boy who likes to wear high heels and make-up. He may not be the best singer, but he certainly is the media hype of Idool 2011. Here’s to hoping he survives the first public vote!
Line in the song: “Gotta prove to you that there’s…”

Charley says LIST! Christmas 2010

December 24, 2010

On the night (well, actually the 11.30 AM) before Christmas I thought I’d list you some of the brand new Christmas tunes that have come out of Belgium and The Netherlands these last few weeks!

Above we find the brilliant but un-Googleable ‘It’s Christmas‘ by Do. We first met Do when she the voice on DJ Sammy’s ‘Heaven‘,  a Bryan Adams cover she would go on to release an unplugged version of her own of. More solo success came with the release of the amazing pop tune ‘Love Is Killing Me‘. After her second album underperformed it all went a bit quiet around Do. Around 2008, 2009 things were looking up again with a Playboy shoot and a place among the judges of Belgian X Factor. We finally got some new music as well with ‘Zingen In Het Donker‘. The single can be found on the album of the same name, which was a charity release for a domestic violence cause. A cover album and one with original English songs were set to follow, but haven’t yet materialised. To ease the wait, december 2010 saw the release of  ‘It’s Christmas‘. An original Christmas tune which shows Do’s qualities as a gorgeous, fun and most of all amazing singer.

Belgium has never really had much of a Christmas pop tradition. Off the top of my head, the only recent-ish properly released songs I can think of are Laura Lynn’s remake of a Marva classic and one from the first season of Big Brother. Radio station MNM saw the time fit to make a change and instructed three Belgian pop acts to come up with some fresh material. All three songs can be heard here by clicking “>> KLIK HIER EN BELUISTER DE 3 MNM-KERSTLIEDJES”. Brahim recorded a soulful cover of ‘White Christmas’, while Lester & Abdou made ‘Jingle Bells’ sound like a cross between ‘Riverside’ and ‘The Time (Dirty Bit)’. The third artist to record an MNM Christmas song is Charley says POP! favourite Katerine Avgoustakis. Two years ago she already covered ‘All I Want For Christmas‘ as part of a free download action, so it was time to up her game. Katerine ended up getting together with producer Yves Gaillard and creating ‘Merry Xmas’. This brand new track which, as far as I know, is the only one of the three to be available on iTunes.

Finally, thank God for Disney Channel getting Sita to release music! Her fellow host Dean, winner of Idool 2007 in Belgium, is still coming out with songs of his own. Just a week ago the video for his new single ‘All I Can See‘ was put up on YouTube. Sita fans however have been have been waiting impatiently since the release of ‘Als De Nacht Valt‘. Luckily, her partnering up with Dean on Disney Channel has led to a couple of Sita & Dean releases. I’ve previously posted the fantastisc Camp Rock cover ‘Wouldn’t Change A Thing‘ and now the duo get to release ‘Winter Wonderland‘. The video was shot in Disneyland Paris and contains some familiar faces, Cheyenne & Mayleen. These former Junior Songfestival finalists won My Camp Rock earlier this year. Their rendition of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town‘ serves as the b-side to the ‘Winter Wonderland‘ single. I know there’s some big Sita fans reading this site, so to end this post let me point you to towards the video of Sita & Dean singing ‘Something That I Want‘ from the movie Rapunzel. With multiple international versions being around, I’m surprised the two of them didn’t get to record a version of the new Narnia theme as well. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get a full album of Sita & Dean singing Disney?

In any case, I want to conclude by wishing you all a very merry Christmas! Also, a big thank you to all the artists, their teams and record companies who have helped along the way! I’ve recently learned that in the last six months some stuff hasn’t been going smoothly with the Charley says POP! e-mail address. Some mails that have been sent to me have not properly arrived and some mails that I’ve sent out appear to not have reached their destination. I hope to sort this out as soon as possible to once again ensure a smooth stream op pop blogging! Most of all, a huge thank you to all the people who visited this site! Thank you for reading my ramblings, commenting and coming back!

Charley