Posts Tagged ‘Junior Eurosong’

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 LIST! Meanwhile At SonicAngel…

June 9, 2011

The people at SonicAngel have been busy!

Axeela finally released her second single with Maurice Engelen’s record label.

Back in May of last year Axeela got herself noticed at Tom Dice’s album launch and a couple of months later the Junior Eurovision alum had her very own single out. I got a chance to talk to her then about ‘What Do You Want From Me?‘, what the future has in store for this young popstar and how Christina isn’t copying Gaga.

The best thing about ‘Hump Hump’, Axeela’s new song, is having the anthemic chorus blast out of your speakers. In it she tells us: “I’m a saint and a sinner, a virgin and a stripper, dangerous like the Jack Ripper…” That about covers it all, no?

Right before that first chorus Axeela tells us “Let me introduce myself” and to have as many people possible hear her introduction, ‘Hump Hump’ can not only be heard on www.axeela.com, it’s available as a free legal download there as well!

From one child star on to another. If you’ve seen the excellent JESC documentary ‘Sounds Like Teen Spirit’ you may be familiar with Bab. She may have missed out on going to the 2007 international final in Rotterdam, but her ‘Laat Mij Gerust‘ became a tween favourite. A couple of singles followed and eventually an album was given away with a magazine. It’s a shame more people didn’t get to hear it as second single ‘Zo Is Er Maar Één‘ was far from the only rockin’ pop tune on there.

Having outgrown the tween rock, Bab is now signed to SonicAngel and has settled herself nicely into the singer/songwriter niche.

Bab – Wounds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgI3rASyiL8 

Wounds‘ is her first single through her new label and her first in English. I’m in two minds about this one. On the one hand it’s a gorgeous laid back track, but it doesn’t scream ‘big comeback single’ to me. And why is it called ‘Wounds‘? That title doesn’t really trigger any specific bit of the song when thinking of it. I guess I just expected a little more instant-ness.

That being said, I’m curious to hear what else Bab and SonicAngel come up with together!

Continuing our theme of talent show acts, I’ve been meaning for ages to write an update on Simon Sins.

Since we last talked about the Wannasing? winner he got signed, but has already left the SonicAngel family again. Let’s hope we somehow get to hear some new music from him soon anyway!

In Simon’s place have come  a whole bunch of new signings, including Rodwan Belkaïd and Koko Moon (aka Karim Lequenne). Between the addition of these two and already having Tom Dice, Alice Avery and Mathieu & Guillaume on their roster, it would seem that SonicAngel have nearly every X Factor 2008 contestant signed up!

There’s one more popstar you should already be familiar with that has reinvented herself and is trying her luck through this label, but I’ll be giving her a special post of her own. Be sure to watch out for that sometime soon on Charley says POP!

Right, that about concludes this update on SonicAngel.

I’ll be leaving you with the very first Airis video. Laura Van Den Bruel, as she’s known in everyday life, sang her way to a record contract in teen magazine Joepie’s Talent Booth competition. Her YouTube rendition of Celine Dion’ ‘I’m Alive’ won her the chance to record ‘Wonderful‘, the song that should make her Belgium’s very own Taylor Swift.

Enjoy!

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

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 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.

Charley says WEEK! 2010.19

May 16, 2010

Move over, Jasper Erkens and Freaky Age. Here’s Breathe The Sound! Above is lead singer Simon Nuytten. Below is their song ‘Dance‘. Over here is a live cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror‘. And this is the band’s MySpace profile. This isn’t usually my kind of music, but I find myself liking this quite a bit.

Charley says ARTIST! Tom Dice
[http://tinyurl.com/37yv8wu]

Charley says COVER ART! Monrose – Like A Lady
[http://tinyurl.com/32jyq4p]

Charley says VIDEO! Petra – Angel
[http://tinyurl.com/38v9fmg]

Charley says ARTIST! Axeela
[http://tinyurl.com/34qmepa]

Charley says VIDEO! Lio – Le Banana Split
[http://tinyurl.com/32xv6wu]

Charley says LIST! 3 Unlikely Yet Rather Amazing Samples
[http://tinyurl.com/35uczzz]

Charley says LIST! 3 Small Updates
[http://tinyurl.com/3y8dmru]

Charley says ARTIST! Axeela

May 14, 2010

I am super excited about this!

Meet Axeela, a Flemish girl born as Axelle Aerts who will be releasing ‘What Do You Want From Me (Bitch)‘ through Sonic Angel.

This label, set up by Lords Of Acid mastermind Maurice Engelen, must be the most exciting new record company in Flanders. Not content with just letting talent show discoveries go to waste, the X Factor judge signed finalist Tom Dice as his first artist and made a success out of him.

Axelle isn’t a stranger to television either. Back in 2006 she participated in Eurosong For Kids as part of Lizz@xy. Their pop tune ‘Ik Doe Wat Ik Wil‘ lost out to Thor’s ‘Een Tocht Door Het Donker‘, but came a respectable third in the final.


Lizz@xy – Ik Doe Wat Ik Wil
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxCbHSVFnr8

A couple of years later Axelle popped back onto the radar when Idool 2003 diva Natalia held a competition to find a support act for her Glamorous tour. She went on to win the competition and impressed the audiences with renditions of songs like Christina Aguilera’s ‘Ain’t No Other Man‘.

This renewed media exposure gave her the chance to release a single on a small label. ‘Sold In A Box‘ was a pleasant enough pop/rock song. In it Axelle tells of a guy: “He’s got charm, he’s got class, he’s got a perfect looking ass […] He’s got everything I need, but too bad he’s sold in a box”. The song even got some promo on online music show Muziektoppers, but unfortunately it didn’t chart. The cardboard boxes may look cheap, but when you see the kind of performance she manages to do on a budget, imagine how great a popstar she could be with a label properly backing her?

Axelle – Sold In A Box
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDZjBx7i54E

We’ll get to Axeela’s proper debut single in a minute, but first let’s point you to some other songs the singer’s got up around the internet. I’m assuming budget R&B tune ‘Playing Games‘ dates back to ‘Sold In A Box‘ era Axelle. The song still sounds rather demo-ish, but I do love the bleepy bits in the bridge. There’s also a short clip of ‘How We Grind‘ being recorded in the studio. I’m thinking this was done after the songs I mentioned earlier, but before her latest efforts. Finally, ‘They‘ isn’t my favourite, but the slow jam does show off Axelle’s vocals.

With all of this out of the way, let’s cut to the chase and introduce you to what will be Axeela’s first single. ‘What Do You Want From Me (Bitch)‘ is the song that got me properly excited about this project. You can check out the live performance she did at the Tom Dice album release party. The song’s got a brilliant “Aw Aw… Aw Aw…” intro and is basically a thumping pop/R&B anthem. Even the rent-a-rapper doesn’t bother me as it allows for there to be a build up to the song properly ‘going off’. A video has been shot and should be out soon, but for now the live performance below should already be enough to convince you that Axeela just might be the new best thing in Belgian pop.

Charley says VIDEO! X!nk – Denk Aan Mij

March 20, 2010

Today I picked up the album ‘Vergif‘ by X!nk, who shot to fame in 2003 when they represented Belgium at the very first Junior Eurovision Song Contest with ‘De Vriendschapsband‘. Seven years later it’s still one of our best scoring JESC entries, second only to Laura’s amazing 2009 bubblegum pop yodeling anthem ‘Zo Verliefd (Yodelo)‘.

By the time their sophomore album came around in 2005 the boys had grown into teenagers, with lead singer Jonas becoming the most inappropriately fanciable popstar since Calvin Goldspink. The second time round their album still had a lot of garage rehearsal rock on it, with singles ‘Hou Ons Niet Tegen’ en ‘De Andere Kant’ being slightly more polished.

However, the true highlight on ‘Vergif’, and as far as I’m concerned of X!nk’s entire output, is ‘Denk Aan Mij‘. It takes me straight back to the summer of 2005 when the video was on the music channels all the time. Pretty impressive for what was essentially a music act aimed at kids and singing in Dutch. Maybe it’s nostalgia to being a teenager myself, but don’t you wish your summers still looked like they do in the ‘Denk Aan Mij’ video?

Charley says LIST! Two Songs I Enjoy Way More Than I Ought To

March 14, 2010


What: Laura – Cowboymeisje
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTruqFp-5Ow
About: Laura singlehandedly saved the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Flanders coming in fourth in 2009 with her yodeling and bubblegum pop anthem ‘Zo Verliefd‘.
Why I enjoy this way more than I ought to: Because it has yodeling over a countrified europop beat. Because she sings things like “Will you be the sheriff of my heart?”. Because of the way she pronounces the word ‘speciaal’. Because it’s the best country gimmick in pop since Rednex. Did I mention it has yodeling over a countrified europop beat?


What: Marlous – Je Zeurt Teveel (via NLpop)
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNXcmculB_k
About: Marlous may not have won the Dutch 2010 Nationaal Songfestival, but she certainly made a name for herself clashing with coach Corry Konings.
Why I enjoy this way more than I ought to: Because I love trashy singers who badly want to make it. Because of the DIY video. Because of the manic eyebrow movements. Because despite the schlager cheesiness of the song, which was originally by Mouth of Mouth & MacNeal fame, it’s a singalong anthem. Because of the line “Take care, now fuck off” right before the last chorus.

*bows head in shame, but not really*