Posts Tagged ‘Junior Eurovision Song Contest’

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 VIDEO! Who Are The CloneZ – Good TimeZ

April 27, 2012

Dutch production team Future Presidents are so awesome that they’d honestly deserve an entire blog post of their own. Not only have they been ensuring that Dutch kiddiepop is sounding better than half of what’s in the charts, they’ve given proper grown-up Benelux popstars some of their most awesome tracks as well. Just ask EliZe or Lester & Abdou!

Their latest project is the mysteriously named Who Are The CloneZ? Little is known about the project, other than that the video features an awesomely cute dance crew with an average age of about 9. You may have seen some of these kids before on Dutch tv talent show Junior Dance.

Don’t let that put you off though as “Good TimeZ” sounds like Rock Mafia’s “The Big Bang” made a baby while listening to “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. Oh, and if you’re going to count the pop culture references in the song’s lyrics you might want to get yourself another pair of hands in advance!

“Good TimeZ” by Who Are The CloneZ is available on Spotify and iTunes.

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 LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 2) Ralf Mackenbach

June 1, 2011

Perhaps it’s a little unfair to describe Ralf Mackenbach as the Dutch Bieber. It was a couple of months before Justin finally managed a spot in the top regions of the Dutch charts that Ralf was already going top 10.

A year before the likes of Tom Dice and Lena proved that Western Europe can still do well at Eurovision, Ralf sang the Netherlands to victory at the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

His pop song ‘Click Clack‘, including no less than a tap break, beat the likes of Belgian yodelpop-singer Laura Omloop and Molly Sandén’s sister Mimmi. No small feat, considering the former went on to become one of Belgium’s best loved child stars and the latter had a song co-written by Alexander Kronlund of ‘If U Seek Amy’ and ‘Till The World Ends’ fame.

A couple of kiddy pop singles followed and when those did the job as well, Ralf started working on an album. This would include all singles, a medley, some tracks in Dutch, some in English and even a cover of the 2009 adult Eurovision winner ‘Fairytale’.

For the album’s lead single Ralf enlisted the creative talent of Future Presidents. This producers collective has some brilliant pop tunes to its name, having worked with the likes of Kim-Lian, Belgian X Factor alums Lester & Abdou and The Netherlands’ most underrated pop princess, EliZe. With ‘The Only One‘ Future Presidents wrote Ralf his very own ‘Baby’.

My favourite song of the album, however, is ‘Piano & Guitar‘. The minimalistic rocky beat reminds me of Roxane’s ill-fated ‘Better Part Of Me’ single and lyrically it’s the male, English language counterpart to ‘Ik Heb Je Gewist‘ by Kus.

Ralf tells how he removed you from his hard drive, erased you from his phone and how every letter that you ever sent, he gave them to the garbage man. However, he says: “But I can’t erase you from my head and I can’t erase you from my heart”.

Even if it is the seventh video of the album, I’m glad ‘Piano & Guitar‘ got the single treatment. I like it way too much for it to have remained just an album track.

Now, the album’s gone gold, it got into the Dutch top 10 and Ralf’s recent success on Dancing On Ice made him better known outside of the teen pop audience, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that album number two is currently in the works.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted and until then, here’s a little preview of what’s to come!

Update 08.04.2012:

Since writing this post Ralf has released his second album ‘Moving On’, which was lead by the single ‘Dance‘ and contained ‘Vandaag Is Het Feest‘ which got one of those “one take walk through an entire building” videos.

‘Ralf’ by Ralf is available on Spotify and iTunes.
‘Moving On’ by Ralf is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 1) Ian Thomas

Charley says VIDEO! Lisa, Amy & Shelley – Fout Ventje

October 3, 2010

Lisa, Amy & Shelley represented The Netherlands at the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

With a flawless delivery of their catchy ‘Adem In, Adem Uit‘ they had become the obvious winners of their national final. They finished at a somewhat disappointing 11th place on the big night itself, but did manage to get a music career out of it all.

Their first album, ‘300%‘, and its singles kind of passed me by, but with that era over and a couple of movie themes to their name, the three sisters have moved on to a bit of a new sound.

Basically, ‘Fout Ventje‘ is all kinds of amazing.

For the first few seconds I was a bit sceptic, but once the beat kicks in there is no doubt. This is the, pardon my Tyra, fiercest things these girls have ever come up with.

And the choreography! The choreography! If these aren’t the coolest moves you’ve ever seen that don’t even require getting up out of your chair, then I don’t know what is.

What’s it about? Lisa, Amy & Shelley are essentially calling out this guy for being an epic douchebag, listing why they are not impressed.

Amazing.

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 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 VIDEO! Tess – Stupid

June 3, 2010

Now I know Junior Eurovision isn’t considered very cool. Hell, it even gets snubbed by your average Eurovision fan. However, I have no problem with saying that I love it.

I mean, yes, every year there’s a couple of duds between the entries, but that’s not any different in regular Eurovision, is it? As long as it keeps producing gems like The Netherlands’ 2005 entry above, I will keep watching.

Stupid‘ by Tess is a fun pop/rock tune telling of the stupid things you do when in love. I prefer the Dutch original, but I thought it’d be wise to post the English version if I wanted at least one or two people to check it out.

Tess went on to release an album and sang on the Dutch soundtrack of ‘High School Musical’. Currently she’s working on more grown up sounding jazzy blues music, which you can check out on both her own MySpace and that of Tess & The Chiefs.

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