Posts Tagged ‘Phil Wilde’

Charley says ARTICLE! Romy & Marjon, The Forgotten 2 Unlimited Members

August 3, 2011

The year was 1998. It had been about two years since the departure of Ray and Anita left 2 Unlimited without its two singers. The people behind the scenes, however, were not going to let a good brand go to waste.

Enter Romy and Marjon. Two Dutch girls who had some pretty big shoes to fill and a legendary dance group to carry on with. Despite sounding more pop than ever before, the relaunched 2 Unlimited managed to make an impact with ‘Wanna Get Up‘. Two more singles, ‘Never Surrender‘ and ‘Edge Of Heaven‘, were to follow, taking the group back to their club roots.

Unfortunately, this failed to boost album sales. The patchy ‘II’ only spent four weeks in the charts. The number 55 peak was even more disappointing considering the last studio album of the original line-up had been their second to hit number one. Despite their releases doing slightly better in Belgium, 2 Unlimited 2.0 would not live to see the year 1999.

2 Unlimited – Edge Of Heaven

Now this is where today’s post comes in. If, like myself, you find yourself on a rainy Wednesday morning wondering what Romy and Marjon are up to, worry no more. It pleases me to say that both are still doing what they love, if maybe not on the world stage 2 Unlimited gave them. Rumours of a reunion under the name ‘2’ or ‘II’ aside, both have been keeping busy with solo endeavours.

Marjon van Iwaarden seems to have moved in a more jazz oriented direction. Her website lists the many projects and live bands she’s involved in, as well as informing us of her work as a vocal coach.

Romy Snoeijers turns out to be a hardworking lady as well these days. As a voice-over she’s done commercials for the likes of Disney and DKNY. On top of that she’s working as a model, doing corporate film productions and tv hosting. Finally, her site has an entire section on her music career with audio samples to bring you up to speed.

Romy’s post-2 Unlimited highlight is surely ‘Don’t Break My Heart‘. In October of 2004 the TMF Awards needed an official anthem. Romy teamed up with Dutch DJ Cor Fijneman on what was to be the opening act of the night. The song may only have managed a spot on the Belgian Bubbling Under chart, but even just the slightly distorted “Don’t go breaking my heeeaaarrrt baaaaaabe” at 1:47 is enough to make it a hidden gem in my books.

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

April 12, 2011

America’s got the original one, Australia has Cody Simpson, so it was only a matter of time before even more Justin Bieber clones popped up on the music scene.

Spread across two posts I’ll be introducing you to the Benelux Biebers.

Different nationality, same formula: swishy hair, catchy pop and teenage girls stanning.

Ian Thomas is taking on duties for Belgium.

Launching himself through a viral video, this 14-year-old is sticking closely to the Justin Bieber playbook. The YouTube hit was shot by his stepdad, soap actor and singer Chris Van Tongelen, who secretly filmed Ian singing.

To solidify his place in pop as the Flemish Justin Bieber, his label had Ian release a translated version of Justin’s ‘Baby’. The song got him to a 15th place in the charts, just three spots down from where the original stranded.

However, being one of the most talked about new artists in Belgium has its downside too. After death threats on Facebook Ian had to have a police escort to school for his final exam.

Now, the question remains… Is Ian any good?

Well, is he the best singer ever? No. Is he the best dancer ever? No. Was that ‘Baby’ cover really necessary? Not quite.

But am I excited to hear more? Yes, I am.

The Belgian music scene could do with another male popstar. Yes, we have the likes of Nelson and Brahim, but who’s going to give us our own ‘All Day‘, ‘iYiYi‘ or ‘One Less Lonely Girl‘?

I’m hoping Ian Thomas will.

PS: I’m pretty sure the video below will make some of you never want to check out an Ian Thomas song ever again, so I thought it was worth mentioning that this one was produced by AJ Duncan.

I’m assuming he’ll be on board for the entire project, so considering his past credentials as half of Duncan & Wilde, producing Kate Ryan and Zirkus Zirkus‘ first albums among other things, you may want to not write Ian off just yet.

Update 22.03.2012:

Since writing this post Ian Thomas has released two more singles. The excellent second single “Autograph” was released both in Dutch and in English.

Originally “Kiss Kiss” (which you may know in the version of Kim Hyun) was planned as a third single, but when Ian broke his wrist during the video shoot, “You Got Me Down” (whose video had already been shot) was released instead.

All singles are available on his debut album “More Than A Game” of which an expanded Limited Edition has been released. It includes four extra songs, one of which is Ian’s take on “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.

“More Than A Game” by Ian Thomas is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 2) Ralf Mackenbach

Charley says VIDEO! Tatiana Silva – Can’t Wait

July 13, 2010

For the first time this season of the Flemish / Dutch co-produced Survivor will see celebrities battle it out.

One of the familiar faces on Expeditie Robinson, as it’s called here, will be Tatiana Silva Braga Tavares.

The 25-year-old with Cape Verdean roots was crowned Miss Belgium in 2005, but the reason I’m posting her today is her brief stint in pop. In 2008 she released ‘Can’t Wait‘, a cover of the Nu Shooz hit.

Despite the help of 2 Unlimited producer Phil Wilde, the song only managed to peak at number 37.