Posts Tagged ‘Star Academy 2005’

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

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Charley says ARTIST! Stefanie Callebaut of SX

May 24, 2011

I finally get it.

At first I let lead singer Stefanie Callebaut’s odd vocal delivery put me off SX’s ‘Black Video‘, but then one day it just hit me.

The full atmosphere of the song just kind of took over and I now see that this song is one of the most intriguing musical journeys in Belgian music at the moment.

You may be wondering how a band like SX ends up on a pure pop loving blog as this one. Well, you know I’m a sucker for talent show contestants soldiering on and – I’m not sure if she minds you knowing this, but – Stefanie is exactly that.

Way back in 2005, in a time long before being geek chique and making trippy videos, she was one of the finalists on Flanders’ only season of Star Academy. She may have been one of the first to be booted out, but she was there for the group cover of ‘Fame’, the tie-in album and the ‘Sex Medley‘ performance. (‘Bad Girls’, ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ and ‘Sex Machine’, if you were wondering)

About a year later Princesss emerged, Stefanie’s pop/rock alter ego. Despite Zornik’s Koen Buyse having a hand in ‘Get Up‘, nothing much seemed to be happening with this project. More music was in the works and even posted to MySpace, but Princesss ended up slipping into oblivion.

It wouldn’t be until 2009 when things would finally fall into place for Stefanie. Since joining SX things started speeding up. ‘Mister Lion‘ won the indie electro band TMF’s Road 2 Fame contest and got them their first round of mainstream attention. Now, two years of gigs and contest later, ‘Black Video‘ is the band’s first proper hit.

I guess what I like best about this whole story is how being on a talent show doesn’t mean you’re pigeonholed for life.

Sometimes it really is about who it gets you to meet, finding your style and then giving it all you’ve got.

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

Charley says VIDEO! Daniel Bovie & Roy Rox vs. Ricky Rivaro ft. Nelson – My Destiny

November 21, 2010

So this is the confusing new Nelson Moraïs single!

Not confusing in its quality, as it’s quite clearly on the amazing side of things, but as to exactly what project this new release belongs.

I introduced you earlier to Nelson, brother of Elsie Moraïs and Eurosong 2008 participant.

Now last Friday he was on Peter Live, singing a medley of ‘Love Me‘, ‘She’s Gone‘ and ‘Stop Playing With My Mind‘. This was the first Nelson surprise of the weekend for me. I’d never realised that it was him doing vocals on that last song!

As I was doing a bit of digging around on the Ultratop site, I stumbled upon ‘My Destiny‘. I assumed it was another old track, but as it turns out it’s a brand new single! Once again it’s produced by Daniel Bovie & Roy Rox, but this time with the help of Ricky Rivaro.

Now here’s where it  gets confusing. Nelson had mentioned after this week’s tv performance that he’s working an album for early next year and that a new single was coming up soon. Would that be ‘My Destiny’ then? One would assume so, but then why doesn’t Nelson get a mention on the single sleeve?

In fact, the credits for Nelson’s entire discography since signing with Mostiko are all over the place!

Daniel Bovie & Roy Rox – Stop Playing With My Mind
Daniel Bovie & Roy Rox ft. Nelson – Love Me
Nelson – She’s Gone
Daniel Bovie & Roy Rox vs. Ricky Rivaro – My Destiny

It’s an OCD iTunes tagger’s ultimate nightmare!

And that’s not even including the two tracks he did for ‘Registrated 2’. ‘Imagination‘ and ‘Now You’re Gone‘ are credited as Regi & Nelson and I can definitely see them popping up on the album. Be it the original versions or, as was the case with Katerine’s ‘Back Off‘, in remixed form.

I guess only time will tell, so as for now let’s just enjoy this rather enjoyable new single and the fact that Nelson’s recording an album. No matter what songs will or will not be included and how they might have to be tagged!

Charley says WEEK! 2010.26

July 6, 2010

Things have been a little crazy here, so what better way to get this site back into swing than with Katerine Avgoustakis making a great song even more amazing?

The Charley says POP! favourite joined French singer Grégoire Boissenot on stage at the Greek MAD Awards for a special Greek and French (Grench? Freek?) version of his hit ‘Toi + Moi’.

Grégoire is an artist who got to release music through My Major Company, a website which lets fans invest in the making of their favourite artists’ music. You can compare it to Sellaband, the site through which Dutch singer Hind collected funds for her new CD.

Charley says INTERVIEW! Susanna Kay
[http://tinyurl.com/2epg3c4]

Charley says INTERVIEW! Susanna Kay (Part 2)
[http://tinyurl.com/2vtvrs8]

Charley says COVER! I’m In Love
[http://tinyurl.com/2udke8l]

Charley says ARTIST! Jo Hens
[http://tinyurl.com/38q5p9g]

Charley says SONG! Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten (Johnny Vicious Remix)
[http://tinyurl.com/34go4be]

Charley says ARTIST! Linus (Tom Olaerts)
[http://tinyurl.com/2v97wbw]

Charley says GUEST BLOG! The Pipettes say POP!
[http://tinyurl.com/34xvarh]

Charley says VIDEO! Lasgo – Tonight

June 18, 2010

*sighs*

Oh, Jelle… Don’t ever change. Don’t ever go away. You’re my favourite recent popstar in all of Belgium.

(Don’t worry Katerine Avgoustakis, you’re still my favourite popstar who’s been around for a little longer)

Meanwhile, you can still read my recent interview with Lasgo producer Peter Luts right here on Charley says POP!

Charley says SONG! Regi ft. Stan Van Samang – Hang On

June 11, 2010

The people over at FIRSTmusic discovered a radio rip of ‘Hang On‘ on YouTube!

The song was produced by Milk Inc.’s Regi and features vocals from Flemish ‘Soapstar Superstar’ winner Stan Van Samang. The ‘Scars‘ singer also had a hand in writing the track. If you’re curious about Stan’s music, be sure to check out his acoustic cover of Madonna’s ‘Ray Of Light

Hang On‘ the new single from Regi’s second collaborations album ‘Registrated 2’. The first one featured the likes of Tom Helsen, Scala and Charley says POP! favourites Katerine Avgoustakis and Kate Ryan. The follow-up will include the single ‘Loaded Gun‘ with Tyler Connolly from Theory Of A Deadman and vocals from Ameerah, Ellektra, former Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones and Turbo B from Snap! The double album with a whopping 26 songs will be released on June 25th.

Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts

June 1, 2010

The other day I told you about Looking For Pearl, a brand new talent show on Flemish music channel JIM. Similar to 2008’s Let’s Go Lasgo, they will be looking for Belgium’s next big dance singer. However, this time round the search will be on for two dancers as well. Looking For Pearl will be fronted by Lasgo producer Peter Luts, who already has Pearl’s first hit signed internationally and ready to go.

I talked to Peter to find out exactly what he is hoping to find. After the jump you’ll find the full interview, where we also talked about working with former Let’s Go Lasgo finalists, his solo stuff and the upcoming brand new albums for Lasgo and AnnaGrace.

Dutch: Ook voor de originele Nederlandstalige versie van het interview kan je doorklikken!

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