Posts Tagged ‘X Factor 2008’

Charley says VIDEO! Abs – You Can Try (Produced by Moonflower)

May 19, 2012

Lester & Abdou were the X Factor 2008 contestants who with ‘U Should Be The One‘ and ‘This Song Is Gonna Save My Life‘ went on to have two excellent Future Presidents produced singles. After that Lester went on to rejoin his friend Gavin in DJ duo Moonflower, but didn’t leave his buddy hanging. The three of them joined forces as Moonflower ft. Abs and became the people behind that brilliant dance track ‘Nobody’s Missing You‘ that was all over Belgian dance radio last summer.

The trio is back for summer 2012 with ‘You Can Try‘. The single is credited solely to Abs, but was produced by Moonflower, so you can rest assured that everything you loved about their previous efforts is still present in this next hit!

‘You Can Try’ by Abs, produced by Moonflower, is available on Spotify and iTunes.

Charley says VIDEO! Tom Dice – Utopia

March 13, 2012

For “Utopia“, the lead single of his upcoming sophomore album, X Factor 2008 runner-up Tom Dice has rejoined forces with Jeroen Swinnen and Ashley Hicklin. You may remember how the three of them wrote the lovely “Me And My Guitar” which went on to become the most successful Flemish entry in Eurovision history.

I had the pleasure of accompanying Tom a couple of times when he was promoting “Il Nous Faut“, his gorgeous duet with French singer Elisa Tovati. He’s genuinely a nice guy who loves what he’s doing and doesn’t mind working hard to get there, even when he was ill on some of those aforementioned promo dates!

With Tom being the biggest success story of his label and keeping in mind how much I liked his first album, I have high hopes for whatever he comes up with next!

“Utopia” by Tom Dice is available on iTunes.

See also: Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops

 

Charley says VIDEO! Alice Avery – Oops Baby

February 28, 2012

Alice Avery may have missed out on a spot in the Belgian X Factor 2008 live shows, but was signed to coach Maurice Engelen’s label SonicAngel regardless. In 2011 she released her first single “U Make My Heart Beat” and now, over a year later, we finally get treated to single number two.

I was hoping she’d stick to the pop/rock with overprocessed vocals style of her debut, so at first I was a bit disappointed to hear she’d hopped onto the retro sound bandwagon of Bruno Mars and Eliza Doolittle. That is until we got to the undeniably catchy chorus!

Not unsimilar to Natalia’s revenge anthem “On The Radio” (“Don’t worry about your paintings, don’t think of your tv, they’ve found a better place now, I’m thinking: charity”) Alice’s new offering has a wronged lover take matters into her own hands…

“Ooh baby, oops, I think I dropped your iPhone,
accidentally broke your XBox
and I think I lost your keys on my way home…”

 I’ve basically had this on repeat all morning.

“Oops Baby” by Alice Avery is available on iTunes and Spotify.

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 VIDEO! Pearl – Like A Video Game

April 24, 2011

I jumped up out of my seat in excitement when I spotted this!

Nearly a year ago I interviewed dance producer Peter Luts in anticipation of his new talent show Looking For Pearl. A year earlier he’d found a new singer for his best known project, Lasgo, through a similar contest. This time round the goal was to start up something entirely new.

Some well known faces came to audition, Marjolein Lecluyze being one of them. You may remember her as part of the ill-fated group Popz, but she is best known for the music she released in 2006 and 2007. Singles like ‘Luister Naar M’n Hart‘ en ‘Kamer‘ may have been aimed at kids, but with Milk Inc.’s Regi on production duties I can’t deny playing the hell out of these songs.

Another known face was Charlotte Buyl. A couple of years earlier she’d made her first steps in the music business as part of Miss Behave on the Tom Dice season of X Factor. The group lost two members when they were booted out of the competition and after Charlotte decided to quit the band as well, the two remaining members formed Glamm. Free to pursue solo ambitions Charlotte entered Looking For Pearl.

Pearl – Speechless
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzEudd84sg0

The two girls made it to the final, with Charlotte taking the prize in the end.

Together with two dancers who were chosen on the show as well, she was now the face of Pearl.

The video for ‘Speechless‘, their very first single, was released soon after the contest ended. The Peter Luts produced dance track did pretty well in the charts, and deservedly so, as Charlotte delivers on the song’s awesome chorus.

Now, about seven months later, Pearl is finally back for music video number two.

Like A Video Game‘ has Charlotte strutting through Movie Park Germany, with none other than Pacman as love interest. The song may take a couple of listens, but will lodge itself firmly into your head.

And one thing’s for sure, it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to those Peter Luts synths.

See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts

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 ARTIST! Lords Of Acid

September 17, 2010

A month ago I was watching the ‘Sucker Punch‘ trailer and noticed a familiar song being used.

Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Browning were kicking ass to the 1994 Lords Of Acid single ‘The Crablouse‘!

I never got round to mentioning this on Charley says POP!, but I was just watching ‘De Vrijdagshow’, an entertainment news program, and apparently this is still considered ‘news’, so here I am posting about it anyway.

Lords Of Acid is a music project by Maurice Engelen. Maurice is also the man behind Praga Khan and late 90’s / early 00’s record label Antler Subway. Most recently he was an X Factor judge, co-founded the new label Sonic Angel and mentored Eurovision 2010 revelation Tom Dice.

In 1988 Lords Of Acid had their first hit with ‘I Sit On Acid‘, which would be ripped off years later on The Chemical Brother’s ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl‘. They went on to release four studio albums and were touring the States as recently as this year.

What with being born the year they broke through, I only got to known about this band around the time former ‘Wheel Of Fortune’-girl Deborah Ostrega was their lead singer.

In 2003 they released ‘Private Parts‘, an album which served as a collection of new songs and their greatest hits rerecorded with Deborah’s vocals.

It also includes the controversial video to ‘Gimme Gimme‘, which made a lasting impression to say the least!

Charley says SONG! Brahim – This Is What I Like (Preview)

August 18, 2010

 

Well this is exciting!

Flemish R&B stud Brahim has uploaded a preview of his next single ‘This Is What I Like‘.

Since his time on Idool 2003 Brahim’s music has transitioned into a more soul sounding kind of R&B, his Eurosong 2008 entry ‘What I Like About You‘ probably being the best known.

Now, despite an upcoming Motown tour with fellow Eurosong 2008 hopeful Sandrine, it seems Brahim is going more pop than ever before.

As far as I can tell from the preview, ‘This Is What I Like‘ can best be compared to ‘U Should Be The One‘ by Belgian X Factor 2008 alums Lester & Abdou, mixed with more dance influenced R&B like Paradiso Girls’ ‘What I Like‘.

I think there’s one man in particular we have to thank for that.

Producer Tony Verdult had previously written Brahim’s single ‘Party With Me‘ and the 2008 album track ‘Take You Home‘.

Since then he seems to have done a bunch of remixes, like Samantha Fox’ recent effort ‘Tomorrow‘ and a couple of AnnaGrace singles. There’s a truckload of this Dutch DJ’s work to check out on his MySpace‘s Beatport player.

Tony also had a hand in Denise’s ‘Straight Up‘. Yes, Denise of Vengaboys fame and yes, a Paula Abdul cover!

However, it’s the tracks he’s released under his own name that give an idea of where his work with Brahim might be heading.

Also, his songs with Dutch singer Gio give me hope that someone will finally be bringing that Fouradi sound over the border to Belgium.

However this may all turn out, with ‘This Is What I Like‘ it seems to be certain that we get at least one damn good track out of this collaboration.

When the full version of the song comes out or when I know more about any other tracks Brahim and Tony may have come up with, I will be sure to let you guys know right here on Charley says POP!

Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops

May 28, 2010

I’d promised you a review of the Tom Dice album and what better day to do it than the one on which he will be singing in the big Eurovision final after becoming the first Belgian ever to make it out of the semi final?

This post will focus on the album ‘Teardrops‘, but if you want read about Tom’s career pre-Eurovision there’s always this one I wrote some time ago.

In short, the Tom Dice album is very good. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good. I usually listen to a selection of the tracks as posted below. The other songs aren’t bad, but I mostly feel they either don’t fit (‘A Soldier For His Country‘) or just add too little to the album (the Isbells sounding intro ‘Start Without The Ending‘).

1. Me And My Guitar
2. Lucy
3. Too Late
4. Murderer
5. Why?
6. Always And Forever
7. Broken
8. Bleeding Love (Bonus Track)

There’s little need to introduce ‘Me And My Guitar‘. When Tom was announced to be Belgium’s 2010 Eurovision contestant reactions varied between “Who?” and “Why?”. Suffice to say that expectations weren’t exactly sky high when he premiered his entry. However, with the simple tale of a boy and his guitar he managed to convince Flanders and the song ended up topping the charts. ‘Me And My Guitar’ was co-written by Tom, Ashley Hicklin and producer Jeroen Swinnen. Jeroen previously had a hand in songs like Ellektra’s ‘I Hate It But I Love It‘ and Born Crain’s ‘Tell The World‘.

Lucy‘ is set to be the follow-up single from ‘Teardrops’. The summery track was co-written by Tom Helsen, a singer/songwriter we mentioned earlier when he released a track with Belgium’s 1993 Eurovision entrant Barbara Dex. With a chorus that has Tom pleading “Lucy, I love you, why don’t you love me?” the song sounds like a male version of Colbie Caillat’s ‘Realize‘.

People who followed Tom on X Factor may recognise ‘Too Late‘. Tom performed the selfwritten track in the final episode of the show. It may not have won him a record deal at the time, but I’m glad it’s included on the album. The song was given a makeover by Erhan Kurkun, who produced nearly the entire album. The new version sounds a lot ‘fuller’ than its acoustic original. A definite favourite with a chorus so catchy that we can even forgive the wonky lyric “I still love you, even if you slap me every day”.

Murderer‘, ‘Why?‘ and ‘Broken‘ continue the theme of great pop/rock tracks with catchy bits, bits where the music drops out on Tom’s vocals only to come back full force and bits where Tom asks “I’ve been searching for a girl like you, why did you leave?”.

My favourite song on ‘Teardrops’ however is ‘Always And Forever‘. It basically makes Tom sound like the most romantic boyfriend ever. He may be always on the road, but finally Tom gets to announce “I am on my way to visit you tonight, but the detail you don’t know is that I’m staying for a while”. And how does Tom tell you? “Now what’s your favourite movie, cause I’ll be coming home soon…” However, tragedy strikes before Tom and your DVD of choice ever get to arrive. The song builds to its finale with Tom defeatedly asking “But I wanted to stay?” Oh, Tom…

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Tom Dice

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]