Posts Tagged ‘Zo Is Er Maar Één’

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 ALBUM! Andes – Andes

July 28, 2010

I hadn’t really gotten round to doing a proper review of Andes’ debut album yet.

I have to admit that has to do with the fact that the album as a whole hasn’t quite managed to capture me the way ‘Vergeef Me‘ and ‘Een Dag Meer / One More Day‘ have.

Which isn’t to say that the Zo Is Er Maar Één alums’ eponymous album isn’t decent. How could an album containing ‘Vergeef Me‘ not be?

Plus, with Jeroen Swinnen on production duties and the likes of Stefaan Fernande and Nailpin singer Sean D’Hondt collaborating on the songwriting, there were some great musicians helping Andes a hand.

Besides the three singles, ‘Dit Is Anders‘ was independently released before the band signed to Universal, the album tracks just haven’t really clicked yet.

That is, except for one in particular.

Sinds Je Weg Bent‘ should surely be the next single? The hook “Sinds je weg bent, ben je overal” (“Since you’re gone, you’re everywhere”) is simple, but great. When the only comment I can think of is that the line “Woorden schieten soms te kort” (“Words fail me sometimes”) tends to make me want to listen to ‘Hou Me Vast‘ by Volumia, you know you’re onto a winner. ‘Sinds Je Weg Bent‘ is most definitely the one album track I keep going back to.

You can check out an acoustic rendition in the incorrectly titled YouTube video below!

See also: Charley says VIDEO! Andes – Vergeef Me
See also: Charley says SONG! Andes ft. James Walsh of Starsailor – Een Dag Meer / One More Day

Charley says SONG! Nicole & Hugo – Baby Baby

May 27, 2010

If you have just been watching the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest you may have spotted this immortal duo in the red lantern montage.

Nicole & Hugo were originally supposed to represent Belgium back in 1971 with ‘Goeimorgen, Morgen‘. Unfortunately Nicole became ill right before the contest and the couple had to be replaced with Jacques Raymond and Lily Castel.

Determined to get there, they tried again in 1973. ‘Baby Baby‘ was the song that got them to Luxembourg. Despite their flashy outfits and dance moves, which could be described as revolutionary for the Eurovision Song Contests at the time, they failed to get Europe behind them.

Not hindered by their last place, the real life couple became pop icons in Belgium.

Almost 30 years on, Nicole & Hugo are still married, still performing and aren’t thinking of quitting any time soon.

And the purple outfits? They still fit!

Charley says WEEK! 2010.18

May 9, 2010

Dutch YouTube-sensation Esmée Denters featuring on a duet version of German rock band Stanfour’s ‘Life Without You‘.

Charley says SONG! Tom Helsen presents Barbara Dex – I Am [http://tinyurl.com/37qfz6l]

Charley says SONG! Nikki – Can’t Stop Thinking About You [http://tinyurl.com/2usul6r]

Charley says SONG! Betty – Déjà Vu [http://tinyurl.com/3yrl68e]

Charley says SONG! Bliss – Buttons (Live) [http://tinyurl.com/2v56rer]

Charley says SONG! Andes ft. James Walsh of Starsailor – Een Dag Meer / One More Day
[http://tinyurl.com/2u8wvmj]

Charley says SONG! Whatever – Scream [http://tinyurl.com/3a6d3fu]

Charley says SONG! Robert Ramirez – Sick Of Love [http://tinyurl.com/2uatvuc]

Charley says SONG! Andes ft. James Walsh of Starsailor – Een Dag Meer / One More Day

May 8, 2010

Ok, I admit, that’s not ‘One More Day‘. You can listen to the actual new Andes single by clicking on the link below. I just thought I’d post the band’s major label debut ‘Vergeef Me‘ again, because

a) it’s a very good song.
b) it has a very pretty video.
c) lead singer Tomas looks very good in it.

This song was all over the radio here in Flanders and yet it only peaked at number 44. Let’s hope the fans they gained in talent show ‘Zo Is Er Maar Één‘ step it up a notch for the new bilingual single ‘One More Day‘, which features James Walsh of Starsailor.


‘Een Dag Meer / One More Day’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga69CgZK5GA

See also: Charley says VIDEO! Andes – Vergeef Me

Charley says VIDEO! Andes – Vergeef Me

March 5, 2010

In the category highly fanciable lead singers with shiny guitar pop songs we like way better than expected, here are ‘Zo Is Er Maar Één’ finalists Andes with their major label debut ‘Vergeef Me’.