Belgium to select their song in record time.

What will Iris sing for Belgium?

In what is hands down the worst preview of the season, Belgium presents a ‘teaser’ of its contending songs Safety Net and Would You, each consisting of exactly one second. Because discordant bursts of noise are meant to give an adequate impression of what a song sounds like. Well done Belgium. Check it out here.

On top of that, the national final ‘Eurosong 2012: Een Song Voor Iris’ is scheduled to be a whopping 15 minutes long. Again, well done. Now let’s just hope they haven’t taken leaf out of San Marino’s book and that Safety Net isn’t about Norton AntiVirus.

‘Eurosong 2012: Een Song Voor Iris’ will take place today at 20:00CET and you can catch it live (all 15 minutes of it) on here.

New Music: ‘Little Braveheart’ by Charlotte Perrelli & Kate Ryan.

This a truly incredible duet of epic pop proportions from two of Europe’s leading dance divas. A modern club affair with a whiff of RedOne, Little Braveheart will have its hook in your brain in no time at all and once that addictive wailing chorus kicks in, you’re a goner. Add to that Charlotte’s and Kate’s sexy smooth vocals along with a dubstep breakdown that totally kicks (and moves) butt and you’ve got yourself a bonafide hit. Little Braveheart checks off every trend in contemporary pop and gosh, what a result!

Honestly, Charlotte should have entered this into Melodifestivalen instead. You can purchase Little Braveheart, along with the rest of the new album ‘The Girl’ here.

Kate Ryan interested in Eurovision 2012.

Kate Ryan, Belgium’s foremost house/dance-pop star and 2006 Eurovision Song Contest representative, has stated in an interview to that she is interested and ready to return to the Contest for Belgium in 2012. Shortly after this year’s Contest, Kate posed a scintillating question on her Twitter page “Back To Eurovision? Yes Or No?” The answer from her fans was a resounding ‘YES’. Indeed, it was probably this overwhelming support that led Kate to make up her mind about returning. “I posted on Twitter because that was what I thought: ‘Maybe I should once again take part’. I wanted to see what reaction I would get. Everyone immediately said ‘do do do'”.

During the interview, she stated that “The desire to return, to participate in the Contest is back. VRT can definitely call me.”. Furthermore, she stressed that “I would do this time totally differently. From 2006 until now I have had a lot of action and a lot of experience. I think it will anyway be different than when it was.” And it is true that Kate does have a much bigger fan-base in Europe than she did in 2006 and is now much more well-known across the continent. This would be yet another advantage to Kate’s candidacy, along with her talent, experience and stage presence. Her participation in next year’s Contest would most definitely set the precedent and throw down the gauntlet to the other countries.

Kate Ryan performing 'Je t'adore' for Belgium at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens.

In 2006, Belgium was represented by Kate Ryan and her song Je t’Adore, and was the firm favourite for victory going into the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens. With easily the best song in the competition and a fantastic performance, the country’s failure to qualify from the Semi-Final caused much disconcertion and outcry from fans and spectators. Since then, both singer and song live on in infamy in Eurovision culture with the Kate Ryan Award (an annual award handed out to the favourite that did not qualify) as one of the best examples of this, while many fans invariably always list Je t’Adore as one of their favourite Eurovision entries of recent years. However, Kate has no negative experiences from 2006. “I thought it was super fun in 2006, despite the great disappointment which then hung on down. There is still a few years gone.”

It’s been six years and Kate’s career has only gone from strength to strength. We are confident that she will use this experience and success to do much better this time around and give Belgium its best placing ever. And just to show how far she has come, here’s a compilation of her latest concert, courtesy of Absolute Freedom:

ASFE whole-heartedly supports Kate Ryan’s return to the Eurovision Song Contest!

Editor’s Note: Please note that all quotes have been roughly translated from Dutch, the original language in which the interview with was conducted and that the English translations have been kept as close as possible in context.

Summer is about to get that much hotter…

Over the years, the Eurovision stage has been graced by the heels of some of Europe’s most talented and beautiful female singers. And a trio of them have released new singles in time for summer, making me want to throw a massive party just for an excuse to play them at full blast. But then again, I never really needed much of an excuse anyway….

Kate Ryan (Belgium 2006) – LoveLife

LoveLife sees Kate Ryan doing what she does best: glamorous dance with a tinge of Europop. Even though the message of living one life with one love and that being all you need is a tried, tested and exhausted concept, the song still manages to be a generous slice of euphoric dance pop that will no doubt see a fair share of radio play. LoveLife is the lead single from Kate’s upcoming English-language release ‘Electroshock’, and comes with a glam music video in which we get to see Kate strut her stuff and like nobody’s business.

Kalomira (Greece 2008) – This Is The Time

The Muse that provided the inspiration for Greece’s third place finish at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest is back with a brand new single after a bit of a hiatus. This Is The Time is a sparkly piece of pop in which Kalomira abandons the bouzouki in favour of uplifting synths. Her voice, which is foil-thin a la Janet Jackson, somehow suits this style of music. And wow, how amazing does she look?

AySel (Azerbaijan 2009) – Tonight

AySel has also opted for a change of style. The Azeri beauty is prepping for the release of Tonight which is a combination of Romanian dance music and Jennifer Lopez’s On The Floor. It’s a cool song with the potential to do really well internationally.

Who should do the honours for… Belgium?

Belgium just recently crowned their ‘Idool’ 2011 winner. A talented young man by the name of Kevin Kayirangwa, or simply Kevin and I think he would be a great choice to represent Belgium at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. He has a very fresh, contemporary vibe that seems to do well at the Eurovision these days and would be a worthy successor to Tom Dice (I’m ignoring the fact that Witloof Bay ever happened). Check out his new single She’s Got Moves below:

He reminds me quite a bit of Bruno Mars. Indeed, She’s Got Moves certainly does swing in that direction, with a bit of a Europop flavour making it one of my current favourite songs at the moment. He also did a very creditable performance of Cee Lo’s Forget You, along with OneRepublic’s Apologize and Usher’s More, all of which suggest he’s very much in tune with the current musical landscape. As such, should he go forward as Belgium’s representative, he’d a song in that style and level. Just imagine Belgium rocking out Baku with this:

Eurostars hit MTV & VH1

Madcon, the spirited duo who provided the decade’s best interval act has managed to crack MTV. Their latest release ‘Freaky Like Me’ has been played quite heavily on the popular channel. The song also features Ameerah, who has participated in the Belgian national finals. Check out the song below:

In addition, VH1 did a show a few weeks back counting down the best-selling albums of 2010. Guess who was number 10? Lena with ‘My Cassette Player’! It was so cool to see her showcased alongside the likes of Kylie Minouge.

It seems that Eurovision particpants are getting even more exposure and fame thanks to the contest. Lets hope that this will convince established stars to take part and turn the tide in the general public’s perception of the Eurovision Song Contest.

For now, congratulations to Madcon, Ameerah and Lena!

Hit Alert! – ‘C’est La Musique’ by Steve Linden

Time for another Hit Alert! Today’s is dedicated to a song by Steve Linden called ‘C’est La Musique’. Check it out below:

It’s a jaunty piece of pop that bounces along nicely. It’s also got a catchy melody, a guitar and a good singer. And, like any aspiring Eurovision song worth it’s salt, its got whimsical ‘la la la la la’s in the chorus! Furthermore, some YouTubing has revealed that Monsieur Linden has got some vocal chops that takes the song to another level. It would appear to me that ‘C’est La Musique’ is the kind of song that is better appreciated performed live rather than on record. This is good, as all too often we see many good songs being massacred by deplorable live vocals.

‘C’est La Musique’ has personality, heart and will really shine on stage. Having being selected to the televised qualifier in Belgium’s Eurovision selection, I’m looking forward Linden’s performance of this little gem immensely.

Belgium unveils first songs for 2011

The sun has barely set on summer 2010 and already countries are kick starting their preparations for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Sweden and Albania have announced the dates and venues for their national selections. Cyprus has even gone ahead and selected their singer. But its Belgium that has truly got the 2011 Eurovision season rolling with broadcaster RTBF’s rather innovative online platform which they’ll be using to select the country’s song and singer.

Basically, aspiring Eurovision contenders can upload their songs onto the platform and get people to invest in it. The songs that manage to rack up 20,000 euros will then proceed to the second stage of the selection, which will be a televised national final with the song being selected by a mixture of public televote and expert jury. Phew!

Although the platform was only launched a few days ago, we’re already seeing a number of songs being uploaded and gathering up euros.

Léa Clément is hoping to represent Belgium with 'Où s'en vont nos rêves?'.

I’ve had a listen and my favourite song by far is the lovely ‘Où s’en vont nos rêves?’ by the talented Léa Clément. The song is a sweet combination of pop and classic French chanson. The melody is subtle but grabs you on the first listen, which is important for a Eurovision entry. I felt that the chorus could have benefited from having the violins featured a bit more prominently to emphasize the melody but I guess that, should the song make it to the second stage, the production will be amped up. But it’s a lovely song and the only one of two from the lot that I listen to repeatedly. You can listen to ‘Où s’en vont nos rêves?’ by clicking here and then on the ‘Play’ icon off on the side.

Another really good song is ‘Ice Blood’ by Gautier Reyz, which is the second song I find myself going back for more. It’s contemporary, upbeat and catchy. Gautier sounds a bit like Metro Station, but with a slight French accent, which is actually quite cool. You can listen to ‘Ice Blood’ here.

Other notable mentions are ‘Taste Of Today’ by Krystel Yorke, ‘J’imagine’ by Double Vie and seventies throwback ‘Doesn’t She Notice’ by Wilhelm Schweigamer.

‘Ice Blood’ is currently leading the pack with ‘Où s’en vont nos rêves?’ coming in second. Yay! My two favourite songs are doing well.

Overall it’s a good crop of songs and with more artists adding their songs to the fray, the Belgian national selection is shaping up to look pretty promising.