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- Opmerking: Hits: Pump it up
Danzel, whose actual name is Johan Waem, was one of the final 20 contestants of the Belgian version of ‘Idol’ (called Idool 2003). ‘Idol’ is a worldwide spread television show which tries to determine who is the country’s hottest, new musical talent.
Three thousand youngsters participated and only 20 were selected for the big final. Danzel was one of those lucky twenty. It was his chance to show the world what he was capable of.
And, his performance did not stay unnoticed: he proved to have a very remarkable, soulful voice and an enticing personality. The down-to-earth chap with spiky hair and blue glasses left a very good impression. Not in the least on the ladies, we might add. No wonder that he reached the finals.
Danzel has always been interested in singing. When he was 15 he started the pop-rockband ‘Scherp op Snee’, in which he sang and played the bass guitar. Apart from that he was a backing singer for the ‘L.A. Band’, which did a lot of gigs with many famous Belgian artists. But Danzel does more: he plays the piano, guitar, bass-guitar and, being an all round musician and entertainer, he also composes and writes his own music & lyrics. By the way, did you know he worked as a DJ-entertainer in a karaoke bar? Well, that is where he developed his excellent MC-skills…
After Idool 2003 he got in contact with his producer Jaco Van Rijswijk and his current recordcompany N.E.W.S. and they gave him the chance to record his debut-single ‘Pump it up’. He used the artist name Danzel, a name which refers to Johan’s favourite actor: Denzel Washington.
‘Pump it up’ was a remake of a song by the Black and White brothers. Danzel’s remake was released at the end of 2003, only on 300 copies. A limited edition on yellow vinyl. People reacted very enthusiastically. The record was picked up by Airplay Records (France) and The Underdog Project producers (DJ Frank and Andy Janssens, at that time the producer of Kate Ryan) complimented Danzel on his version. The videoclip for the song was shot in a striptease club downtown Ghent. On the annual music fair Midem (Cannes, France – last week of January) Danzel was licensed to the rest of Europe and some other, far away countries. At the Midem 2004 Closing Party the famous French DJ Charles Schillings – who played after UK Radio 1’s Pete Tong – played ‘Pump it Up’ two times during his set !!
That's how it all began…
With an amazing domino-effect ‘Pump it up’ was hyped by dj’s all over the world, France was the first country that fell for Danzel’s ‘funky-groove’-sound. No wonder he ended up on n°6 of the single-charts in just a few weeks in France. Because of that, he was booked by clubs all over France and did an amazingly 65 shows in two and a half months. His wildest dreams became true when he was one of the artists on ‘Fête De La Musique 2004’, an annual live show held on the 21st of June in France for celebrating music. Danzel stood there together with artists like Jamelia, Paul young, Zucchero in front of an audience that exceeded 200.000 people.
After that, Germany followed and Danzel ended up even higher in the charts there : on n°4. He even managed to be the first artist to end up on n°1 in all German dance-charts. No need to say he did big festivals and a lot of clubshows there too.
Countries like: Russia, Poland, Turkey, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Holland and even Ukraine and the U.S.A. were visited by Danzel to do numerous shows.
Critics called Danzel a ‘one hit wonder’ but now, almost 4 years after the recording of ‘Pump it up’, he has done an enormously amount of shows all over the world, he released numerous
hitingles, his debutalbum ‘The Name Of The Jam’ , which was a hit-album in a lot of countries, and even a “best of” – album in Poland.
He got an “Eska Award” in Poland, an “MTV Music Award” in Russia, golden records for the sales of singles and albums, just to name a few of the things he and his record companies accomplished.
After ‘Pump It Up’, ‘You Are All Of That’, ‘Home again’, ‘Put Your Hands Up In The Air!’, ‘My arms keep missing you’ (together with DJ F.R.A.N.K.), ‘Undercover’ (which was selected for the Polish Eurosong preselection) and ‘Jump’ Danzel is back with a brand new single called ‘Spin me around’ which comes with a funny video we might add so….
“Sit down, relax and enjoy the ride, because Danzel is on a roll !“
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