Time to paint the town red, yellow and black — the band Hooverphonic will represent Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
Yes, after years of dreaming of the ambient pop group performing at Eurovision, plenty of Eurofans are dropping their frites and saying yay. Flemish broadcaster VRT revealed the news this evening at the end of the television show Vandaag on the channel Eén. Just as Belgium did ahead of Eurovision 2018 with Sennek, they are the first country to reveal their artist for the new season.
This band is big. Hooverphonic rose to fame in the mid 1990s as they delivered their moody, playful take on trip-hop, and have remained popular on the Belgian music scene ever since. As a testament to their enduring celebrity, they’ve been touring Belgium and Europe since March.
Somehow they’ve found time to fit Eurovision into their packed schedule, which already includes stops all around Belgium, as well as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic. Their Eurovision promo tour is already on lock!
Don’t let the word “ambient” fool you. Their catalogue isn’t just breathy vocals with some digital sounds as filler. Their songs are pleasantly varied. Their more recent work includes some proper dance elements, while older songs mix jazz, chanson and more. Take a gander over to YouTube and check out the likes of “Mad About You”, “Badaboum”, “2 Wicky”, “Romantic” and “Eden”.
Geike Arnaert, the original lead vocalist, left the group in 2008. The current lead singer is teen dream Luka Cruysberghs. In 2017 she won The Voice van Vlaanderen. Her bandmates are Alex Callier (producer/songwriter) and Raymond Geerts (guitar). And yes: that is the same Alex Callier that mentored Sennek in Lisbon and co-wrote “A Matter of Time”. He has been a fan and spectator of Eurovision for a long time, hence the band decided to say yes to VRT’s proposal.
Olivier Goris, network manager at Eén, said it’s been a long time coming.
“Hooverphonic is an unlikely top name. Having them defend the Belgian colours is something we’ve been dreaming of for years. It’s great that it works now! It is an incredible honour that with Één we can send the best of the best to the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Hooverphonic hasn’t much about their song for Eurovision, but have confirmed the lyrics will be in English. The group are currently working on their entry and will present their song at some time in early 2020.
Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest
After a successful ride from 2015 to 2017, with two fourth-place finishes in the grand final, Belgium currently finds itself in the danger zone. Both Sennek and Eliot failed to get Belgium to the final. So the Belgians know they need to step it up, especially since Eurovision is hosted this year by friendly rival The Netherlands. Earlier it was announced that VRT was talking to the “number one of the wishlist“, triggered by the recent Dutch success in ESC.
Belgium is one of the original Eurovision countries. They had to wait thirty years for a win though. Now, almost 32 years after that win, Belgium yearns to hold the trophy for a second time. But surely Belgium can draw hope from the fact their neighbours won just a few months ago.
The country is known for kicking off the Eurovision season. VRT is a particularly eager bean, being the first participating broadcaster to announce their artist in 2018 and again in 2020.
What do you think about Belgium’s decision? Are you feeling Hooverphonic? And will Belgium get it right this year in terms of staging and song? Let us know in the comments box below!
I really like them. This is exciting news from Belgium.
Again they give us high hopes. Lets just wait for the song.
Oh m g. I spent my school years listening to this band. Their debut record, A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular, is a flawless trip hop classic, all killer no filler and still highly recommended, one of the best 90’s records. They had a few hits since then, however, after 20 years it’s safe to say they’re sure past their peak. Frankly, I even used to wonder whether Belgium would ever send Hooverphonic to ESC. And now since the news is in, it feels unreal. Here’s hoping they’ll stick to their old trip hop / dream pop guns even though these… Read more »
Getting a refresher on Hooverphonic now, since I’ve never heard of this band. I do have a soft spot for alt-pop/alt-rock/alt-soul, though. “Looking For Stars” (video quite creepy at the end) is the kind of alt-rock I’d like to hear at ESC, given that I’ve been clamoring 4 years for Kensington from NED to give it a shot. “Romantic”, very different from the kind of song you’d expect to hear at ESC.
A veteran group with a young gun on lead. This will be very interesting. 🙂
And I agree with Kirby below me. If they’re going to inject style in their performance, they’ll need a healthy dose of pizzazz to avoid being compared to Sennek, and run the risk of not qualifying.
And how do you and Kirby know? Do you know already thé song? My suggestion? Keep such comments when they song is known, will you
They may be stylish. They may create a great entry. Their lyrics may be deep. They may have a stylish image. …but if they do another Sennek, would they make it to the GF?
I already wait for them being called last when they will announce the qualifiers for the Grandi Final.
I hope not. It’s annoying that they always call Belgium last when they qualify because it eliminates any suspense! Why not first for a change?
They were doing that to tease the President of the EBU, who is Belgian. But I think now the new president is British, not sure if they’ll continue the prank.
The lyrics of Hooverphonic add extra value to their songs… I’m excited!
Yes, cause people vote massively on lyrics at Eurovision :s
I’m excited about this
Please send a unique indie pop but not a laid back feel-good song. The alternative music can go either way. Hope for the best.
Wow! This is fantastic news!
Nice choice Belgium 🙂
here is in Ukraine we know the band, their music often on local radio and tv, glad to see artists you know and like a lot, good luck guys)))
I am not really convinced with the choice of Hooverphonic. Unfortunately this band has already reached their peak for some time. The last album “Looking For Stars” was not a success here in Belgium. The new singer Luka Cruysbergs does not have the charisma and experience that the previous singers did have. I also think Alex Callier is not the most pleasant person. In interviews he appears very arrogant and it seems that making music is his invention. I had expected a much braver choice from VRT and not a band that will use Eurovision to breathe new life into… Read more »
Seems we have a nice guy in here
I can understand this, especially if you’re from Belgium and you have told us the status of their career.
However, while it seems as if VRT chose this old band, it still fits the Belgian narrative of uplifting new and young singers to the European audience (which is Luka). The difference lies in the packaging: Luka is also Hooverphonic lead, so why not also use the chance to uplift the band? Smart marketing strategy done by VRT Een.
I think the problem is the style of their music. These type of songs usually rely heavily on the presence of the overall image on the stage. If it goes wrong, it’s easy not to qualify. But if it goes well, it can create magic. Hope they can pull it off.
En de eerste azijnpisser is gearriveerd
Deze reactie is nog dommer dan Aline Van Rossem zelf… vol leugens!
I can relate much to Kobe’s message and certainly his stance on the singer who lacks a lot of charisma, seems frigtened on stage, doens’t interact neither with the audience nor with the rest of the band on stage and seems to be staring at the same distant point, probably the EXIT board.
I don’t know Aline Van Rossem but if she’s part of the songfestival.be-crew, she isn’t probably very bright as they once translated the Dutch ‘terugzenden’ as ‘resent’ which has a totalky other meaning in English, but you can’t expect much from the successors of eurosong.be.
That sound good, the song on the announcement video is quite good, but this type of music might be difficult to stage, think on Paenda. They will need something really good to stand up if they end up on a field of Elenis and Maruvs. Off Topic, but it’s a great story. Mother-in-law came, she barely speaks English. We were on the car with the 2019 playlist, Serhat came on and she began commenting how she loved how enthusiastic about his tea he was. Explanation: Mint tea in Arabic is “Chai Nana’, so she legitimately thought Say Na Na Na… Read more »
I will always tell you life is beautiful and chai
I think we can worry a bit less: The main (and seems to be the only) reason Hoover accepted Eurovision is that Callier had produced a reasonably strong entry. As Callier was competing before with ‘A Matter of Time’, we can set high expectations for what the entry would sound like.
Alex only wanted to go with the right song and if you have seen him on the Voice you will know he really is all about quality and a perfectionist.
Ambient music is a hit or miss. It’s either very good or very bad. It needs to transfer well on stage in order to work. Otherwise we will have another PAENDA or Sennek.
The hype is real! A great choice to start in the new saison ^^ “Horrible Person” is an amazing song for me <3
I pray that the legendary WHY AY AY AY Lady will represent The Netherlands in 2020!!!
Trijntje issa queen <3 I still listen to "Walk Along" regularly 😛 I really do!
I still can’t believe they did not try Eurovision in the 2000s. But their music style seems so timeless especially given the fact that Luka is now with them. It looks suitable for them to participate in Eurovision in any years they want and that’s quite good to me.
It’s because (they are right) the quality of the contest was really poor, even I couldn’t watched it…
Wow wow wow. Yes this is Eurovision for me. Best of the best. Thank you, Belgium!
I’m kind of ashamed to say I’d never heard of these guys until this morning …but I’m looking forward to checking them out (and hopefully forgetting that their name reminds me of a vacuum cleaner). Loïc, Laura, Blanche, Sennek and Eliot were all new to me too when they were chosen.
I just hope that if the song stands up to Belgium’s recent quality levels (mediocre Wake Up chorus aside) they can give it the stage treatment it deserves and get back into the final again.
Great. I like a lot of their music.
Especially the older songs – but one or two Song of their recent release are amazing as well.
This is a real achievement for Belgium, having managed to convince one of their biggest artists! My favorite song of Hooverphonic is Amalfi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fDdcrs9X10). Too bad the lead singer is not the same.
A really good choice from Belgium. Interested to see what Hooverphonic give us next year.
A little off topic, but Bulgaria was supposed to reach a decision in terms of participation for next year at the end of September. Has anyone heard anything regarding this?
One of my favorite artists of all-time… in Eurovision? My heart can’t take this ;-; The 2020 season just started and it’s already peaked lmao
Wow really? My jaw fell down for five solid minutes after reading this. I’ve been a HUGE Hooverphonic fan for years now and never in my wildest dreams would’ve expected them to do Eurovision, even though I knew that Alex Callier worked on “A Matter of Time” for Sennek (and that song was by far the best song in 2018 for me, the live performance ruined it). Hope they come with the right song, they haven’t been as consistent since Geike Arnaert left IMO, but Luka is a nice vocalist and they do have a distinct sound so we’ll see.… Read more »
AMAZING choice! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited by an actual artist reveal. Getting a group like this, I can understand why they couldn’t wait to make the reveal any longer!
(The bar has been set high this year.)
Although I don’t like Alex’ personality, I must admit they have been making some quality music since the 90’s.
Luka is an excellent vocalist and with what I heard about their comments on the song making process and thought process behind it, I think they song will appeal to both artistic and mainstream music lovers. The only thing I’m worried about is their staging (usually stationary as a band).
Btw the song will be released in February they said.
Yaaay, ESC 2020 has started!! Although I wouldn’t have picked them because of Alex’ personality (a personal thing), I must admit that they have been making quality music since the nineties and have a very good vocalist with Luka right now. Hearing what they said about their own approach and thought process on the song, I’m quite confident it will hit a sweet spot with both artistic and mainstream music lovers. The only thing I’m worried about is staging, since they usually are stationary as a band and like to focus more on the music and feelings, not so much… Read more »
Exciting! Even if they don’t qualify, looks like we are guaranteed some quality.
I think what this teaches us is that Belgium will do anything to send a teenager (Luka is 18).
As long as he performs well, he may be either 16 or 99yo, doesnt matter
He is a she.
Loïc Nottet was 19 years old, Laura 18, Blanche 17, Eliot 18. Sure here in Belgium we like to send young artists. Winning the competition is great, giving a chance to new artists to be known is better!
Here it’s different because the group is already well known but it’s still giving a chance to the new generation. I love the persons who decide, whoever they are, from RTBF or VRT. They completely understood what’s the most important.
Belgium’s only winner was just 13. These people are ancient by comparison.
I guess teens are to Belgium what female soloists are to Ukraine.
Wow, it’s only October and VRT is already setting the bar high up to Mars.
VRT ain’t playing. This ain’t a Darude scenario because they still are fairly relevant musically in today’s market. Moreover for all of the shade surrounding Belgium sending Voice rejects, Luka won her edition. Also if a member co-wrote A Matter of Time we can be sure of song quality. Belgium should easily qualify this year. Well done on starting the decade right!
I hope so. Its one of my favorite countries in ESC and Eliot was really underwhelming to be honest. I mean, his song.
This year? We are in 2019 lol
The “Eurovision year” starts on September 1st and ends on August 31st, because from this day on all released songs could be potential Eurovision entries and also the pre-season starts in 2019 (FiK, internal…). So technically, we are in “this year” 😉
For sure it is interesting… and I kinda like it. Let’s wait for the song. This could go either way, even with a “good” song they aren’t understand in Europe.
don’t let me down!!
Will there be a reaction video on YouTube?
Okay that’s great. BTW are you going to be in that video Robyn?
I’m extremely happy with these news! Don’t know the new vocalist, but I love Hooverphonic’s music. Of course, the important thing is the song, but I already see it as a sign that Belgium is determined to keep bringing quality to the contest. If their biggest problem in the last few years was the lack of experience and/or confidence by their performers, they found a perfect way to attack this particular issue. Great start for 2020.
Inexperience can be charming, when I think of Blanche. In my view, Belgium’s problem in 2018 and 2019 was 100% really bad staging and in Sennek’s case apparently also incredibly bad judgement. They’ll probably do everything to avoid another case like that in 2020.
I would say staging was part of the problem but not the problem itself. They’re coming with very well produced tracks and failing to fulfill the expectations created by them. For example, if Sennek had sounded just as she did in the studio version, the minimalist approach wouldn’t be much of a problem. Though it wouldn’t help her case either. Blanche’s staging was better and her vulnerability matched the song (that was already a fan favorite). With Eliot… well, they had all sorts of problems.
I think a lot of factors explain Sennek not qualifying. The bloodbath of SF1, her outfit and the lackluster staging (not to mention how it didn’t complement the song at all unlike Loic Laura and Blanche) and Sennek’s lack of experience
Congrats. And if it’s a song somehow similar to “A matter of time”, I’ll gladly take it because it was a great one. Belgium have long sorted out their problems with sending quality songs. They need to focus on transcending that quality onto the staging.
Matter of time is great. It could end up really high if only they didn’t pull off Macedonia in terms of staging.
It was a tough semi (even the staging wouldn’t have stopped it from qualifying on Thursday in Lisbon if it had been in SF2).
Let’s first worry about quality and then worry about success.
Fantastic choice, had to search Hooverphonic and was bedazzled to read their music has been featured in loads of films and TV including I Know What You Did Last Summer, Stealing Beauty, New Best Friend, CSI, Cold Case, Mile High etc. Surely they’re the most established act Belgium have selected in a long time? can’t wait to hear their entry and while staging is the only thing that concerns me considering how the last 2 Belgian performances I am hopeful things will go back on track for them, great to have Trip Hop representation in Eurovision and I already feel… Read more »
Thank you Belgium. I love this band , they’re AMAZING!!!!!!!! (Even if we have not yet the song 12 points from Italy)
Im not too impressed by the name. Sure, they have experience and im sure they will deliver some quality but in the end it’s about the song and listening to what they have released lately…eek, doesnt look to promising IMHO. But we’ll see. Maybe they’ll surprise me.
This is great news! I’m not gonna get too excited until I hear the song, though. Fame doesn’t count for much, really. I’m confident it will be good, but a qualifer? Time will tell.
What a great start to the 2020 season!
Meh, as a Belgian I feel like this is a really boring choice. Hooverphonic was interesting years ago, but not anymore… I’m worried a Darude thing might happen.
They could either end up a Darude (semifinal finish), an Engelbert Humperdinck (penultimate final finish), or a Katrina & the Waves (winner).
Off topic: Poland also confirmed their participation for 2020 so no need to worry about them withdrawing 🙂
So that leaves only Armenia, Hungary, Italy and Moldova (+Russia) and ofc high hopes for the return of Bulgaria!
Oooh, that’s cool. Now please send someone people want there, not group you want to promote.
Great choice Belgium! After many years with bad choices, Belgium make a great choice! This band is awesome. They are was my 2nd wish after Milow. I’m satisfied and I can’t wait song.
Isn’t it kinda weird tho how some countries have already started the process of choosing their entry while some others have YET to say that they will participate? Why the hell does it take them this long?
One of the best choices Belgium could have made.