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!