They’re the trip-hop trio that were announced as Belgium’s Eurovision 2020 act a little over one week ago. And Hooverphonic are determined to avoid the pitfalls that led to the downfall of their immediate predecessors.
Hooverphonic discuss Blanche, Sennek and Eliot
Speaking to Songfestival.be, founding member Alex Callier sounds off on the performances of Blanche (2017), Sennek (2018) and Eliot (2019).
Assessing the contrasting fortunes of the two most recent Wallonian efforts — fourth place versus a non-qualification, Callier says it was mostly down to song choice.
“The biggest difference between those two was that “City Lights” was a better song… Eliot’s song started very strong but the chorus wasn’t that strong.
And Blanche has a very distinctive sound and special tone. So even with a performance not that strong, because she didn’t always hit the notes, the song and the voice were really very intriguing and that helped. Eliot, his voice was good but not so special… and way too nervous in his performance”.
But, of course, a successful Eurovision entry is like a multi-layered cake. There’s more than one ingredient in the mix. However, the exact recipe remains a mystery.
“It’s a mixture of everything and that is important. There is no formula for that. What you can do is making sure the energy is right, are the vocals good and, of course, the message, although that is relative – not everybody listens to the lyrics of a song”.
Close followers of the competition will already know that Callier was involved with writing Sennek’s “A Matter Of Time” in 2018. That too failed to qualify.
The non-qualification, he claims, was down to decisions made by others.
“With Sennek they made the big mistake of putting her on that catwalk. That wasn’t the best idea in my opinion. If I have to be honest, at that time I knew that wasn’t the best position”.
Furthermore, the song changed significantly from when he first worked on it.
“The evolution of the song went really weird. I started writing with her and then she finished it with somebody else. My version had a choir during the entire song. My idea for her staging was that she would be surrounded by a cool band, like rockabillies.
So surrounded by them, singing along, taking you in. But they didn’t do that, they made it more a diva song, but then you have to be a real diva. That was the advantage for Blanche, she didn’t have to be a diva, because her song was so fragile”.
Alex assures the interviewer that “we will work with other teams”.