The sixth act in our Who Is series for Eurovision 2020 is Hooverphonic from Belgium.
Hooverphonic were formed in 1995 in Sint-Niklaas in East Flanders. The current line up of the band is Alex Callier (bass guitar, keyboards and programming), Raymond Geerts (lead guitar) and Luka Cruysberghs (lead vocals). Alex and Raymond were part of the original line up while Luka became the band’s lead vocalist in 2018.
Hooverphonic first came to public attention with the song “2Wicky”, which was featured on the soundtracks of films such as Stealing Beauty and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Their debut album “A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular” was released in 1996.
After a European tour, Hooverphonic released their second album “Blue Wonder Powder Milk”. The lead single from the album “Club Montepulciano” was a hit in Belgium and was featured in a Volkswagen advertisment in the US. Their third album “Milk” was released in 2000 and was also succesful. That same year, Hooverphonic were asked to compose a song for the opening ceremony of UEFA Euro 2000, which took place in Brussels. The song in question, “Visions”, became the theme song of the championship. In 2001, Hooverphonic became the first Belgian act to headline the Belgian festival Rock Werchter.
Hooverphonic released three more studio albums: “Hooverphonic Presents Jackie Cane” (2002), “No More Sweet Music” (2005) and “The President of the LSD Golf Club” (2007) and a live album “Sit Down and Listen to Hooverphonic” (2003) before long time lead vocalist Geike Arnaert decided to leave the band to focus on her solo career. Noémie Wolfs was named the band’s new lead singer. She recorded two studio albums: “The Night Before” (2011) and “Reflection” (2013) and a live album “Hooverphonic With Orchestra Live” (2012) before leaving the band in 2015. For their next album “In Wonderland”, Hooverphonic used several lead voaclists. One of these vocalists was Émilie Satt, who represented France in 2018 as part of Madame Monsieur.
In April 2018, Luka Cruysberghs was revealed as the new lead vocalist of Hooverphonic. Luka won the fifth season of The Voice van Vlaanderen and was mentored on the show by Alex Callier. Their first album with Luka “Looking for Stars” was released in November 2018.
The song that Hooverphonic will perform in Rotterdam is called “Release Me”. It was written and composed by band member Alex Callier. Luca Chiaravalli also helped to compose the song. Hooverphonic were internally selected by VRT to represent Belgium in Rotterdam. They were the first Eurovision 2020 act to be revealed.
Hooverphonic will perform in the second half of the first semi-final on May 12.
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium was one of the original seven nations to participate in the first edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. To date, the country has won the contest only once in 1986. Sandra Kim won the contest with the song “J’aime la vie”, her victory was not without controversy when it emerged that Sandra was just 13 years old, two years younger than the age restriction at the time. In the late 00s, Belgium struggled in the contest failing to reach the final annually from 2005 until 2010, when Tom Dice finished 6th in the final with 143 points. Belgium has finished last at the contest six times, including two sets of nul points.