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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.
Johan has always been interested in singing. He has been playing music for years and was one of the members of the band “Scherp op Snee”, in which he sang and played the bass guitar. Apart from that he has been a backing singer for the L.A. Band, which does a lot of gigs with many famous Belgian musicians. But, Johan does more: he plays the piano and guitar, and, being an all round musician and entertainer, he also composes and writes his own 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…
Idool 2003 gave Johan the chance to dedicate his life to music and 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’ is 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, also the producer of Kate Ryan) complimented Danzel on his version. The videoclip for the song was shot in a striptease club downtown Ghent. The ladies in the video are all regular clients of the hip Culture Club, which is - according to the Britisch Sunday Times Magazine – ‘the coolest place on earth’. 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 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 two years after the recording of ‘Pump it up’, he has done an enormously amount of shows all over the world, he released his debutalbum ‘The Name Of The Jam’ , wich is a hit-cd in a lot of countries, he got an Eska Award in Poland, an MTV Music Award in Russia, golden records for the sales of singles and album, just to name a few of the things he and his record companies accomplished.
At this moment ‘Put your hands up in the air’ is Danzel’s newest single and it looks like the big countries where it all began for him, France and Germany, are ready to welcome Danzel…
“Sit down, relax and enjoy the ride, because Danzel is on a roll !!!“
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