K3 was put together by Niels William (himself in the past a Flemish
artist, from 1996 onwards active as a radio-presenter and "executive producer"
of hitparadebands such as Boysband and this K3), in search of a "female boysband"
or a kind of Flemish "girlpower". After he had found three capable singers
for the project, a name was easily found, since their names were Kathleen,
Kristel en Karen.
Kathleen (the blonde one) had a past in the VTM-Soundmixshow (as
Meredith of Pop in Wonderland) and briefly held
a place in the international spotlights as a stand-in for the kiss-shy Sanne
in the musical version of the "Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs"-fairytale.
Kristel (the black one) had previously sung in the occasional band that sung the
songs of Ann Christy in the programme "Dag Vreemde
Man". Karen (the red one) made her showbizz-debut with K3, but had already
done some work behind the scenes of a few dance-productions.
The first single of the merry threesome "Wat
ik Wil" (What I Want, but it was no cover of the Spice Girls wannabe)
did quite make the band a big breakthrough, although the reception was favorable.
Therefore, the band decided to participate in the local preselections of Eurosong
for in 1999. To this aim they used the songwriting capabilities of the Top-studio
team (the team behind successes for artists such as Isabelle A, The
Dinky Toys, Sha-Na ...) for the song "Heyah Mama". Although the
group did not survive the preselection (which was one by Alana Dante), they managed
to catch the attention with their candid reply to juror Marcel
Vanthilt's remark "Truly music for eight-year old and babies"
with "if only they hadn't put a baby in the jury, Marcel".
When "Heya Mama" was released
as a single a few months after, the final breakthrough came about (just as was
the case for that other flunked Eurosong-hit of Belle Perez).
The cheerful sing-along-song started a hitparade career that made it into the
best-selling Flemish song in living memory (with three times gold, more than 30
weeks in the Flemish hitparade, a second place in the Ultratop ...) Moreover,
this song was relieved at the top position by new singles of the same group, since
"Yeke Yeke" and "I
Love You Baby" also made it to the top of the Flemish hitparade (breaking
a record Will Tura had set in 1966).
In October 1999 the hits that were (and probably will be) were
bundled onto the album "Parels" (Pearls), that made it to gold status
with pre-sales only and went to number 8 in the list of best-selling albums in
Flanders of 1999. The recipe : catchy and easy tunes, lyrics that make sense to
minors, and the naughty, girlish and giggly image of the three ladies on stage.
In september 2000, the girly threesome had a brand new cd up and
ready (even while the old one was still in the top 10 of best-selling albums,
and while thet were doing increasingly well with their debut single "Heyah
Mama" over in the Netherlands). The album "Alle Kleuren" was presented
in Bellewaerde of course didn't contain a drastic musical change, completely in
accordance with the rule "never change a winning team". The songs and
soon-to-be soundtrack of your life if you have a daughter in the age region 6-12
is Alle Kleuren (the current single), Hippie Shake, Yippee Yippee (the
new Heya Mama, and the next single), Ik ben verliefd op Leonardo (about
herr Caprio), Oma's aan de top, 1-2-Doe me me mee, Nacht uit een miljoen, Laat
de wind maar waaien, Om te dromen, Ik wil jou, Jongens zijn gek, Doe maar, and
last Het Gordellied (the other side of the current double A-side single).
Of "Alle Kleuren" there were more than 100.000 copies
sold in just a few months, even better than "Parels". The marketing
effort weren't avoided, and the merchandising of the band ran like crazy. In December
2000, the girls were the main characters in a musical about them in Studio 100
in Schelle (about a bunch of girls who want to form a pop band), there were dolls
made to the likeness of the three K3-girls, the schoolgoing youths could not do
without hard-backs, satchels and even clothes of K3 etc .. etc ... and there were
even plans to make a tv-series with the ladies in the main part. Meanwhile, even
Holland was beginning to show interest, with "Heya Mama" making a trip
trough the charts there one year later than in Flanders.
2001 the girls were on the receiving end of many an award again (platinum for
"Alle Kleuren", gold for the same album in Holland) and are hoping to
release their third album already in the Fall. In the meantime, they were treating
the fans already to a double single "Tele-Romeo" / "Blub ik ben
een vis". "The fans don't have to expect many great changes, but
this Cd wil be even more swell then the two last ones. The title of the CD isn't
fixed yet, but one of our favourite songs on it is called Jupiter. That just might
become the title ...", they said already.
For the first time, the group also did get some real competition in 2001, as their
young audience also swayed in numbers for the M-Kids
"Swingen", a group made up of 3 jumpy tenners. For a while, the
leading position of K3 in the charts was in danger.
In the summer of 2001, however, K3 re-instated their "supremacy"
again, as the single "Tele-Romeo" (wie heb ik aan de lijn, hallo hallo,
did móre than excellent: at the beginning of the summer, it stormed to
the top of the hitparades (both the Flemish and the overall sales), and didn't
leave that spot until the summer had receded. For the 3rd time in a row, this
won the band the "Zomerhit"-trophy. The single's title also gave it's
name to the third K3-cd, which was released at the end of August with a promotion-stunt
in 3 Flemish cities on 1 day (Kortrijk, Antwerpen and Hasselt). Through the pre-sales
of the album only, 60,000 copies, "Tele-Romeo" already became
double platinum. At the end of 2001, a new single was taken from the album, the
song "Mama's en Papa's".
In 2002 there will be a first musical-experience for the band, as Karen, Kristel
and Katleen will play the part of the "good faeries" in a musical adaptation
of Cinderella ("Doornroosje", a studio 100 production). There's also
rumours of a TV-series again, this time linked to VTM.
Band members :
- Kathleen Aerts
- Kristel Verbeke
- Karen Damen
Buy CD's of this band at
- Parels (BMG-Ariola, 1999)
- Parels 2000 (2CD with some extra tracks, BMG-Ariola, 2000)
- Alle Kleuren (BMG-Ariola, 2000)
- Alle Kleuren Limited Edition (2CD with extra karaoke-version etc., BMG, 2001)
- Tele-Romeo (BMG-Ariola, 2001) Singles :
- Wat ik Wil (BMG-Ariola, 1998)
- Heyah Mama (BMG-Ariola, 1999)
- Yeke Yeke (BMG-Ariola, 1999)
- I Love You Baby (BMG-Ariola, 1999)
- Alle Kleuren / Gordellied (BMG-Ariola, 2000)
- Yippee Yippee (BMG-Ariola, 2000)
- Oma's aan de top (BMG, 2000)
- Tele-Romeo / Blub ik ben 'n vis (BMG, 2001)
- Mama's en Papa's (BMG, 2001)
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