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neeka is the artistname for Ilse Goovaerts, a female singer-songwriter in the tradition of Joni Mitchell, Ricky Lee Jones and Shawn Colvin.


van "neeka" (1999)

"This is not my home"
1 min 16 sec. - 150 Kb.

"The Gardener"
52,2 sec. - 102 Kb.

1 min 30 sec. - 176 Kb.

"Fight of the night"
60 sec. - 118 Kb.

song : Ilse Goovaerts
Producer : Staf Verbeeck
Year : 1999
Record co. : Oyster Records


The breakthrough of neeka happened in 1999, when she was 28 years old. She had been going to music classes ever since she was 8, has played church organ, bought a guitar as a teen, discovered her versatile voice a bit later and had played in a band specializing in covers of bands such as Indigo Girls, 10,000 Maniacs and Suzanne Vega. "After a while I started writing songs of my own, a creative process that was more satisfying to me than playing covers. After some time, these songs were asking for different instrumentation's so I teamed up with other musicians. By the time we recorded the CD in 1998, only the drummer was left", she told De Morgen.


neeka won the talentcontest Rock Ternat, got to open for a few other groups (Flowers For Breakfast, Tribe ...), and was picked up by the young but ambitious Brussels-based record label Oyster Records. With producer Staf Verbeeck (The Romans, Red Zebra, Kadril, Metal Molly ...) she went looking for studiomusicians. A demo that was sent to Roland Van Campenhout did the trick : he called on Lange Polle (B.J. Scott, Wolf Banes, Guy Swinnen ...) and Bart Denolf (a jazz-bassplayer) to show up.
After an intensive period of rehearsals ("the atmosphere was good from the start. I didn't feel intimidated by the musical heavyweights at all. They kept asking me if I was satisfied with their contribution, while I felt they themselves had to be given space to do their thing"), the songs found their definitive form and the records was recorded almost live in the Jet Studio.

The title-less debut album was released in April of 1999 and was received rather favorably by the critics, who scribbled comparisons with people like Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega or even Jeff Buckley in their columns. A good move by the record company was without a doubt to introduce neeka with a cover of Tom Robinson's "Listen to the radio (Atmospherics)". The English singer even came to Belgium to talk of "how impressed he was with her version" and to do a number of guest-performances (he even ended up signing a record deal with that same company). This created a slight buzz and got neeka some television shows in Flanders (Zevende dag, morgen maandag ..).

In the summer of 1999, she stood on the stage of the folkfestival in Dranouter, Marktrock Leuven and the Crossing Border festival in the Netherlands with a new band (Roland and c° had went on to new horizons by then).

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- neeka (Oyster Records, 1999)
- The Gardener (1998)
- This is not my home (1999)
- Eve (1999)

Websites :
- My review of her debut-CD
- More info and the official bio can be found at Oyster records

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Neeka
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Neeka



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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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