Our first Pop Atlas article focused on Sweden, and we’re now shifting our sights to a country less known for its musical exports: The Netherlands (also known as Holland). They gave the world 2Unlimited in the early ’90s but internationally-known Dutch stars have been somewhat thin on the ground since then. Could doe-eyed songstress Esmee Denters be the artist to break the cycle?
Dutch blogs have been buzzing about Esmée since 2007, when the 20-year-old became a YouTube after uploading videos of herself singing along to top 40 songs. Esmée’s clips caught the attention of a certain Justin Timberlake, who promptly signed her. Her debut album ‘Outta Here’ was released in The Netherlands earlier this year and her debut single of the same title hit the top 10 in The Netherlands and UK this summer. Her album is a slick mix of pop and R&B (in the style of Justin Timberlake) with both ballads and uptempo tracks.
Songs to check out: Outta Here, Victim, Bigger Than The World and What If.
Other current Dutch artists to check out:
- Anouk: a feisty rocker who broke through during the Alanis Morissette era. We’re particularly charmed by ‘Good God’. Latest single: ‘Woman’ taken from her album ‘For Bitter or Worse‘.
- Krause: the alter ego of singer/songwriter Susanne Clermonts. Her debut single ‘Radio Edit’ is a mixture of disco, pumping electro beats and kick-ass vocals.
- Tiësto: DJ / producer known for this dance anthems. He’s about to pull a ‘David Guetta’, by releasing a full length album of dance track featuring well known artists like Nelly Furtado, Kele Okereke from Bloc Party and Jónsi from Sigur Rós.
- Eva Simons: the red-quiffed singer started off on Dutch reality show PopStars, which spawn girlband Raffish in 2004. This year she went solo and released her electro-pop single ‘Silly Boy’, which generated quite a bit of buzz as it was incorrectly labelled as a duet by Rihanna and Lady GaGa. Coincidence or clever PR stunt?
- EliZe: a mixture of throw-away pop and euro dance.
- Don Diablo: good looking DJ / producer, expected to release his debut album ‘Life Is a Festival’ end of 2009. Also known for remixing songs for Mika, FrankMusik and Dragonette.
- Ilse De Lange: middle of the road country music. Yes, country.
Did we miss out on anyone up and coming? Let us know in the comments section, or join us on the message board to discuss the merits of Dutch pop music.