Last updated: 12/07/2009 11:00:00 AM
C21– from the locker room to the charts and the limelight
- Upcoming debut album from solid live pop group
What could be more tempting than to pin the ‘yet another polished boyband’ label on C21?
They are good-looking, they sing beautifully composed vocal harmonies as naturally as the rest of us brush our teeth every day, and their lyrics and music belong in the most sensitive end of the pop specter.
Nevertheless, the three C21 boys actually write on the majority of their songs - and also play the guitars themselves when they go on stage, accompanied by much applause. What’s more, the trio originally came together far from the recording industry’s notorious concept band templates.
So boyband? You could say that. Pop group? Yes Sir, definitely – with an occasional touch of untamed rock. Good pop? The debut single ‘Stuck In My Heart’ should be answer enough – well composed, capturing, and at an international level concerning its development and execution.
Since its release in mid-September, their first single has reached Top 10 and Top 20 on the most important charts in Denmark, including Denmark’s Official Single Hit Chart, DR1 Boogie Chart, Denmark’s Official Airplay Chart, P3 Tjek Chart and The Voice Chart…
The band attribute their inspiration to like-minded stars abroad – a presence like Robbie Williams definitely shines through on the highly energetic guitarfrenzied ‘She Cries’, while the upcoming 2nd single, the ballad ‘You Are The One’, could easily pass for an American top production – beautiful and tightly produced.
‘Be With You Again’ is the kind of upbeat pop tune that immediately sticks to your brain. To the great delight of all the fans, this bouncing tune has practically become a permanent fixture at the end of C21’s live performances. Formidable guitar work and vocal harmonies that send chills up your spine are stylishly served up in the songs ‘You Just Wait And See’ and ‘Could You Ever’.
One of the tracks the boys have played live since the very beginning is the lively ‘Hanging On A String’, which has already proven itself on the soundtracks for both of the movies ‘Catch That Girl’ and ‘Tzatziki 2’. The song already had its live acoustic debut in January 2002.
Another song which underlines the breadth of C21’s album is ‘Deep Down’, where C21 reveal themselves in a different light by sprinkling a couple of handfuls of R&B extract into the production. The album is defined by classic pop songs of very high quality, but put together in C21’s own style. With their characteristic three-voiced vocals, the album has a solid and recognizable C21 sound.
Søren Bregendal, who is the heavyweight in the trio’s songwriting process, explains: ‘We are influenced by the style of music heard on the radio. We do create pop when we are at the most melodic end of our musical range – but we prefer to add a rockish edge to our music whenever we can.” Søren also has his own clear definition of which label to apply to C21. Boyband or pop group? He says: “We don’t really mind being associated with brilliant musicians such as *NSync or Westlife. We are devoted to good melodies, and have been given the opportunity to develop our own sound in our own way – just as we are involved in the writing and producing of our own music.
C21 have only just begun profiling themselves on the music scene. Their self-entitled debut album has been recorded, and the 14 C21 tunes will take on record stores all over Denmark on January 27th, 2003. Until then, David, Søren and Esben are spending their time getting close to their continuously growing number of fans. When Christmas comes, C21 will have spent a busy fall performing live for roughly 40.000 people in Denmark, and it is quite apparent that the band’s three-voiced chorus lines will not be forgotten right away…
Over 3.000 fanmails have been sent to C21’s homepage, and the line for autographs looks more like the pre-sale line for a grand film premiere than what it really is: The chance to have a quick chat and maybe a hug from one of the three boys, who have already set many a young girl’s heart aflame. Meanwhile, the rest of us are only just coming to realize that a new pop phenomenon is seeing the light of day.
“We haven’t yet done any playback vocals at any of our live concerts, and to prove to the audience that we truly can sing, we always pull out our acoustic guitars and perform a couple of tune unplugged”, says Søren about the band’s good experiences on tour.
C21’s story begins in the locker room of a football club; the kind of place where the potent smell of laddishness normally competes with that of sweaty football gear and fusty football boots; the kind of place where emotions are only expressed when the team has just lost miserably. This is not the kind of place where you would normally hear the sound of silky-smooth pop notes. Nevertheless, 16-year-old Søren trod outside the norm, letting his voice resound throughout the locker room. One of his teammates’ dad, Lars Quang, heard Søren singing one day and immediately invited him to test his vocals in the studio which he owns. There was audibly potential in his efforts, and when Søren brought his mate (Esben) from his high school band with him to studio session, Quang began to visualize what talent he was experiencing. Not long after, Søren and Esben were doing a warm-up gig at a friend’s party where they met yet another talented singer – David. C21 saw the first light of day when David picked up a guitar and played himself straight into Søren and Esben’s musical universe.
What’s more, Søren said goodbye to his dream of playing superleague football because he wanted to join the pop superleague instead. So he shelved his football boots, regardless of the fact that he had just been chosen for the Danish national youth team. David made a shift from the world of musicals to the world of music, and Esben has really just stayed on the same track he started out on, playing in his high school band with Søren.
Now, after three years, a good deal of blood, sweat, tears and discarded songs, the boys have no regrets concerning the choices they each made – The three of them are as ready as you can ever be. If singing sublimely, writing earbending hits, working methodically, looking great and having super fan appeal is not enough, then who is ever ready?
David Pepke (lead vocals, chorus, guitar, lyrics)
Søren Bregendal (lead vocals, chorus, keyboards, lyrics)
Esben Duus (lead vocals, chorus, guitar, lyrics)
Stuck In My Heart, single
You Are The One, single
C21, debut album