* January 03, 1984
The Netherlands
Solo Artist
Dennis is Her Name Is Dennis “Some just call it music, to me it’s like a drug.” This is not just a line from Dennis’ debut single ‘No Can Do’, a cool, catchy tune of booty-shaking big band sounds. The 23-year-old Dutch singer knows what she is talking about. With a smashing debut album, this brand new pop star expresses her unconditional love for music with a remarkable string of potential hits. Dennis has always been surrounded by music. She grew up in her dad’s recording studio, where musicians came and went all day. Young Dennis kept her eyes and ears open, storing all the information she gathered over the years in her little head. She started taking singing, piano and dance lessons at the age of ten. A few years later, she formed her own band, did a lot of backing vocals for other artists and, basically, seized every opportunity to perform on stage. “But I was too wild and too young to be serious about it. I wanted it all: lots of girlfriends, even more boyfriends, hanging around in bars, going to dance events… I didn’t get serious about music until much later,” she says. The turning point came after a trip to the US, where she worked with kids from the ghettos of New York, who had little or no future. “There I saw the other side of the coin. I realized how lucky and safe my life was and how grateful I should be.” Back home, Dennis decided to turn her life around and pursue her true calling: writing and singing her own songs.

That decision was reinforced by a serious car accident she had upon her return in the Netherlands. A combination of a busy schedule, jetlag and fatigue was nearly fatal when she fell asleep behind the wheel. “Suddenly, I knew what to do. I decided to spread my wings and do what was in my heart.” The tattoo she got of a dragonfly is a constant reminder of that defining moment in her life, about which she sings so beautifully in ‘Dragonfly’, one of the few ballads on her debut album Her Name Is Dennis. The record is a well-balanced mixture of rock, pop, dance and soul. It sounds rough, smooth, experimental and commercial, all at the same time. Dennis: “First and foremost, I make pop music. But I have an eclectic taste in music - ranging from Nelly Furtado, Pink, Gwen Stefani and Gavin DeGraw to Dinah Washington, James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.

My album is a mixture of everything I like.” The songs on the album are accessible, smart and original. Whether it’s pop, rock or funk, Dennis sings it with ease and conviction, blessed as she is with a powerful and versatile voice. She compares the diversity of the album with a typical street in Amsterdam, “where one house is slanted and the other tilts over, one has a garden and the other has a balcony.” Her music has a similar diversity: sometimes edgy and weird, at other times poppy and girly. Besides a powerful vocalist, Dennis is a talented songwriter. On this album, she co-wrote the majority of songs with up and coming Finnish producer Mikko Paavola in his Stockholm-based studio. It was a very fruitful collaboration, says Dennis: “Mikko and I have a similar style of writing and we hit if off immediately. We are a golden match. Mikko came up with beautiful combinations of chords.” Lyrically, Dennis is inspired by all the things that a woman her age is interested in: being in love, physical attraction, friendship, shopping, joy and sorrow. She has a great sense of humour, in the form of self-mockery, double entendres and puns. Just listen to the sassy seduction on ‘Thirsty’ and Dennis’ entertaining view of a shopaholic on ‘Money’. But Dennis is not afraid to show a more serious side of herself either: ‘Song For Bas’ is a very personal song about her nephew, who died at a very young age. From raving party girl to rising pop star – Dennis is one of a new breed of talented and edgy young singers. She has a very promising career ahead of her, so remember her name! July 2006 - Words: Word Up!
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