Twenty 4 Seven (NL)
I Can’t Stand It, Are You Dreaming?, Slave to the Music

In the year 1989 the Dutch producer and remixer Ruud Van Rijen created Twenty 4 Seven. This became something totally new : a female singer, singing a catchy chorus together with a male rapper. This combination together with a very happy sound, a melody you can’t get rid off, became very popular in the Netherlands and beyond.

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In the beginning he started out with rapper MC Fixx it. The single was called I Can’t Stand It. This was a hip-hop track (100 BPM). The chorus was made by Ruud himself with a vocoder. But the track only was a little hit in the Dutch Tip-Parade. So Ruud started working out a Hip-House version (124 BPM) which was totally different from the original. Nance Coolen was chosen to be sing the chorus. As it was the trend at the time, song also sampled many singles, such as The Jacksons – Can You Feel It and Kurtis Blow – AJ Scratch. This time, I Can’t Stand It hit top 20 in Holland.

After a few months, a German records company showed interest in the record. They asked Ruud to re-record it in Germany with a different rapper. I Can’t Stand It third version featured raps by Captain Hollywood, along with Nance’s vocals. They were joined by 2 dancers Jacks and Hanks who also did the male backing vocals. It became a smash hit all over Europe, charting in September 1990, peaking #7 in the UK, and #3 in Israel, and #1 in many other countries.

After I Can’t Stand It Twenty 4 Seven released Are You Dreamin’ around Christmas 1989. It was a good follow-up in view of the chart positions it gained. And in 1990 they released the album Street Moves.

At the end of 1991, Captain Hollywood had a little argue with Ruud van Rijen and left the band. After this, he created the Captain Hollywood Project. During this time Captain Hollywood became more popular than Twenty 4Seven. Hits like More & More, Only With You became popular in whole Europe. Twenty 4 Seven seemed to be fallen asleep. Things were that quiet that Nance decided to take a job at a local supermarket. Can you imagine shopping in a store while Nance is sitting behind the counter ? But Ruud van Reijen wasn’t planning to stop. He asked Nance to join the group again, and asked is she knew a rapper who could replace Captain Hollywood. Nance knew Stay C Paton from some concerts, were they both performed. The first song they recorded together was It Could Have Been You. But this song didn’t have the impact as they hoped it would have…

During these years Eurodance became really popular. Bands like 2 Unlimited, Captain Hollywood Project, Double You, Def Dames Dope reached higher and higher in the charts. And suddenly in the late summer of 1993, there was a very ‘aanstekelijk’ (catchy) song a the radio. It was Slave To The Music. The song started slowly in the charts, but kept on climbing. And many weeks after it entrance it highest position in the charts. But the song didn’t stop at the borders of its homeland, it grew and grew. Where most of the Eurodance stayed in west Europe and Japan, Twenty 4 Seven became popular in West Europe, Israel (where it reached position #17 in the national chart), Japan, Australia, South Africa, South America and even East Europe. Twenty 4 Seven was the first dance-act in ex Czechoslovakia who got platinum. They had become a worldwide top-act.

It wasn’t just one hit, after Slave To The Music and Is It Love (which peaked #5 in Israel) the third single Take Me Away became even more popular. It smashed the charts all over the world (#5 in Israel), except in England & America. The video-clip of the third single Take Me Away was shot in South Africa.

Stay-C & Nance toured all across Europe and could perform night & day if they would. At this time, Twenty 4 Seven could be considered as one of the most successful dance-act in the world. Then came the single Leave Them Alone, released with a Greatest Hits Megamix and a ’94 version of I Can’t Stand It.

The third album, I Wanna Show You, was released in December, 1994, at times when the first single from this album, Oh Baby, made it high in the charts in a big part of Europe. The second single Keep On Trying saw its release in March, 1995. The same year in which Twenty 4 Seven proudly received the Dutch Export Award of 1994. In spring 1996 they received a Golden Award for the album I Wanna Show You (South Africa) and double Platinum for the album Slave To The Music (also in South Africa).Wonderful Life will be released in Australia on June 6th by Big Records. The long awaited new Tina Cousins album ‘Mastermind’ will follow later in the year. ~ eurokdj

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