Witloof Bay spread their love from Belgium

Backstage with Belgium

The Belgian representatives Witloof Bay had a hard time when arriving backstage. "Apparently we we arrived a bit too late," says Roxor Loops, doing the beat boxing in the group. "It's quite stressful, we're rushed between all the different stations here backstage." The group actually arrived today by bus from Belgium.

 "If we had stopped in the hotel yesterday, it would have been easier to be on time," Roxor  laughs.

Arriving at the Düsseldorf Arena, Roxor Loops has changed his first impressions of the Eurovision Song Contest.

"It changed completely! Until now, I must say everything seemed a bit amateurish and handmade, but now that we arrived, and had to drive into the arena with the big stage, and there are new buses especially made for the event. It's totally different from what we've seen so far to date" he says.

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Side by side with love

There are no gimmicks on stage, the six piece vocal harmony group are comprised of two girls and four guys. The backdrop is dark with strips of white light flashing intermittently.

The choreography is well drilled, and the group members move around the stage, form circles and split up in to couples at times during the performance, but finish the song all standing side by side together.

There was a pause and some waiting time before the last rehearsal and the group amused themselves whilst they waited by singing the Britney Spears song Baby One More Time acapella.

The secret of voice synchronisation

During the press conference after the rehearsal the group admitted that they have to work very hard rehearsing, because of the fact that no instruments are used. They felt very comfortable on stage after today's performances.

So how do all six singers work precisely to the same beat? The group explained this more fully

 "We have an in ear system, so just before the song we have the tuning and that then prompts us and gets ready for the start of the song so we are all singing on the same beat. We have a metronome click beat that only we can hear all of the way through the song so that we can stay at the same level."

Press conference moderator Sonia commented that the group name Witloof Bay sounds very much like the song title With Love Baby, and asked if this was a coincidence. Beat boxer Roxor Loops explains this " I was thinking about a song for the website witloofbay.be, and when I removed the dot, it was Witloof Baybe!. Thats where the idea came from."

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Witloof Bay - how was the name chosen?

As for the group name Witloof Bay the group explained how this name was born. "We went through a lot of different ideas for the group name. We wanted something to define us as Belgian, using some surreal humour."

To many people, the Witloof is identified as the main Belgian vegetable. the group explains further "It's a white and green chicory vegetable. We wanted a destination to go with the name, you know such as Miami Beach, or Dawsons Creek, and that's how we got to the exotic sounding Witloof Bay!."

Witloof Bay admitted that they had no expectation of winning the Belgian national final, adding "We're acapella we weren't there to win, but thought that maybe we'll get interest. We were very surprised that people voted for us and wanted to bring something different to the contest.

 "We wanted to do acapella for the exposure and sharing the music we do, it's not very mainstream, if people can discover it and like it would be great for us. It's still a bit surreal to be here and singing in the arena though!"

The press conference was rounded off by Witloof Bay singing Sandra Kim's 1986 Eurovision Song Contest winner J'aime La Vie, opening signature tune Te Deum and of course With Love Baby.

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Background of the group

Witloof Bay is a group of 5 professional singers and a world-renowned beatboxer, Roxor Loops. They come from the 3 regions of Belgium and try out varied musical styles, ranging from pop to jazz. With a repertory consisting initially of cover versions, they built up a fanbase thanks to their stunning mastery of vocals and harmonies, and Roxor Loops’ virtuosity in the art of beatboxing.

The group is currently working on their second album of original songs. Their professionalism and vocal mastery have already enabled them to perform at the biggest acappella music festivals (London Acappella Festival, Vocal Jazz Summit, Solevoci Festival). In 2010, they won the Contemporary Acappella Recording Award for best Folk/World song and they have supported big name groups such as Manhattan Transfer, The Swingle Singers and The Real Group.

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