Milow Biography

Jonathan Vandenbroeck is the 27 year-old Belgian singer-songwriter, otherwise known as Milow. This last year has seen Milow have enormous chart success right across Europe with his cover of 50 Cent’s ‘Ayo Technology’.

Nurtured through his youth with a house full of instruments and a stereo constantly playing the likes of Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Jacques Brel and Tom Waits, it was natural that Milow would grow up to be musically inclined. But it was seeing Pink Floyd at the tender age of 12 at the legendary Werchter Festival that was Milow’s deciding factor that his future was destined in music. “At the Werchter Festival I made a decision that I wanted to be the one who was singing on that stage.” says Milow. And he was prophetic in his desires, and in the last few years Milow has played three times at the festival that was important to him during his youth.

Milow’s career began in 2004 when he was a finalist in the biggest rock contest in Belgium ‘Humo’s Rock Rally’, a contest which has spawned the career of notable Belgian acts such as dEUS, Das Pop and Arid. Within the next few years, and acting as his own manager, Milow achieved 2 gold singles and 2 gold albums in Belgium, eight Music Industry Awards (MIA), and he has released two albums The Bigger Picture and his second Coming of Age.

In 2008 it was time for Milow’s career to truly skyrocket. It began with a Belgian radio station who asked Milow to play a cover song as part of a live session. Milow opted for ‘Ayo Technology’, an acoustic guitar cover version of 50 Cent’s original 2007 hit which featured Justin Timberlake. And it worked, to striking, creepy effect. Milow’s everyman yearning and the eerie desperation in his vocals and acoustic-guitar interpretation of the track work incredibly and ingeniously, especially considering its total transformation from a 50 Cent/Justin Timberlake/Timberland strip-club jam. “That song was perfect to turn upside down,” says Milow, “because both the music (R&B, hip hop) and lyrics (cybersex, pornography) were the extreme opposite of my own songs and music. I didn't really know if I could pull it off, but I sat down with my acoustic guitar, kept the 3 chords basis, but changed the structure drastically, left out many of the verses and parts, and most importantly, came up with a new vocal melody for the verses.”

The cover became such a lauded success that it was released as an official single through Milow’s own indie label, Homerun Records, in September 2008 and went straight in at number 1 in both The Belgium and The Netherlands singles chart. The phenomenon soon spread to the rest of Europe, where the track has had massive top 3 successes in Sweden, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria. The cover has now achieved bigger success than the original in Europe, with both higher single and airplay chart positions.

The sexually charged, tongue-in-cheek video for ‘Ayo Technology’ has proved a huge sensation online where it has received over 20 million plays on Youtube alone and has been blogged about extensively, including by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton who said of the song, “Milow improves on the original tremendously. His version is sooooo good.” Kanye West also gave it his seal of approval by posting the video of it on his blog.

And what does the man himself want to achieve? “To keep surprising myself, to convince people that I'm more than 'that cover', to write an even stronger album and to play concerts in as many different countries as possible.”
Source: milow.com
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