2012: Iris - Would You?

Belgium has not exactly set the scoreboard alight in recent editions of the Eurovision Song Contest. After narrowly missing out on a final spot last year with Witloof Bay, this year was the turn of the Flemish broadcaster VRT to select the Belgian entrant.

They have put their faith in the hands of fresh faced Iris, who, at 17 is the second youngest artist ever to represent Belgium after Sandra Kim. Practially unknown in her home country, Iris hopes to launch her career through exposure gained at the contest. Although only just starting out, music and song have been key elements in her life since early childhood. She was born in 1995 in Morkhoven, Flanders. Her first tentative steps on the music scene were taken when she joined a local choir and took part in numerous local talent shows, as well as playing a few sporadic local gigs. The budding artist cites amongst others Natalia, Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson as her inspiration.

It was in 2010 that things definitely started to move in terms of her career when she participated in a talent show, the Joepie Talentbooth, organized by record company Sonic Angel, coincidentally also the record label of 2010 entrant Tom Dice, who gave Belgium their best showing at the contest for many years. Iris made quite an impression and was promptly offered a recording contract. This led to the release of her first single, Wonderful which became a moderate hit in Belgium, peaking at number 28 on the flemish charts.

The announcement by VRT that Iris was their candidate for Baku left many stumped. The promising singer had however already swept aside any doubts with those responsible at VRT, winning them over with her youthful outlook; what she lacked in experience, she more than made up for in terms of enthusiasm and of course, her vocal abilities. And so, as in all fairytales, the dreams of a young girl come true when Iris takes to the stage in Baku, as she has dreamt of taking part at the contest since she was a child.

Participant Profile

  • Year 2012
  • Song title Would You?
  • Song writer(s) Nina Sampermans / Jean Bosco Safari / Walter Mannaerts
  • Language English
  • Video

In the semi final

  • Which semi final? Semi-Final 1
  • Starting position 8
  • Rank 17
  • Points 16
  • About the selection

    Flemish broadcaster VRT opted for an internal selection to choose their representative this year, thus continuing the format that had succeeded in earning them a highly respectable 6th place at the 2010 contest with Tom Dice and Me And My Guitar. VRT confirmed their intentions already in early September with a mere two months passing before their official announcement on the 18th of November that young Iris been internally selected as their choice for Baku.

    The broadcaster launched its call for songs by mid December with a submissions deadline being set for January the 16th. VRT also made known that Iris would take part in a televised show on the 17th of March called Eurosong 2012: Een song voor Iris. The public were to be given the task of choosing Iris’ entry, with a combination of televoting and SMS determining the winning entry from two candidates. A few days prior to the programme, an announcement was made that both songs on offer would be ballads, and short extracts from both songs were made available online.

    The result was pretty even, with the slower ballad Would You? winning with a 6% margin over the second placed Safety Net, which garnered 47% of the vote. The results were released later on that evening at the end of the Vrienden Van de Veire show.

  • About the song

    Would You? is written and composed by the trio Jean Bosco Safari, Walter Mannaerts and Nina Sampermans. It is a modern sounding yet tender ballad, featuring breathy vocals by Iris. Piano and strings play a prominent part in the arrangment, with the song gradually building to a crescendo before the subdued, poignant finish.

    The lyrics deal with a faltering relationship, about the reality of drudgery setting in with Iris’ love being taken for granted. She seems to doubt the love of her man and asks herself how he would react if she were to disappear from his life.

    Would You? was released as a digital download single on the SOnic Angel label already the day after wining the public vote, on the 18th or March. Within a matter of weeks it has managed to climb to number 37 on the flemish charts. The single was produced by Guus Fluit and Wouter Vander Veken

  • Lyrics

    Would You?

    Come and find me
    I've been hiding from you
    Come and get me
    Running from you

    It's been easy
    Easy for you
    To believe me
    When I say I love you

    But what would you do when my house was empty?
    My life in a bag and away from you
    You took my love for granted would you really miss me?
    Any other guy would do, but would you?

    It's a secret
    And a question for you
    Where I'm at now
    What are you gonna do?

    If you run here
    And look for me now
    Are we done here?
    Or starting somehow?

    But what would you do when my house was empty
    My life in a bag and away from you
    You took my love for granted would you really miss me?
    Any other guy would do, but would you? Would you?

    It's a twoway street and I know that
    But don't look back
    Still I wonder, still I wonder…

    What would you do when my house was empty?
    My life in a bag just to be with you
    But when I'm at your door will you say you missed me
    Any other guy would do, yeah any other guy would do, but would you?

    Would you?