Aqua

Aqua is a dance/pop group of Danish-Norwegian origin, composed of: René Dif, Claus Norreen, Søren Rasted and Lene Nystrøm. Although the band was formed in 1994 under the name “Joyspeed”, their history dates back to 1989, when each of them worked independently and recorded a soundtrack for a Danish film: “Frække Frida og de frygtløse spioner”. The three of them developed the music for the film so well that they decided to do another project together, this time to form a music band. That’s how they started looking for a singer and found her in 1993. René listened to Lene and was enchanted by her voice, so he proposed her to join the band “Joyspeed”. The band’s idea was that Lene would take care of the lead vocals, René the choir and the improvisation in the rap genre, while Claus and Søren would produce the whole album. A small Swedish label signed with them in 1994, and their first single “Itsy Bitsy” was released. The song was a failure, and the band members were very disappointed after this event, so they cancelled their contract with the record company even though the company wanted to continue working with them for future releases. After overcoming the frustration of their previous work, the band adopted a new musical style and established that for this change they also needed a new agent to launch them to success. The four participants in this project start writing and producing European pop lyrics and melodies, thus attracting the attention of the record company Universal. This name was born from a random event, because while they were in a dressing room they saw a poster of an aquarium and that’s how they got the idea to call themselves like this.the first release of the group Aqua was “Roses Are Red”, a dance song with pop fusion. The single was released in Denmark in September 1996, and subsequently entered the top ten of the Danish charts. The single exceeded the label’s expectations, remained on the charts for two months and won the platinum record; the group even received a nomination as the best Danish dance artist, but failed to win the award. The great reception of “Roses Are Red” proved to the members of Aqua that the new sound they had managed to build was musically profitable and pleasing to the public. In February 1997 a new song was released, “My Oh My”, which had the same formula as the previous one: simple and catchy lyrics with a soft and happy melody. “My Oh My” broke all sales records in Denmark, and managed to get a gold record in less than six days after the release of the single.the success of both singles in their home country, proved to the record company that the group was profitable and they could bet Aqua released her debut album “Aquarium” in Denmark in March 1997. The album contained 11 songs, including the two singles that gave them so much satisfaction, but also presented a new single that would make them famous all over the world: “Barbie Girl”. The controversial song “Barbie Girl” generated a lawsuit by Mattel against the band, but they still managed to enter the “Top One” of British radio stations for four weeks, in Australia for three, and on the Billboard list they managed to enter the “Top Ten”. “Doctor Jones”, was the song that followed “Barbie Girl” and entered at the top of many charts around the world, “Turn Back Time”, a new song got the approval of fans and critics. This melody was chosen to be included in the soundtrack of the movie “Sliding Doors”. This song became Aqua’s third single to reach the top of the charts in the UK. Later, for Christmas 1998, they released the single “Good Morning Sunshine”. At the end of the year, Aqua decided to focus on their second album, and to tour Europe with the album “Aquarius”, which included 12 new songs and was released in February 2000. This new production had the immediate approval of their fans. Tracks like “Cartoon Heroes” and “Bumble Bees” continued with the formula of the previous album, but others with a new experimental sound that included Latin fusions like “Cuba Libre”. Aqua spent the first months of 2001 touring around the world and also working on the production of their third album, but the band’s internal problems began to become apparent, and in July of the same year they announced their separation. René launched as a soloist getting a reception in his country with the single “Let It All Out (Push It)” in early 200, but with his second single “The Uhh Uh Song” didn’t go so well so he decided not to continue working on that album, for his part, Lene released her debut album “Play With Me” in mid 2003. The first single of this production, “It’s Your Duty (To Shake That Booty)”, showed a big change in her musical style. Although he did well with this track, the other singles on the album did not meet the same fate. Søren continues to produce material for other artists on his own and has been working on the Lazyboy Project since 2004. The album “Lazyboy TV” was released at the end of 2004, getting good reviews for their first single “Underwear Goes Inside The Pants”.

Discography

1997 – Aquarium

2000 – Aquarius

2011 – Megalomania

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