Wouter Van Belle - bio Part 2
1993-99 international breakthrough with Axelle Red
Wouter spotted young singer Axelle Red doing a TV-playback of her first single, and immediately knew he had to work with her. When he started producing the ambitious singer's debut album, he knew he was aiming for international success, but hardly expected her to become the artist who in France would only be beaten by Celine Dion when it comes to airplay, for a decade.
1993 : Sans plus attendre
Axelle's debut album was recorded in Wouter's Powertone Studio in Mechelen with Marc Bonne, Wigbert and Wouter as its main musicians. Wouter arranged, recorded and mixed the album on his Soundcraft. It sold 800.000 copies. It featured 4 instant French radio classics: Sensualité, Je t'attends, Le monde Tourne Mal and Elle danse seule.
In 1994 Wouter decided he needed a bigger studio. Together with Steven Maes he founded Motormusic, soon to become an independent recording studio with a mobile unit. The recording hall is based in a former shoe factory, with its office as the control room. This is where Novastar's successful debut album became recorded, a coproduction with Wouter's long time studio drummer Marc Bonne.
1996 : À Tâtons
The success of the debut album allowed for a production in Nashville, where À Tâtons was recorded and mixed. It featured Willy Weeks on bass, Steve Cropper on guitar, Lester Snell on keyboards, and Steve Potts & Roger Hawkins on drums. À Tâtons marked two firsts: it was the first time the singer co-produced and that Wouter edited the whole album digitally. The album was recorded on analog multitrack and then transferred to nine 4GB hard discs to be edited on a 48-track Protools system. As these were the early days, the 4GB harddiscs costed 2,500 EUR a piece. The album passed the 1 million copies mark.
All singles from the album were remixed at Wouter's Powertone Studio in Mechelen, except for Rester Femme for which Wouter went to Brussels' ICP. Rester Femme bore Wouter's signature as an arranger -and as a composer, if uncredited-, and became a hit for a second time in its Spanish language version 'Dejame ser mujer', on the 1998 compilation Con solo pensarlo. Wouter and Axelle went on the cooperate for Toujours Moi in 1999, good for 700.000 copies and another classic song: Parce-que c'est toi.
1998-2002 Dead Man Ray
1998 Becoming independent with a 'Welgemeende (fuck you)
2005 Wow & Flutter, the double solo debut
2011 Dutch success with Racoon