When “Not an Addict” hit the airwaves in 1996, it soared to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” chart and quickly found its way into the top five on the Modern Rock chart in the U.S. The Chicago Sun-Times called the haunting, controversial tune “the most mesmerizing song on radio,” and American journalists hailed the Belgian band k’s Choice an “overnight sensation.” But their success didn’t come overnight.
Siblings Sarah and Gert Bettens had started playing music together in the late 1980s when they played sporadically for friends and family. It wasn’t long before the talented singer-songwriters were discovered and their first album, The Great Subconscious Club, hit record stores in 1993.
That first CD was released under the group’s original name, The Choice (the name was later changed when it was discovered that an American band already held rights to the moniker).
The pair rounded out the band with additional musicians (currently Jan Van Sichem Jr. – guitar, Eric Grossman – bass, Koen Lieckens – drums) and k’s Choice hit the road. Gert recalls their first live show, saying, “It was a support act for a Belgian band called The Scabs, and we really sucked. But we improved!”
That’s an understatement. The band wasted no time developing a reputation for blistering live shows. In Europe, the band exploded on the concert scene, headlining their own international tours as well as major festivals like Pink Pop, where they played for crowds of 60,000 or more. In one of their best live shows ever, the band sold out the prestigious Parisian venue L’Olympia. In America, they earned a place on tours with Alanis Morissette and the Indigo Girls as well as a coveted spot headlining the second stage on three Lilith Fair tours.
To this day, fans relish the chance to sway to the band’s numerous hits. The Great Subconscious Club introduced us to the band’s trademark blended harmonies with “The Ballad of Lea & Paul” and “I Smoke A Lot”. That first CD also produced “My Heart,” an overlooked classic pop tune that has become a fan favorite. Paradise in Me (1996) gave us the unforgettable “Not an Addict,” which put Sarah’s breathtaking, smoky voice in the spotlight. Cocoon Crash (1998) followed with the frenzied guitar licks of international alternative radio hits “Believe” and “Everything for Free.” On Almost Happy (2002), the deeply emotional and moody title track, along with the bittersweet and melodic “Busy”, drew rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Sarah and Gert continue to expand their musical horizons and write new songs that are guaranteed to become classics. “Losing You” is one of their brand new creations that’s an exclusive for the new “10” CD. The band ventures into new territory on the high-energy track with Sarah delivering selected lyrics within the song through a megaphone device.
Fueled by the success of their gold and platinum albums, k’s Choice has become a staple on the pop culture scene. The band has appeared on an episode of cult favorite Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Sarah has lent her unique vocals to several films and television shows, including Wild Things, Zus en Zo and Sedes & Belli.
For 10 years, the hard-working k’s Choice has been recording and touring relentlessly. They’ve touched fans worldwide with their unique blend of music, which combines the hard-hitting edge of rock, the purity of folk and the instant appeal of pop. Their records, concerts and television appearances have earned them international fame and success. And yet, Sarah and Gert remain humble and eternally grateful for the opportunity to make music for their fans.
“The world is a crazy place, and today it seems crazier than ever,” Sarah once wrote in a letter to the k’s Choice fan club. “I believe that as long as we keep finding each other through music, and as long as there’s love to be found all around us, there’s hope — and I for one hold on to that.”