Culture connects people.
In these times of self-isolation, we need the arts more than ever.
The Botanique concert halls and galleries remain closed for now, but if you can’t come over to us, then we’ll bring the music and visual arts to you.
Starting today, we’ll be updating this page daily with art links we think are worth discovering. We’ll be sharing the best concert footage, livestreams by interesting artists, virtual exhibitions, podcasts delving deeper into the magic of music, content for kids, …
We hope this might help get all of you through this time of hardship. Take care of each other.
Festival 'Je Reste à La Maison'
Les Nuits Botanique is just one of many festivals in spring to have been postponed or cancelled, both here and abroad. To support their community in these times, professionals from the music industry have decided to organize a festival on the internet.
The ‘I Stay at Home’ Festival has started on Wednesday and continues until April 7th on Facebook. Artists play sets from their own homes via livestream. In the afternoon there are some shows for children, and from 5 o’clock it’s time for the grown-ups to party.
Over 90 artists have already joined the initiative, including Yael Naim, Isaac Delusion, Tim Dup, Victor Solf, Julien Granel and Sages Comme des Sauvages. Click on this link to check out the daily line-up and watch the concerts. Put on your best dancing shoes and enjoy!
Nicolas Michaux - Volta Bruxelles 2017
Despite writing mostly in French, his music is rich in international influences. Because no matter what the language is, Nicolas Michaux's writing is all about taking risks.
In his first album ‘À la vie, à la mort’, composed on the island of Samsø in Denmark, he navigates between languages and eras, juxtaposing rock-psych ballads and new-wave rhythms.
Nicolas reminds us of both Mac DeMarco and Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains and will be presenting his new album at Les Nuits 2020 during the Capitane Label Night. In the meantime, you can enjoy his concert at Volta from 2017.
Hervé - Si bien du mal (Clip spécial confinement)
Hervé uses music to bare his soul. Using influences from chanson, rap and electronic music, he creates introspective songs which none the less are perfect for some fun dancing.
It’s an ideal combination for these times of social distancing, and the singer-songwriter proves it with the video for his new single ‘Si bien du mal’. It was recorded in his kitchen, during his own self-quarantine, and in it he shows you how to make something as mundane as cooking a whole lot of fun.
Put on those slippers and dance along!
Botanique supports all Belgian musical talents, all of whom have been hit hard by the current situation.
That’s why we’re joining the #PlayLocal initiative. We’re proud to share our new playlist Radio Lokaal, which is full of our favourite local artists. Who knows, maybe your next favourite artist is among them?
cabane - "a document"
Thomas Jean Henri has been an ever-present in the music industry. After his time as Soy Un Caballo he worked with artists like Stromae. Because of his busy schedule, he was in need of a place to find some peace, his own "cabane". Taking the term as his new artist name, he's been working since 2015 on an intense, intimate indie-folk record, with a matching photo and video project.
The album, featuring Kate Stables (This is the Kit) and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, was released earlier this year, to great critical acclaim both in Belgium and abroad. Just before the release, cabane recorded a documentary in which he asks his guests what they thought of the album... before they'd even heard it.
Benjamin Schoos - Botanique 2017
As head of the Freaksville label and musician alongside Lio, Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Damo Suzuki (CAN) and Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Benjamin Schoos has a very busy life. However, he's also an incredible singer, with a penchant for French chanson.
Schoos has the talent to use his voice in a huge array of ways, allowing his shows to become something between concerts and performances. He'll be returning to Botanique later this year, but for now you can have a listen to the last time he paid us a visit, back in 2017.
In the workshop of ... Sébastien Bonin
Every Wednesday, Bota à la Carte offers you some new visual discoveries!
In our series ‘In the workshop of…’, we visit our most recent exhibitions through the eyes of the artists who created them. We’ll also be sharing virtual tours, anecdotes and fun content for the kids.
This week, we meet up with Sébastien Bonin.
“Sébastien Bonin is a poet who rarely expresses himself unambiguously, who mocks the syntax and semantics, but who pays tribute to the long tradition of poetry. He does not care about the supposed rules of painting. Indifferent to the convulsive striving for originality, he unabashedly and consciously draws from the history of art and culture.” – Charlotte Friling, DOCUMENTI, 2019 (exhibition text)
Bota Kids: Sébastien Bonin's little workshop
Niklas Paschburg - Eurosonic Festival 2019
Niklas Paschburg is another artist in search of the boundaries of his art. Just like Nils Frahm and Kiasmos among others, he creates cinematic soundscapes by combining the gentleness of his neo-classical piano with electronic music.
He’ll be hypnotizing the Botanique audience in the autumn, but for now, you can enjoy his concert in the New Church in Groningen from last year, when he played the venue during the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival.
JFDR - Live on KEXP
Iceland has been a source of achingly beautiful music for years now. Of Monsters and Men, Ásgeir and Sigur Rós are just some of the big names to come from the island, and JFDR looks set to join that impressive list sooner rather than later.
Even Björk, the country’s most legendary artist and JFDR’s biggest source of inspiration, is a big fan of hers. Earlier this month, she released her second album ‘New dreams’, on which she combines classical, folk and electronics to wonderful effect yet again.
Check out her concert at KEXP, sit back, and enjoy.
Smashing Pumpkins - Botanique 1998
Botanique has been the stage for many legendary concerts throughout the years. In 1998, none other than The Smashing Pumpkins brought their atmospheric alt-rock to our gardens.
Just days before the release of the incredible ‘Adore’, Brussels got to witness a band at the top of its game. ‘Ava Adore’, ‘Tonight Tonight’, ‘Bullet with butterfly wings’, ‘1979’: The Pumpkins brought all of their timeless classics.
Grab a beer from the fridge and let those guitars roar through your living room!
Mikill Pane and Marcel Somerville in conversation with Zebra Katz
Every Wednesday, rapper Mikill Pane and Marcel Somerville (formerly known as Rocky B of Blazin’ Squad fame, nowadays mostly known for his appearance on Love Island) host a talk show on Fubar Radio that they describe as ‘if Woman’s Hour was hijacked by metrosexual guys’.
They have in-depth conversations with interesting guests from the world of music, tv and comedy. Episodes are shared online as podcasts, and right here you can listen to last week’s episode, in which they talk to Zebra Katz about his drastically changed future due to the current pandemic.
Little Dragon - A Colors Show
At the end of last week, Little Dragon released their new album ‘New Me, Same Us’. In celebration of that release, singer Yukimi Nagano was asked to play one of its songs for an exclusive Colors Show. ‘Another Lover’ proves yet again just how catchy the band’s mix of triphop and electro-pop is, as our audience will discover when the band play Botanique in October.
Subbacultcha Quarantine Art Card
Subbacultcha is an organization that aims to bring boundary-pushing artists from Belgium and abroad closer to their audience. With a membership, you get access to the best concerts, parties, exhibitions and more.
Obviously, this pandemic is affecting an organization like this badly. Subbacultcha vows to keep supporting its artists and, for that reason, has launched the Quarantine Art Card. Every Friday, members can discover a new creation online, made by one of the artists in the organization’s network. This includes pictures, artwork, digital concerts,… Physical items will be available for pick-up once this period of quarantine ends, and will provide a great way to return to our normal lives.
Last Friday, it was revealed that the second piece was made by U.S. Girls, an American artist who has played at Botanique on a number of occasions.
If you’re interested in supporting artists through this initiative, click here to subscribe.
Focus Vif: "Aime ton disquaire! (encore plus à cause du coronavirus)"
Last week, the campaign #LoveRecordStores was launched, in an attempt to turn the spotlight on your favourite music stores’ online shops. Big names like Elton John and Paul Weller have already joined the movement. Read more about it in this article by Focus Vif (in French). Don’t forget your indies while doing your online shopping!
JoJo - MTV Unplugged at Home
MTV’s Unplugged concerts have long achieved legendary status. But even an institution like this has to adapt to the strange times we’re living in.
That’s why MTV has launched Unplugged at Home: an acoustic show, from an artist’s own house. Wyclef Jean got the honour of kicking off the series and was followed last week by r&b icon JoJo (who’s playing Botanique in the autumn!). From her own bedroom, she performs hits like ‘Too Little Too Late’ and ‘Small Things’.
Settle down and sing along!
Glauque - 'Vivre'
Belgian quintet Glauque was born where the Sambre and Meuse rivers meet. As one of the country’s most exciting bands, they fuse electronic experiments, boundary-redefining hiphop and the evolution of French chanson into one unique sound. Discover the result for yourself with their debut EP ‘Glauque’, which was released yesterday, or by listening to one of its songs ‘Vivre’ right here. Also, be sure to check out the band's special message.
The band will be introducing the EP at Botanique, as we’ve been able to reschedule their show at Les Nuits! Come and see them on October 6th 2020.
And don’t forget: stay at home, get enough rest, and hopefully, we’ll see each other again soon! <3
SUZANE - Basique, le concert des révélations
Despite Suzane training to be a professional dancer, life had different ideas for her. Her love of dance didn’t disappear but transformed. Now, she moves through her own music in a completely unique way. Her mix of dance and electronic beats, reminiscent of Stromae, made her the most requested artist of the French festival season last year.
If you’d like a preview of what to expect during her performance at Les Nuits (or if you’re just looking for a great show), check her show at Basique right here. You’ll definitely be dancing in your living room!
Romano Nervoso in The Strongroom Bar
There’s no party like a spaghetti-rock party! And there’s no better band to soundtrack it than Romano Nervoso. These party-animals are at it whether they have a reason to be cheerful or not, but as this year sees them celebrating their 10-year anniversary, they’ll be up for it more than ever (including at Botanique!).
They’ve supported Therapy?, Triggerfinger, Band of Skulls and Johnny Hallyday, and if you check out this show at The Strongroom Bar in London, you’ll definitely understand why Johnny was such a big fan. Grab your air guitars and let’s rock!
Even though we’re still working hard (safely, from home!), these times have been weird for us as well. Luckily, there’s always music. Are you curious about which artists are helping us through this tough situation? Or are you just on the look-out for some great new tunes? Check out our Spotify-playlist ‘Radio Quarantine’!
We’ve made an interesting selection, featuring artists from all over the world and from very different genres. We hope some of these songs might touch your heart too.
Smino at Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 in Chicago
Smino’s rise has been incredible. Since releasing his first EP’s and debut album ‘blkswn’, the American mc has been touted as one of the Chicago rap scene’s brightest talents. His melodic hiphop has seen him gain fans all over the world by now. We’ll have to wait until the fall now for his first headline show in Belgium (at Botanique!). In 2018, he got to play a home game at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Check out that amazing performance right here!
Aloïse Sauvage : "Les femmes de ma génération sont plus décomplexées" (L'Echo)
Is there anything Aloïse Sauvage can’t do? There seems to be no limit to her talents, as anyone who witnessed her shows at Botanique can attest to. The end of February saw the release of her debut album, the critically acclaimed ‘Dévorantes’.
Last week, L’Echo interviewed her (in French), about her writing process, representation, living as a young woman in the rap scene, and her greatest influences.
MUSICIANS AND BANDS HAVE EARNED 4.3 MILLION DOLLARS IN ONE DAY THANKS TO BANDCAMP
Friday March 20th was an exceptional day on Bandcamp. The platform had decided to waive all its revenue share on sales for one day, to put much needed money directly into artists’ pockets. This way, it wanted to create awareness to the impact of the pandemic on musicians’ lives the world over.
Bandcamp today released the results of their efforts. In 24 hours’ time, over 800.000 items were sold, seeing 4.3 million dollars going straight to the artists and labels.
Soccer Mommy Live at KCRW
Soccer Mommy played a live set at KCRW just last week. Ideal preparation for her concert at Botanique on June 13th!
Resident Advisor offers numerous ways to turn the spotlight on talented musicians from the electronic genre. At this moment, it's working on the 'Save Our Scene' project, attempting to help all artists struggling because of the current pandemic.
It also offers two great podcasts. The RA Podcast offers both big names and upcoming talent the chance to showcase their music. The RA Exchange is a series of interesting interviews with artists from all over the world. We picked out episode 500, featuring Squarepusher's Tom Jenkinson, talking about his new album 'Be up a hello', his 'Lamental' EP and his upcoming tour (which will be adjusted now, surely). You can listen to the podcast through Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or the Resident Advisor website van Resident Advisor.
Both podcasts have hundreds of episodes, vital listens for any fan of the genre!
Manu Dibango : 1933-2020
Manu Dibango was a saxophonist, an emblematic figure of the African music scene and a true afro-jazz legend. He passed away on Tuesday March 24th at the age of 86. "Papa Manu", "Le Doyen", "Papy Groove" or simply "Manu", visited Botanique on multiple occasions during his sixty-year career. He was present at the 1990 Eté Botanique, as well as Les Nuits Botanique in 1994. During Les Nuits in 1997 he made the Chapiteau bounce like never before.
He was born in Douala and arrived in Marseilles in 1949, and was the author of "Soul Makossa", one of the greatest hits of world music. He was still performing on stage only a few months ago. Manu Dibango has now joined Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Dizzy Gillespie, two other kings, respectively of Afrobeat and jazz, who he respected so much.