Dutch singer Waylon, the male half of the duo The Common Linnets who represented The Netherlands during this years’ Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, has decided to leave the currently successful band to pursue his solo career.
Ilse DeLange, female half of the group and moving force behind The Common Linnets-project, has in the last few days visited several European countries on a promotional tour of The Common Linnets, including Belgium, Austria and Germany. Waylon was conspicuous by his absence, even leading to a playful search for him in the Dutch (social) media, called Where Is Waylon? On the 28th of May 2014, the artist decided that it was time for a personal statement.
Via his Facebook page, Waylon explained his absence in The Common Linnets and puts all rumours to rest. In the statement, Waylon first and foremost says that The Common Linnets have always been Ilse DeLange’s project and that it was never the intention for him to be a definite member of the group. Ilse approached him for the project and the first album, they would represent The Netherlands during Eurovision 2014 and participate together in the Tuckerville Concert in Enschede, The Netherlands.
After the huge and somewhat unexpected success at Eurovision, Waylon and Ilse DeLange found themselves in a unique but at the same time difficult position: international success beckoned, but this also meant that the two of them would have to make certain concessions regarding their individual careers. After deliberating with Ilse DeLange, Waylon made the decision to forgo the European promotion tour of The Common Linnets. He now focuses on the release of his solo album Heaven After Midnight due September 2014. He also stated that he would have liked to be part of The Common Linnets for a longer time, but that an agreement based on mutual creative equivalence unfortunately could not be reached in time. Waylon has put a lot of creativity and money into the production of his solo album, and also feels responsible for his own team. Giving up his solo career for The Common Linnets would have great consequences for him and his employees.
On the 28 May 2014 Waylon was a guest in the Dutch talkshow RTL Late Night, presented by Humberto Tan. In the show he affirmed his earlier statement, emphasizing that his absence and choice are not a question of money, but that he not willing to give up his artistic creativity, equality or the investment he has put into his solo career. Waylon also said that there are no harsh feelings between him and Ilse DeLange, he thoroughly enjoyed working together with her, is thankful for the opportunity he got and is proud of their achievement at Eurovision. However, he cannot justify the curtailment of his personal creativity or neglect the obligation he has towards his team.
Finally, he assured the public that both he and Ilse DeLange will definitely perform together as The Common Linnets during the Tuckerville Concert, June 21st 2014, in the Grolsch Veste (Twente Stadion), Enschede, The Netherlands. Meanwhile, Ilse DeLange will continue the promotional tour of The Common Linnets, guitarist and singer Jake Etheridge will be substituting Waylon.
Waylon (born Willem Bijkerk, 1980) has been singing from an early age, including the theme song of the popular Dutch children’s programme Telekids. He is influenced by country music and named himself after his idol, country star Waylon Jennings, with whom he collaborated before Jennings past away.
In 2005, he partook in the Dutch preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest, the Nationaal Songfestival, together with singer Rachel Kramer, as the duo Rachel & Waylon. Gaining a second place in the talent show Holland’s Got Talent in 2008 meant his definite breakthrough. He was the first Dutch artist to sign a record deal with the famous Motown record label, and won various Dutch music awards. Waylon has released two albums, Wicked Ways and After All, his third solo album Heaven After Midnight will be released in September 2014.
Together with Dutch singer Ilse DeLange, under the name The Common Linnets, he represented The Netherlands during the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their song, Calm After The Storm, achieved the second place in the grand final with 238 points, and subsequently became a huge hit across the European charts. Waylon has a son from a previous marriage.
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