Who are we?
Camelia sprang to life when Yannick wanted to record one single track with Frie, a track Yannick had written years ago, but that had been forgotten about. In a single August afternoon, a one-time collaboration with no ambition turned into great expectations and the search for musicians was set in motion. This was also the moment for Yannick to start writing new songs again.
A few months went by, and in October the guys met Nick, with whom they played two tracks that night. The search for the right drummer took a while longer, until Sven eventually joined the band. The band’s composition of a singer, guitarist, drummer and bass player was not complete yet, however.
This void was soon filled by Matt. Yannick and Matt had met a few months before, on the stage of a festival where they were both playing. Despite his enthusiasm for the project, it took him a while to make the commitment. Having to visit his family in Australia as well as a lack of time got in his way.
Camelia, the band as it currently exists, came about in December of 2015.
With the coaching and accompaniment of Edwin Risbourg, the first demos were recorded in his studio, “Save The Music” in Wijgmaal.
Meet the band
According to her parents, Frie started singing as soon as she was born: "It started right way: she constantly whined. In retrospect, she might just've been training her voice for later." And there was a later: when she was 15 years old, she started taking singing lessons at Het Depot in Leuven, where for four years, she was trained by Jimmy Colman, Jonathan Vandenbroeck (Milow) and Hannelore Bedert, among others. The most important project she contributed to was Friedom, a band that brought creative covers. About a year after the end of Friedom, Frie was contacted by Yannick. They'd met during a previous project and had recorded songs together before. When Yannick proposed to start a new band together, Frie didn't hesitate for a moment, and became the singer and leading lady of Camelia.
Yannick was born into a family of musicians. As a child, he learned to play the saxophone in the concert band of Kortenberg, but this turned out not to be the right instrument for him, and his dedication to the study was lackluster. It took until his teenage years for music to really get a hold of him, when he bought his first guitar and an uncle taught him his first chords. As the years went by, he grew fond of blues and jazz. Willem Grootjans, a veteran, took Yannick under his wing and greatly influenced him as to the way he sounds today. After many a project, Yannick found his place in a cover band, which turned out to be a great school for both stage experience and musical vocab. A few years later, his ambition to do something with his own ideas made him start Camelia.
Matt (keys/guitar and other wizardry)
Matt is from Melbourne, Australia - the token "foreigner" in the band. He grew up listening to his dad's music collection which still is very influential on what he enjoys today. He learned to play the piano when he was pretty young, but picked up the electric guitar as a teenager when he saw they were absolute chick magnets. He played in a few bands locally when living in Melbourne, either playing cover songs or originals. At the same time he was studying a music degree, where he picked up recording/production skills, along with master classes on guitar, piano and percussion. From 2010 he lived on a ship for two years, and was blessed with opportunities to play music in many different countries around the world. In 2012 he moved to Belgium for work, and formed a small covers band with some friends. Matt met Yannick at a music festival where they were both playing, became friends over a mutual love of guitars. Yannick invited Matt to join his new original songs project, Camelia.
Nick grew up in the lap of Rock Werchter and Swing Wespelaar, which started his fiery love for music at a young age. It took him until his teenage years, however, to decide to actually play an instrument himself. After a visit to the music store, it quickly became clear that he would play the bass. The idea to start a band followed shortly thereafter, and he met Sven through a friend at school. He lacked the musical knowhow and maturity to really start something, though. Projects came and went, until one day he was approached by a blues band looking for a bass player. That’s where, under the wing of Luc Lorez, his singer at the time, learned to feel the music and the importance of harmony. The band came to an end when Luc lost his life in a tragic accident, and for a while, Nick lost his will to play. It was Frie, the girl next door, who asked him to join her new project, Camelia.
Sven Lories was born in Leuven on the 6th of January 1993. It all kickstarted because of the musical family in which he was born. It very soon became clear that Sven was a real rythm junk. He already had his first drum lessons by the age of 4 and a half with Peter Préal. A couple years later he had the oppurtinity to be tutored by An Lemmens and at the age of 8 he started his studies at the SLAC conservatory in Leuven. From childhood on Sven was playing in the starter orchestra at the orchestra "De Ware Vrienden" based in Kortrijk-Dutsel. He was a quick learner and very soon Sven was playing with the big boys! He started out playing small percussions but he also outgrew this pretty quickly. Now he is main percussionist and is still regularly performing together with his mom whom is conductor at this orchestra. During his musical training he participated in multiple projects such as Carmina Burana (by Carl Orff) with the Laureates from the Queen Elisabeth competition which was performed in the city theatre in Leuven and the Casino in Knokke. Being a percussionist he started playing in several bands as a drummer, which is how he met Frie. It was Frie who contacted Sven to ask him to come and play in Camelia!