X!NK ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a Belgian pop punk group. The band consists of two pairs of brothers: Jonas and Niels Meukens, and Thomas and Philip Valkiers. Jonas is the lead singer and occasionally the second guitarist, his brother Niels is the drummer. Philip plays the bass guitar and Thomas plays the guitar and also occasionally the keyboard. Their career took off after they won the Belgian national finals of the Eurosong for Kids 2003 and placed sixth in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest the same year. The band is also the subject of a series of comic books by Mario Boon from the studio Dupuis.
Junior Eurovision Song Contest:
In the national qualifying rounds for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Belgium, X!NK competed against nine other contestants: Laura, Martijn, Remi, Kia, Jelly Pie, Simon MC, the twin girls Tonya and Charlotte. X!NK beat, Tonya the second place winner with a difference of 3 points.
The band then represented Belgium at the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest on 15 November 2003 with the song "De Vriendschapsband" (The Bond/Band Between/Of Friends). The song, which they wrote themselves, is about the origin of their band and their friendship. In the field of 16 contestants, they ended in sixth place with 83 points at the final in Copenhagen, Denmark. The first place was for Dino representing Croatia and the second place for Sergio from Spain with a song dedicated to his mother who died some months before the contest.
Like the other contestants they got to record their entry in a studio with a professional producer, in their case Paul Despiegelaere. Their winning song was released as a single.
After the Junior Eurovision Song Contest:
X!NK launched their second single, named "Oh-Ho" in the beginning of 2004. Later that year their first album, containing twelve songs was released. The album went gold in Flanders (the Dutch language area of Belgium).
X!NK often perform at rock festivals in Belgium (for example Marktrock in Leuven). In 2004, they released the song "Laat Me Vrij" (Let Me Free) which served as the theme song for the film Garfield in Flemish cinemas. For the sequel to Ice Age, Ice Age: The Meltdown which debuted in Flemish cinemas on 31 March 2006, they recorded the song "De Andere Kant" (The Other Side) which served as the theme song for this film. Lead singer Jonas also provided the Dutch voice for the character Jimmy the Anteater in the film.
Their second album Vergif (Poison) was released on 30 September 2005. They also performed on the big 0110-event in Belgium. They opened the show in Ghent.
Recently Niels and Thomas also play in another Belgian band called The Crackups with two other musicians.
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