The Vengabus may be permanently parked in our collective ’90s memory thanks to Vengaboys’ party anthem ‘We Like to Party’, but, as the Dutch supergroup told Today Extra this week, they’re anything but done with music.
“We’re so privileged that after all these years we can still do this, we are so humbled and grateful,” Kim Sasabone said.
The band, which also includes Denise Post-Van Rijswijk, Robin Pors and Donny Latupeirissa, first formed in 1996 and have recently made a triumphant return to the charts with their cover version of Charlie XCX and Troye Sivan’s 2017 pop hit, 1999 — the title and lyrics, a nod to the golden age of pop music which the group were very much a part of.
“A couple of years ago Charlie [XCX] did some interviews and she was going on and on about how much she loved Vengaboys and then she released that song, 1999,” Kim said. “As soon as we heard it, we were like this is our song! So, we kind of borrowed it and never gave it back!”
The year 1999 was indeed a defining year for Vengaboys: it saw the band achieve back-to-back number-one UK hits with ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom!!’ and ‘We’re Going to Ibiza’. But according to Sasabone, who was just 23 at the time, the group’s meteoric success that year also came with an enormous amount of pressure.
“It was sometimes hard, you had experiences where people were very negative about us being one-hit wonders. We also got questions like ‘how does it feel to be the most loved and hated band in the world?’ So it was quite intimidating,” Kim said.
In 2002, following the release of a couple of singles that charted poorly, Vengaboys disbanded for several years.
Since 2006 though (with, it must be said, a relatively unchanged line-up for a band with such longevity), Vengaboys have been performing a steady stream of shows and releasing the odd single for their legion of fans around the world.
Last month, the group returned to the stage for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, joining the line-up for the ‘90s Nostalgia tour in Canada, alongside their pop peers Aqua, Ace of Base and Eiffel 65.
“It was so much fun! We catch up with each other every time we’re at a ’90s festival. We used to spend a lot of time together, so we still have that family feeling,” Donny said.
It was back in February 2016 that Vengaboys last performed for an Australian audience, Robin pointing out that they “always like to request a summer tour so they can escape Europe winter”. And, with Australia’s international borders set to open by December, the group is hoping to be able to return here soon.
“That is the best news we’ve heard this month, because that means the Vengabus is going to come Down Under very soon!” Kim said.
Anyone that’s been to one of Vengaboys’ colourful, fun-filled shows over the years will no doubt attest, the group still knows how to party.
“We’re going to take you back to the ’90s but we’re going to be here and now too,” said Kim. “It’s always high energy and lots of singalongs.”
While the band admits that singing their classic Vengaboys tunes can sometimes get old, they’re also quick to point out that they remain incredibly proud of their music.
“‘Boom Boom Boom Boom!!’ is my favourite song to perform! The energy we get from the people sweeps us off our feet,” Robin said. “We want to stay on stage and see the crowd going crazy all night long, it’s amazing.”
The single ‘1999 (I Wanna Go Back)’ by Vengaboys is available to stream and download now.
For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter hereInternet Explorer Channel Network