Wouter Berlaen, teacher

Wouter Berlaen has been providing everyone with bass for over 20 years: from Leki to De Laatste Show Band and from K3 to Eddy Wally, this musician is a workhorse in the studio and on stage. Even international stars like Chaka Khan, Ali Campbell (UB40) and Lou Rhodes (Lamb) have been humbly supplied with bass lines by this Zultenian on occasion. He is currently touring as a permanent bass player with Raymond Van Het Groenewoud.

He graduated from the jazz department of the Royal Brussels Conservatoire as "Master in electric bass/contrabass". There he mainly took lessons from Bart De Nolf, Michel Bisceglia, Kris Defoort, Jeroen Van Herzeele and others. He also followed his teacher training there - until today, he himself is active as a bass guitar/contrabass/singer-songwriting teacher at the Kunsthumaniora Brussel, KASK & Conservatorium Ghent and the Academy for performing arts Ghent.

In his busy freelance life, Berlaen occasionally accompanies artists of various kinds: from schlager artists (Laura Lynn, Benny Neyman, Vader Abraham a.o.) and divas (Hadise, Lady Linn, Belle Perez a.o.) over chansonniers (Kris De Bruyne and Johan Verminnen) to alternative acts and songwriters (Sioen, Tom Helsen, Milow etc.).

Berlaen is also much appreciated in the studio as a session musician. The bass line on "Me & my guitar" by Tom Dice is Berlaen's best-known signature, but he also played CD/DVD/singles for various artists, including Raymond Van Het Groenewoud, Kommil Foo, Wigbert, Patrick Riguelle, John Terra, Born Crain, Pieter Embrechts, Lunascape, Cartel Deluxe dirk Blanchart, Leki, Anton Walgrave, Bart Herman, Brian Clifton (film 'Blinker & the Blix barrels), Laura Lynn, K3, Ketnetband, Eurosong for Kids, Radio 2 Band, Johny Voners, Lenny & the Wasps, Barbara Dex, Kato, Arne Vanhaecke, The Boonx, Guy Swinnen, Mama's Jasje, Jef Neve, Urbanus, Cappaert Sisters, , Will Tura e. a. All together quietly for a Playright counter that is heading towards the 1000 songs....

As a composer/arranger/producer, Berlaen is mainly involved in theatre and comedy with productions by William Boeva, Gino Sancti, Han solo, Henk Rijckaert and Luc De Vos. He also regularly contributes as a lyricist and screenwriter to various comedians/actors.

As a music producer, since building & operating his own PRESS PLAY Studio & Record Label in 2015, Berlaen has been a much-sought-after devil-do-al who has produced records for various artists such as Sabien Tiels (duets record with Stef Bos, Rocco Granata, Nol Havens, Hans De Booij and others), Raf Walschaerts, De Planckaerts, Guy Swinnen & Barbara Dex, Jan De Smet & Urbanus and many others.

Since 2011, Berlaen has also stepped forward as a frontman to release 5 pop records in his Zult dialect, of which songs like "Oe ver'est nog?", "Ge zij were zat", "Brengt ui zuster mee" and "Oltijd blijv'n goan" passed smoothly on Radio 1 & Radio 2. A successful theatre tour, flanked by Maaike Cafmeyer among others, was undertaken in 2013, many festivals such as Boterhammen in het Park (AB Brussels), Gentse Feesten, Festival Dranouter and Maanrock Mechelen followed and Berlaen was invited by Raymond van het Groenewoud to sing a duet at Nekkanacht 2013. Berlaen also sang in the tribute to Miel Cools, during his very last tour in 2013 and Johan Verminnen invited Berlaen to his most recent Radio 1 session, together with Paul Michiels, Senne Guns and Raymond van het Groenewoud, among others. In autumn 2014, he paid tribute to Bram Vermeulen, who died 10 years ago, along with Katarina Vermeulen, Jelle Cleymans, Wigbert and Antje De Boeck, among others. In 2021, he also released his own version of Johan Verminnen's "Paulien" on his best of album on the occasion of his 70th birthday. And as if that were not enough, Berlaen has been throwing himself into his own audio podcast "Bassed in Belgium" since corona times.