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A Dutch pop/rock band formed in 1998, Di-Rect sang their tunes in English and were able to score a record deal thanks to prominent DJ Rob Stenders in 2000. The demo that the then-teenage group had recorded also included what would be their first single, "Just the Way I Do," and was successful enough to help guide their debut album, Discover, into the charts. Members Tim Akkerman (vocals and guitar), Bas van Wageningen (bass), Jamie Westland (drums), and French van Zoest (guitars) released their second album, Over the Moon in 2003; it was followed by 2005's All Systems Go and a number of festival appearances, namely the famous PinkPop Festival. 2005 also found the band hitting American soil as they participated in an MTV reality show entitled Road Rally. Their fourth album, Di-Rect, was a mellower rock affair than their previous bouncy pop-punk sound.
In 2009, Akkerman announced he was leaving the band, and Di-Rect appeared in a television series to choose his successor, eventually unveiled as Marcel Veenendaal. His first album with the group, 2010's This Is Who We Are, debuted inside the Dutch Top Ten, as did 2011's Time Will Heal Our Senses. Daydreams in a Blackout, released in the spring of 2014, was recorded entirely in the band's own studio.
- The Hague, The Netherlands
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