Smile.dk (sometimes written SMiLE.dk, or Smile-dk, and pronounced "Smile-dee-kay") is a Swedish Traditional Bubblegum dance project, previously a duo group but now a solo project headlined by Veronica Almqvist. Smile.dk is best known for their hit singles "Butterfly" and "Boys", which were released under their original name "Smile", and included on self-titled debut album "Smile" in 1998. Many of their songs have appeared in the popular Dance Dance Revolution series.
Since 1998, SMiLE.dk has released three official albums, Smile (1998), Future Girls (2000), and Golden Sky (2002), and one remix album, Smile Paradise (2001). In 2008, Smile.dk returned with new producers and a new album "Party Around The World" was released on September 9. A new album, "The Makeup Collection", is planned for 2012 which will include remakes of old hits, and 5 brand new songs.
In April 2010, Hanna announced that she is leaving Smile.dk due to other commitments. She was replaced by Veronica's friend Cecilia, and together they released one single called "Moshi Moshi." Cecilia and Veronica worked hard behind the scenes recording material for their upcoming album, but in early October 2013, it was revealed that Cecilia has left Smile.dk to focus on her family. In late October, Veronica revealed that she will be continuing the Smile.dk project as a solo artist, and she will be recruiting no new singer to join her.
Below is a list of current/past members of SMiLE.dk.
- Veronica Almqvist - (born Veronica Larsson) Veronica is the only member of SMiLE.dk who has been there since their formation in 1998. She started singing and dancing at the very young age of five. Her first international release was in Japan 1995 with the Swedish group "Look Twice". She was the lead singer of the band, accompanied by two male rappers - "Vinny" and "Crazy G." She stayed a part of the band "Look Twice" until the year 1997. Today Veronica lives outside of Malmö. She's married and in 2004 she became a mom.
- Cecilia Reiskog is the newest member of SMiLE.dk and replaced Hanna in April 2010. Cecilia and Veronica worked hard behind the scenes recording material for their upcoming album, but in early October 2013, it was revealed that Cecilia has left Smile.dk to focus on her family.
- Hanna Stockzell - Hanna joined SMiLE.dk for their American reunion tour in 2008. Hanna was the youngest member of SMiLE.dk, and was born on November 11, 1986 in Sweden. Her favourite colours are black and white, and she also loves purple and yellow. She enjoys listening to and writing music and creative things like taking pictures and making jewellery. Hanna has blue eyes, and is happiest when she is in love, and when she's making music. In 2010 Hanna left SMiLE.dk to pursue her own career in music, and was replaced by Cecilia.
- Malin Kernby - Malin joined SMiLE.dk shortly after the release of the first album, replacing Nina who left Smile to pursue a solo career. Malin started singing and dancing when she was 5 years old. As she got older, Malin performed as a background singer for many popular Swedish musicians. She is described as a smiley and very happy girl. Today Malin lives in Stockholm and she also became a mom in 2005. Malin left Smile.dk in 2008, and Hanna, a good friend of Veronica's, came in to take her place as the second Smile girl.
- Nina Boquist - Nina supplied vocals along with Veronica for the first album, Smile, released in 1998. After the release of the album, Nina left Smile and started a solo career. She was replaced by Veronica's good friend Malin.
SMiLE.dk consists of two members, Veronica and Hanna. Former members include Nina, who left the group after the release of their first album, and Malin, who, due to personal matters, had to leave the group in 2008.
SMilE.dk was brought to life by producers Robert Uhlmann and Robin Rex. The project was unofficially abandoned around 2003, and no new releases were planned as both Veronica and Malin were now Mothers and no longer had the time to perform. However, in 2008, the SMiLE.dk project was brought back to life by Viverus Studios and Ninthwave Records.
Veronica and Nina first formed the group as Smile and published their first album "Smile" in 1998. They later changed the name to Smile.dk because there was a Japanese group active at the time with the name Smile and they wanted to avoid confusion. Despite what the name suggests, Malin, Veronica and former member Nina are not Danish; they are all from Sweden. They marketed their album in Denmark, hence the ".dk" tag.
Several songs in their first album were included in EMI Dancemania compilations, of which one of the songs, "Butterfly", was eventually licensed by Konami into the first version of Dance Dance Revolution. Since then, Butterfly has become one of the most popular songs in Dance Dance Revolution's history. Other Smile.dk songs on Dance Dance Revolution include "Boys" from Dance Dance Revolution 2ndMIX and its remix "Boys (Euro Mix)" from Dance Dance Revolution 4thMIX, "Mr. Wonderful" and "Butterfly (Upswing Mix)" from Dance Dance Revolution 3rdMIX, "Petit Love" in Dance Dance Revolution Solo 2000, "Dancing All Alone" in Dance Dance Revolution 5thMIX, and "Golden Sky" in Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA. The single "Kissy Kissy" from their second album is also a popular track in the dance game EZ2Dancer.
The first album "Smile" sold over 500,000 copies, and was most popular in Scandinavia and Asia. The album aold gold in Japan and the girls received an award for "Best International Girl group" in Hong Kong in 1999.
"Butterfly" was the first big hit from SMiLE.dk's debut album. The song went to number one on Japanese dance charts and was licensed by Konami for the first ever DDR. Many different remixes have been made of Butterfly, as well as numerous remakes, and now the video on YouTube has over 3 million plays. SMiLE.dk's next big hit "Boys" became a huge hit all over the world and especially in Sweden. The video for the song was recorded in 1998 on the island of Mauritius. The girls spent two whole days recording by the stunning beaches and amazing waterfalls. When the girls perform Boys on stage they usually take a boy from the audience and dance with him.
The music video for "Mr Wonderful," SMiLE.dk's third single was recordered in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. It was the wintertime and the video was set inside an old house with no heaters. However, the video looks very warm when you see the girls singing in front of the window as the sun shines in. SMiLE.dk's next single "Coconut" was inspired by the Caribbean flavours and the song became a big hit in Aistralia and Denmark. Did you know that wherever the girls performed they needed to find coconuts to dance with? They would wear flower necklaces around their neck so they could throw them to the audience at the end.
Future Girls (2000)
SMiLE.dk's second album "Future Girls" was released in 2000. The album has been considered by fans as Smile.dk's best album, with production by many leading talents all over the world. While the album did not span many singles or music videos, it did include some of the most beloved Smile.dk tracks of all time.
"Doo-Bee-Di-Boy" is the first single from the second album, and is about your dreamboy. The video was recorded in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and was filmed completely on green screen. The graphics used in the background of the video is the same as the single cover. The choreography in the music video was made by Alcazar, a popular Swedish dance/pop group.
Smile Paradise (2001)
Smile Paradise is a remix album released in 2001 that featured all the smash hits from the Dancemania and DDR series. It featured popular remixes including a special "Kimono Mix" of Dancing All Alone that was aimed at the Japanese market. The remix replaced the line "Dancing all alone singing dam di do" with "Dancing all alone in my kimono." A brand new song "Petit Love" was also included on this album. No singles were released from Smile Paradise.
Golden Sky (2002)
A two year gap followed before SMiLE.dk released their third studio album "Golden Sky." The album also produced only one single, "Domo Domo Domo," and did not do as well as the previous albums.
Domo Domo Domo was written by the girls and inspired by their tours in Asia and Japan. The phrase first came to their attention when they met a radio DJ on ZIP FM in Nagoya, Japan. The DJ always started his shows by saying "Domo Domo Domo!" The girls loved the phrase and started using it in their interviews. A music video for Domo Domo Domo was also shot.
In early 2008, fans noticed that a new Web site, www.smiledk-music.com had been created online. The Web site featured a mysterious flash advert "SMiLE.dk.. returning soon". Excitement arose, and rumour began to circulate that SMiLE.dk was making a 2008 comeback to the world.
A few weeks later, the rumours were confirmed. One of the new SMiLE.dk producers and organisers, Jamie Thompson, signed up to the Official Bubblegum Dancer Forums and posted a reply to the thread discussing the rumour, confirming everything that had been discussed - SMiLE.dk will be returning in 2008! Details were kept secret, but Jamie promised she would reveal more information, such as the name of the new single, very soon.
Over the next couple of weeks, Jamie continued to post numerous "teasers" of SMiLE.dk's return. On January 8th a new topic officially confirming the comeback was posted, and Jamie answered a number of questions presented by fans in the forum. Jamie, who was the time using the alias "Mr Jay", continued to post updates over the next few weeks about the girl's progress in the studios, and the live shows planned for 2008. On February 26, Jamie announced the launch of the official SMiLE.dk Web site. On March 13th it was announced that Malin will be leaving SMiLE.dk. Jamie also announced in the same post SMiLE.dk's newest and youngest member, Hanna.
On March 14th, Jamie Thompson posted an announcement that SMiLE.dk will perform live at San-Japan (San Antonio, TX) on August 9th 2008. The show will be SMilE.dk's very first in the USA, and will be the first time they meet their American fans. An interview with one of SMiLE.dk's producers was posted by Jamie on March 19th. In the radio interview, Jamie answered a number of questions presented to him about SMiLE.dk's comeback, and made a special mention of BubblegumDancer.com. You can listen to the interview here.
The SMiLE.dk project was brought back to life by Viverus Studios and Ninthwave Records. A new single, "Doki Doki" captures the original style of SMiLE.dk, and is planned to be released in September 2008.
SMiLE.dk's album "Party All Around The World" was aimed to be released on the 9th of September 2008. However, due to an error caused by the printing company, "Party Around The World" has been delayed until OCTOBER 28 2008. Jamie Thompson, Manager and producer from The SMiLE Team, announced at the Forums that the error was caused by a delay at the printing company. The company never sent the stock to Amazon.com, the main international online shop stocking the new release. As a result, when the release date came there was no stock to send, and so Amazon read "out of stock", much to the confusion of those who had pre-ordered months ago. To apologise to fans, the SMiLE Team gave away the Radio Edit of "Doki Doki" for free on their Web site - a small but satisfying gift for all fans who can't wait for the album release.
SMiLE.dk is very popular in Japan, and the group has released all of their albums there. They are best known for their Japanese-theme sound, and many songs, particularly on the album "Golden Sky" were inspired by Japan (such as "Domo Domo Domo", "Golden Sky" and "Tokyo", the latter which appears as a bonus track on the Japanese release of Golden Sky. The Smile.dk single, Domo Domo Domo was inspired by Australian born, Nagoya, a Japan based radio DJ, Chris Glenn. The line is a catchphrase used by Glenn as a greeting to his radio shows and events. "Domo" translates as an informal "Hi".
Smile.dk's songs are mostly composed and written by Robin Rex and Robert Uhlmann, and produced by Mik Christensen. The 2008 return album will be written, composed and produced by a group of people: J. Thompson, D. Örnå, D. Phaneuf, M. Frappier, P. Ellison, and R. Picard.