Belgium Singer/Songwriter, Dressed Like Boys Unveils His Emotive Debut Single ‘nando’

Belgian singer/songwriter Jelle Denturck is currently leading something of a double life. For the last few years, he’s been the charismatic frontman of acclaimed noise merchants DIRK, whose mix of indie, post-punk and Talking Heads Lyricism has made them something of a sensation at home. There is another side to Jelle though, and that finds an outlet in the form of Dressed Like Boys.

Inspired by his record collection of Bowie, Lou Reed, Elton John, Nina Simone, Anohni & The Johnsons, Sufjan Stevens and Perfume Genius, Dressed Like Boys is more than just a solo project for Denturck, and is instead a quest for self-expression.

He sings about the search for personal freedom, about his closest friends, his life as a gay man,  his relationship, and never shying away from difficult subjects such grief and the homophobic abuse he has suffered in the past. It doesn’t get more personal and fragile than this.

Dressed Like Boys’ echoes the deeply confessional sounds of 70s singer/songwriters, and the music has a lush, timeless quality, brought on through the use of tape recording, strings, Wurlitzer organ, biscuit tin like snare sounds and a wonderful reunion with the piano, the first ever instrument he learned to play as a child.

Appropriately for such intimate music, Dressed Like Boys debut single ‘Nando’ is a declaration of love to his partner, and draws on the influence of Elton John, Tobias Tesso Jr, and Billy Joel.

“Being in a relationship inevitably causes personal turbulence.” Jelle explains. “That’s what this song is about. We all suffer insecurities, injuries, doubts and regrets for the sake of love.”

‘Nando’ comes out on 13 March, and a full debut album is set for release in the spring of 2025. Having supported The Haunted Youth for the European leg of their tour, Dressed Like Boys have played across Europe, including sold-out crowds in his native Belgium.

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