“Tomorrow I can still announce something fantastic.” After a day full of emotion and the bad news that singer Sarah Pepels is leaving Portland, her ex-colleague Jente Pironet could still look forward to better times. Now it is clear what he meant. Portland will be at Rock Werchter this summer. That performance will – just like the other shows such as the one in the AB in Brussels in April – take place. Perhaps without Sarah, although the exact details are being worked on behind the scenes.
READ ALSO. Popular music group Portland sees singer leave after seven years: “Tried to set boundaries, but in vain”
It came as a complete surprise when the news broke through a social media post on Thursday. There was also a lot of beautiful things in the pipeline. Portland will release a new album in barely three weeks, which – remarkably enough – Departures is called. And the band will still be seen in the original setting in the upcoming season of Love for music on VTM.
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“The interaction between Jente and myself was magical in many moments, but that was certainly not always the case,” Pepels wrote on Instagram with the announcement. “I tried to set boundaries, but in my opinion it was in vain. I kept believing we could fix it, but it turned out to be hopeless. That’s why I decided to leave the band. I am convinced that Jente will reinvent the group. It was a tough decision and I’m going to miss the band, crew, fans and music, but we won’t leave you empty handed. Please enjoy what we’ve been making all these years, enjoy Love for music in Departuresthe second album.”
The band performed together for seven years and also won the competition The new light from Studio Brussels, where Pironet gave a reaction on Thursday evening at Eva De Roo. “I think we may have run out a little bit for a while,” he says there. “The music industry has been very fierce with us. Sarah and I have also been a couple. We’ve been through a lot together. It was too hard to keep making music, decided to distance myself and the project for a while on hold to put. Then we had to choose that Sarah will not continue for a while.”
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“Is it final? I just hope time can save the day. It’s been very tough. I have had to seek guidance and help, but I am glad that we now live in an environment where mental wellbeing can be discussed a lot. But I do want to underline that we parted ways on very good terms.”
What the future holds for Portland remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the members and their management are once again in silence.