Last year, Van Hechter surprised the nation with a charting album and a hit duet alongside Stonewall Inn resident DJ Chauncey Dandridge (Love Elastic, The Delight). His stylized vocals and self-deprecating lyrics appeal to a certain underground youth while the rhythms of his tracks, orchestrated by Montreal DJ Eryck Wyseman, make the songs universal- relevant to all age groups. In a nutshell, Van is an underground pop star- on the verge of emerging above ground. And there’s a mystery around him. He’s a very unusual individual; dashing like old Hollywood, well traveled, sophisticated, well-mannered, but with a raw rebellious- even ”hardcore” side, in a true rock star sex-appeal. We caught up with him to ask what he was up to.
EOH: So, you’ve been quiet so far this year… What are you up to?
VH: Well- I’m stuck in Montreal, we are semi-confined, it is often – 34 F with the wind… I’m basically writing a new album with DJ Eryck Wyseman and DJ Villagomez… It’s how we survive the cold, dark, lonely winter! They’re my bubble- plus a neighbor downstairs. I see practically nobody else as we are asked to limit contacts… I must say though; I’m having a blast! I love what we’re doing! I can’t wait to release the new material!
EOH: How different are the upcoming songs?
VH: I think I’ve never had such a thirst for life and party. The new songs are like huge rays of sunshine. I just want to have a FANTASTIC time onstage in 2022 and 2023. I want to celebrate with audiences- not just give a show, you know? I want them to be the show as well!
EOH: And the new lyrics?
VH: Silly, funny, easy. I’m done with semi-intellectual lyrics. This pandemic has changed my art. I just want to have a good time now.
EOH: Tell us about your association with Chauncey Dandridge.
VH: Well- first off we’re really good friends. This makes a big difference. Like, we text almost daily. We wrote 7 songs together, after the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, about homosexuality half a century later… One track, ”The Delight” came out last summer and did really well. It was just remixed by a DJ named Executive Realness. Thrilled! We have about 4 more singles to launch in 2022.
EOH: Are friendships important when collaborating?
VH: To me they are. I really can’t work with someone of whom I’m not fond. Every time I tried the result was a total disaster. Creation has to come from a place of love, at least for me.
EOH: And may I ask about your love life?
VH: Try me.
EOH: Is Van Hechter single?
VH: He is, and that’s totally ok… He has a handful of deep friendships. He has ”buddies” on every street corner. He has cousins to whom he’s close. He has a ”musical family”. He never thought he’d have it so good!!
Make sure you follow Van on Spotify