Van Hechter, the pop artist, who has been bringing all the positive vibrations and joy, just had a brand new song and music video released. We took the time to talk to him, and his upbeat funniness easily comes across, so, be brave and read this interview, in which we talk about life, music and people.
And in the meantime, just listen to “I am” by Van Hechter:
Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! We have a site-traditional question: How did you sleep last night?
Van Hechter: Hahahah what a cool tradition! Not as well as usual, actually… So I slept in to make up for it.
Music Authentic: And what did you cook last time?
Van Hechter: My fabulous Spring stew with veal, zucchini, crushed carrots, been sprouts, red onion, garlic and tons of rosemary… It was so good I brought a bowl to my favorite neighbor downstairs who’s become my adoptive brother… I always wanted a baby brother…
Music Authentic: I’ve just watched your positive vibe music video, “I Am”, and it does have references to the quaint ‘80s. It seems you really like Florida and Palm Springs. What’s the story behind this song?
Van Hechter: The song is about who I am now with all my flaws and strengths. It’s a self-portrait, really. Eryck Wyseman, my music partner created a melody around it and there we were… The video came later. I knew I needed to release ”I Am” as a single, I was spending 3 months in Florida – ended up going to Palm Springs as well and in the midst of COVID it was difficult to put a team together so I just started filming myself with my phone – then we used that footage. The 80’s vibe felt right, I love that we went with a ”Miami Vice” vibe.
Music Authentic: The world and our lives saw tremendous changes in the last one and half years. It was anything but delightful for most of the people. How could you keep up with your bright spirit?
Van Hechter: I was as low and depressed as everyone else from time to time. But once I set foot in Florida there was an explosion around me – I was treated like a prince, sent love letters, cars would honk, I’d get free drinks, favors… It lifted me up so very high… Then I got to Palm Springs and – well – aside from the person I was actually visiting (total love fiasco LOL) – almost everybody I met gorged me crazy undeserved love – everywhere I went I… It was 3 months of trepidation; people lining up at my hotel room door just to say hello… Crazy stuff! And so what you see on that video is an overwhelmed Van who can’t believe his life.
Music Authentic: Listening to your hit song, “Love Elastic”, I feel you tapped into the truth when you talk about real love. Can you tell the readers how do you see it?
Van Hechter: I just think that real love isn’t possessive. The ego is. When you truly love you have to let that person become the best version of themselves possible even if it means being separated. You can’t stand in your loved one’s dreams. Plus; if it’s real it most likely won’t break – it’ll morph.
Music Authentic: You do have charm, a “vogue” you probably know very well. When did you first realize this in yourself and started to channel it into your art?
Van Hechter: I was aware of it at 3 as was my mother LOL! It’s inherited. My grandfather had it, my mother had it – now I. This being said it took my decades to figure out how to work THAT into a song.
Music Authentic: How do you select your musical partners? Who would you really love to work with?
Van Hechter: Eryck Wyseman – I chose instinctively. I liked him, I liked his wife, I liked everything. And to date he’s the best partner I’ve ever had. We push each other but never in animosity. It’s all super pleasant, all the time. I want to work with Calvin Harris and Olly Alexander.
Music Authentic: Who was your childhood idol and who is now?
Van Hechter: I don’t know about idols but I remember feeling linked to certain musicians- like they understood my heart and I theirs; Giorgio Moroder, Bowie, Blondie, Tom Jones, Freddie Mercury, many Motown acts, from Perry Como to The Sex Pistols – I was a fan. My idol of the moment is Dua Lipa. I’m bananas for her. She sucks you into her songs and you’re her slave from then on.
Music Authentic: You walk into a café and Miley Cyrus, Boy George, Elton John and Paul McCartney are at the tables for a meet and greet. Where would you sit first and why?
Van Hechter: George – without a doubt Boy George. He rejected my bad demos when he had a record label, decades ago. I was even told once to ”send no more”… LOL! I think just for that I want to have a chat! Also – well – he’s a wonderful songwriter and I’m sure he taught me a lot. I listened to all Culture Club albums thousands of times, I remember reading the lyrics carefully over.
Music Authentic: You like exotic places, you like fun and you help people to find their own smiles. Would you be up to move to the Mars with the first colony to cheer them up?
Van Hechter: If I get to bring all my new clothes and shoes from London I haven’t yet had a chance to wear onstage because of COVID; yes. Sign me up! Nothing makes me happier than making others smile – but I have to look good LOL! If I don’t feel good looking I can’t entertain properly.
Music Authentic: If we look around, it seems originality has disappeared from the surface of the Earth and people easily feel OK in their numbness and bubbles and mostly ignorantly turn away from others in pain and in need, hardships, misfortune. If you had the chance, an opportunity, let’s say, you’d become the Prime Minister, what would you do to begin a change with?
Van Hechter: Originality will never disappear, nor will empathy. Indifference is our worst enemy. And we’re all prone to it at times because it’s just easier. I’d focus on children, teenagers and young people. If you’re rotten at 50 – you’ll remain that way – you’ve made a choice and nobody can change your mind. At 8-15-20 you can still learn to care for others. That’s what we need to focus on; educating and loving our youth! Not giving it MORE things! A human being needs discipline and love to grow into a great adult- not tons of objects with no responsibilities to be held accountable for. I believe in changing individuals before changing systems.
Music Authentic: Music consumption has also changed significantly. We are told not to think of concept albums and storytelling, choose rapid releases to be favored by algorithms instead. Where do you stand?
Van Hechter: I don’t love it. But these are the times we’re in and I accept it. Concept albums will be back. Right now I feel like we’re back to consuming 45s or 75s – single by single.
Music Authentic: Who do you listen to these days? Old favourites or newcomers?
Van Hechter: I have this obsession with Dua Lipa at the moment, as mentioned earlier. I especially love her recent association with DaBady – it’s on a loop 20 times in a row… I’ve also gotten back to French pop icons Les Rita Mitsouko during the last few weeks.
Music Authentic: What was the largest, unexpected thing to learn in your career?
Van Hechter: Oh God – that I am as stupid as I am smart; both very! LOL! And that fear is a temporary state- as soon as you break through it, it’s like it never existed. And knowing that makes you break through it faster. We waste so much time being afraid…
Music Authentic: Would you choose this path again? What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out?
Van Hechter: I would. I’d do a few things differently probably but that’s in retrospect. I have no advice to give but; ”Dare to be yourself no matter what anyone says- even your best friends aren’t you- YOU hold the key”!
Music Authentic: Now, life slowly goes to a more tolerable, more connecting one. Have you thought of giving any concert this year?
Van Hechter: I will be doing club gigs in NYC for Labor Day, Halloween and New Year’s Eve. The Stonewall Inn is a venue I love to play at- looking so forward to go back… I’ll do other bars too. My most eccentric, fashionable, exotic fans are based in Manhattan. I seem to attract very young and sexy freaks there. I love that. And singing for them is always a huge thrill.
Music Authentic: You have a nice followership and lots of listeners. What would you say as an encouragement to them?
Van Hechter: First of all – tell all your friends about me!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!! Also, from the fan mail I read, if you are a follower chances are you are or have been some sort of underdog at some point. I say; ”Never ever give up – often times today’s underdog is tomorrow’s hotness”…
Music Authentic: Thank you for taking the time and share your thoughts. I do hope we can hear more from you soon!
Van Hechter: Honestly a pleasure!
Say Hello and listen to Van Hechter