We are welcoming again the one and only Van Hechter today, this time with his very good friend, the New York DJ Chauncey Dandridge
And while you are reading this good interview, listen to “The Delight” by Van Hechter and Chauncey Dandridge:
Music Authentic: How did your sleep after having that ongoing success with your brand new single and music video, „The Delight”?
Van Hechter: I don’t think of myself as a success… And I slept 9 hours. Beauty sleep, you know…
Music Authentic: That’s a spectacular music video, one recreating the early ‘80s scene, accepting who you are and enjoying life in good spirit. Tons of questions: How did you choose the location and the set up?
Chauncey Dandridge: We wanted the video to be a celebration for everyone and create a vibe that sticks with people.
Van Hechter: No location or setup was possible. Just a very very smart young guy named Noksound who tapped into exactly what we wanted; disco decadence… He’s going to be huge one day – endless talent and creativity!
Music Authentic: Did you ask friends and fans to appear?
Chauncey Dandridge: Because of the pandemic, we had to make it work rather unconventionally but I think we succeeded.
Van Hechter: This time no- but I dream of a huge party with friends we could film.
Music Authentic: Who had the chords and who had the lyrics?
Van Hechter: The song came from one of Chauncey’s schoolgirl diary poems (kidding!!!) I liked a lot. I added a few sentences. Chords were created by my music associate– Eryck Wyseman. Then I came up with the vocal melodies. Made them really difficult to carry as to give Chauncey a hard time (kidding again)!
Chauncey Dandridge: I wrote most of the lyrics sitting on the steps to the beach in Fire Island, a gay resort in New York. I was inspired by the beauty of life. Van and Eryck took it’s essence and turned it into a loungey disco stomper!
Music Authentic: It’s such a nice thing to have an actual friend, one not fading away and not ghosting. Many people easily call others “friends”, for a few it has a deep and lifelong meaning. How did you two meet, what is your story together?
Chauncey Dandridge: It was an instant connection and we became family immediately.
Van Hechter: Wouldn’t you like to know??? LOL! No but seriously; it was instant. I walked into the club, he was spinning- I loved him. Took about 3 minutes to become friends.
Music Authentic: Celebrating is an important part of life, we tend to overdo or forget it completely. Why are you celebrating now?
Van Hechter: It’s just– the end of a very dark and lonely time. We are celebrating life and love in all its forms!
Chauncey Dandridge: Right now we are celebrating the end of this pandemic and the beginning of the renaissance!
Music Authentic: The colorfulness and uniqueness make the individuals as homogenous as the sunlight has millions of shades yet we see them as one. How do you feel, is the world ready for this level of understanding and acceptance?
Chauncey Dandridge: I think the world is more ready than ever. With all massive changes in the world, there is pain and confusion, but things are changing rapidly.
Van Hechter: I am pretty, not intelligent. I don’t understand the sentence…
Music Authentic: If we put “Looking Back”, “I Believe” and “The Delight” there is a straight sound improvement and little less experimentalism. Where is your artistic evolution going from here, after this success you are reaching with your collaborative song?
Van Hechter: ”Looking Back” and ”I believe” are solo songs… ”The Delight” is a duet. Personally I will go more and more disco, more and more pop as a duet and as a solo artist.
Chauncey Dandridge: The songs that Van and I are releasing are unapologetically gay and uplifting with strong messages of defiance and power living underneath the surface.
Music Authentic: Will you have a special revisit of your earlier singles together?
Chauncey Dandridge: I’m a huge fan and cheerleader of Van’s earlier singles and they pop up in my dj sets often.
Van Hechter: I don’t feel like it. I want to look ahead these days.
Music Authentic: Disco and funky and especially pop can be about vanity a lot. Yet, it feels you are walking the thin line not going into that direction. Is this self-awareness we were talking about earlier?
Chauncey Dandridge: You can’t spell Vanity without Van. I’m a little more on the grittier, scruffier side of things haha.
Van Hechter: You C***!!!! But you’re right! LOL! I build a whole world around the depth of vanity and the shallowness of many humans who think they’re being deep just because they don’t enjoy artifice… My big message is; ”Hey – you can be obsessed with beauty while being a super deep human being!”
Music Authentic: Tricky thing now: introduce each other to people not living in the USA in only a few words!
Chauncey Dandridge: Van is a magical creature born of extreme discipline and style. He has a brilliant sense of humor and his finger on the pulse of what’s fresh and new as well as a strong grip on nostalgia and history.
Van Hechter: Chauncey is the best DJ in NYC, period.
Music Authentic: If you had the magic wand, what kind of land would you create in the spirit of joy, tolerance and escapism?
Van Hechter: My ideal world… It would be taught in school at a VERY early age that the process is even more valuable than the result… Also that the shallow does NOT contradict depth – both notions coexist, are equally important to human balance.
Chauncey Dandridge: Lots and lots and lots of flowers and multicolored rivers. Everyone would work together to succeed. Cell phones would only be allowed to be used one hour a day.
Music Authentic: Would the “House” be in?
Chauncey Dandridge: Of course!
Van Hechter: I don’t understand the question and refuse to answer it…
Music Authentic: Have you ever thought of living in the wild, cutting yourself off from the modern age achievements and shackles?
Chauncey Dandridge: I could definitely do it half the year, but I would yearn for the hustle and bustle of the city life too.
Van Hechter: Yes, when I was deeply depressed and struggling. But I love civilization too much, and crowds, and humans…
Music Authentic: If it is now the wild open spaces, what are your spirit animals?
Chauncey Dandridge: My spirit animals are a falcon, a panther and of course a unicorn!
Van Hechter: I’m a chimp- a circus chimp. My chimp name is Pucci.
Music Authentic: What’s next now for both of you? Keeping the New York state of mind and having an extra version of this song?
Chauncey Dandridge: We have about six more songs to release from our EP and I cannot wait to release them and perform them in public!
Van Hechter: What C. said…
Music Authentic: Which song would you remix/recreate from any artists with the most enthusiasm?
Chauncey Dandridge: I would love to recreate a Dee-lite song and perhaps something from Moloko or Erasure.
Van Hechter: I’ll give you a hint… ”After the show I think we’re ready to go; we are going disco! We are going to another disco – it’s disco after disco!”
Music Authentic: Thank you for today and for the happy song, “The Delight”.
Chauncey Dandridge: You’re welcome! Thank you for listening!
Van Hechter: It was a delight!
And here are where you can watch, listen to and interact with Van Hechter and Chauncey Dandridge:
YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ6nM4MphxE
Van’s Instagram: @vanhechter
Chauncey’s Instagram: @djchaunceyd
Dj C’s Mixcloud; mixcloud.com/djchaunceyd