”Soldiers Of Love” Van Hechter‘s and Chauncey Dandridge‘s new single is an electro-dance celebration of dignity with a deep groove and heart-punching lyrics…
It will be launched on December 1st just in time for World AIDS Day on all major platforms… Just a few days before its release, we took a few minutes to understand how the song came about, what were the intentions behind it…
Listen to it while reading!
Music Authentic: So, Van, this track is darker than your previous release ”The Delight”… The topic is political and the music, although still groovy, is more dramatic that what you’ve gotten us used to… How did the song come about?
Van Hechter: It was built on one of Chauncey’s poems. A very beautiful poem about where the LGBTQ community is at in the 2020’s, 50 something years into the movement- what has been accomplished and what’s left to fight for.
I added just a few little twists to the text ”The only thing worth fighting for is love”, for instance. But I left Chauncey’s text intact because it was perfect the way it was…
Simultaneously, Eryck Wyseman (my music and business partner) handed in a down-tempo demo: slower than the typical BPM we work with… I felt it would blend in well with the lyrics, so I composed vocal melodies.
Later, to add edge, I asked Rob Mah (star in Montreal’s underground) to play guitars. I love what he did. His riffs push the song further, they add tension.
Music Authentic: Why do you think it’s important to remember the past?
Van Hechter: Because our rights aren’t to be taken for granted. You gotta remember Stonewall; if you’re young and gay you MUST learn about the riots, understand that only 50 years ago we weren’t equal citizens. It’s important to understand the courage of those who first fought back, refusing to be sent to jail just for being homosexuals. Once one understands the dedication of these pioneers- one feels inevitably grateful for everything they’ve accomplished in just a few decades… Also I think knowing our history inspires us to get involved as to preserve equality.
Music Authentic: You said you loved The Stonewall Inn once in an interview… Why?
Van Hechter: Because the ”warrior” energy is palpable in there. You walk in, look at the names of all these activists who fought for dignity – often risking their lives, their jobs, their mental stability even, and it’s such a beautiful thing. I always think of that before going onstage at Stonewall and I am moved to sing there everytime I do.
Plus, I met my disco brother there! Chauncey is the resident DJ of the bar. He’s amazing. We bacame friends as soon as we met- we’ve been texting each other daily since… It’s a true brotherhood. I admire his activism. And I’m thrilled to be launching these ”politically invested” singles with him. We have a few more to release after ”Soldiers Of Love”…
Music Authentic: Now, Chauncey… What does ”Soldiers Of Love” mean to you as a writer?
Chauncey: It’s about being on active duty in the struggle for equality and honoring those who came before and hoping to inspire the new generation simultaneously.
Music Authentic: Beautiful! And what does World AIDS Day mean to you?
Chauncey: It’s a reminder of those I’ve lost and those still living with the disease.
Music Authentic: Rob… – You work a lot with LGBTQ artists… Anything to say about this, as a straight musician?
Rob: First I only work with musicians and artists I trust– production needs to be great… Most LGBTQ artists know each other. If I do a good job with one, others will be really happy to work with me, it’s a virtuous circle and its energy is great!
Van to Rob: ”Oh come out and say it – fags are fun!”
Music Authentic: Hahahahah! And Eryck; what does ”Soldiers Of Love” mean to you as a musician?
Eryck: As a straight white man, I’ve never had to fight for my rights. However, as a musician and DJ- perennially surrounded by diversity I’d almost come to believe that everything was settled! Unfortunately, it was made clear to me by my ”diverse” friends that equality was still a topical fight. Things have evolved but the war is not over, and I’m thrilled to take part in the composition of songs that send strong messages – still a spirit of celebration and love. To me, music should be about bringing people together- that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with ”Soldiers Of Love”. I am very proud to add to this project, using my creativity to keep this fight alive – initiated more than 50 years ago and continued today by my fellow artists and artist friends.
Music Authentic: Final words, Van?
Van Hechter: Download us, follow us, like us, add the tune to your playlists. We are a huge family- let’s always remember that. And now it’s time to dance – with our best outfit on!!!! Hahahaha!