We’ve been following him all summer long. He’s been to Manhattan for Pride and July 4th – spreading musical magic everywhere he found himself. New Yorkers love his songs, his charming demeanor, they love him altogether! From there he flew to Paris all his plans had fallen apart, only to find even better than what had been originally scheduled. And this is exactly what makes Van – Van: never a dull moment, never an instant of discouragement. He shows up and makes things happen.
Music Authentic: Hi Van! Good to speak to you again! So, let’s do this chronologically… How was NYC?
Van Hechter: This time was crazy – I mean crazier than usual! On that Pride float I was surrounded by celebrities I didn’t know, we got to be on the news. Then I was reunited with Chauncey Dandridge, my ”Disco Brother” with whom I literally do slapstick onstage; we had a blast. I had fun crazy stage ”colleagues”: Danielle Cardona, Jayse Vegas, Lavinia – among others! I think because gay rights are indeed threatened in the USA, people we more united than I’d seen ’em in years! Sometimes magic emerges from darkness…
Music Authentic: And then you learned your Paris plans had fallen through yet you went anyway…
Van Hechter: Absolutely! I still had 2 new singles to promote ”Electrical Blue” and ”My Kind Of People”. The mini tour got canceled and I only got notified like 5 days before… Perhaps the guy who’d invited me decided I wasn’t worth putting efforts into. So I arrived in Paris with no ”plan”. Then, something wonderful happened! I met great artists – artists who were willing to play my music, include me in their future plans. It was nuts: like things were falling on me magically!
Music Authentic: Who did you meet?
Van Hechter: Loki Starfish was the first to sort of ”welcome” me in. He and his husband Fabien Lesage are great… They made me feel like I was part of the family from the first second.
Then by accident I came across a guy who goes by the name of Eicosalm: instant artistic bond. I went to see him play 4 times at a club called Freedj in Marais, he’d push my newest song each time. We are talking about creating a very special event. Fingers crossed.
Music Authentic: Is it luck or do you provoke things?
Van Hechter: Both. I mean I do show up, I do talk to people and look around. Then yes there is an element of luck: I mean Jeez, first 2 bars I walk into and bam: I make friends, encounter future associates!
Music Authentic: Where you always this way?
Van Hechter: No, I spent a long time afraid to move, afraid to live, afraid to really go for the dream – basically afraid to fail. That’s always what it comes down to for most humans… Then one day I woke up and became the man I wanted to be (almost lol).
Music Authentic: Your fans are much younger than you are… Why is that?
Van Hechter: Because I am young. I’m not my age. There’s a kid in me that never dies. I think if I make it to 90, I’ll look 70 and think like 50… This is me.
Music Authentic: And now that you’ve returned to Montreal what are you up to?
Van Hechter: Actually, it’s Pride here and tonight I’m playing a really small bar with good friends in the Gay Village. And then Chauncey shows up next week – our Poof Tour stops at Complexe Sky on the 18th. My God I used to go dancing there twice a week. It’ll be my first time singing at that club. Quite thrilled!
Music Authentic: Tell me about ”Le Poof Tour”…
Van Hechter: It’s a part-time yet long-running thing I do with Chauncey Dandridge. He is a great DJ – we met at iconic Stonewall Inn where he’s resident. We liked each other. Somehow, we found ourselves texting daily. And just we decided to record LGBTQ-themed duets at some point. Each reflect the gay reality of now, 50 or some years after the famous riots. We’ll be launching a new one in the fall… Our events travel the USA: he spins, I host then we perform our singles together. Nights are always so much fun with him. I can’t wait for him to fly over in a few days. We did Florida, all NYC boroughs, Manhattan – and this will be our second Montreal stop!
Music Authentic: And your Birthday’s coming up. How are you going to celebrate?
Van Hechter: Something rather unreasonable and rather extreme this year! I’m flying over to Florida to celebrate with my Fort Lauderdale friends a whole week long! I booked this last night! It makes no sense whatsoever. But I’ve been known to act on whims now and again…
Music Authentic: Happy Birthday, Van! I love you- you know that!
Van Hechter: I love you too!