Van Hechter’s new single ”I Am” is the 4th excerpt from his album ”Love Elastic”. It got noticed in the UK and in Sweden first. Now the US is getting hit by the new New Wave sound of this ultra-slick, perfect for springtime track!
Interview by Tim Brown
This new song ”I AM” although very modern, sounds a lot like 80’s pop but there’s an element of soul and even R&B… Was this a calculated choice?
– Not at all. I’ll never do art that way. I truly write the songs I love and feel are right. My music partner Eryck Wyseman works that way too. Growing up listening to all the genres you mentioned obviously ”forged” me. But in the end my heart guides me. I don’t think a lot. I work hard but I don’t think hahahah!
What are the lyrics about?
– I just sat down and wrote who I was in the present. These are some of the best years of my life… I want to remember the state of now forever. I didn’t sugar coat, either; I admit I’m nuts and vain and vicious when hurt– I am very flawed. But the good outweighs the bad I think. And I do love me in a healthy way, ultimately. Of course there’s room for improvement- workin’ on that!
It seems like this song is a lot about self-awareness; ”I am insane but I know who I am and so lucid I remain”…
– Know thy self! And have fun with the fool that you are! There’s a crazy person in all of us– just many are afraid to expose their silliness. I think that’s a mistake. First person you need to laugh at in life is yourself! Deep mental illness doesn’t even know it’s ill— so long as you know you’re bonkers from time to time; you’re fine! The minute you start taking yourself very seriously; worry!
You shot the video while travelling in Florida and California– tell us about that…
– I had one of the most exhilarating trips of my life so far. And again I wanted to capture the moment as it was so intense, emotionally… I knew I needed a video and during COVID, well— it’s hard to get a team together. So I just filmed me with my phone! Very fitting for a tune called ”I Am”!
Is that why you dedicate the video to Florida and Palm Springs– because you were going through such emotional times while visiting?
– Absolutely. Almost everyday during 3 months I was thinking; ”What the hell is happening to me???? Who is writing my life right now??”… I made tons of new friends and a few (very few) enemies lol! Old friendships became stronger… I fell in love head over heels only to have that blow up in my face in a completely unexpected way. My heart was broken– I didn’t even know such chest pain was possible– for a few days it felt like perhaps I was going to die from sorrow… Yet somehow I recovered fast. And the rest of my stay was basically one love after the next, 4 at once even. I felt like a walking soap opera. People knocking on my hotel room door at all hours, cars honking when I was walking on the street, girls and boys whistling at me. It was like I’d stepped into another dimension. On my death bed I’ll remember this trip with great emotion.
– Now I am working on a series of duets with NYC Dj Chauncey Dandridge from my small studio in Montreal. First track comes out on Independence Day– I’ll be in NYC for the launch. I can’t wait. I haven’t set foot on a stage in 18 months. I miss it so much.
Also I am putting together a very glamorous monthly event in Manhattan (first- then who knows?) to make people dance, hug and laugh after all of this COVID crap is behind us.
Last— I have to ask… Do you believe in magic?
”Everything is music, I believe in magic”!!
Photographer; Howard Zucker — HowardZucker.net