Van Hechter is our new favorite fascinating pop star. His career exploded over COVID— granted in an underground way, but still enough to make us pay attention to his every move. His music –so intelligent and upbeat, sticks to our soul; we find ourselves humming ”Love Elastic”, ”I Am”, ”The Delight”, ”Soldiers Of Love” (duet with Chauncey Dandridge) after having heard’em just once. He’s an addiction! Plus, he’s such a cool guy to have a conversation with! Over the last 2 years, he’s not given one interview that wasn’t outstanding in terms of generosity. He’s surprising, interesting, entertaining… Instead of talking about music, this time around we chose to simply chat with him about the Holiday season in general…
Us: I just saw your ”seasonal” picture! Quite the nice bum!
Van: Well you know. I like to laugh at myself! I work with a girl named Anne Laudouar. She’s an amazing artist. The rule of thumb is ”If we don’t laugh at the result- it ain’t fit to get published!”
U: Do you even like the Holidays?
V: Please I love any reason to add tinsel and extra lights to our daily life!
U: Was Christmas important to you as a kid?
V: Lord! The women on my mother’s side were BONKERS about it. They all competed against one another to cook the best this or that. I’m happy to tell you that my mom and grandmother won by far—– year after year !! Hahahahha! This was open, too. Nobody cooked as well as they did in that family; they did ”traditional” but always with a surprising twist- even in the 70’s… They were rather modern in their thinking.
U: What’s your favorite Christmas memory?
V: I was 5. It was after my mother had passed. My grandmother had taken me in for a few days. It was 4 pm on the 24th. Guests were expected to arrive around 7 pm. My grandfather was outside shoveling 5 feet of snow with a cigarette in his mouth lol. The house was impeccable. Like EVERYTHING had literally been sanitized! Table was set ultra-fancy. I wasn’t allowed to touch ANYTHING but that didn’t bother me. Grandma was locked in the guest room (wrapping presents but I didn’t know what she was up to)… And the Chipmunks ”Christmas Song” was playing on the stereo. I remember that moment each year because I felt safe. There was a promise of happiness in the air. We were all still mourning my mother but grandma wouldn’t have even as much as a trace of sadness in our moods that day. And she did it for me. It was all about making me feel as warm as possible. How can I ever forget the beauty of that?
U: So you’re 5 and your mother’s gone but you find beauty regardless?
V: Well- you have to! How else are you going to survive? Beauty is almost everywhere if you look for it. In THIS particular case it was handed to me- but I did take it in instead of focusing on my sorrow. Of course I do the same in music. It’s always about finding beauty where things seem dark.
U: And what does Christmas mean to you as an adult?
V: I had a few very rough years as a young adult where I felt lonely… Now I’ve created a ”chosen family” with whom to have dinner and drinks.. I decorate like crazy and just enjoy it. I only give gifts to my godchildren and not even each year… It’s not about presents for me. It’s about creating magical moments.
U: What do you have to say to those who feel lonely?
V: Reach out to friends, spoil yourself- do something you love to do even if it’s just staying in bed watching your favorite movies, helping the homeless feels very good, too…
U: Are you single?
V: Yes! Separated- not divorced. On extremely good terms, too- something I’m very proud of. But yes I am single.
U: How is it being single during the Holidays?
V: At this point I am single by choice. I can’t really feel lonely or sad about it…
In our early 20s we ”look” for love, at least I did. But I did so not knowing who I was and what I needed… Now- I’ve had love, I’ve been engaged a few times, married, I’ve lost love LOL, I’ve made a gazillion mistakes…
I won’t get into a relationship again unless I feel I’ve met ”THE” love of my life.
I thought I had– for about 5 minutes early this year… What I found interesting about that experience was how open to true love I still was… So— the person was wrong but the feeling was eye-opening. I now know that I can’t be anyone’s boyfriend unless I feel what I did last january.
In the meantime I have a lot of FWB lol! That works better for me than does casually dating someone I feel lukewarm about hahahhaah!
U: Last, what are you doing this year?
V: Well I am getting my ”booster shot” on the 24th so I think I’ll stay quietly at home- gazing at my Christmas tree waiting for my arm to stop hurting LOL! Then for NYE, this year I don’t have a show so I’ll go dancing! I’ll have dinner with 2 very good friends of mine and then I’ll go dancing where I know I’m bound to run into people I adore!
U: Van, you’re truly fabulous and we wish you the best Holidays, and the best year of your life in 2022!
V: Well, dear, it takes one to know one! I wish you the same. You know I love you!
You can find Mr. Hechter’s album, videos and duets on all platforms but here are a few popular links to follow;