In the world of entertainment, there are stars and superstars, celebrities and semi-celebrities. But there are also icons…
Van Hechter is an icon-not just through his music-his personality is fascinating, his sense of style (always a cross between ultra-chic and funny) seduces a youth that is nostalgic of old Hollywood and Studio 54…
Meanwhile, Chauncey Dandridge is an iconic DJ/Activist/Writer who gets involved in so many things, one has almost a hard time keeping up with him…
What happens when the 2 get together to record duets?? Pure magic!
Last year their single ”The Delight” charted all over US and UK underground…
This year, just in time for NYC Pride, they’ll be back with a new song, entitled ”Disco Brothers”… Since the video was filmed right here in Florida-we interviewed the pair, to learn more about their new adventure…
MC: When does the song come out, and where?
Van: Ask Chauncey— I’m terrible with dates, times, places—- names, ages, telephone numbers, zip codes…
Chauncey: I’m pretty sure it’s coming out just in time for NYC Pride this year at the end of June!
MC: What is the song about?
C: For me, it’s a song about how people from different walks of life, nationalities, and in this case, different countries can meet by chance and become family with the power of music as the connector. It’s about the celebration of the future through the nostalgic sound of disco!
V: Basically it’s all about sticking together as a community. There really is a ”brotherhood” and ”sisterhood” in the LGBTQIXOWASOLPV world (btw I’m sure that’s what it’ll be called by 2030). And that’s the bit I think I love best about being a gay man. That whole: ”I’ve got your back” spirit… I hate when we divide!
MC: What about the sound?
V: It’s an Eryck Wyseman tune- my music partner since 2015… He’s just so cool. The track is ultra-disco but in a modern way. There are guitars, chimes, funky bass lines… I told him ”This is for Pride— go GAY”… And OMG he did! Last week when I heard the final cut I was like: ”You’re not even a fag and you’ve gone beyond anything I could’ve imagined! I’m hearing unicorns hopping on rainbows”! It’s camp and fun- but not cheap.
C: I’m anxious to hear the final product. Van likes to make me wait. Eryck is a fantastic producer. It is definitely going to be something people won’t be able to get out of their heads. We had quite a weekend recently rehearsing and recording vocals and he pushed me to my limits. I’m grateful for his strict work ethic. He doesn’t settle for second best!
MC: You guys filmed the video in Florida, right?
C: What a day that was. I’ve been in a few music videos for some of my friends’ songs but this was the first time I was one of the main stars! I was in Florida for a DJ gig and Van was already vacationing there, so it was the perfect reason to set up the shoot. Because of COVID and living in two different countries, we weren’t able to film a traditional video together for “The Delight” so the planets certainly aligned this time around and we made something campy and cool. Plus I got to be silly, dance a lot, and wear a kaftan!
V: Yes- at The Big Coconut Guesthouse. The owner David Medici who is a friend by now was kind enough to let us film on his property. Gio Spano and his husband were filming… God, I love those 2. After 3 Montreal lockdowns, my body wasn’t completely back to its usual ”super-cut yet muscular” shape and they made me feel attractive- of course knowing that one must feel beautiful to perform…
MC: What’s the storyline?
V: Basically 2 gay brothers are on holiday finding love at a gay resort hahahah! As cheesy as that! We fight a bit but then we makeup and all ends well— because- yes I believe in fairy tales! I found our 2 ”boyfriends” at the guesthouse, actually, and asked them if I could hire them- they said yes. 2 best friends- they looked great together. I thought; the cocky scruffy one should be Chauncey’s lover while the pretty more discreet boy should be Van’s ”prospect”. It was all so unplanned and perfect! And they were very generous, patient, and super cooperative. Wonderful guys!
C: It’s a colorful tale of brotherly love with some brotherly competition thrown into the mix. Despite our very different upbringings, Van and I have very similar senses of humor, but our feelings towards men and relationships sometimes don’t always match. Van set up the whole storyline, organized the location, and found the actors and I just enjoyed the ride. I cannot wait to see to finished product.
MC: You believe in fairy tales? Why?
C: Fairy tales are born from hope and optimism, a romantic relationship with the future, and how things should be. I’ve always lived my life this way. Fairy tales always teach an unexpected lesson, the way I try to look at life every day. Fairy tales keep us alive, we all should believe in them. It’s when you stop dreaming that you kind of become an empty shell and I would never want to be that person. Becoming a bit of a little pop star in my forties is definitely one big fairy tale and meeting Van is what made that happen.
V: Because I’m in one! I mean look at my life: traveling, living out my musical dream. Nothing I do is based on what most people consider as being ”realistic” yet I’m proof that one should dream further. This is after surviving bullying, abuse, then cancer, after burying most of my original family, after having been told numerous times I was a fool for pursuing a dumb fantasy… I’m here against quite a few odds! I mean, I have friends and lovers all over the world now… Everywhere I go I create bonds that continue through time. It’s crazy. I do feel like everything ends well for me. No matter how bad the present once was- I was always sort of born under a really good star… And knew this from, like, age 5. That’s why I never gave up.
MC: Last question- what is the bond between the 2 of you behind the scene?
V: We’ve been texting daily for 4 years now. It’s WAY closer than I’d first anticipated. But it’s a beautiful surprise! I think what works is we are opposites with many common interests. Like: we’ll don’t compete against each other. I want him to do well, he wants the same for me. We don’t fight for the spotlight- we both have our own. Plus there’s a lot of silliness.
C: It really doesn’t make sense, any of it. I’m always confused about why he likes me so much and why he wanted to work with me in the first place. But I’m not very good at recognizing the things that make me special to others. We are such opposites and I guess that’s why it works. I wish I had an ounce of his discipline. We really should be in a sitcom together because we have the chemistry of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, Laverne and Shirley, Cagney and Lacey, and so on and so forth. But at the end of the day, we are disco brothers through and through.
As we wait for ”Disco Brother” to be released- here are a few links for our readers to follow: