Dear Van, First and foremost I would like to thank you for your time. This will be my first story for The Gruber Club. Let’s start easy, can you please introduce yourself? So— you can go harder on me LOL! My name is Van Hechter, I write, produce and sing pop songs that usually have more than one level. You get the ”candy” face value with a second, deeper degree when you listen closely. So it’s up to you, really! I work with a musical partner whose name is Eryck Wyseman. In my mind, in my heart- we are a band although I present myself as a solo act. Self-deprecation and optimism in adversity are my trademarks. You’ll never hear me telling you how HORRIBLE life is, how miserable I am. I don’t believe in whining. I am always laughing at myself and at my misadventures! That’s the spirit! Going through your instagram account (@vanhechter), I could definitely feel the positive energy you radiate. Music industry is not one of the easiest; Lots of work, deadlines, pressure… Many dreams of pursuing their musical passion, what motivates you? How did you made it happen? I wasn’t aware that I had made it happen!!! LOL! I suppose the hardest part is believing you’re good when everyone else thinks you suck. You get rejected a lot in this business and you really need to have a strong sense of self. Before things started picking up I was regularly depressed. Fortunately (I don’t know where this comes from) I tend to bounce back and I did each time, for years! The stress and deadlines; I don’t mind. So long as I’m working I’m happy. If I’m forced to quit one day at least I’ll have had a few years living out my dream and that’s in itself a luxury. Of course; I ain’t quitting unless I ABSOLUTELY have to— they’ll have to drag me out screaming hahahah! My main motivation is to make people happy and aware that their own unicity is beautiful. That gets me out of bed- that’s the goal. Can you tell us more in depth about the rejections? Do you have one rejection that really marked you? What happened & how did you feel at that moment? Rejection in my case started before I was born. My mother tried to kill herself while she was pregnant. It’s a pattern; I am rejected violently, slowly I become accepted then all of a sudden I am adored. The good news is; usually once people adore me- it sticks, it lasts forever. I went through the same waves later in school— bullied for being a faggot as an infant, spat on, tortured— then I was an ”ok” guy for a bit and all of a sudden at 16 I became idolized with numerous daily sexual offers hahaha (back then if you were that age with already a stubble, chest hair and the body of a man- you weren’t considered a child- nobody saw it as abuse if you were having sex with someone who was 25— good old days!). What about today, do you still get rejected? How do you deal with it? Professionally I am noticing the phenomenon all over again. Lord — the hateful reception I got at first! One woman said to me once— in French– ”Not only are you a looser but you have the voice of a fucking disgusting faggot— like faggot shit you are- you’ll never amount to anything in music, you’re not intelligent— bye nobody!”… That was my regular week back then— taking in this kind of aggression on a regular basis. I was sad very often. Of course, part of me wondered if I was any good… Depression is a downward spiral. A few times I thought about taking my own life. But my love for music is very strong and in the end I do love me, so I rose above, kept working… Now, I attract really cool, unique young people who want to change the world. That’s gold to me. I love my fans. Our final question: What would be your word of advice for those who are going through rejection right now? If you’re being rejected because you’re a dick; stop being a dick. It’s all your fault! If you’re being rejected because your ideas are original, and you TRULY feel you have something different to bring to the world; YOU are right, THEY are wrong! You MUST be hurt by hurtful things otherwise you become cold hearted- and that’s not a good way to be. What I’m saying is; don’t let that pain stop you from doing what you feel is right. Stick to your ideas. Don’t let rejection discourage you. But– do allow yourself to be hurt– it’s healthy to cry! Then USE that pain to create your own world. Van, Thank you for this wonderful interview for our readers, I’m sure they can get inspired by your message! Dear reader, If you would like to share your story. Send us an email at [email protected] What if your story, could change somebody’s life?