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Pic by Jitske Schols

INTERVIEW: VanWyck

Hi, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you! I’ve been very busy! But that’s good.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “An Average Woman”?

It’s the title track of my upcoming album and it’s a very important song to me, both politically and personally. I think through the years I’ve built up this resistance to the way our societies celebrate success as uniqueness and individualism. It’s defined by excluding most people and I wanted to make a fist against that, even though it’s a soft fist. Political songs are often hard and loud. And sure of themselves. This song is soft and full of doubt. It wonders and contemplates and admits to faults on many levels.

I think I wrote the song to sing myself loose from the pressure of being successful, special and unique. Sometimes it feels like only perfect woman are allowed to be visible, to have a voice and speak up.  But I am not a superwoman – I am an average woman, trying to find my own way through the murk of life.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I think there were a few instances that spurred me on to write this song. I remember reading an article about a girl of seventeen who committed suicide because she thought she wasn’t special enough to exist. She kept comparing herself to Beyonce and felt she fell short.

Another moment was a friend of mine who is a therapist and told me the end goal of most therapies is for people to realize that they are just who they are and accept that – in contrast to most self help books that promise change, golden futures and the realization of big dreams. Coming to terms with the mediocrity of life, or with its limits.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I am working with the artist Koen Hauser on a video at the moment. We just asked people to send in pictures of ‘Average Women’, normal pictures of normal woman which we will blend over moving images.  I wrote a post about it that you can find here. https://www.facebook.com/vanwyckmusic/photos/a.786563001412808.1073741829.742591362476639/1466084113460690/?type=3&theater

If your readers would like to participate and send in pictures, that would be great! It would be awesome if we could show pictures from women all over this world.

How was the recording and writing process?

For this album I collaborated with Reyer Zwart, who is an award winning bass player and arranger. We also worked together on my first EP. Reyer can play almost any instrument and he was one of the first people I worked with who truly understood what my songs were about. How I wanted the lyrics and instrumentation and arrangements to mean something together. Like in Red River Girl, when the strings become this meandering river the girl in the song is singing about. In this way the instrumentation gives an extra layer of meaning to the song. Together we really tried to forge some new ground sonically. To not repeat other artists but to create a distinct VanWyck place.

How has the 70s influenced your writing?

I don’t think I can pinpoint one influence or inspiration from a particular era. I think all things I see and feel or that touch me deeply sink into my songs one way or another. I do think though, there is this urgency to say something to the world – from this sense of not agreeing with it. To try to build these little monuments of resistance in a way. Resisting the greed, commercialism, and consumerism that define so much of our world today. And I also have a thing for real instruments. So this whole album was done with real people playing real instruments. There’s a certain magic to that which I’ve come to appreciate even more as time goes by.

Does your new single mean we can expect a new album or would you rather see focus on releasing singles – how’s that coming along? Any tentative release date or title in mind?

My debut album is finished and will be released on the 19th of January. An Average Woman is the title track of the album and we will be releasing the video to that song with the album release. The second single is planned to be released on the 13th of November and is called, Listen to you Breathe. The album will also be released on vinyl, in a special limited edition. Pre-orders are available on pledge-music here: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/vanwyck

Any plans to hit the road?

I hope to be coming to the US in march, maybe visit SXSW and then LA. We are also planning a theatre tour in The Netherlands and Belgium in the 2018-2019 season. I’m looking forward to combining the themes of the album with visual arts. I’m already working together with different artists, like Amie Dicke who made the cover for the album and Koen Hauser who’s making the video for An Average Woman.

What else is happening next in VanWyck’s world?

We’re planning the release of the next single which is very different from the first so I am very excited to see how people will respond to that. We will also be shooting a video for it, which we are working on right now.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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