Rising Stars [Issue
man Van Hunt blends Funk, Pop, and even a little Punk into a satisfying mixture
of musical forms, and comes up with his own unique recipe. His self-titled debut
album on Capitol records drops January 27th.
The lead single
Dust indicates what listeners will hear on Hunts album: a
fresh, bold mix of sonic styles, delivered in a sexy, soulful way that instantly
distinguishes itself from the sounds of other so-called neo-soul
Im all about breaking some new ground, said Hunt in a recent
telephone interview from somewhere in Utah.
Largely producing on his own, Hunt was given a helping hand in the recording
phase from producer Andrew Slater (Macy Gray, The Wallflowers), who gave the
album a sense of continuity, because, said Hunt, I tend to
bounce around all over the place with different styles.
Hunt just couldnt stop himself from trying new sounds and experimenting
with the music on the CD. Its just who I am, he said. I
try to put everything in the music and I try to listen to everything, so it
just came off like that.
While he may listen to anything he can get his hands on, Hunt obviously has
an insatiable love for classic soul artists. Thats my influence,
Hunt offered, thats what I listen to. He added that there
are four diverse artists whose discs are never far from his player: Sly Stone,
Prince, Thelonious Monk, and Richard Pryor.
Recording in such various locales as Memphis, Nashville, NYC, Atlanta, and Los
Angeles lent a strong dose of diversity to the disc. Everywhere we went
we invited musicians down from the local community, Hunt claimed. Musicians
from Nashville are just sick. The musicianship is incredible. Those cats
are not just sitting around playing Shania Twain covers - they are bad.
Hunt is ambivalent about being labeled a neo-soul artist. As
a name itself, its not very sexy, Hunt admitted, I liked it
better when it was neo-classical soul. I hope the ideas will get
a little better as far as titles for it.
The singer has loftier goals in mind than such flavor-of-the-week labels. I
dont measure myself up against what that is . . . thats a genre
that has come about, and if they consider me a part of it - great. But what
Im chasing after, he continued, is the thirty or forty year
legacy of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, people like that. Thats what I measure
myself against. Thats the precedent.