Dries Van Haute

When you think of Belgium, you probably think of sweet sweet chocolate. Something else from Belgium which is pleasing (this time to the ear and not the taste buds) is the music of Dries Van Haute. Recently dropping the video for his latest single "Games", Dries uses the metaphor of dance to describe the highs and lows of a toxic relationship. We caught up with to find out more about the inspiration behind this song as well as hearing more about his EP: Blue Roses.

Hey Dries, tell us a bit more about yourself and the type of music you make.

Hey, I’m Dries Van Haute, a musician from Belgium, making my debut as a singer-songwriter. I started as a beat-maker in hip hop and played with a band (SoulRock Avenue) for a while before focusing on my solo project. I’ve always wanted to create something original so I started blending all types of music I love: mostly Hip-hop, soul and electronic music. I look up to artists like Elton John and Paul Simon, who are amazing songwriters that have managed to create timeless music, without being boxed-in by a certain format. 

You released a captivating visual for your single “Games”, it shows a man and woman taking part in interpretive dance (presumably as a metaphor); what was the inspiration behind the song?

It is drawn from personal experience; I think most people have at one point or another experienced a destructive relationship. Passionate love with a lack of communication leads to two people hurting each other. They know how to push each other’s buttons, and get caught up in a game until slowly things spin out of control.

The lyrics are repetitive, as we make the same mistakes over and over again, while the music builds up like the tension between the two dancers ... until the situation blows up.

This is taken from your EP Blue Roses, which has a very unique sound - how long did it take to create all the tracks for it?

We took our time; I think we worked on it for 2 years; the biggest task was to find a sound and a direction, since my influences are so eclectic. We made a lot of songs that didn’t make the EP.

I think Games was the song which defined my sound.

 As well as some experimental sounds, we can definitely hear the soul influences too; who shaped your musical education growing up?

As a kid my father used to play Dire Straits, Elton John, Phil Collins and Paul Simon in the car a lot whenever we went somewhere with the family. I think the music you hear as a kid always has a big influence. I used to DJ during my teenage years, so a big part came from 90’s R&B and soul, from Timbaland beats to D’angelo… I am self-taught so I don’t have a real musical training; I just get ideas or inspiration sometimes and then I work and learn around those I guess. I feel like I’m still at the very beginning of discovering myself as an artist. 

What would you like listeners to take away from your music?

I just want to share experiences, so other people can feel, understand and learn from them.

If you were not pursuing music, what would you be doing instead?

I guess music is the way I found to express myself, but it could have been any other creative domain. 

I could have been painting, doing conceptual art, writing books or movies, who knows…

Which Belgian artists should we keep our eyes peeled for this year?

I think Belgium has a lot of potential, as does this whole new generation worldwide which grew up with the possibility to make music in their bedroom. Just to name few: Coely, Amery, Woodie Smalls, WWWater, Angèle, JtodaC… I think Belgium has something for every taste. 

What’s in store for you in 2018?

Touring with the EP, see the world, build a connection with my listeners. And writing new music of course. :)

Finally, what does success mean to you?`

Success is the freedom to do what you love everyday; in a other terms: to ’crystallize your vision’, having a dream and then have it become reality. That’s the meaning behind the EP’s cover artwork.

Be sure to follow Dries' journey on his socials below: