Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
2 Sep 2015
2:12 pm

Chantel Van T has pure poetic prowess

Genevieve Vieira

The shortage of South African female vocalists seems to be a thing of the past.

Over the last two years, the country has witnessed a phenomenal growth in females making their mark on radio, such as Cara Frew, Ashlinn Gray and Cazz, to name a few. Another female turning ears is the talented Chantel Van T, simply known as Van T. More indie than the aforementioned artists, Van T is nothing short of fabulous. A Just Music signing, the singer/songwriter started her career as lead singer of rock band LA.VI, before deciding to brave it on her own.

“When I started my first band I fell in love with the creation of music and being able to use music as a means of escape,” Van T says. After LA.VI, she started exploring different ways of using her voice, and rose to the challenge by learning to play the guitar. The other band members also explored projects, which allowed her the much-needed space to grow into her own.

When asked what she aims to achieve through her music, she doesn’t hesitate for a second: “I mostly seek rawness in my songs, so if someone listens to my music and can feel there’s something more than just lyrics and melodies I have achieved all I need to.”

This description, quoted from a recent press release, says it well: “Van T brings with her 11 unfalteringly tracks, each with a tale, a purpose, and armed with ability to turn lovers of detail, sung in song, into loyalists.” Her debut album, We’re Still Running, echoes this sentiment, comprising a raw acoustic guitar ambience, with self-written and profound lyrics that compliment her delicate vocals.

Singer songwriter Chantel Van T. Picture: Supplied.

Singer songwriter Chantel Van T. Picture: Supplied.

Her aim in recording, she says, “was to find the best sound for each song and to create the feeling they each bring me”. “I really enjoyed the recording process and being able to explore my songs more.” Van T’s poetic prowess brings to the fore a new strain of folk and blues that is bound to get people talking. Whether this sets her apart from others doesn’t really matter to her.

“I’m just trying to stay true myself and my music.”  While music is one of the most important aspects of her life, Van T is also a part-time student in quantum medicine and other holistic and regenerative fields.

Apart from that, she says: “I’m just a normal human with various experiences as everyone else. “I enjoy many things but I love being in nature. Adventures to the mountains or ocean are always on my mind – and spending some quiet time reading always feeds the soul.”

Still a newbie in the ever-growing music world, at 22, Van T is already somewhat of veteran, growing from strength to strength. Her biggest challenge, however, is being able to bridge the gap between where she is now and where she’d like to be.