How much is Van Hunt worth?
|Net Worth:||$20 Million|
|Date of Birth:||March 8, 1970|
|Country:||United States of America|
“There is always a reason to celebrate wherever you are, no matter what you are doing. There is always something to celebrate. ‘Stand in the place where you live,’ as REM would say.” — Van Hunt.
Who Is Van Hunt
Hunt credits his diverse tastes to a mother who supported his early interest in music, to his “part-time painter/part-time pimp” father, and to the Southern Ohio soil where he was raised. A move from the Midwest to Atlanta in his early twenties allowed Hunt to hone his soul sound in the making. He took that eclectic sensibility to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College. He’d been playing guitar and writing songs since his teens, so naturally a career in music was on the horizon.
He began writing and producing for a new breed of soul artists including Joi, Raphael Saadiq, and Dionne Farris. Hunt was working with super-producer Dallas Austin until his manager, a pre-“American Idol” Randy Jackson, encouraged him to step forward as an artist, and brought him to Capitol Records. Capitol signed him in 2003 and his self-titled debut arrived in February 2004. The album wasn’t a major hit, but did receive loads of critical acclaim.
“One day I heard music – maybe it was (Prince’s) ‘When Doves Cry’ or ‘Mary Jane’ (by Rick James) something I really loved – and it opened a whole other world for me,” says Van Hunt. “As a kid, the road is wide open, and that excitement is what I want from a record. That’s who I make music for, that same kid in me.” — Van Hunt.
Hunt’s second album, “On the Jungle Floor,” was released in April 2006. It’s notable for its rock, punk, and blues influences, as well as Hunt’s remake of “No Sense of Crime,” which was originally recorded in 1977 by Detroit punk band the Stooges. Hunt wrote, played and arranged virtually all of On the Jungle Floor, though he did have help in the studio from producer Bill Bottrell.
Although Van Hunt is ripe with potential, he still doesn’t quite live up to it on his sophomore LP, at least vocally. He doesn’t yet sound completely comfortable as a vocalist, and oftentimes, you can hear the styles of other singers supplanting his. On the plus side, the song lyrics and instrumentation – both of which were handled mostly by Hunt himself – are top-notch and are the album’s saving grace.
When listening to much of On the Jungle Floor, the follow-up to Van Hunt’s Grammy-nominated, self-titled 2004 debut LP, the influence of other R&B; and Soul vocalists is obvious. You can hear a lot of Rick James on the funky opening song, “If I Take You Home (Upon …).” The Sly Stone influence is very apparent on “Hot Stage Lights,” the Prince influence is transparent on “Hot Stage Lights,” and the style and voice of Lenny Kravitz are channeled on the garage rock-ish “Ride, Ride, Ride.”
Despite this being his second LP, Hunt’s vocals still emphasize style over strength. But what he may lack in vocal talent, he makes up for in other areas. On the Jungle Floor has a great organic feel to it. The album was produced by renowned producer Bill Bottrell (who’s worked with Elton John and Sheryl Crow, among others) while Hunt wrote, arranged and performed most of the 14 songs himself.
There’s only one guest vocalist credited, Nikka Costa, who does a wonderful job lifting the duet “Mean Sleep,” out of vocal mediocrity, and gives the strongest vocal performance of the entire album. “Mean Street” is one of the few songs that hits the nail right on the head. Another track that properly conveys a Soulful vibe is the sultry “Priest or Police.”
But Van Hunt’s version of sultriness is a far cry from truly sultry Soul men like Curtis Mayfield (whom Hunt channels on “Character,” one of the album’s better songs) or even Neo-Soul artists like Maxwell or D’Angelo.
And although being labeled Neo-Soul himself, Hunt chose to go with a producer more known for working with pop, rock and country acts, which was probably a mistake. Other producers more adept at working with R&B; and Soul artists probably would have done a better job harnessing and refining Van Hunt’s talent. It’s not that the talent isn’t there, it just could have been utilized more efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, too many songs here are a little disjointed and lack a cohesive flow or vibe.
The album’s biggest success is in creating a laid-back low-fi soul-lite vibe, characterized by a loose, raw feel that’s miles apart from most of today’s overly slick urban pop. Also on the plus side, the instrumentation is solid and the lyrics are equally good. “Suspicion (She Knows Me Too Well)” is another of the songs that clicks in all areas, and is carried by a catchy chorus, plus a simple, yet funky bassline-horn combo.