Everything is Better with Chocolat – Interview
with Belgian Singer Micheline Van Hautem

In Brel With Chocolat, Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem will bring her sensual voice and arresting stage presence to the The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts for a night of delicious consumption by the Brisbane audience.

Micheline stepped out into the vast world of music ten years ago, armed with only her voice and her guitar. Her first stop was New York, a melting pot of inspiring nationalities and cultures. To set her apart from other grand performers in the city, the Belgian born, Dutch/Flemish/French speaking muse sang songs primarily in French, in particular songs by Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf. It wasn’t long before she found herself performing sold out concerts in her newly adopted land.

In Brel with Chocolat, Micheline will interweave her Brel favourites, including Ne Me Quitte Pas, The Port of Amsterdam and Seasons in the Sun among others, with originals from her first solo album Chocolat including collaborations with The Alessi Brothers and Tim Finn.

Where were you born?
“I was born in Ghent, that's in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium (crushed between France, The Netherlands and Germany).”

Was your family into the arts?
“My mom hums all the time, when she cooks and cleans. My big brother is a filmmaker. I'm the only performer in the family, I always joke I inherited it all.”

Which came first, acting or music?
“Music, at a very young age, singing in the garden on the swing for the whole neighborhood. Abba !”

At what age and circumstance did you start to get into music performance?
“My brother was involved in a pop band, I sang in the studio for their record and was taught a lot about harmonies and singing. I took that with me when I won a talent contest and so started my first band. I was 16 then.”

Did you feel like music was a life’s calling?
“Absolutely. It's the only thing that really makes my heart beat faster, although for a couple of years now I've gotten into snowboarding and now that I am a Mom with two sons I have found a whole new meaning to the word, passion.”

Any interesting/horrible jobs you did to help you pursue your interest in a musical career?
“Baby sitting in New York, interesting. House cleaning and hostess in a restaurant, horrible (I just couldn't get in down right).”

Please describe how you felt before your first professional gig.
“I died, had pain in my stomach from nerves and lay on the couch at home before I had to leave to go and sing a solo song in the church choir. I must've been 12 then. The nerves are better now, I still feel a tingling in my belly before entering the stage.”

Please describe the method you use to compose music?
“I have my iPod to record ideas or I call the land line with my cell. I have a little notebook or I just keep repeating the good line until I can jot it down somewhere. Dangerous to drive and write at the same time.”

In your own words, can you please describe what the punters can expect from your new show, Brel with Chocolat?
“Passionate French Brel songs, interesting English originals... they melt together like the best Belgian chocolate (which I hand out at the end of the concert).”

In the future, would you like to branch out even further into the creative arts? And if so into what area?
“I'd like to do a project with three female singers, edgy and sexy but acoustic. I'm also attracted to film. I'd love for an intense role to cross my path.”

More information about the
Brel With Chocolat click here >>

Micheline Van Hautem – Brel with Chocolat
Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane
Dates:  17/10/09
$34 – $45

Official Site:

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Everything is Better with Chocolat – Interview  with Belgian Singer Micheline
Van Hautem

In Brel With Chocolat, Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem will bring her sensual voice and arresting stage presence to the The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts for a night of delicious consumption by the Brisbane audience.

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