Singer-songwriter Van Risseghem writes and records fresh and melodic pop-rock songs that flow from your speakers straight from his homebase in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His single, ”The River,” from the album Passenger, was improvised in a way very much like its name — he strummed guitar riffs that seemed to stream the song lyrics. “That was a really unique song,” said Risseghem in an interview. “It was a free flow when it came to me.”
For Risseghem, it seems many talents spring up for him in addition to songwriting — photography, graphic design and the ability to play a variety of instruments. When he was nine he began learning piano, and later he taught himself guitar and began “tinkering” with other instruments from the bass, to the accordian. Risseghem’s home schooling gave him the freedom to be creative, while still engaging in team sports like soccer and tennis.
As for his influences, Risseghem counts Keane, Tim Rice-Oxley, Paul Simon and Kansas as inspirations. “When I was in high school I listened to Linkin Park and other modern music, but when my dad took me to see Kansas, it changed my perspective on music.” He also grew up in a musical household. His mom sang and played the piano. Eventually Risseghem’s passion for music brought him to a realization. “When you learn an instrument,” he explained, “you are always going to be a musician, whether you are dancing around the house, or selling platinum albums.”
For a long time the one man band was wearing many hats as he gathered publicity, booked his tour and played all of the instruments in the studio. And as he prepared for the release of his music video for “The River” and the March 2010 release of Passenger, he got back the basics — writing “a slew of songs,” playing a few shows, keeping up with his fan base and keeping a “focus on just being an artist.”
“I call a Truce”
“O Come Emmanuel”
Since the release of The Motions in March of 2009, Van Risseghem (pronounced: van - riss - egg - hem) has been featured on Comedy Central, Cinemark and AMC theater's "Cinema Sounds" program.
Risseghem has reached number one on Germany's Big.FM, was nominated for the Hollywood Music and Media Awards and was chosen by MTV's Ourstage.com as one of the top 100 artists of 2010.
He also performed with multiple well known acts, most notably the 2009 American Idol Winner Kris Allen, Dave Barnes, Meg and Dia, and Metro Station.
The Motions (2009)
He Is No Stranger (2009) (Holiday EP)
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Genre: Alternative / Pop
Praise: "Van Risseghem summons day-dreamy pop-melodicism...instantly hummable and clearly ready for a wide mainstream audience, it is not the anomalies and winsome touches in the production that draw as much attention as the very grounded storytelling and real-world imagery his lyrics summon."