Humber music alumnus tours the U.K., Ireland

Nov 10, 2023 | Arts, Culture

Humber music alumnus Theo Vandenhoff will be going on tour with the band CRYWANK this November in the U.K. and Ireland.

Vandenhoff is a singer and songwriter from Humber College who, after leaving the college, transitioned into becoming a singer and songwriter. He describes his creative process for his solo EP as one which involves a flare of synth-pop and contemporary influences.

Theo Vandenhoff black and white

Theo Vandenhoff smoking Photo credit: Theo Vandenhoff

“We were gonna make an industrial EDM song, like early ’80s German underground kind of sweaty fast club music, then everything else we did completely moved away from that direction,” Vandenhoff said.

Since the release of his EP Heartache in an Empty Room in 2021, Vandenhoff’s sound began to evolve as more people joined the musical endeavour.

Vandenhoff’s second EP Eveningstar is influenced by ’70s and ’80s dance music and is planned to be released in January.

theo and his band

Theo Vandenhoff and his band members Tom Nixon Callum Crombie and Sava Solar. Photo credit: Theo Vandenhoff

When creating his upcoming EP with his bandmates, Vandenhoff said they would sit down and throw ideas around or have a song they would want to write.

Bandmate Tom Nixon, who plays bass, said that on the EP the final song Eternity was his favourite saying.

“We were just all on the exact same page for the whole song and it’s a strangely structured song in a way, has a nice energy to it, which I think sort of shows us all at our best,” Nixon said

Vandenhoff said his newest single Rosetta, was his most proud moment since he began songwriting. This comment came after he made a post to his Instagram promoting the song as he compared it to another song of his.

The song which Vandenhoff compared his latest single to is Temper, a song which explores intimacy, while Rosetta wallows in intense yearning reaching out to that which cannot be touched but begs to be, Vandenhoff said.

The story behind the song was about a distant lover in a bygone era. Vandenhoff said he wanted to be intentionally vague about the story behind the song. Still, he later expanded the story saying, “It’s just really an exploration of that longing, of wanting to have that knowing.”

“It’s the first actual love song that I’ve made,” Vandenhoff said. “Temper is not a love song. It’s about an aspect of love, Rosetta is a true love song and I haven’t released anything along those lines.”

Vandenhoff recently did a warm-up show on Oct. 27 for Halloween in preparation for his tour. He described the show as a “proper ’80s goth thing,” and said it’s about getting comfortable before playing 25 shows in a row.

“We’re gonna definitely be showcasing a lot of newer songs, but songs from the first EP will definitely be played,” he said. “We’ll probably play every single song off of the first EP and the upcoming EP over multiple different sets.”

Nixon said Theo Vandenhoff and the band met CRYWANK, and that he and fellow bandmate Callum Crombie were friends with Jay Clayton.

“They’re lovely people, their music is amazing,” Nixon said. “It’s also nice because it makes it more exciting to go on tour with close friends, so the van will be full of people we love.”

Vandenhoff’s journey with music and his friends was a long one. It came from a hard decision that he had to make.

“I would say drop out,” he said. “If you’re trying to make it within a genre of contemporary music, Humber has an incredible jazz program.

“If you want to be like a working musician within the realm of indie and alternative music, then the best thing you can do is drop out, use your time to get better at writing music and meet people” at local shows, he said.

“Honestly, everything that I have achieved so far as an artist I have to owe to the people that I’ve met,” Vandenhoff said.

Vandenhoff and CRYWANK are currently on long concert tour in the U.K. and Ireland. They have 23 shows left on the tour.