Biography

Van is adamant to make music that means something, songs that have a strong message with a catchy chorus. His music can be best described as urban roots, with a funky, mainstream pop sensibility, a kind of acoustic storytelling with a groove. Van Sereno likes to be known as a songwriter first and foremost. He's worked as session guitarist and vocalist on numerous projects, both covers and originals (In Full Swing, Evail, Afrofunk, Jacuzi, The Pop Experience, The Smooth Groove). He's supported Australian acts such as Christine Anu, Marcia Hines, Richard Clapton, Vanessa Amarosi, Diesel and even US blues legend John Hammond, UK soul artist Andrew Roachford and US RnB artist John Legend in the past.

 

His solo debut album "I think I know" was launched April 29th 2005 at V Bar Sydney CBD. The album was co-produced by Nathan Johnson (Sleepy Jackson, Citizen Dog, Brett Hunt) and mastered by William Bowden (Gerling, Red Riders, The Cops, Gotye). The original band lineup comprised of Ross Ferraro on drums, Jarrol Rennaud on bass and Jules Bolleter on keys.

 

His second album "persistence" was launched to a capacity crowd at The Vanguard, Newtown 6th March 2007. The album was produced by Van himself with Russell Pilling as sound engineer and William Bowden as mastering engineer. With Ross Ferraro on drums, Jarrol Rennaud on bass and Byron Mark on keys.

 

His third album "another way" is a live acoustic album recorded on 2nd June 2007 @ Damien Gerard Studios, with Byron Mark accompanying him on percussion; released at Ruby Rabbit on 27th October 2007. The album was produced by van himself with Russell Pilling as sound engineer and Andrew Beck as mastering engineer.

 

Together is his fourth album released on itunes late 2008, recorded, mixed and mastered at Damien Gerard Studios. With a new line up in the core band (Shane Barret on drums, John Maddox on bass, Byron Mark on Keys) Van teamed up with the cream of Sydney’s indie artists coming up with an eclectic mix of styles - a duets project that clearly expresses his boundless skill as a songwriter. Standout tracks are the smooth and soulful "Move on", the happy go lucky "Lets Get Away" and the very jazzy "Understanding". 

 

Yeah I Know is his fifth independent album, two years in the making he begun this project back in the Philippines in mid 2009 on the back of a controversial major label signing that fell through. Not to let his hopes down he independently recorded this project at Springfield Studios in Sydney, mixed it in Boston Massachusetts USA at Fader Vu Studios and mastered it in Portland Oregan USA. His new band consists of Deva Permana on drums, Carlo Tapia on bass, Byron Mark on keyboards and percussion and Van on vocals and guitars.

 

Hey Wait Stay is his sixth independent album,more of a mature raw rootsy form of pop, going back to basics concentrating on the purity of the storytelling, a jazzy fusion of urban roots and smooth groove. The new CD is a live album that captures the essence of a solo concert performance. With Luke Koteras at the tracking and mixing desk, and Christian Sebastian on mastering duties, the project captures the live show to the tee. There is a bonus club remix by Byron Mark that brings a nice sonic surprise to the album. Officially launched on October 3 at Burwood RSL, 2014 (alongside good friend Tina Bangel who launched her own EP that Van helped co-write), Hey Wait Stay is not your ordinary acoustic solo singer songwriter album.

 

Gratitude is his seventh album (itunes release date mid January 2016). With a new line up and a collection of sonicly varied tunes, Van explores an array of different topics from depression, death penalty, sexuality, World War 2 and even a Japanese nuclear power plant. Not afraid to branch out to other styles, this collection of songs shows a different side to his songwriting. Sean Carey (ex Thirsty Merc) is at the helm on the mixing desk, with Brad Benson and Byron Mark assisting. Mastering is thanks to William Bowden (Gotye). On drums there is Dom Cabrera (Timomatic), bass Carlo Tapia, keys Casper Tromp and Daren Sirbough, violin Ziva Altman, flute Larissa Grotte. And Byron Mark on percussion.

 

Don’t Worry is his eighth album (itunes release date early June 2017). With Sydneys cream of the crop musicians (Kristian Attard played bass for Meghan Trainor and currently plays for Jason Mraz), there are stellar performances from keys players Casper Tromp and Daren Sirbough, as well as drummer Dom Cabrera and Dauno Martinez (bass player virtuoso). Vans new line up tackles the genre of modern blues. Also dabbling in jazz and roots styling, this new batch of material is more focused on personal development and introspective songs about growth and relationships. Check out the new videoclip “Swagger”.

 

Old Christmas Songs, his nineth studio album (itunes release date November 30, 2018), is a surprise Holiday themed collection of Classics and a couple of brilliant original compositions filled with the Christmas spirit! A welcome breath of fresh air on his approach to these timely tunes, Van leans towards the country genre in this release, still retaining the groovy melodic vibe he is known for. Dom Cabrera returns on drums, Dauno Martinez completes the rhythm section on bass, and Byron Mark rounds it off with keys and percussion, complementing Vans consistent guitar and vocals. Mixed by Brian Cachia and mastered by William Bowden, this quirky Christmas album will leave you dancing by the Christmas tree and singing along to the choruses strong…try not to spill the wine from the rhymes!

 

Hush, the tenth collection of tunes is a childrens album with a difference (itunes release date 5th July 2019). Staying true to his sound of blues and funky pocket groove, he sings songs that give kids helpful hints to lifes daily challenges. With Dom Cabrera on drums, Byron Mark on keys/percussion and Van sharing the bass responsibilities with Brian Cachia, he keeps the vibe energetic, joyful and happy. Even songs like “The Frog and The Scorpion’ and “Bully Song” which tackle more grown up subject matters, there is a light hearted playfulness that will appeal to your child. Returning on the mixing console again by Brian Cachia and mastered by William Bowden, parents will enjoy this album just as much as their children!

Rock Baby, his eleventh studio album, is a Childrens album with a party vibe! Utilising the same band line up, this collection of songs pays homage to the everyday activities of a child, from getting up and making your bed, brushing your teeth, going to the toilet, watering the garden, playing games, play dough and cardboard boxes. A practical tongue in cheek fun way to get your kids dancing while they do their thing. Press play and let it be the sound track while you and your child action out what the actual song is singing about!

© 2023 Van Sereno 

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