Devendra banhart dating 2016
“One day when I was about six, I said to him, ‘Can I call you ‘dad’? I was like, ‘It’s so beautiful; I’m old enough, you know, that I get to choose.’” Banhart’s connection to his Venezuelan ancestry is bittersweet. “I feel very Venezuelan when I’m not there, but I feel very American when I’m there.There’s a deep sense of just a get-out-while-you-can sinking feeling that permeates my generation.” Though he is reluctant to be drawn into a discussion of politics, I wheedle out his opinion of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez: “I don’t know a single person that lives in Venezuela that supports Chávez, and I know plenty of people that live here that are all about him,” he says.His parents divorced when he was four, and his mother took him back to Caracas, Venezuela, where he would live for the next 10 years.He would have no contact with his blood father for another 20 years.His parents were adherents of Indian guru Prem Rawat, who suggested the name Devendra, which means King of the Gods in Hindi.For good measure, they gave him the middle name of Obi, as in Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi master.In Venezuela, his mother met and married the man Banhart would come to consider his true father, an American telecom professional and part-time poet named Loring Baker.“I guess you could say he’s my step-dad, but he’s really my dad—he’s the only person I’ve ever called ‘dad,’” says Banhart.
In 2009 he released What Will We Be, a record which received him a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.If a Devendra Banhart didn’t exist, we would never think to invent one: half-Venezuelan, holy-fool, head-shop mystic beardo, long-haired leaping gnome, who came singing songs of love at the awful dawn of the 21st century, spreading freak-folk spores across the land like a nouveau hippie Johnny Appleseed.That’s the old Banhart, not to be confused with the new Banhart, or perhaps more accurately, the current Banhart.Most of our rambling three-hour conversation is devoted to correcting misperceptions about his public image and untethering himself from outdated or inaccurate stereotypes. “People pinned this whole free-love, drug-culture, hippie thing on him, which—even though it was partly his fault for wearing too much turquoise jewelry and stuff—was never accurate.” Still, he is not completely free of totems from the Age of Aquarius these days.Up until just recently, he was in possession of Jim Morrison’s couch.