Interview with Dave from Dave and the Plushies

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Image courtesy of Davidoff Hoanganova

I caught up with the very funny Dave at Starbucks in the Melbourne CBD for a general chat about his performance life and new show Dave and the Plushies On the road to 2nd. After the consumption of coffee…

TAT: So Dave where are you from, are you Melbourne based?

Dave Hoanganova: Yep Melbourne based, my parents are from Vietnam but I was born here in Australia and proud of it.

TAT: Where abouts in Melbourne did you grow up?

DH: Springvale South. There used to be a lot of violence there.

TAT: How old are you?

DH: 31, turning 32 in September. I look young for my age because I use Olay every morning- love the skin you’re in (laughs)

TAT: How would you describe yourself in three words?

DH: Exciting, geeky and funny. There’s too many words, I mean I’m always hungry. Actually that could be the three words- I’m always hungry.

TAT: Did you study? Do you work?

DH: I studied multimedia at UNI and then I did an honours degree in creative media- which is all animations and stuff like that. Now I’m a high school teacher, and vocal coach at the David Jaanz school of singing.T

TAT: Are you passionate about your work?

DH: Absolutely! I love teaching high school just because I build great relationships with the students.

TAT: How do you spend your time?

DH: I’m very social, and I like to learn how to dance- Korean popstar dance. I read a lot of comic books- I am a geek. I love to gig, perform, eat and hang out with friends. And I’m Part Russian.

TAT: Really?

DH: (laughs) no, but your face just then was great! I love doing that to people.

TAT: Do you speak any other languages?

DH: I’m fluent in Vietnamese, I’m a wedding singer for Vietnamese weddings.

TAT: What inspires you creatively?

DH: My girlfriend- cause she’s hot (laughs). A lot of songs are love songs. I have a passion for music, I love seeing people happy and love seeing people laugh. When I’m writing something I hope it will make someone happy and make someone smile. Must be family friendly, hopefully not offensive so kids and older people can listen to it.

TAT: How do you come up with your material?

DH: It just comes to me. Usually starts off as a serious love song and does a complete 180.

TAT: When did you start musical comedy?

DH: I starting writing serious music about five-six years ago-gospel music. I’ve been in a cover band for seven years called DHM. I was sitting there one day at a gig and thought ‘I’m no different from every guy with a guitar’, then I had a dream about smurfs and porcupines and started writing songs about it. Women were cackling from the songs, it brings personality into my music. I wasn’t being true to myself writing depressing songs. Then I started writing more comedic songs. I thought ‘why not make my stage interesting as well.’ I don’t know why, but as the common link between smurfs and porcupines are that they come as plushies- I decided to use plushies. It’s bizarre.

TAT: So you don’t have a particular affiliation for soft toys?

DH: People would think ‘this guy has some sort of soft toy fetish’, but I think it will make people happy. Reminds them of a good childhood. I have hundreds of them in my bedroom and boot.

TAT: How long have you been developing this show?

DH: Six months. It’s based on developing the second album called 2nd. It’s a combination of old stuff and introducing new stuff. Brings familiarity to friends who know my songs, and fresh new songs for those who haven’t heard my stuff- hoping it will be a lot of fun.

TAT: Where do you perform in Melbourne?

DH: At the Exford hotel, stand up comedy in Brunswick on Monday, a few schools, charity stuff. After my show I’ll be doing a world vision fundraiser.

TAT: What are your goals for the future?

DH: I’d love to see this go global. Not like in a big sense- like me being a massive music comedian. I have a huge heart for the poor and the lost and would love to go to a third world country and make kids laugh. I believe the arts should be accessible to all. To make the whole world laugh, if you can bring a bit of hope to someones life it’s a good thing -we all come from different walks of life. I could even provide work for third world countries making plushies.

TAT: What has been your greatest accomplishment (career or otherwise)

DH: My greatest accomplishment is seeing my vision for Dave and the Plushies coming into fruition. Releasing an album was a huge thing. I’ve sacrificed a lot for it. Cut my hours at work, given it a lot of time and my life. My family and friends have supported me throughout the journey. To see people find joy in my music- that’s my greatest accomplishment. I found my niche with comical love songs that make people happy. Releasing my album on itunes and Spotify- if I went tomorrow, I’d die happy

TAT: Do you have a favourite performance moment?

DH: Serenading the mother of my friend with KFC, and serenading my girlfriend on stage. Album launch was so much fun, a memorable moment was when I performed at the IDGF in Melbourne. This woman pulled her pants down and mooned me.

TAT: (laughs) Okay last question, why should people see the show?

DH: That’s a very good question. If you want something different- something sweet, something Asian, something soft and plushies. And something that will bring them a big grin. Come see my show.

You can see Dave’s show:

When: 28th June- 3rd July

Where: The Butterfly Club (Carson PL off Little Collins Street)

Tickets: $26-$32

Special Information: Butterfly Club members get $1 off all drinks, regular offers of discounted (or free) tickets, access to members-only events and a pretty card that fits right in your wallet.


Instagram: Dave_and_the_plushies