Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I think that it’s the only thing in my life career-wise which I really miss when I don’t do it. This for me was enough to realise that music was the path for me !
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I am Bertie Newman, singer-songwriter from Hackney, London. I started music relatively late (when I was 19) and first released it just to see how things would go and somehow have ended up making it a full-time thing! I was previously a competitive swimmer which was practically my whole life until I left school so didn’t have much time for myself. But then focused on a more creative path and here we are.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Babel – Mumford and Sons
Stick Season – Noah Kahan (recent fav)
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
I first listened to Wash. by Bon Iver in the car as my mum was into him at the time I was training (swimming training). I would listen to the whole album every car ride and was obsessed and was the first time that I listened to songs that made me want to make music.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I feel like I am doing well! Just trying to navigate it all as it is very much a new journey and there is so much to learn. I try to see it more of my own journey and the industry is the people who can facilitate that rather than being in on it somehow as I think that stops you from going a little bit mad haha.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I think that there are measures you can take now such as searching people at the door far more rigorously so that people aren’t able to bring in substances that could then harm women. Another measure being to make sure that the tolerance is very well known to be zero against any sexual assault or anything that presents itself as being threatening. I also think it would be amazing to have a representative on site at gigs in a safe space for women to alert when a man / any person is behaving inappropriately and for that person to then with no questions asked to leave ! We need to start believing women about their experiences. I do think however it is a very systemic issue that ultimately needs to be addressed at a very young age and has to be talked about far more frankly from a young age as that is the only way in my mind to irradiate it or at least reduce it.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I usually go to my discover weekly, search tik Tok and explore artists suggested as similar on Spotify
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I have a twin brother
I used to play the recorder
I have traveled to Australia twice
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I think that artists need far higher royalty standards as the other DSP’s are way ahead and even they aren’t good. I don’t think that Spotify being so big is a bad thing but I do think it can make artists feel that succeeding on Spotify is the only way be successful.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
Not at all !! I think it is usually people looking for ways to not trust power. I believe you should very critically look and scrutinise powerful bodies and people however the idea that people don’t believe others experiences (such as landing on the moon) because they believe it’s all part of a big governmental plan / conspiracy is quite disrespectful to those who are passionate and have lied through those things.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Too much beer!
What was the worst experience on stage?
I have been very fortunate with stage experiences but defo forgetting the first verse of my first song was a tough one.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
I have ADHD which I only got diagnosed last year! Most people think I seem very chill but that’s just a social mechanism that I have developed. I am actually quite crazy haha…
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I think that I make music usually associated with country/folk themes and I live in a bustling part of London and I feel like that’s quite a standout for a London-based artist.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
YES !! I have a project coming in the near future which is very exciting and a few more tracks coming out. That is all I can say… 😉
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
I think the tunes for this project were mostly based on the progression of my mental health and how when the right person comes into your life, it can have such an immeasurable effect on your life.
What was the recording process like?
So I spent a long time recording and writing with different producers and narrowed down the songs I thought were the strongest and that best fit the project. I usually start simple production wise as that’s how I write my songs and then add whatever sounds good from there on.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I think that it’s ok to not strive for what we deem as perfect, but also to not be afraid to re-do and try again and experiment until it’s the best you think you can get it.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
There are always things to change, especially once it’s out but as I said with the last question, you just have to accept that not everything is going to be perfect!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I just think that at the moment we really need to stand for what is morally right and to not be so lead with greed! Be kind and just do the right thing even if its the less financially viable option x