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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Music > Feature Interviews A to E > Bertell

 

Capitol Records artist Bertell

Bertell

Goin' Hard for Stardom

by Abraham Kuranga

 
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: February 28, 2010. 

There are many young R&B hopefuls who would do anything to be in Bertell’s position.  After years of struggling on the streets of Houston, the Capitol Records signee has finally reaped the benefits of Goin' Hard.

With his debut album on the verge of being released, you wouldn’t think Bertell was a new artist.  This is where he has wanted to be all along.

“I’ve always wanted to be anticipated,” explains Bertell.  “I’ve always wanted people to feel my music, feel my heart through my words.”

Born in Houston to a musical family, it was only a matter of time before Bertell made a name for himself.

“The women in my family were all singers,” says Bertell.  “I was the baby of the family, so I followed their lead.”

It wasn’t until he saw his cousin singing to a group of girls and their subsequent reaction that he decided to try his luck at singing.

“I would make fun of my cousin, but when I sung for them, they were all surprised at how good I was,” says Bertell.

It was that experience that led Bertell to start crafting his own version of popular songs.  He took his influences, such as Marvin Gaye, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder and the Isley Brothers, and crafted his own, funnier version of their songs.

Capitol Records artist Bertell“I would remake their songs, but with a new twist, and people loved it,” explains Bertell.

After a short stint in college, Bertell moved back Houston with no money, and no place to live. He turned to the life he knew, living off the street.

“I got into the street life,” says Bertell.  “Moving around, selling mixtapes out of my truck, doing whatever I could to survive.” 

In the meantime, a well known producer had heard a version of the rap outfit, Dem Franchise Boyz song “Shorty What That Do.”  Bryan-Michael Cox (Usher, Mariah Carey) heard Bertell on the single and knew he wanted to work with him.

“I met ‘B Cox’ in LA and he was impressed with what I was doing, and that I was doing it on my own,” explains Bertell.  “He encouraged me to move to Atlanta and do it full time.”

At first, Bertell rejected the idea and continued living the street life in Houston.  A year later, the R&B producer finally convinced Bertell to move to Atlanta, which led to him signing with Cox’s production team, Blackbaby Entertainment.

The final product of the chance meeting is Goin' Hard, a gritty collection of real life situations, with the background of soulful R&B.  With the gritty lead of single, “Beat It Up” as well as the buzz single “She Bad” featuring Bun B, the album is off to a good start.  Bertell is especially proud of the track, “Open.”  Bertell didn’t have to look far for the inspiration, writing about the experience of a good friend.

Capitol Records artist Bertell“’Open’ is about a woman who tries to control her man with sex,” explains Bertell.  “My friend came to me with his problem, feeling vulnerable in the situation, and the inspiration came to me.”

With the album finally completed, and soon to be introduced, Bertell feels a sense of relief.

“This now means I get to exhale,” says Bertell.  “Imagine you’ve been holding your breathe for awhile, and now the time comes to let it out.”

Bertell hopes to be a breath of fresh air for the music industry filled with R&B crooners.  He doesn’t find it hard to separate himself from the others, though.

“My sound is definitely more gritty, but soulful,” says Bertell.

He goes on to explain that R&B is sometimes thought of as soft, and for only women.

“R&B is can be about men,” says Bertell.  “What I’m doing compliments the others, being a little harder, a little more edgy.”

Just like his counterparts, Bertell envisions a career where he can be relevant and anticipated years from now.

“I want Grammy Awards, a label with a few artists and I want to still be relevant,” reveals Bertell.  With raw talent, and “go hard” mentality, there is no reason he shouldn’t.

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WATCH BERTELL (featuring BUN B.) PERFORMING "SHE BAD"!

 

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Photo Credits:
#1 © 2010. Courtesy of Capitol Records. All rights reserved.
#2 © 2010. Courtesy of Capitol Records. All rights reserved.
#3 © 2010. Courtesy of Capitol Records. All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: February 28, 2010. 

 

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Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: February 28, 2010.