When there’s an invisible barrier between yourself and everyone else, how do you make your experiences heard and understood?
Art is one such medium that can bridge the gap and music is an especially powerful conduit. This is something that 22-year-old singer-songwriter Bertie Newman discovered long before his ADHD diagnosis, which only happened at the age of 22. Feeling different and not knowing why, Bertie picked up his acoustic guitar and a pen to begin processing his individual experience. The resulting piece of work is his evocatively named Thoughts So Loud EP.
Speaking about his Thoughts So Loud EP, Bertie shares that:
“The idea for this being the name of the EP arose straight off ‘I Will’. When I first wrote that lyric, it just spoke very personally into my life. I was diagnosed with ADHD last year as a 22-year-old man, which is a relatively late diagnosis as it is usually diagnosed when people are kids as they haven’t had a chance to socially adapt and it seems far more present in their behaviour. Having 22 years of feeling like I was different and had qualities missing and also qualities present that others didn’t, it was a big relief and the start of a journey when I found out. I felt very little empathy but never knew that was the case until I met my partner. This started to form the basis of the EP as she showed me one of the most crucial parts of human existence – how to feel for others. Suddenly I felt anger and sadness on the behalf of this person and I truly had never felt that before.”
Along the way, the Hackney born-and-raised artist has shared a series of his tender, indie-folk songs, inspired by the likes of Bon Iver, Hozier and Gregory Alan Isakov. These releases include EP track ‘Seaside Eyes’ which has reached over 2 million streams on Apple Music with editorial support (Acoustic Chill, New in Singer-songwriter), plus support from Youtube Music. He also shared a recent cover of ‘IDK You Yet’ by Alexander 23, which went viral on Instagram, pushing the track to nearly 2.5 million Spotify streams and the cover was also used on Earthpix (23.5 M followers) and Noah Beck (9M followers) social accounts.
With everything moving in the right direction, Bertie Newman ventured into creating his debut EP, from which listeners will have already heard the BBC Introducing spin ‘I Will’ (“Lose yourself in this gorgeous tune” – Jess Izzatt)and upbeat acoustic-pop track ‘Wasted On Me’ (“Achingly intimate, tender, and raw” – Atwood Magazine). Completing a highly personal EP that touches on themes of neurodivergence, anxiety, relationships, and personal growth, Bertie delivers the missing piece of his four-track EP is the resplendent single ‘Home’.
Again Bertie provides some truly deep and honest insights into the EP focus track:
“‘Home’ is really a throwback to how I felt really anxious about my current relationship when it first started to manifest. I felt as if a mirror had been placed directly in front of me and everything that was good and bad about myself was being revealed. It is also, most importantly about how when you find a place of peace, then you gravitate towards it, no matter what that place is for you. Firstly, I wanted to stress how incredible meeting this person was, and did this by comparing the best things imaginable in life to the most annoying things life throws at you however you are spending time with that person and ultimately preferring it to the luxuries of life – lyrics such as “hotel paradise” and “five star dreams” just aren’t as nice “as a rainy day, stuck in traffic by your side”. This then bleeds into the chorus saying “I want to go home” referring to the person rather than the materialistic desires. The second half of the chorus really just explains the feelings that if she wasn’t in my life I would know how horrible I would feel as I was in that place before meeting her. Lastly, I wanted the bridge to really be that crying call of what you really want but don’t think you deserve – “you’re the air I breathe, so help me breathe” just highlights the desperate attempt to try and accept such an amazing person coming into my life. Overall, I wrote this song wanting to highlight the absolutely stunning parts of meeting someone so special but also the complications within yourself that come with it.”
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