I recently had the chance to catch up with Bay Area-based vocalist BEREL who just released his cover of JMSN's "Cruel Intentions." A self-described, “modern renaissance-man" with an affinity for fashion and music of the past, BEREL uses his craft to tell relatable stories and his emotive voice to seamlessly weave together nostalgic-tones. In the process, he creates his own unique hybrid of electronica, neo-soul, and hip-hop.
How did you first get into making music?
My mom's a musician, so she'd play piano and sing with me. Then my dad, a few years later, taught me how to play some guitar chords. My parent's motivated me to learn.
How do you describe the style of music that you make?
Alternative R&B, or Indie Soul.
What inspires you?
Most inspiring to me are the sorrowful moments in life and the desire for change through it all.
Which artists are your greatest influences?
Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield. I've been really feeling this new artist Mac Ayres, he's dope.
What is your favorite record right now? What are your top 5 favorite records to play (all time)?
I think my favorite record right now is "Summer Friends" by Chance the Rapper.
2Pac "All Eyez on Me"
The Beatles " Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"
Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life"
What are you obsessed with right now?
Spending hours in the studio and learning Ableton. I want to develop my skills as a producer, not just as an artist and singer.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been told?
Trust the process.
If you had to put a mission statement to your work as an artist, what would it be? Is there an end-game or particular goal or dream for you that you hope to accomplish?
I’m always out to change the world with my music. Even if it changes one person's world, for the better, then I'm can be satisfied in my work.
What are some things your fans can look forward to in the near future?
Some dope collaborations with Zion I, Mars Today, Mikos Da Gawd, and definitely more with producer, Aabo, who I do a lot of work. Got a few singles coming up, then a debut EP, visuals, and lots of live shows in 2018.
Listen to BEREL's cover of "Cruel Intentions."
Learn more about BEREL: