Interview with Aden Bertisch, singer/songwriter/producer!

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Aden Bertisch is a sixteen year old singer, songwriter, and producer who attends Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). Aden also loves to act in and direct short films and his own music videos.

Interview by Lois Chan

As an introduction, what is your name, age, interests and talents?

Hi! I’m Aden Bertisch, I’m 16 years old and I’m a singer/songwriter/producer.

When did you start singing and songwriting?

I’ve always loved music ever since I was little. I used to make music videos to other people’s music with my friends all the time. So I kinda started writing when I was eight, but that stuff doesn’t really compare with the songs I make today. I guess I really started taking singing and songwriting seriously last year.

What is the typical process you have when it comes to creating music and also your music videos these days?

I love this question. I think that whenever I start writing a song, I don’t really think about writing a song, I’m just trying to express myself. Whether you’re really really sad or extremely happy, I think you just have to believe what you are saying. I usually start with just writing down what I’m feeling and then finding some loops that match the feeling of my words. Then I just sit on my bed and pretend I’m in a music video, ab libbing melodies to my words.

Very good point! Sounds like your process is really unique and personal. How would you define your style when it comes to music?

You know, right now, I just feel like the word to describe my style is fun. The only thing I think about when making music is how fun it’s going to be to perform, to record, to produce, to do everything. I think if you’re not feeling it or having fun with it, then you have to just take a deep breath, because it’s important to create what you love.

So you're part of the band Teddy London. What's it like being part of a group and working with others to create music?

It’s definitely different. I think that it can be hard at times to express yourself when you’re in a group, but I do think that when you altogether create something to be proud of, it is quite magical. I love working with my other two members, but I also love helping them create their own thing. I think collaboration is super important, because sometimes you need to think outside of yourself and create something that more people can relate to.

Nice! So I know you've introduced yourself as a singer, but would you also like to share about your experiences with Bertisch Camp?

Oh definitely. Wow, you really did a good job in researching. So, Bertisch Camp is a summer camp that my sister and I started when I was about 11. I just took a movie or a musical that already existed and directed it with full costumes, full production and a bunch of talented actors and actresses (who happen to be my friends). It really taught me a lot about the business of film, and also working with and teaching others. I would look forward to it every year and micromanage every little bit of it to the point of perfection. We would have 40 kids come to my house for two weeks in June. The first week was just rehearsing (learning choreography, recording vocals, recording backups, acting lessons, etc.), and the second week we would find locations and shoot there for six hours everyday. It was always the highlight of my year and it introduced me to a lot of amazing musicians.

Haha yep, it’s my job to research. What are some of the best memories you have from camp?

Well, we didn’t usually have camp on Sundays, but last year we needed to get a lot of backups, so we made a Sunday for a select few of us who really were experienced in backups and group singing. We spent 14 hours just recording and recording and recording all of these backups until all the songs from the musical were done. It was very fun. I know it sounds long though; it was but it was also fun.

What are your plans for the future as an artist? Do you have any goals in mind to accomplish one day?

I have quite a big dream for the future. Honesty, I just really want to be a singer and songwriter. There really is nothing better than sitting in front of a mic and showing your listeners what your true colors are. Every time I sing, I feel like everyone can truly see who I am. And I just want people to see that; I want people to relate to me and reach out to me so we can connect and become friends. If I ever become famous or anything, I really want to spread good messages into the world and make everyone feel like they can trust me. I want to help people in any way I can. And especially with what’s going on in the world right now, I just wish more people could hear my voice. We need peace in the world, and I think art is one of the few ways we can really tell others how we feel and spread the message that murdering and killing innocent people is not okay at all. At the end of the day, we are all people who feel the same emotions and love the same ways. Art is one way we can let people see the truth.

That was a wonderful answer, thank you for saying that. It’s great that you see music as a platform to speak up about world values. A lot of people don't necessarily have that passion, both for art and humanity. Continuing on with the questions— for teens that want to start creating like you, what is your advice on getting started and sharing your work with the world?

My advice for teens who want to start creating is this: the most important thing to understand is that being naturally talented and making art are different things. I used to think that in order to become a well-known artist, I had to be the best singer in the world. But the truth is that if you just truly truly love what you are doing, people will see that and like it no matter what, and the few people who don’t, won’t matter because you can’t even live without what you’re doing. As far as creating, I suggest just doing it. Just finish your first project, whether it’s a song, visual art, a movie, etc. I promise you that you will actually be really proud of it. Now you might look back a year in the future and not like it as much, but you’ll realize that because of that art, because of that confidence that you got from your first project, you’ve become the artist you’ve always wanted to be. Also, don’t be scared to share what you are proud of with the world. I think posting on your story is a great way to share what you create, because it’s gone in a day and people won’t really remember it in a year if you are eventually embarrassed of it. However, it is important to not just post art because you feel like you have to; you should do it if you want to. Don’t let someone push you to share something if you’re not comfortable. When you are, I suggest hash tagging your posts or stories with tags like #teensongwriter or #teenartist, because that’s how others can find your stuff.

That's really helpful and useful advice! It's great that you've mentioned tips both for mindset and strategy. What do you most enjoy and love about creating music?

I think what I love most about making a song is that since there is such a manageable amount of time you’re working with; you can really fine tune every single detail. Starting off with production, just filling all the right pockets with a cool snare or a different sounding kick can really make a song stand out. For example, in my song ‘criminal’ (out now by the way), in the pre chorus I made all the kicks in the pattern of a heartbeat, so the listener can subconsciously believe that your heart is beating. Also throughout the song, I have police sirens and walkie talkies going on, so it sounds like I’m on the run. Just fun stuff like that. As far as the actual songwriting part, I love finding new melodies and putting them together to see if they work. I think it’s cool when you finally see your song come together.

Cool behind the scenes facts! Okay, last question: any general advice for teens about life?

I think probably the most valuable advice I can give is don’t purposely stress yourself out. Last summer I was really unhappy, and throughout this year I luckily got out of that place because of my awesome friends, who literally always support and love me, also because of my music. But I think part of the reason I was in that place was because I kinda liked being stressed out and people feeling bad for me. I got a bit addicted to the attention. So I think the sooner you realize that you actually do deserve to be happy, the sooner you will become happy.

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