Richard Berger is a songwriter based out of Los Angeles, California. He’s originally from the east coast and has been writing and recording music for many years. In the early 90's, he had a band called the Shrinking Violets that played smaller venues in the East Village of New York City and New Jersey. He always kept his day job, and would always write for his own enjoyment whenever he found the time. Upon the realization that the internet made it so much easier to distribute your music independently, he made the move to sunny Los Angeles to connect with his audience. His first EP, “Not There”, was released in November of 2018 and is a collection of alt-rock songs with a strong focus on melody and hooks. Richard writes and plays everything himself in his home studio. He is a singer, keyboardist and guitarist. All of his music is mixed and mastered by John Melillo.
“In My Head” is a recently released single by Richard Berger. There is an immediate sense of relaxing vibes, with the guitar setting the stage under the sultry and delicate vocals. The vocals themselves are pure, heartfelt, and have an unmistakable dream-like quality. The song is nicely arranged, with a great use of space and silence, complete with some electric piano accompanying the vocals. At just two minutes long, it’s impressive that Berger is able to captivate the listener and have them lost in their own thoughts in such a short amount of time. This is the sort of song you can easily have on repeat, and we highly recommend you give “In My Head” a listen today!
Check out "In My Head" and read our exclusive interview with Richard Berger below!
Hey Richard, thanks for chatting with us! To begin, would you mind describing your background and how you first got involved with music?
The first music that I fell in love with as very young kid was by the Beatles and Beach Boys … and then artists like Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, and Steely Dan. I took piano lessons, but rebelled against the formal/classical “boring" lessons and structure of that and just started making up my own stuff. I began writing my first real songs during high school and started to get into home recording — This was back in the 80’s- I bought my first synthesizer and was using a sequencer and a 4-track multi-track recorder. I continued to write during college and after graduating, I formed an original band called The Shrinking Violets to perform all the originals I wrote. We played mostly in the East Village in NY and some spots in NJ. I always kept my day job, but would write, record and play on week nights and weekends.
You’re originally from the east coast, but you now reside in Los Angeles. How would you describe the differences in the music scenes between East and West?
Hard for me to compare but I will say this… There was a pretty vibrant music scene going on in NY back in the early 90’s. There were so many bands shuffling on and off stages in the East Village to play 40 minute all original sets. It was a great time. But I really only experienced that for a short time because after I finished grad school, my band broke up and I moved around a bit for work until finally settling in LA in 2005. During that time, I focused more on my career and had a family so I just kept writing music and recording by myself whenever I had extra time. I never really got a feel for the LA music scene because I didn’t perform live and only recently have started releasing music.
Would you mind describing what your creative process looks like? How does your music all come together?
For me, I always start with the music before lyrics. I generally start on my keyboard setting the mood with chord changes, feeling my way around. It is more organic for me that way. I use a sequencer to capture these ideas and to structure the song. I then start singing melodies on top of the music until I find something that feels good. At this point, I really have created the “vibe” for the song and I then focus on verbalizing what I feel when listening to it. This ultimately results in lyrics that not only tell my story, but that also “fit" the song. Then I go back to the various tracks and re-work the chord voicings, instrument patches, and refine the arrangement and final performances. Once I have everything in a good place, I send it to my friend John Melillo (in NY) who does the final mixing and mastering remotely. That said, I actually started writing “In My Head” on guitar first, and then pretty much followed the process above.
You’ve released a single called “In My Head”. Would you say there is a meaning or message behind the music in this case?
"In My Head” is about a guy who "falls in love” or more accurately is infatuated with a woman who he doesn’t know very well…he just has this image of her that he has built up in his own mind. He is pretty sure that in reality, she isn’t in to him so he plays it safe and just dreams about her instead. It may not be real, but he somehow can have moment of happiness with her in his imagination. In the chorus section, there is a trippy, psychedelic dream sequence which takes place in his imagination.
What’s on the horizon for you, Richard? Any grand plans?
Probably not any grand plans… I have a new single “All the Love” coming out on April 12 and several songs in the pipeline. I am planning to release a new single every 2-3 months leading up to an album later this year. I am really just enjoying writing and putting my music out there… and ultimately, if someone else connects with my music, that’s great.
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