better person #BERLIN
What else is there to say about the Berlin music scene that has not been written or spoken about before. Celebrated as a bastion for culture and creativity with a history of rebellion, revolution, and renewal. After the fall of the wall, known as the ‘Cocaine’ of Europe, artists flocked here to pursue that free artistic spirit, done famously by David Bowie and Iggy Pop.
Today, it’s still known as the party city, but there’s much more to the Berlin music scene than just drugs and it’s famous techno temples. It’s also a hub for some of the most unique and unmissable talents, such as Better Person – the solo project of Polish born Adam Byczowski. Like many young artists, he came to Berlin searching for cheap rent and inspiration to create music. His music tells the story of a sometimes lonely man after years living and growing up in a foreign city, filled with moody melancholy, kitschy euro-pop tunes and sensitive vocals.
In second last episode for season 3, we caught up with Better Person and get to know the man behind the music, the pains that influence his beats, and if he really is lonely?
Can you tell us a little bit about what led you to Berlin?
I moved to Berlin about six years ago from Warsaw in search of cheap rent, and I did find it, but it’s now gone.
We read that you had quite the nomadic life. How has living in Berlin changed you musically?
I grew a lot in Berlin because I moved here when I was about 21 or 22, which is a time where you do a lot of growing up. It’s hard to say - I’ve just been living here, so I’ve mostly been making music about living my life here.
21 is quite a transformative year to move somewhere on your own, and a lot of your music has this melancholic, romantic aspect to it. Are you a LONELY person?
Well I’m not necessarily lonely - I do have a lot of friends here, almost too many. I also have a girlfriend which is quite important, but I would say that I am a romantic, like we all are.
We notice you’rE very simplistic in your life performance, and the effect is quite impactful. Is the visual aspect part of your music and performance as well?
Sure, as much as everything is important in this project. I guess in this presentation of it, the idea was that it was going to be just me, with no distractions. I make all the music myself so there’s no point in having anyone else on stage since it’s just me.
Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration?
The song was originally about the inevitable pains behind a one night stand and the confusion that comes with it. You fall for someone and you realize it was just a one time thing and there’s this feeling of emptiness behind the whole act. I wrote the song when I was in Paris actually, 2 years ago, and I was very much inspired by French music at the time. But all the music that I make, I want to be very visibly European. It’s a bit of a nod to this kind of Euro-sound.
Most of your songs are in Polish - is there a reason behind singing in your native tongue, even with the Euro-sound?
No, it just kind of came naturally. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just sang the song and published it without even really thinking about it so much, but it worked really well, and right now, I would say that 50% of my material is in Polish.
Tell us something that people would be surprised to know about you.
Every time that I’m on Instagram, it means I’m sitting on the toilet. Whenever you get a like from Better Person, it means that I’m actually pooping.
We were talking about Berlin as an ambitious city - is that something you’ve noticed just recently?
“Berlin is a coffee shop for people that once failed in their cities.” I find that quote more and more true recently. Berlin itself can be pretty ambitious, but not in the part of culture that I’m trying to participate in. I feel like when you’re a dance musician or you make club music, it’s a pretty good place to be for you. But when you try to make pop music, you very quickly hit a wall. I think that people are very much interested in relaxing and having a good time, which is not a bad thing, but it’s something that I’ve been trying to avoid in my life in order to focus on my work. On the other hand, it’s a very beautiful city and it’s extremely affordable, so if you want to focus on your work, you definitely can. But the price of beer and the fact that you can drink in the streets have been a very big distraction to me.
Is that why you’re going to LA, to make your next album?
Oh no, that’s purely circumstantial. I’m working with a producer that’s based in LA, but I do really love it there. When I first moved to Berlin, I was very much in love with the city and the general feeling it gave me. It just feels good to walk down the street in Berlin - I will always have that feeling about it. I guess LA was the first city that, after so many years here, I had that feeling. I was standing on the street and the sun was setting, and it was warm, and here it was winter, and I just had this kind of awakening that maybe it was time for me to go.
Give us five key words about your music.
Personal, simple, European, romantic, hopefully timeless