BENTLE embodies the essence of a bedroom producer taking his sound to the next level. Born Josh McVey in Brisbane, Australia, he writes, produces, and sings on all of his material, including recent release “Darkest Blue.”
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BENTLE’s career has gradually been building momentum. Now residing in New York City, he takes an introspective approach to what he writes. “Darkest Blue,” for instance, centers around color, textures, and the circumstances of life. Lyrics spin a narrative of waking up in a new yet intriguing environment.
BENTLE has been sporadically dropping new singles over the past few years, with 2021’s “MONDO” turning into a hit. As he looks ahead to his debut EP, we had a chance to speak with him about “Darkest Blue” and his approach to making music:
How did you initially get involved with music?
I grew up in the sunny suburbs of Brisbane, Australia – between the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.
My parents shared a broad range of music with me from a young age, but it wasn’t really until high school that I started writing music and becoming interested in the connection between music and life.
What inspired you to become a singer-songwriter?
I’ve always loved conveying messages to people from unique perspectives. Having a vocal background, writing lyrics and melodies felt natural and soon after came writing progressions and full songs!
While you’re originally from Brisbane, you now live in New York. What influenced your move?
As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized the huge effect that environment and location have on things like mood, emotions, and for me that extends to music.
New York is such an inspiring city and source of experiences — it’s definitely leveling up my lyric writing!
The “Darkest Blue” has an uplifting, hypnotic feel to it. What was your vision for your track?
“Darkest Blue” is very much about the connection between color, texture, and location.
There’s been a few times over the past year where it feels like I’m not able to stop myself from sinking or falling into a certain state of mind or state of being.
“Darkest Blue” is kind of an exploration of that falling sinking feeling and what it would feel like if I embraced it…the visual I had when writing the song was that I fell into the night sky (which was scary and unknown), but I woke up in this ethereal new place where, though it was still unknown, it was intriguing and enlightening.
You’re known for being introspective with your lyrics. What’s your approach for writing a song?
Songwriting is such a remedial process for me. Being able to convey what I think or how I am feeling and distilling that down to a few key themes or notions is liberating.
I love to approach my songwriting from a conversational perspective — things like exploring the thoughts that swirl around in people’s minds prior to them deciding what to say or do…
You also write and produce everything. How do you know which sounds to select or instruments to use for a song?
Less is more is often the case when I choose sounds! The opposite is also true when you’re in the exploration phase of a song.
One piece of advice I would give aspiring songwriters / producers is to save the sounds you love as presets straight away — soon you’ll be able to see a pretty clear picture of your favorite sounds and ultimately this is “your” sound developing.
You’re in the process of planning an EP. What should listeners expect?
Yeah! I’ve just finished my debut EP, which will be released early next year. Listeners can expect to hear more hypnotic, nostalgic, relaxed tunes along with some other secret releases.
What plans do you have for the next year?
BENTLE will be playing live shows in NYC following the release of the EP next year, including some secret shows to be announced!