The head boy whose pop dream came true
MEET BERTIE Green, A Level student and head boy of Jewish independent school Immanuel College.
And let us introduce Ben Izak, a singer-songwriter about to release his debut pop single, Wildest Dreams.
Both are 17 years old, and both are, in fact, one and the same person.
Bert i e , under the name Ben Izak, recorded the single at one of the country’s top studios, Sarm Music Village, owned by veteran producer Trevor Horn.ItiswhereLed Zeppelin recorded Stairway to Heaven.
The schoolboy’s musical journey was partly inspired, he said, by Friday n i g h t z e mi r o t around the family’s Shabbat table and campfire songs with youth movement Bnei Akiva.
“My parents had me playing piano and cello when I was around six,” he recalled. “When I was 14 on a Bnei Akiva camp, I saw a boy playing guitar and everyone was singing along and I wanted to do that, so I taught myself. I started to play with a group of friends — we’d do simchahs and parties.”
One night, when he was 15 and strumming in his Hendon bedroom, a chorus came into his head —“it wasn’t till then I thought I wanted to be a songwriter,” he said.
If he has a lyrical touch, it might well be in his genes —his mother Yvonne Green brought out her latest collection of poetry, Honoured, a few weeks ago.
Whenhehadadozensongsunderhis belt, Ms Green took him to meet Trevor Horn. “I used to go to the school, Naima JPS, where his kids went,” said Bertie, who is a former boy soprano with the choir at the Lauderdale Road Spanish and Portuguese congregation and sometimes helps take services at the Ner Israel Synagogue.
“At the studio, Trevor and his son Aaron listened to me play, and Trevor gavemeadvicethat I should find a band to play with.”
Bertie was asked back to Sarm and spent the next year honing his craft. “It was a painstaking process,” he said. “When Aaron said ‘you’re ready, we’re going to make an EP’, it was surreal.”
Wildest Dreams, which will be released on Monday, captures the exuberance of youth with its crisp lyrics and catchy chorus. “I’ve gone from being just a boy inabedroomwithaguitartobeingaboy with two guitars and a record,” he said. Bertie Green recorded in the same studio as Led Zeppelin