The head boy whose pop dream came true

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

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

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