Bershtein and Patel: Pop Stars in the Making

Recently, two Choate students have taken their love for music to a different level. No longer sticking to simply covering a song from a different artist, Richard Bershtein ’20 and Max Patel ’19 have gone above and beyond and written their own songs. The two songs they have written thus far have gained momentum on the Internet, collectively earning over 1,000 views on YouTube, their preferred platform for expression. The two have collaborated with Liam Podos ’20, who produces music videos on his own YouTube channel. Their hard work has earned them a spot in the limelight here at Choate.

Even through the struggles of freshman year, Bershtein has already written his own song titled “Used To Be.” The song is an upbeat, rhythmic piece with guitar and drum instrumentals that give the relatively sad song life. The video begins with a dialogue about neglecting conversation in exchange for the all-too-consuming world of technology. This serves as a prologue to the song and is a thread that continues throughout the lyrics of the song, as well as the music video.

“‘Used To Be’ is a song that I wrote about technology and the way it interferes with personal relationships,” Bershtein said. “I thought it was ironic that social media was supposed to connect people together, but, instead, it creates a distance between you and the person holding the screen.” The music video itself is set in the dark, reflecting the mood of the lyrics and symbolizing the shallow relationships behind the facade of vibrant connections on social media.

As the title suggests, Bershtein expresses how he wants social interactions to revert to the way they “Used To Be” before technology. The lyrics and the video are used to emulate this theme. Bershtein drew inspiration from his personal experiences. He stated, “‘Used To Be’ is my first song that is not purely about love and romantic intimacy. It’s more about my resentment towards social media, more specifically, Snapchat.” He added, “I wrote the song about a girl who I had an internet relationship with. We started to Snapchat one another, but our friendship never went further from there. I asked if she wanted to meet in person, to grab pancakes or something, but she asked to just be Snapchat friends.”

“Used To Be” focuses on Bershtein’s confusion on this topic. He said, “That inspired me to write “Used To Be.” It was not the distance that drove us apart either — we lived a town away from one another — it was the social media that brought us together, then later divided us.” Bershtein has a collection of songs written over love and sadness. He said, “‘Used To Be’ is a little different from my other songs. Although I was sad when I wrote this, that emotion came from my frustration and disgust with social media.” He joked, “I usually get my heart broken before writing a song.”

Bershtein’s collaborator and fellow member of the Maiyeros, Max Patel ’19, is already an established singer here at Choate, being a part of Chamber Chorus, a cappella member, and performing at numerous school meetings and coffeehouses. His song “Laugh With You” is featured on Liam Podos’ Youtube channel. The composition features a soft acoustic tune and an overlay of Patel’s voice. His song is also drawn from his personal life experiences.

“In writing songs, I connect to my personal experiences and emotions that I find hard to explain through simple words,” Patel said, adding, “ ‘Laugh With You’ is a dialogue with life. It talks about living in the moment and finding a way to laugh through all the bad and good times, and to dance with life, even with all the obstacles it throws at you.” He joked, “Really, ‘Laugh With You’ is ‘Laugh With Life’.”

In addition to songwriting, Patel is an aspiring singer. He said, “Songwriting started as a hobby for me. But, ultimately my goal is to be able to become a singer and songwriter. I want to produce more songs and create content with higher quality.” However, starting the process of songwriting proved challenging. Patel commented, “I wanted to write songs, but I didn’t play any instruments. So I began to take guitar lessons over the summer, and I have not put it down since then. I think it’s such an interesting instrument. It’s a lot of fun to explore all the chords that a guitar can produce, and the sounds that comes from it.” Patel’s music video reflects the very themes of life. Set in the city with clear skies, it reflects the message of overcoming and laughing through troubles. He says, “Although the content of the song is important, the vehicle which carries it is just as vital. I realized through other aspiring artists that something like a YouTube channel would be essential in constructing a career.”

Although their Choate careers are relatively short, both Bershtein and Patel’s talent has proved inspiring. With the help of Podos, their artistic possibilities are boundless.

One Comment

  1. Bershtein is in Kaps, not Maiyeros. (You called max a “fellow member of the Maiyeros”, but they’re in different groups/)

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