New York based musician Totten Bridge released his emotionally charged track, ‘Better Than Me’, on the 13th of October via StephJam Music. Unbound by genre, and defined by an endless and experimental artistic pursuit, the multifaceted artist has garnered over 1.5 million streams across all platforms, as well as publication support from the likes of Notion Mag, Earmilk, Backseat Mafia, and Medium. In addition, ‘Better Than Me’ has already received support from notable tastemaker CLASH. We took some time out to speak to the enigmatic and innovative musician. Check it out below.
Walk us through your creative process?
I think for the most part my creative process starts with something that I hear in my head and then I try to replicate it on a guitar or keyboard. If I don’t have an instrument handy then I’ll whistle or sing what I’m hearing into my iPhone. I’ve done that a lot walking down the streets of NYC! From there, I then set out to see where I can take this musical idea. The other way that I create is to just pick up a guitar or sit at a keyboard and flesh out a chord idea that then gets developed further. And then the final way that I might write a song is by reading a title or story that just hits me in a way that an idea comes. I think the amazing thing about writing a song is to be able to finish it because I probably go through dozens of ideas before I’m satisfied that the song is good enough to take to the next level. It can be a lonely and frustrating process but when you get it right it is glorious!
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Tough question because I think that there is so much amazing music that has been created so I never like to limit myself to any one genre or artist but here are some of my influences: from the classic rockers it would be The Beatles, Billy Joel, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Jethro Tull; from the Motown era the songwriting team of Holland, Dozier, Holland; from the 80’s and 90’s U2, The Police, Tears For Fears, The Pretenders, The Waterboys, Van Halen, Def Leppard and then to current artists I would say Sam Fender, Inhaler, The Native, Maneskin, Taylor Swift and Coldplay.
What instruments do you play?
I play guitar, bass and some keyboards.
What would you like to work with if you weren’t a musician?
Let me answer this question this way: if I wasn’t a musician/songwriter I thought that I wanted to be an English Literature professor and pontificate on the musings of classic authors to young college minds. On the other hand, if I could work with someone as a producer/songwriter today I think it would be Sam Fender or Taylor Swift.
Whats one piece of gear you can’t live without? What equipment are you using?
My gear and my approach to playing and recording is very simple: I use an iMac and GarageBand to do basic demos all of my songs; all of the sounds I use are out of the box, nothing too exotic; I usually record guitars and keyboards DI through a Focusrite Scarlett interface; my main instruments are a Taylor acoustic guitar; D’Angelico electric guitar and a Korg keyboard; I love Sennheiser headphones so I have about 4 different models and I usually record and mix using these headphones. That’s my basic approach and once I feel like I recorded a solid demo of the song then I’ll work with my co-producer to create the professional and final version of the song.
Tell us something unrelated to music. What are your hobbies?
My main hobbies or activities if you will are reading and exercise. I do both everyday and find them relaxing and meditative. I also enjoy travel, an interesting podcast, great food, good content on Netflix or other streamers and of course listening to music as a fan.
If you could meet one performer/artist who would it be?
Impossible to answer this question because of all of the people above that I mentioned whom I admire but in the current music scene I would say Sam Fender or Taylor Swift.
What does the future hold for you as an artist?
Who knows really but I am determined to write and produce songs that are universally impactful and reach people on an emotional level. I think that is all you can try to do and then hopefully my songs will resonate and be accepted. That would be success to me!