Bertell Goes from Homeless to Hollywood
By Souleo. There's a saying: go hard or go home. It's an old motto that defines the journey of rising R&B artist, Bertell (yes, that's his birth name). Bertell's path has taken him from being homeless to being the protégé of A-list producer/writer Bryan Michael Cox (Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Usher) and Capitol Records' newest priority. Bertell spoke with JimmyJazz to give us the exclusive rundown on his story of beating the odds.
Unlike many Bertell's experience with homelessness was a choice; one borne out of a need to prove to himself that he could succeed doing things the right way.
"It was pretty much by choice. I was in a situation where I was kind of out in the streets doing things the wrong way. I cut loose from everything wrong that was getting the money for me. I figured out that it ain't that easy to get money the right way. When I figured that out I didn't want to run back to my mother's house. I didn't want to be a burden on anybody," he said.
While he lived out of his car and slept wherever he could lay his head, Bertell soon discovered that to survive he would have to go hard and that's when he developed his grind.
"I was a real hustler. I would sell you some socks. I would sell you a t-shirt. My mother always used to tell me 'You don't have no kids and no responsibility so you don't have no excuse.' So for me I always used to wake up like there was no excuse so I gotta figure it out," he said.
Bertell's hustling soon paid off resulting in heavy mixtape sales and a chance meeting with Bryan Michael Cox. Together the two are working on the final touches to Bertell's forthcoming album, Going Hard. As the title suggests no matter what he is singing about, it's the message of perseverance that stays with Bertell the most from his homeless experience.
"I found out that I was driven and that I wasn't a quitter. That was the biggest thing I found out about myself. Anybody that comes to me is going to see the same thing."
For more information visit: www.bertellonline.com
Check out the lead single, "She Bad," feat. Bun B