In Conversation with Berry.

Berry Trytsman is a multi-disciplinary creative whose star only seems to be getting brighter. Now post her Idols SA journey and her time with Kalawa Jazmee, her enthusiasm for what is set out for her seems to be at a high.

The now independent artist who is managed by her husband Renier, has set out to explore her niche, be it with her cooking, brand work or even in the podcasting space. Her current willingness to venture out and explore her range and diversity should come of no surprise to the many who followed her Idols journey and can easily be attested to her charismatic and curious nature.

Below we got to chat to Berry about all things family life, finding the right balance, music and more…

How much of your own music journey would you directly credit to having musical parents? Coming from such an environment do you feel you were bound to end up in music either way?

Uhmm, I don’t think that my parents being Opera singers is what made me want to sing. I feel I have always wanted to sing, my brother and sister can also sing but they did not choose to follow that as their passion but it is something I really wanted to do. I don’t know what it is, but it is something I’ve always felt is in me and if that’s not what I could do then nothing else would feel good enough. It, of course, did have some kind of impact in my life because I got exposed to the theatrics and I enjoyed it so much. And because they love singing as well, they supported my decision to become a singer, that was the beautiful thing about having parents in the music industry.

What are some of your earliest encounters with music and being exposed to music beyond the Opera you were probably exposed to at home?

I was exposed to a lot of music at home and we had a piano. I remember my dad would play the piano and play some songs for us to sing along to. I remember he would play You Are My Sunshine.

How else do you find that you express and tap into your creativity beyond music?

I love cooking. For me being able to cook or bake something is really peaceful, it’s a stress reliever and it’s fun. I get to eat what I made. But a lot of times you’ll find me in the kitchen busy cooking and singing or even rehearsing if I have got a show coming up, while I am busy cooking for the family.

Have you always considered yourself to be musically diverse or did this come with/during your time on the Idols competition?

I have always challenged myself to do as much as I possibly can vocally. It is not something that came about during Idols, although Idols put me to the test. I remember learning The Click Song by Miriam Makeba when I was very young, I think I was 13/ 14 years old. I would always challenge myself to do all these things because I wanted to be better, I wanted to do better and I needed to go onto the next thing after I had conquered one thing. It is not only Idols, I just think Idols challenged me in a more different and global way.

Having been signed to a record label for a brief while, what are some of the more significant differences you find compared to when you operate as an independent artist?

I am very grateful for the experience of being able to have been with Kalawa but I am however even more excited to be independent because it gives me freedom to release music whenever I want to, and to collaborate with whoever  I want to. I do not need to wait for confirmations and call someone to check first. I am in control of my own career and I am free to be myself. The freedom is the major difference. Yes, I have to push really hard but even at a record label you have to push really hard unless they are marketing for you. There is no difference except that you don’t pay to release your own music. I am very grateful to be independent now.

What has been your biggest takeaway from your Idols journey?

My biggest take away from Idols is that I am capable of more than I realize. There were many times I wanted to give up and it wasn’t because I didn’t think I was good enough, it was purely because I wanted to come home to my family. It was really hard to keep pushing but it was a dream that I had so I had to keep pushing. So yeah I definitely learnt that I can kick butt if I am put in a situation where I need to kick butt (laughs).

How would you sum up your time at Kalawa and what would you say you’ve learnt by being there?

During my time at Kalawa, I learnt that you can’t wait for someone to come and do the work for you, you still have to do the work. Even if you are signed, you are required to do your own advertising and ask questions than just sit around and wait. I would rather be independent than signed to a label.

Take us through the thinking behind the Unspoken Words EP and also the transition from being a performing artist to a recording artists and the lesson and challenges that come with that?

The great thing about the Unspoken Words EP is that we were given the freedom to put three of our own songs on there, which my husband produced and wrote. One of them was co-written with somebody else. It was just amazing to put some of my own music in there. Three of the songs were written by Kalawa and they made me collaborate with Lilly Faith. While it was a great experience, it wasn’t exactly what I had wanted, but you don’t always get what you want. I am just happy for the experience.  Being a recording artist is completely different from performing live. When performing live you get to see how happy people are and when you are a recording artist you kind of just make yourself so vulnerable because you put your heart and soul into songs that you then release and just wait for a response. I hope to continue being both a performing artist and a recording artist for many years to come.

Where do you find your sense of purpose?

My sense of purpose is very easy. It’s my family and God. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for God and my family’s support.

And being so family-oriented, how do you manage to still allow yourself to somewhat prioritize and give time to music?

I am family oriented. My family always comes first and sometimes that means I can’t accept a gig and sometimes it means my family comes with to a gig. You don’t want to look back in a few years and think you didn’t spend enough time with your family and you wish you could go back. For me, there’s a fine line between the two. However, if I were to be put in a position to choose again, I would either take my family with me or I would just not do the event.

Do you see/hear influences of your personal life in your music and the other way round? Be it in your lyrics, etc.

My husband tends to write most of my songs, and I will just assist him with some lyric changes and with melody. I think that he tries to write according to what I feel, like and enjoy and maybe experiences I have had because there are many others out there that have had similar experiences and that’s how you connect to a song. There will always definitely be influences of my personal life in my music. I also tend to listen to music that I feel resonates with me, and many of the times it’s worship songs.

How does your music journey look in the immediate future and what style of sound should we expect from you?

I released a song on the 24th of February 2023 with Dj Cosher titled, House of the Rising Sun. It’s a dance track and its absolutely amazing. I don’t think I will ever just stick to one style of music, but I will always go for music that is happy and soulful, something that you can dance to. I will be releasing more songs and performing as much as I possibly can. Hopefully I will be touring as well with some new music. That’s something I am really looking forward to.

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