Interview with Barry Szeto
Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with local musician, Barry Szeto. Barry Szeto’s passion for music and singing started when he was 14 performing in a local talent show. Barry Szeto is a multi-talented singer. At seven years of age, he learned to play violin, guitar, and piano. With earphones on, eyes closed, I escape on a small journey. I sat down to listen to his new EP ‘Feels’. In his first full-length project, Barry in ‘Feels’ reveals his personal feelings about growing up as a young adult. Today, we sit down with Barry Szeto to discuss his musical background and his new EP. His EP ‘Feels’ will be released on May 26, 2020.
1. Describe your musical style?
I am primarily a pop artist but I have been immersed in such diversity that I like to add different elements to my music. I’d like to say there’s a fusion of R&B, Soul, and Acoustic.
2. Can you tell us about your first talent show? What did you sing? How would you describe the experience?
Wow my very first performance eh!!?? It was a show I’ll never forget. I was this awkward overweight kid who had a dream of being on stage. Unfortunately, I was always teased as a kid so I’ve always had trouble with my confidence. My goal was to sing so I mustered up the courage to sing at the school talent show. My choice was an r&b ballad called “Sukiyaki” acapella. The response was something I didn’t expect at all. The crowd seemed to love it and their cheer was literally deafening. All I could remember was the ringing in my ear! I knew I had killed that performance and it was that moment that I knew music is my passion. Apparently people still talked about it years later.
3. Discuss your debut single ‘This is our night’?
“This Is Our Night” was a pop/reggaeton style type feel song. I wanted to release something different than most of my fellow pop artists at the time. People were a bit confused at the time for a bit as to why an Asian kid is releasing a song that sounded like something Sean Paul would make. It didn’t “make me” as an artist but it did catch some attention from a few radio stations and media. Eventually my manager at the time highly suggested I make music that was more seemingly popular based on the way I looked and sounded. I recorded a few pop tracks and it did get some radio and club spins but I was not happy and that was when I decided to take a break from recording. Those tracks have been removed from streaming platforms as they do not reflect me as an artist now.
4. Did you ever get any advice from other performers such as Arash, Karl Wolf, Mia Martina, and Quest Crew? Or from others in the entertainment industry?
I have had the best experiences opening up for these artists. Most of the shows backstage, are extremely hectic so most of my meet-and-greets with these celebrities were very short. Just sharing the stage with these artists has taught me a lot and motivates me.
5. What can you tell us about your new EP ‘Feels’?
My EP ‘Feels’ is my first full-length EP with 5 songs. I actually have an unreleased album that has been put in the back burner but that was a lifetime ago lol. Since then, I’ve only released singles and for the first time, I am happy to say that I have written every single song from the heart in this EP.
The 5 songs reflect my personal experiences growing up as a young adult.
The song “Forever” is a song about losing a loved one but also seeing it in a positive light. This song was not meant to be released. However, since this pandemic, it’s more clear to me how appropriate this song is as we are losing loved ones every day in the world. Because of that, I’ve decided to make it my first song on the EP.
The other 4 songs “Two Seconds”, “Baby”, “Love You Better”, and “Bye” are pretty self-explanatory.
There are also subtle hints of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000’s sounds on the EP.
The genius behind the production is artist/producer Dani Rosenoer (who was on tour with Three Days Grace). He is also releasing his own music currently. I am also working on my next EP as we speak but I will reveal more on that in the near future.
6. Do you have any musical influences?
My musical influences vary from Brian McKnight, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, to name a few.
7. Do you have any musical mentor(s)?
My main mentors are all of my music coaches throughout the years who have dedicated their time and wisdom to me and who mold me into the artist today.