Singing a new, personal tune

Hoboken musician puts the city into his work
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Hoboken resident Brett Altman’s first official single and music video, “Come Find Me,” released last month, tell a vivid story originally inspired by a conversation he had with his younger sister Hayley.
“We were just talking, reminiscing on memories from our teen years, and talking about how she was always there for me and I was always there for her, and I wanted her to know that if she needed anything, I would always be there,” said Altman, who has lived in Hoboken for three years and grew up in Livingston.
Altman said that for the song’s final chorus, he had 10 to 12 friends who “would never consider themselves singers” join him in the Hoboken studio, Silver Horse Sound.
“It’s kind of an ironic twist and I think it really helped take the song to the next level,” said Altman.
Altman first showed the single’s music video at his July 21 performance at Pianos in New York City. He said he was excited for everyone to see it, especially his friends from Hoboken, who would recognize a lot of the scenery: The video showcases his downtown Hudson Street apartment, as well as famed rock club Maxwell’s Tavern — where he has performed more than once– and a lot of the downtown waterfront where Altman goes for inspiration.
Altman has developed a following in the area, having performed at the Nest in Brooklyn, The Bowery Electric and The Bitter End in New York City, FM Bar & Grill in Jersey City, The Grand Vin in Hoboken, Northern Soul Kitchen and Bar in Hoboken, and the Elysian Café in Hoboken.
“The [new] video is basically telling the story of life since moving to Hoboken and becoming who I am as an artist,” said Altman.
He plans to follow up the pop tune “Come Find Me” with an EP later this year.

Inspiration

Altman said he pulls his sound from popular artists like Jason Mraz, early John Mayer, and Ed Sheeran.
“I like to make upbeat music,” said Altman. “I want people up dancing and grooving.”
He said a lot of the inspiration for lyrics comes from everyday life, in Hoboken in particular.
“Hoboken has such a collaborative music scene,” said Altman. “I remember playing for the first time at Maxwell’s Tavern and I was part way through my song and some guy I didn’t know just jumped on stage and started playing the bongos. It was amazing. It is really a shame [Maxwell’s] closed down.”
Since then he and other musicians perform at Finnegan’s Pub on Seventh and Willow streets, which has live music on Thursdays and Saturdays and open mic nights on Sundays.
“They are really doing a great job, giving us all a place,” said Altman.

Inspiration from everything

Altman said he wrote one song while on the subway commuting to work at City National Bank in Manhattan.
“I got stuck on the subway for an hour,” said Altman. “I was just people-watching and I came up with this idea for a great song. I really just draw inspiration from everything happening around me and my different experiences.”
Some of his favorite places to go for inspiration or to work out writer’s block include the Hoboken waterfront, and the windowsill from his apartment on the 10th floor.
His friend, Max Perkins of Brooklyn, helps him co-write.

More releases on the horizon

Altman plans to release four new singles this summer. He’s hoping to get feedback on the tunes before he goes to the studio to refine them and add more songs, which will then be released on his first collection. He said he hopes to release about 20 songs in the late fall or early winter.
One song he is currently working on which will be released in the coming weeks is called “Vacancy Sign.”
“This is really going to be a summer anthem,” said Altman who said the song is about daydreaming and infatuation.
For more information on Brett Altman or to listen to his latest single “Come Find Me” go to www.brettaltmanmusic.com.

Marilyn Baer can be reached at marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.