He is the face of our Samurai range but he is quite a lot more than just the modern warrior he represents in our men’s grooming campaign. Martial Arts teacher, sound branding and sound designer for big and well known corporations, artist and model, to name just a few. A very good reason, we think, to get up close and personal with the man himself to ask him about his life, his dreams and his ambitions.
Who is Mark Berman?
I’m 32 years old, born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and I come from a loving family of 4; mother Marja, father Michael and sister Amber. I am very lucky to have supportive parents who always encouraged me to pursue my own dreams from an early age. When I was 12 I fell in love with Japanese martial arts and it played a prominent rol during my teenage years. Once I had finished high school my main goal was to become a martial arts teacher and start my own Dojo. I gave lessons in Samurai and Ninja styles until the age of 22. That’s when I made a career switch to pursue a new interest that eventually became my current profession.
What is it then, that you have been doing these last 10 years?
I am a freelancer specialized in Sound Branding, Sound Design and Composition. I recently finished the sound design for a big project with Adidas and I’m currently working on the sound branding for a successful mobile game. Basically, I help a brand translate their core values and story into sound.
How long have you been a model and is it a fulltime job for you?
I did some modeling when I was a teenager but never on a professional level.
Are you introvert or extravert?
Both. I think everybody has an intro and extravert side, much like the Yin and Yang symbol. It depends on the situation I guess.
You are the face for the Samurai range. How did this happen?
Luck and a little help from the Dutch Photo Collective who asked me to do the casting, because I somewhat look like a Samurai (laughing).
So give us the verdict! What do you think of the Samurai products?
I think it’s fresh! My father really likes it and he’s a tough cookie when it comes to shaving.
Are you a man of rituals?
I don’t know really… Just try to wake up every day and perfect my skills.
Which ones would those be?
Composing music, Sound designing and creating art.
Yoga or Kick Boxing?
What are your life’s little pleasures?
Enjoying an ice cold beer on a perfectly warm sunny day. Discovering great food. Having a nice conversation, walking through the neighborhood with nothing on my mind. These kind of things.
What was the last book you’ve read?
Electronic Music and Sound Design by Alessandro Cipriani & Maurizio Giri
What do you fear?
My biggest fear would be having a nine to five job 🙂
Is your glass always half full or half empty?
When it comes to my studio and ambitions it’s always half empty, never enough gear and always something new to create. But when it comes to life I’m pretty much a half full kind of guy. Blessed with the things I’ve got.
What makes you happy?
Create, Discover, Explore and design music.
What if you could spend the day with a celebrity. Who would that be and why?
The Dalai Lama! He’s such an inspiration.
Are you religious?
I don’t practice any religion. Just trying to be here and now and live in the present moment.
What do you spend the most money on?
I’m hooked on modular synthesizers and studio gear. Oh yes. It’s a real addiction!
If you need advice, who do you talk to?
Depends on the problem.
Your best qualities
That’s not for me to tell.
Your bad habits
I can be very direct. And I tend to put my friends and family in second place when pursuing the music dream. It is a sacrifice I make, be it a very difficult one.
What was the last photo you took with your phone?
It’s a photo of a painting I’ve recently made.
Your dream holiday
Involves a beach, Thai food, plenty of naps and a pretty girlfriend.
Your favourite song top 3
I personally like to listen to experimental electronics. I love music that brings me to places I haven’t been before. Besides that I mostly listen to instrumentals. The songs I really like are
Nils Frahm – Said and Done
Philip Glass – Opening
Wayne Shorter – Myrrh
Your favourite Rituals product
Your biggest dream
One of my biggest dreams right now is to create and release my first solo album. Wich I have been working on for 2 years now.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time
Wherever life may take me. I guess I’ll be somewhere between Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Creating music for films, games and brands. Hopefully in combination with some free work of my own.
What do you hope to achieve in life?
A life filled with creations focused on creating.
10 acquaintances or 1 really good friend
1 really good friend
An infinite source of inspiration.
Finding peace in the present moment.
To have helped others succeeding.
Your favourite quote?
“We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination” – David Lynch
Is there anything we should know, we didn’t ask?
My 2011 project Finn Silver, which is the band for which I produced and composed. When we performed live I played electronic fx and synthesizers.The band is not together at this moment because I wanted to focus and have more time to work on my solo project. But we had a fantastic time as you can see in the video’s below.