Interview: Brooke Josephson

Today we are sharing an interview with Brooke Josephson: a pop singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. Born and raised in small-town Warsaw, Indiana, Brooke earned a scholarship to pursue Vocal Performance at a Liberal Arts College in the area. During her time there, she performed Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall in New York City and toured with the all girls group Agape for three years.

1. First of all, tell us about how did you start your music career?

- I actually started playing piano and singing in church when I was about 5 years old. Music has always been part of my life. I started taking vocal lessons when I was 13 and studied everything from classical to gospel and musical theatre. Then I earned a scholarship for vocal performance at a Private Liberal Arts Christian College in Northern Indiana where I continued my pursuit of music and performing, that led to my first professional repertory theatre contract at The Round Barn Theatre where most of the cast was from NYC and encouraged me to make the move once my contract was up, so I did. I lived in Harlem while I worked in New York City for about 6 years before I met my husband while working on the Disney film ENCHANTED and moved to Los Angeles, shortly after, where I began writing and recording my own music.

2. Who are your music inspirations?

- I have a wide range who have influenced my writing. I grew up in a strict Christian home where we weren’t allowed to listen to anything but Christian music, so I have a foundation in gospel and contemporary Christian music but have caught up since and have been inspired by artists like Nile Rodgers, Nirvana, Beck, Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Annie Lennox, Patti Smith, Lauryn Hill, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Alanis Morissette, and then Sondheim when it comes to my musical theatre influence.

3. Our readers would like to know more about your music. Any interesting facts about the making of your Sexy N' Domesticated EP?

- I’m big fan of Chrissie Hynde and while I was in the middle of writing songs for my sophomore EP, she had just released her first solo album, Stockholm, and I had read an interview where she shared that a punk band sent her their CD for feedback and when she was kind enough to respond after taking time off to be a mom, they wrote her back and told her “Your records used to be great before you became domesticated.” It really pissed me off. Not just their comment, but the whole notion that somehow when a woman becomes a mom, you might as well throw her identity a funeral.

So I started writing “Sexy N’ Domesticated” as an anthem for women who are out there everyday living their dreams while raising the next generation, who may very well grow up and have their own punk band. I’m not ashamed to own who I am. My husband has to work out of town when he’s on location for one of his films and I was pretty much “holding down the fort” with two kids while I was writing and recording this EP. If I’m honest, it’s an uphill climb juggling motherhood while being an indie solo artist and the double standard boggles my mind. So after I finished the song “Sexy N’ Domesticated” I just ran with facing the other themes of love, marriage, the difference between men and women head on in a fun, tongue-in-cheek way.

4. What was it like working with Rocky G for your newest remix of "Mr. Fix It"?

- Rocky G is an inspiration. She is not only an incredibly talented DJ and producer, but she has had quite a life. Her mother passed away when she was ten and she has found her way in this world. Her work ethic and positive attitude were like we were cut from the same cloth. She too juggles motherhood and music with six kids. When we met, the big thing we connected over is the drive to never stop. We are always going, being true to ourselves and our roles as a wife, mom and artist. We were able to make the video for the remix in less than a week while she was performing at the Amsterdam Dance Event, and making sure the kids made it to school on time.

5. Can you tell us more about the original single of "Mr Fix It"? What does it mean to you?

- The original “Mr Fix It” was inspired by one night my older brother came over to our house and I was in the kitchen processing something out loud with him, (aka a woman venting) and he had a quick answer for everything. Then, my husband walked in and it became two against one, when all I needed was someone to listen and I would find the answer as I flushed the ideas out verbally. I excused myself to my studio and just busted up laughing that instead of being mad about it, why not just embrace our differences in a song? So I wrote out the lyrics later that night and I couldn’t stop thinking of Isaac Hayes “Shaft,” as a more perfect musical inspiration.

6. What do you like to do more: songwriting or performing?

- It’s hard to choose because the writing process is very solitary for me, where I work on my own as I’m creating the songs. Then the performing is almost like throwing a party to celebrate and share the work I’ve done. I love them both for different reasons. I’m fortunate to have right and left brain strengths where I can geek out on my DAW but then lose the wet braids and baseball cap for the stage. I’m looking forward to starting 2019 in the studio writing new material to share. I’ve been building new songs over 2018 and it’s fun going into the studio and bringing them to life.

7. When or where do you do your best writing?

- Under pressure. Nine times out of ten, lyrics will hit me during a real life moment and I’ll either speak them into my phone or pull over and write them out if I’m driving and then when I’m alone in my studio I’ll finish the rest of the song. I also have been blessed with an incredible mentor, who is one of my former professors from Berklee who I'll do writing sessions with to flush out ideas as well.

8. If you could pick anyone in the world, who would you love to collaborate with?

- Nile Rodgers.

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