A fresh face has surfaced on the country music front and with it comes an upbeat, commanding voice. The voice belongs to singer-songwriter Brooke Eden who was recently named one of the “Next Women of Country” by CMT and “Seven New Country Acts You Should Check Out” by PEOPLE. She’s spent the past four years performing over 500 shows and opening for mega-talent country stars like Alan Jackson, Sugarland and Florida Georgia Line. Now, with her debut album arriving this fall and her recent debut single “Daddy’s Money” on country airwaves, Brooke is reaching full speed. She took a breather to talk with us about the hardest part of recording her first album, her love for festivals and what’s next for her this year.
Listen to “Daddy’s Money” here and on Thursday, April 7, see Brooke live as she takes the Country Thunder stage at 3:30 p.m. For more information, visit: arizona.countrythunder.com
AFM: Tell me how 2016 has been going so far for you.
BE: It’s been so much fun. I finished up my radio tour and we started doing shows and a lot of rehearsals with my band and recording for the album.
AFM: How is the album coming?
BE: It’s going really well. We’re almost done with it!
AFM: What’s been the most challenging part of recording your first album?
BE: One of the hardest parts is choosing songs. It’s kind of a big task to go through all of them and choose what songs would be the best for the album. And also just finding time in between touring and recording, but I would say choosing songs has been the hardest part.
AFM: How do you go about choosing what does and doesn’t make it onto the album?
BE: You have your favorites and your babies. I wrote songs a year ago that I still remember every word to and that we’ve been playing at shows. And then I have songs I wrote a month ago that I don’t remember. You kind of think, ‘okay well if I remember these then my fans will probably remember these as well.’
AFM: I recently listened to “Daddy’s Money” which is very upbeat and motivating. Is that song a good representation of what the rest of the album is going to sound like?
BE: Yeah, it’s definitely like a whole story. Not everything sounds alike, but it’s definitely uplifting. I kind of call it therapy for me because I’ve written it throughout my twenties and about all the highs and lows that go on during those years and kind of finding out who you are. So whenever I was going through something I would just go and write a song.
AFM: Are a lot of the songs on the album from personal experiences?
BE: Oh yeah. Pretty much all of them are.
AFM: Do you ever pull inspiration from other artists when writing your music?
BE: Not necessarily writing music. Growing up you listen to other voices and you’re like ‘oh I really like this, I like how this person does certain things,’ but as far as writing, everything is pretty much original.
AFM: What artists have inspired you growing up?
BE: Shania Twain was the first one that I really looked up to and wanted to be like. And then Leann Rimes and the Dixie Chicks. As I’ve gotten older Etta James and Adele have been really big influences.
AFM: You were recently named one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country,” and one of Vogue‘s “10 Country It Girls,” among many other things. Does that put any added pressure on you when you hear those things?
BE: Not really. You’re constantly competing against yourself and want to be the best version of yourself so those are kind of like little victories where you can say ‘okay, I’m doing something right.’ They’re kind of like morale boosters that let you know you must be on the right track.
AFM: You’re getting ready to perform at Country Thunder in Arizona. Have you ever performed in a festival setting like that before?
BE: Oh yeah. This whole summer is very “festival” for me. I really love festival settings. People are just really ready to listen and be apart of your show and they’re so excited. There’s just so much energy and I really, really like that setting.
AFM: If you weren’t performing at Country Thunder, who would you be most excited to see perform?
BE: Im really excited to see Chase Bryant. He’s my label-mate and I never get to hear his new songs because we’re always on the road at the same time. We never get to see each other’s shows so I’m really excited to see him.
AFM: What would you say is a major musical goal of yours?
BE: I want to win a Grammy one day. And I want to sing at the Grammy’s with Dolly Parton.
AFM: Along with releasing your album, what else does 2016 have in store for you?
BE: I’m going to be all over the country this year, from Washington, to Arizona, to Chicago and Maine on tour. I’m just really excited to be able to go to all these places that I’ve never been to and spend some time in and meet all these fans.
(Photo: Joseph Llanes)