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INTERVIEW: Brooke Josephson

HOW WOULD YOU CLASSIFY YOUR MUSIC?  

The term “classify” makes me tense. I don’t why, but it immediately makes me think of the word “stereotype,” which just fences people into something trivial. I know the music business needs artists to fit into a genre to market and brand them, but I really took the liberty on my latest EP, “Sexy N’ Domesticated” to express myself with several styles of music I’ve been under the influence of over the years.  I guess you could say I stole a page from Beck, the “genre bender” and just did what I wanted to do. But when I had to choose a genre for distribution I just went with “Pop/Rock.” They don’t offer, “Mom Rock,” as an option yet. Ha!

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR TOP 5 INFLUENCES? 

Top five…hmmm, funneling my favs down to five is tough. There are so many incredible artists who have influenced me from Beck, (obviously) to Chrissie Hynde, Nile Rogers, Kurt Cobain, Annie Lennox, Lauryn Hill, The Beatles, Springsteen, Bowie, Bonnie Raitt, Dick Dale’s surf guitar sound, to even Sondheim. (So I guessed I failed the top five test.)

WHAT DO YOU WANT FANS TO TAKE FROM YOUR MUSIC? 

Unapologetically Fun Empowerment. I basically had a blast creating sonic snapshots of real moments in my life. From embracing the differences in men and women on “Mr Fix It” to celebrating women who are proving you can be both “Sexy N’ Domesticated,” to the “Crazy Called Normal.” I looked at each moment through the lense of some sassy satire to overcome life lessons and hopefully empower others as I empower myself. Might as well tackle life with a wink and smile right?

TELL US ABOUT ‘MR FIX IT (REMIX)’ AND HOW YOU CONNECTED WITH DJ ROCKY G. 

I saw Rocky G’s facebook video where she shared her story of what it’s like being an International DJ and Mom of six. It was really inspiring. So I reached out to her to see if she would want to collaborate and we really clicked. She and I share a mutual passion for music and women’s empowerment and she wanted to do a Remix of “Mr Fix It.” So we exchanged files online for the Remix, since she is based in Amsterdam, and we spoke by phone a few times to get the final version tight, which didn’t take too long. She works really quickly and we didn’t let the time difference get in our way. We also share the same driven work ethic. Then we scheduled for me to visit her while she was performing at ADE (The Annual Amsterdam Dance Event)to film footage for the “Mr Fix It Remix Video.” It was really cool to meet her in person, and capture the energy and vibe of her world. We spent time just bonding at her house and in her studio and decided to do a Facebook Live Video talking about what it’s like to juggle being a wife, mom and artist. Women from all over the world were writing into thank us for sharing and then the next morning Rocky G texted me that she got major backlash from male colleagues for being a Techno DJ talking about motherhood. Instead of it getting her down, she and I agreed that it was a sign that we as women need to stand together, speak up even more and refuse to be silenced and applaud the men who embrace equality.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE/DISLIKE MOST ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS? 

I love that independent artists can create their music and have the internet to collaborate with other artists like Rocky G and I did, and distribute it without having to sign to a major label. But I loathe the whole “algorithm, number of followers game” of social media. It’s now become the norm in pretty much anybusiness that somehow you’re number of followers is a reflection of your worth. I have stumbled upon some pretty sick talented people who are “the no name, undiscovered, diamond in the rough,” being drowned by the saturation of artists signed to major labels who have their machine cranking out a quantity of content that is strategically marketed, and it’s become less about the music itself. When you’re independent, it’s such a hustle to be heard.

BEST CONCERT/ PLAYING LIVE? 

I love love love my band. It is the greatest natural high playing live with them. We have really great chemistry and have fun wherever we are playing. Every venue has it’s own little “thing.” For acoustic shows, I love Hotel Cafe.It’s really intimate and has a speakeasy vibe. The Peppermint Club was a ton of fun playing to a packed house. The Mint was the best as far as sound and lighting.

HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS WITH YOUR WRITING OF SONGS AND LIVE PERFORMANCES? 

Oh wow! I joke sometimes that when you listen to my LIVE AND LET LIVE EP and then SEXY N’ DOMESTICATED, it’s like “is this the same person?” And I’m proud of that. I was raised in the midwest and grew up singing in church and have a moral compass but I also chose to spread my wings ya know? That was my main message in the LIVE AND LET LIVE EP, especially on the song, “Burning Journals;” letting go of what others project or expect me to be and simply be cool with owning who I am. I really took the time after its release in 2013 to go back to the drawing board and fell down the rabbit hole of learning to produce music andvideos on my own. I set up my home studio, took up guitar and bass, and got hooked on the endless options of sounds with synths and plugins. The time I invested was worth it. My growth personally and artistically during that time really prepared me to collaborate with so many talented people from Tony Berg who produced the “Sexy N Domesticated” EP, that opened doors to meet the guys in my band and touring, to the directors, talent and crew I worked with on my music videos, to then fly to Amsterdam and work with Rocky G…I mean, looking back at who I was in 2013 and seeing the evolution is exciting. It just makes me crave climbing the next challenge and seeing what I’m made of.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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