That’s Rich is out now!
Irish alt-pop songstress Brooke is gearing up to compete to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest with her song That's Rich. We caught up with the singer to chat about the track, Eurovision, her experiences as a finalist on The Voice UK, what she has in store for 2022 and so much more!
The former The Voice UK finalist will perform the song live for the first time this Friday on RTÉ One's The Late Late show. Irish residents will be able to vote for their favourite performance, with the winner scoring the chance to represent the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest in Italy this May.
Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
I have always sang and I have always wanted to be a singer, but I grew up listening to phrases like "that’s the hardest industry" or "no one makes it there", so I used to hide my dreams even though deep down I knew that I was capable of surprising people. I grew up listening to and recreating performances by Tina Turner and Dolly Parton when they sang at outdoor concerts in front of thousands of people. I was completely mesmerised at the thought of being there in the crowd or on the stage. I sang the whole way up through my youth, taking part in musicals, I joined all the choirs I could and even completed grades in musical theatre but the first time that I really believed in myself was when I got a four chair turn in the Voice UK 2020.
You were a finalist on The Voice UK in 2020, How do you think that experience shaped your view and approach to navigating the music industry?
During The Voice I got professional help from vocal coaches, choreographers and my coach MEGHAN TRAINOR 🔥. I learnt how to sing properly, but I didn’t really learn about myself as an artist because I was always singing other people's songs. During the voice we had to stop for 6/7 months because of covid and that meant Megan wouldn’t be there. This changed the dynamic drastically because when Megan was there, she commanded the attention of the room immediately, but now I had to learn very quickly to think on my feet and to stand up for myself when people were trying to steer me in a direction that I didn’t want to go in. I had to take control and stand up for myself and the music that I wanted to sing. I am grateful for this experience and it has definitely given me a realistic view of what it would be like to work in the industry without a mentor.
You’re gearing up to compete to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest this year with your song That’s Rich. Tell us about the song and what inspired its conceptual nature…
I had just come out of a relationship where I felt like I wasn't benefitting at all and I lost who I was. Because of this, I wanted to write a song that would make me feel good and laugh. Before I went in to write this song I was reading Debbie Harry’s (Blondie) biography and I really wanted to write a song that incorporated an 80’s sound with contemporary elements. The song really came to life and I feel like as soon as That’s Rich starts to play it hits immediately and you think to yourself ‘this sounds familiar but it also sounds so fresh and new!’ We have definitely found a really fresh new sound.
What drew you to wanting to compete for a spot at the Eurovision Song Contest?
I have watched Eurovision ever since I was a child, it is such a prestigious honour to even be considered as an Irish representative so I am over the moon at the amount of recognition that my song has received. I remember watching the television and thinking ‘I would love to do that some day’, not thinking that this could be a possibility.
The Eurovision Song Contest has provided countless iconic performances. Which contestant/performance has remained the most memorable to you throughout the competitions history, and why?
For me, the most iconic was either Loreen's Euphoria or Fairytale by Alexander Rybak. These two performances remain permanently in my brain and I still listen to them religiously. The first Eurovision I ever saw was in 2006 when Lordi won representing Finland and the competition was held in Athens, Greece… I. Was. Terrified.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from That’s Rich?
Don’t let the end of a relationship feel like the end of the world. Just keep going onwards and upwards because the people that you let into your life should help you progress, not hold you back.
Walk us through your creative process when it comes to writing and recording your music…
I actually have a lot of songwriting ideas in my dreams, so what I find myself doing is going straight into my notes on my iPhone and writing concepts and phrases down before I forget them. Then I add to this through the week until I meet with a producer and we go through the notes and dissect what we like and what we want to use for the session. I usually have a build up of like a week before I go in for a 4 hour intense writing session, because then I have the bones of the track already laid out before me.
What’s one line from That's Rich you find at times can be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?
When I’m singing live I find that I play with the phrase "Bye Bye Fool" and change it to "Bye Bye Boo" purely because I like how it feels when I sing it. I also feel like "Take your mirror off the wall" is absolutely hilarious and holds so much depth.
What can we expect from you in 2022? An album or an EP perhaps?...
I can finally say that i signed a record deal with V2 Records and that my EP that I’ve been working on for over a year is getting released this year in 2022.
Miley Cyrus, Cher, Dolly Parton, Blondie, John Mayer, The Eagles, Tina Turner.
John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Lil Nas X - Montero (best PR Campaign EVER).
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Dynamic, Honest, Fun.
Best song of 2021?
Billie Eillish - Happier Than Ever.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
What was the first song you loved to sing?
You Are My Sunshine.
A song you would love to cover on tour?
All The Things She Said - t.A.T.u.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Rihanna - Anti.
First concert you went to?
Philomena Begley - I didn’t get in but I met her at the side door.
Best concert you have been to?
The Eagles in Dublin wow.
First album you ever bought?
Gareth Gates - Pictures of the Other Side.
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
The Bruises audition in The Voice.
Guilty music pleasure?
Anything by Il Divo, I went for surgery one time and their greatest hits album was like therapy.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry?
I think commercially Ed Sheeran is the smartest and regardless what style he chooses to release in his albums, he controls the top of the charts.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now? Current self - sleep more. Future self - Enjoy everything and take photos with your eyeballs.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I saw Meghan Trainor and seen how similar we were I knew it was possible. But I have wanted to be a singer ever since I was a baby.
That's Rich is out now! Tune into RTÉ One's The Late Late Show this Friday at 9:35pm.