Brooklyn, tell us about your main influences and why those artists mean so much to you.
My main musical influences are the Dixie Chicks, Pink and Taylor Swift. Each one of them is a very talented writer. They have a great ability to tell a story and make you feel what they are going through in their songs. Pink and Taylor go one step further for me, though. I am all about the show. The creativity these two artists have and how they leave their audiences in awe at their live shows is the kind of artist I strive to be.
What have you learned about songwriting since writing your first song?
Songwriting is such a journey. It’s amazing how much your writing can evolve over time. I think that the key, like anything, is to understand you have to never stop learning. I have written with some very seasoned writers, as well as beginners. You learn from them all as much as they learn from you. My niche is more on the melody and I fit well with skilled instrumentalists and writers who are also good with lyrics.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the music business?
Easy. Taylor Swift!
How important is it that your parents are so supportive of your music career?
I was 7 years old when I entered my first of many singing competitions, 10 when I was cast in my first musical, 12 when I performed at my first Jamboree, 14 when I was selected to join the cast of YTV’s The Next Star, 15 when I recorded my first EP, and the list goes on. My parents have been with me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without their support.
At the age of 14, you won YTV’s talent competition The Next Star. How valuable was that experience for you?
I learned so much on the show. YTV’s The Next Star threw me into the spotlight. I had no clue what I was getting into. Pretty much everything I did was filmed and put out there for the world to see. It was strange to watch a taping of myself. You know, you see what you did or what you said and you think to yourself, maybe I could have done or said something differently. The show really opened my eyes as to what goes in to being a celebrity. I don’t think people really understand the work that goes into a performance. I learned quickly. It’s helped me in my career to know how hard you need to work. I think that’s the most important thing that being on The Next Star taught me.
What do you feel Country music does better than other music genres?
County music – hands down – brings people together better than any other genre. I grew up in a family of country music singers and musicians. We had a cottage with a campfire going pretty much every night. It would start out with Dad singing and strumming on guitar. It wouldn’t be long before we would have a crowd of people around that fire with instruments in hand and everyone singing along or just enjoying the good time. Country music fans are just good, friendly people.
How would you pitch the importance of becoming a CMAOntario member to new artists on the scene? What are the benefits?
Becoming a CMAOntario member has many benefits. It organizes some great events and opportunities to showcase your talent. These events – like the Roadshow – bring people in the business together to help you learn about different aspects of the business. The CMAOntario also helps you to connect with other members, writers, musicians and events. The membership is invaluable.
Who are some of the newer artists you are listening to these days?
I am really watching the new female Canadian artists. They bring such a diverse sound to the market. If you look at Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo and Meghan Patrick, they are so completely different and unique. What I love the most is that it shows that there is so much room out there for everyone. And I believe it is so important to be yourself. That’s my goal – to bring something new to the table.
You get approached by a TV producer to have your own weekly 30 minute show and you get to decide the type of program. Do you choose drama, comedy or reality… and why?
I think I would choose drama if I had my own 30 minute TV show. The idea of being in my own reality show sounds tempting, since I think my wardrobe would be unbelievable. But honestly, I would probably be too boring (LOL). A comedy would also be cool. I like the Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, but I really love dramas. If I could have been in Gossip Girl, my life would be set. The thought of being able to play someone like Serena would just be awesome. Plain and simple.
What is a goal you have for your music career in 2018?
NEW MUSIC! These past few years I have been writing, working on my own sound and working on an exciting stage show. I’m so ready to release new music – it’s been too long. My writing style has changed quite a bit since my last release and at this point, it’s a matter of just getting the right music out there that expresses who I am now.
Dave Woods is a monthly columnist for the CMAOntario and has been hosting the popular online radio show “In The Country with Dave Woods” since 2009. To hear episodes, please visit www.soundcloud.com/dave-woods-3.