by ASJAD NAZIR
SOME of the most talented singers are independent artists carving their own path with
magical music that casts a spell on listeners and a perfect example of this is rising British star Brooke Law.
The London-born singer-songwriter of mixed heritage has used her varied life experiences and combined them with a beautifully emotive voice to create wonderful music that has been gathering a growing list of admirers.
She has just unveiled her new song Are We Done and is looking forward to releasing her debut five-track EP Archetypes next month. The very special talent has more marvellous
music on the way and is definitely a British artist to watch.
Eastern Eye caught up with Brooke to talk about music, her EP, inspirations and future hopes.
What first connected you to music?
I loved singing when I was very young and used to go wild when my dad put music on. I’m not great at talking, but writing and singing really allowed me to express myself and feel free.
Tell us what led you towards finding your musical sound?
I’ve been writing and collaborating with various producers and artists since I was 17. I was pretty confused for a while about what style felt real to me, but, I think, I needed the life experiences including, ‘ups and downs’ to give me the confidence. I also needed experiences that would inspire my writing.
What has your musical adventure been like?
Like most people, I’ve had lots of knocks that I could dwell on, but the ups are so exciting and to have so much support when finally releasing music has been the most rewarding thing. Everybody’s been turned down from a job in the past, but that’s how we get the drive to be our best. But when you achieve something you are proud of, it’s the best feeling.
How did you feel recording your first song?
It was a very long time ago, because I recorded my first song about seven years ago. I’m pretty sure that I hated the sound of my voice, but I was just amazed that I was playing out of my dad’s stereo and wanted to burn copies for the whole family.
Tell us about your new EP?
My EP is called Archetypes and it has five singles. Each song represents a different female archetype. I wanted to challenge the way women’s personalities are stereotyped and judged. This EP demonstrates that women can take on different personality traits, and there are many archetypes to all women.
Tell us about your new single from the EP?
Are We Done represents the ‘best friend’ Archetype. It’s about being reliable and wanting to do everything you can to keep your friendship. This was based on my past experience of having someone give up on our friendship.
How does this single compare to other songs you have done?
All the songs are quite different from each other. Are We Done shows a more vulnerable, emotional side as it is about the loss of a friendship. The songs on the EP and what they represent are Fight Like A Mother (Nurturer), Don’t Say It’s Love (Free Spirit), See Ya Later (Queen), Are We Done (Best Friend) and The Edge (Lover).
What was the biggest challenge of putting the various songs on the Archetypes EP together?
Choosing the songs. I’ve been writing for so long and have so many songs that I still relate to. Considering this is my first EP release and I’m doing it independently, I was quite nervous about the whole concept. ‘Am I saying too much, or not enough?’ The fact that there are many different ideas of stereotypes and a lot more than five made me worry I’m not making the most of this concept. It is intimidating having to put yourself out there.
My songs are really personal to me and I think it can be the same for lots of artists, so you can feel exposed. However, releasing this music has been the most exciting and motivating experience.
Who are you hoping connects with the songs?
Everyone. The ‘Archetype’ concept goes for men too. I would like the EP to encourage women to support and empower each other to follow their dreams. I want my music to challenge society and inspire people.
You are able to generate a lot of emotion in your voice. Where does that come from?
It’s not a conscious decision or a calculated one. In person, I can actually be quite self-conscious. But, when I sing, I get really lost in the emotion of the song and just let myself go. I am truly myself when I am singing. My favourite singers have such powerful and emotive voices; I love Christina Aguilera, Tina Turner, Jeff Buckley and Annie Lennox.
Where is the strangest place you have come up with a song?
I have written songs everywhere. I work in events on the side, and am always trying to think of lyrics when there is a quiet time so, maybe, underneath a registration desk at
a tech conference.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Coldplay, because I love their lyrics. I’d like to collaborate with more producers around the world, particularly India and Pakistan as I love desi music and exploring Asian sounds.
What music dominates your own playlist?
I love lyrics, so, that often determines whether I like the song. I have a lot of friends releasing music, so I am adding their tracks too. Check out MZKA and Biometrix.
How much does performing live mean to you and what has been your most memorable show?
I love performing live. Every show feels different and gets you expressing songs in a manner that cannot be repeated. Singing at the Million Women Rise rally in Trafalgar Square after being part of the march was the most memorable. It was so surreal, with so much solidarity and strength.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an emerging artist?
As an independent artist, I’ve had to do a lot of unrelated jobs and longs hours to pay for everything, which has been really hard. But it’s been rewarding to know that I can do this on my own.
If you could ask any alive or dead singer a question, who would it be and what would you ask?
It would have to be Tina Turner. I would ask her ‘where does your inner strength and freedom on stage come from?’. She lets herself go on stage like no one else.
What can we expect for the rest of the year?
I’m hoping I’ll get to play at some festivals with my band. I’ve got a couple more singles and plan to get some new collaborations going.
You released a great song called Hidden last year about heroes; who is your biggest hero?
My parents have inspired me the most. They’ve taught me to not give up and that anything is possible, which is a running theme in my lyrics; whether it be fighting for love, fighting to get higher or fighting for equality. This song was inspired by the film Hidden Figures and was dedicated to women as hidden heroes to support Million Women Rise and the London Black Women’s Project.
What are your big passions away from music?
I started volunteering with Million Women Rise this year and it’s been the most amazing experience. I’ve learned so much and have been so inspired musically, and personally.
What inspires you as an artist?
Human beings. Love, hate, pain, friends, relationships and family inspire me.
What is the master plan going forward?
I’d like to say more with my music and continue to develop my understanding of world issues in order to become a musical activist.
Why do you love music?
Music allows you to be free and feel. It allows you to get any emotion out. Whether it’s
dancing with friends at a party, playing it full blast or letting your anger out.
Visit www.brookelaw.co.uk for more