Meet Brooklyn Roebuck, a seventeen-year-old with the rare kind of voice that does justice to national anthems and whose genuine smile and ease makes a fan for life out of every kid lined up to meet her after a show. At literally half my age (argh, I know!), Brooklyn already has performance experience like mad under her belt, not to mention the title of Winner of YTV's The Next Star Season 5, plus subsequent singles and music videos she made under that contract. Her talents also extend beyond the stage into songwriting, to which I can personally attest, having co-written a song called "Tongue Tied" a few weeks ago with her and my brother, S.J. Kardash at his Full Color Recording Studios. You never know what to expect when you co-write with someone for the first time but I was impressed with her creativity, confidence, and collaborative spirit. Actually, it's her triple threat of style, vocal ability, and assuredness in songwriting that has me convinced that Brooklyn could just be Canada's answer to Taylor Swift.
It was a photo shoot for her upcoming single "Good Day" that brought Brooklyn to Saskatoon recently and I was so glad that my OCM sister and talented photographer Desiree Martin was able to schedule a shoot with Brooklyn during her visit. Our concept was, appropriately, "Good Day" and we simply wanted Brooklyn to enjoy our beautiful city. Desiree took us down to the riverbank, for a bike ride, and out for ice cream. As you'll see, the results= #goodtimes (that's Brooklyn's latest hashtag, don'tcha know). So get ready to enjoy Desiree's captures as you read all about what brought Brooklyn to this point in her career and where she's going from here. Spoiler alert: I'm picking her up at the Saskatoon airport again very soon! ;)
Me: I know your career's been on the go since before you were 14 and won YTV's Next Star Season 5. How old were you when you remember thinking, "This is what I want to do," and what drew you to performing?
B: I have known that singing was my passion since I can remember. The only other thing I wanted to be was a fashion designer but that changed after the first singing competition I entered when I was, I believe, seven, singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with my grandpa playing guitar. Music had been a big part of my life, though, even before that; singing around the campfire and watching my dad and grandpa go into singing competitions. It was bound to happen. I really did love singing since I could walk but I think my first competition really amped up the love. I would always ask my parents when I could go into my next competition.
Me: In your live performances, you sing a lot of songs you've written or co-written and you also sing some covers. What is it you enjoy about each?
B: My favorite part about singing a cover song is trying to imitate the singer. It is so much fun going from Taylor Swift, to Florida Georgia Line, to Miranda Lambert. They all are very unique and I believe singing their songs really helped me figure out who I am as a singer. I remember when I was younger my dad and I would spend hours on a single song just perfecting it to get it as close to the original as possible. I, of course, love singing my own original songs. It is the absolute greatest feeling when I finish a set and someone takes the time to come over and complement one of my songs. The songs I write are a part of me so it really warms my heart knowing that someone in the audience really liked it. Basically I love singing originals but knowing someone else could enjoy a song I wrote as much as I do is the best feeling I believe a writer can get.
Me: I'm always curious how ideas float into other writers' heads. This might be like asking you to try to explain magic, but can you tell me how your song ideas come to you? Is it a lyric, a melody, or a riff that usually inspires you and do you have a room or situation that best lets the ideas come?
B: Lots of people have asked me how I write, is there a specific way to go about writing, do you always start with the chorus, do you wait for inspiration? To be completely honest I am still trying to figure out the best way for me to write. Some days I will write a complete song in just a couple hours, some songs have taken months, some are still waiting to be finished and they have been waiting for years. Sometimes I start with a cool lyric, sometimes a melody, maybe a guitar lick. Sometimes I am inspired by life events and sometimes I just write. Sometimes I use the guitar, sometimes the piano, and sometimes nothing at all. It is always different. All I do is whenever I have an idea of any kind, no matter how silly it seems at the time, or out there it may be in comparison to other songs, I go with it, even if it may not be recorded you will grow from it. It will help you understand yourself more as a writer. You should never stop learning and growing.
Me: I agree you never have to stop learning, and part of that is keeping your ears open! Where do you find new music to listen to?
B: The two main sources I hear new music from are the radio and my friends. Recently I have been branching off and listening to lots of different radio stations like pop or rock radio stations because whenever I am driving with friends they will control the music. I, of course, have listened to music from hearing about it on social media as well but really my friends and the radio are where it is at for me.
Me: So what music are you listening to lately and do you find when you change your listening, it changes your writing?
B: I have always listened to country as my number one go-to genre but I have found that the more I listen to other genres my writing has changed. One of my friends listens to a lot of rap and I started to like it so I actually wrote a song with a rap in it. I think what you listen to really does affect your writing, lots of times it will give you ideas as well, but once I hear something I really like, I know in some way, it will affect my writing. I also think listening to different kinds of music can really help you write outside of the box, and I believe that is what listeners want to hear, something different.
Me: "Good Day" is your next single (hence the photos by Desiree that show you enjoying a really good day), and I'm pretty excited that you're coming back to Saskatoon to do a music video with me and Director of Photography Darryl Kesslar! I don't want to give away the WHOLE concept but shall we just say, you and your friends are gonna get up to some bratty fun. Want to pick a favourite part of the upcoming video to tell the readers about?
B: I am excited to be going back to Saskatoon to film my upcoming music video for Good Day. There are a lot of great fun parts that will be in the video, but I think I am most excited to meet and play with the Saskatoon Hilltops football team. Now, anyone that knows me knows I am not good at football, so I think it is going to be awesome and hysterical trying to throw passes and run around all of the football players. Maybe they will even teach me a thing or two about football while I’m there.
Brookyln's upcoming single "Good Day" will be hitting country airwaves soon and in the mean time, you can keep up with her on Facebook, Instagram, her official website, and Twitter. And if you see her around Saskatoon in the next week? Say hi. She's likely having a good day.