02 November 2020 (released)
02 November 2020
Using her music as a coping mechanism she started writing her own songs and performing at the young age of 12. After years of struggling with undiagnosed diseases that led to mental illness, Brooklyn quickly put pen to paper and used music as the expressive outlet she needed to move forward in life. This was the creative process to her debut album, Lithium, which was a “beautifully chaotic” seven-year testimony to living with untreated Bipolar disorder.
Currently, Brooklyn is set to release her long-awaited second album early 2021. Continuing to use her music as a creative outlet based off of personal experience, the album will focus on the struggles of falling flat on one’s face and growing after a fallen relationship while dealing with the every-day struggle of a very serious mental illness. Contrary to her first albums contrasting moods, this album will follow the story through its tracks, providing a harsh reality at the start that eventually blossoms. Music News caught up with to find more...
Can you tell us about your new single ‘Retail Therapy’?
So my friends Laura & Issac own this vintage resale store in San Antonio, The Come Up, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I discovered them back as a pop up shop at a show I went to 4 years ago. I noticed my retail addiction (specifically to The Come Up) got so bad that I just had to finally write about it. They let me borrow the store’s sign for the music video and I even based the red, yellow, a blue theme to the video off their logo. They’re actually currently rebranding right now too so technically the song is about the store that is no more. I think that makes it extra cool haha.
How would you describe your sound?
I think no matter the tone or mood of the song all of my music has some kind of spooky-ness to it. I like to make synths or harmonies bend a lot to give off this kind of sighing/whining sound to it. And I like to pan very specific sounds in the songs a lot to tingle your ears when you wear headphones. I listen to a lot of ASMR so that might be the influence to those choices. So I guess spooky and tingly haha.
Austin has always been a hotbed of music, has growing up there been important musically?
I actually grew up in San Antonio and pretty much only go to Austin when I want to eat at this sushi place, Sushi Junai haha. I used to think San Antonio had a competitive music scene because I was around people with that mentality when I first started professionally releasing music. Though once I dropped my debut album I realized how many other artists actually showed their support and some even wanted to collaborate with me too. I think it’s only competitive if you decide it to be but can actually be really full of mutual love and support instead. I love my city.
You were living with an undiagnosed Bipolar condition, when it was finally detected was it a relief or a burden?
It was the biggest relief of my life honestly. Surprisingly an even bigger relief than diagnosing my autoimmune diseases. It was exhausting living so up and down for so long which had me constantly taking it out on myself and others. I decided to get sober too once I was on the right medication to actually allow the medication to work. There’s plenty of other benefits to sobriety as well but that was my main reasoning. I’ve honestly never felt such peace in my life. Shout out to my psychiatrist Colleen haha.
How have you been able to channel your energy and focus on the music?
For so long writing music was the only thing keeping me alive. If I could channel my emotions from a traumatic experience into a song I would start to feel them leave my body and turn into productivity. I’d eventually be proud of overcoming the awful experience and turning it into a beautiful one to listen to. Many people have told me they can relate to my music and it helped them heal from their own trauma too. That’s the biggest motivator honestly. Just to help someone else feel a little less alone is what keeps me going.
What is your advice to others facing similar mental health challenges?
Do not be afraid to ask for help. I suffered for way too long because it became obvious that something was chemically wrong with my brain but I was too embarrassed, afraid or proud (depending on the episode) to ask for help. When I’d be manic I would think I was the smartest person on the planet and I didn’t need anyone to change me. Then I would eventually crash and start to feel like no one wanted me around including myself. Again it was so exhausting. The day I finally gave in and went to a psychiatrist could not have felt better. She keeps suggesting I go to therapy as well but have I done that yet? Nope. Haha I know that I should and I’m still currently trying to get over the fear of constantly talking to someone else about my feelings. So also know you’re not alone in this decision because I still struggle with it.
What can we expect from the second album?
Placebo is less of a long term experience of multiple up and down situations of my life as Lithium was. Lithium was focused on my life over 7 years before I was diagnosed and had tracks transitioning with alternating moods to express that. Though placebo is focused on 1 situation and how I overcame this in a more healthy way. The moods from this album transition from one spectrum to the other over time from the beginning to end. I like to think that the album blossoms. So please don’t listen to it on shuffle.
Tell us about Waffledog Productions.
When I was in elementary school my friend Joanna and I actually had a YouTube channel called Waffledog Productions. We would make these comedy skit videos (what we considered comedy) all the time after school. They’re hilariously cringe to watch back but the channel is on private for now so don’t bother looking them up haha. One day I will make them public again. I never stopped making videos though. I had about 4 YouTube accounts where I’d make skits with a lot of my friends, acoustic cover videos, song spoof videos, and eventually cover music videos too. So this has all led me to start an actual video production company Waffledog Productions. Other than my animated music video “Cold (feat Mick Jenkins)” (that was created by Chaz Draws) the rest of my music videos I actually produced myself along with my director of photography, Jacob Glombowski. Retail Therapy was the first one we uploaded independently rather than through VEVO so I decided to include “Waffledog Productions” on the title slide. I aim to produce videos for many other artists and eventually dive into TV & film as well.
What were your intentions when founding the Purple Palooza Festival?
I lost my grandpa to pancreatic cancer when I was 13 and immediately joined the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network San Antonio Affiliate. I became a board member but didn’t enjoy fundraising in the conventional manner. My grandpa was my biggest musical influence so I decided I would combine our passion to fundraise in a more fun way. I created a music festival, Purple Palooza, (purple is the color for PanCan) where I have many local artists and vendors come out who want to contribute to the cause. We just charge ticket sales to enter the event and all the profits go back to the organization. Unfortunately COVID interrupted our plans this year but I intend to come back bigger and better as soon as it’s safe to.
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Community is the greatest TV show of all time. I’ve seen it 11 times.