Interview with Sheena Brook
Sheena Brook is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has entertained audiences for decades throughout the States. Her music and live performances are simply captivating as she shares her personal journeys through Life, Love and Loss.Staying true to herself is evident in her performances, and that honesty has become the catalyst to her passion for music. Sheena was selected for NBC’s Season 12 of The Voice where she was hand picked by Adam Levine. Since her appearance, Sheena has moved on to partner with several Multi-Platinum Songwriters and Artists that have evolved her unique songwriting style with tracks such as; Piece Of Me, Tongues Of Angels and her debut single Bad Bitches Like Me. Sheena is also the founder of The F.E.M. Collective, an organization that hosts events in support of women and equality in the industry. Her mission through music is to empower the people around her to feel free and to be themselves without apology or fear.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I started like a lot of singers, I led worship in a relatively large church, from about 19 to 26 until I came out. Which is a whole other story of heartache and learning to love who you are.
I think if I didn't do music I would be doing something to help people working for a non-profit or hosting fundraising events.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to play video games, mountain bike, get drunk with my friends and get out on the water. Every experience is an opportunity for inspiration and I tend to find a lot of ideas in my daily life.
How long has music been your career?
I've been making a living playing in bars and events for about 7 years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I've been on Fort Myers Beach for 7 years and based in FL my whole life. There's a laid back vibe to becoming a beach girl that has a huge and positive influence on my music. Also, Florida is a strange place filled with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. You learn to be slow to judge and quick to buy a stranger a drink.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
I'm not one to hate a lot of shows. I did play one country club a few years ago that was not my favorite. Half of the crowd was into it and the other half not so much. I can get over that, I'm fine to play to 5 or 5,000. But the patrons were really rude to the staff in front of me and also kept talking really loudly in front of me about how they wished I would stop. Which was weird cause it was an advertised and ticketed dinner and show thing they promoted for music. so then they all started arguing with each other lol. It was not so great!
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Every year since I did the voice the Lesbian retirement community innvites me to come play a concert and its amazing! They're so attentive, they get all my jokes and they're a total blast. Plus, I love when a 70 year old broad gets sassy at me, i'm like YAS you still got it babe!!
Some places I'd love to play, I'd love some opening slots on some bigger stages like in Orlando and St. Pete, nashville, Atlanta or anywhere really with smaller artists like Muna, Hailey Kiyoko, Joy Oladkun just a few.
LGBTQ Bars and events
Blue Jay Listening Room
Wiley House COncerts (a lot of my friends have played there)
The Orange Peel , Asheville, NC
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I'd do an Acoustic show with Me and Lizzo ... it's hard. I'd also love to play with Ed Sheeran or Kacy Musgraves.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
I think my first thing I always say is write what you know and sing what you love. There is so much talent if you look at it like a contest it's overwhelming and all the fun is gone. But, there is only one you. Your experiences and personal vibe are all your own. Do that thing and love it and that's what people will resonate with.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
YOU'RE SO GAY! And, that is ok. I grew up in church, I went to counseling for being gay and then went on to bible college. I was afraid to be myself and it was hard to come out and be free. But it was worth it, I would tell little me that it's ok to be me, there is nothing wrong with me and the people that matter will love me as I am.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
"Winner" is a new song that means a lot to me. It's funny because it's a happy and fun song but I wrote it in a really tough time. I lost my best friend and one of the only people from my childhood I still talked to and that fully loved and accepted me. When she died all these people that "wrote me off' and assumed I would be living under a bridge like a troll started calling me after 15-20 years. They were telling me how they didn't like their jobs or their husbands anymore, how they were trying to figure out who they were and what that life looked like and I thought, "Man, I turned out ok." That's like my whole thing. Be proud of who you are. Who gives a damn who anyone else says you should be. You be you and then you're a winner!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I'm lucky, even at bar shows people request a lot of my original songs like, "You Don't Have to Love Me" or "Katie Baby." I think my favorite one that gets requested is "Tongues of Angels." It's really fun to play and very tongue and cheek, which adds a sexy fun element to it. I always say it's the 2 things I know the most about lol. You'll have to wait for that release and find out what I mean.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
I'm inspired by my life, my joys, my grief, my wins and my losses. I'm also inspired by those around me and their journeys too. Most of this record was Co-written between myself and some of my favorite people (Megan Linville and Danny Myrick.) There might not be a more open and vulnerable place than a writer's room.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I like to be real and transparent. Sometimes a little forward, but mostly that life is short and it's full of ups and downs. We have to just be true to ourselves and chase the things that give us joy!
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Not really, I'm not really very territorial over my ideas. I'm always down to do what's best for the song.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I'm releasing my new single "Bad Bitches Like Me" August 19th and the music video for it August 20th. I plan to release another 4 songs after that, one at a time each month.