Q&A with Brooke Howard


Versatile artist Brooke Howard returns with a spicy new single in ‘GIMME’ on October 20th, featuring lye.II, known for his work with BONES UK and Anna Kova. Gracing stages across the US, from The Hotel Café Mainstage in Los Angeles to the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, Howard has also headlined Nomad Field Trip Experience, as well as garnering attention and support from GZA of the WU-TANG CLAN. Influenced by the likes of Stevie Nicks and Rihanna, Howard is  set to release her new album in 2024. We took some out to ask her some poignant questions.


We’re loving your new track ‘Gimme’. Walk us through your creative process on the song.
Thank you! The night we made GIMME, lye.ll, Kirk and I had a session, and it had been a while since the 3 of us were able to be in a room together. It was such a fun creative night. We made “Hallucinating” and “Creep On” that night as well. As soon as Kirk and Lyell made the beat for GIMME ideas started flowing for me and I pretty immediately wrote a large chunk of the song. Simultaneously Lyell had been inspired to write and we ended up combining our 2 ideas into one song. It’s stayed very close to the original form, minus adding in my middle verse just before submitting for release.


How was it collaborating with lye.ll?
lye.ll produced all of the songs on the Witch Trap album so collaborating feels very natural. It’s very special to actually have his voice and lyrics featured on the final single. Lyell and I were lucky enough to be able to spend the pandemic together making music and developing a beautiful working and personal relationship. I feel so grateful we were and are still able to find some light in the dark.


How did you get into music? Was there a moment you thought,”This is what I want to do?”
That’s a tricky one, because I’ve literally been singing and performing my whole life. My sister and I used to put on shows for my family and my mom says I was always singing to myself while I was playing as a kid. I started singing and performing professionally at age 7, but more in the theater world. I started writing songs when I was 14 but didn’t really have the tools to make anything of them. Finally in college at NYU I took a songwriting class, played with a band for a bit, and recorded an EP. The music industry can be really tough and I tried my best to find anything else I wanted to do with my life, but nothing worked. So, when I moved to LA I finally found the right collaborators and really committed to music as my career.


Who are some of your most prolific musical influences?
These days, I’m incredibly inspired by Labrinth. I love everything he does and was fortunate enough to see him live this year. He pulls from so many different musical genres and styles and is still so uniquely him. I am also inspired by Amber Mark, she is such a beautiful songwriter – I feel like she explores a lot of the same themes and emotions as I do.


How would you define your musical style?
Eclectic and… Soulful? I recently saw an interview with Labrinth where he compared his musical style to a bag of skittles, and I really loved that because I do feel my music is multi-colored, even from song to song the genre bends. Plus, I love candy. 


You’ve performed at venues across the US, from The Hotel Café Mainstage in Los Angeles to
The Bowery Ballroom in New York City. What has been your most memorable performance?

Playing the Mainstage at Hotel Cafe is one of my favorite memories for sure. When I moved to LA I dreamed of playing that stage, literally the top of the wishlist. It felt like I dropped into a different place that night, I really felt the energy of the audience and was able to play with them. Also, the Nomad Field Trip, a festival the Nomad Art Department and I collaborated on this summer. We built our own Festival out in the woods and I got to headline Saturday night. It was so empowering to have control over the stage and setup and be able to actually create some of the visual ideas I’ve always dreamed of having for a live performance. Like shaking my butt on stage with a bunch of giant mushrooms in the Moonlight.


We heard you garnered support from GZA from the Wu-Tang clan. Can you walk us through how that went and felt?
That was so crazy. I still can’t believe it’s real. My cousin lives in Colorado and is connected to the music scene there. I got back from Lightning in a Bottle and had a bunch of messages from him asking if I was ok with him sharing my music with dispensaries in terms of branding, which obviously I’m all about! Then it was literally, “My guy loves your music and so does GZA from Wu Tang Clan. They want to play your music in their dispensaries.” And then my brain melted.


You succeeded in raising $12000 on your first Indiegogo campaign for your upcoming album. How did you manage that?
I have amazing friends and family. Honestly, that’s where most of the money came from. Lyell was super helpful in setting up the campaign, making the video, and keeping me kinda sane etc. I think we also came up with some really fun perks that people actually want, so that helped, like signed polaroids and vinyls. Sometimes “lucky girl” syndrome feels really real to me.


Whats next for Brooke Howard?
Well, we are currently working on finishing the “Witch Trap” album as quickly as we can, planning to release early 2024. I’m starting to write a lot more music now too. I think while creating all of the visual content and releasing singles I was so absorbed in the world of Witch Trap that the idea of starting the next project seemed impossible. But now, I see the light (or dark) and am so excited to start exploring the vibe for album #2. I’ve been playing live a lot and that is just the best, that’s where my first love of performing came from, I have a couple more shows coming up this year and definitely manifesting some big sync deals. 🙂


InstagramFacebook –  Spotify