Atlanta-based alt-pop diva Brooklynn recently released “Mystic Woman,” a numinous song about self-empowerment and sexual affirmation.
Brooklynn first attracted attention in 2012, while competing on Take The Stage. By 2015, she had signed with a label headquartered in Atlanta, but later, following in the footsteps of artists like Logic, left the label in order to retain artistic control over her music.
Emancipated from the chains of external constraints, she formed her own production company, Bébé Vaudou, writing with Matthew Tanner and Jason Krutzky. Since then, her music and videos have been showcased on Vibe, Ear Milk, Teen Vogue, and Spotify’s Viral Hits playlist.
Because of her unapologetic self-reliance and courage, as well as her gorgeously pioneering music, I sat down with Brooklynn to discover the source of her impressive individuality.
How would you describe yourself?
Hmmm, I suppose I would describe myself as just a human trying to experience the most out of life while I’m here. Not trying to be vague, it’s just I don’t really dwell on that too much.
What’s your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
Anything by Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey.
Who is your favorite music artist?
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
I had a bit of a broken home growing up, to put it nicely. So music became my therapy and still very much is. I went to my grandma’s house a lot as a kid. She had a piano and I used to play it as much as I possibly could. Eventually, I started writing songs with it. In high school my dad bought a MacBook for his work, but I was so excited since it had GarageBand. When he would let me use it, I would produce instrumentals/ songs on it. Before too long I was writing and producing songs and posting them on YouTube. After a while, people began leaving comments about how my songs had helped them in some way or made them feel good and it solidified to me that music is what I wanted to do.
What musicians influenced you the most?
Prince, Stevie Nicks, Johnny Cash, Pharrell.
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
They were all unapologetically themselves. They weren’t afraid to push their music out of most people’s comfort zones. They weren’t trying to be cookie cutter for anybody and I admire that.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
Through my own experiences, other’s experiences, and sometimes characters in stories I read.
Not too long ago, you were signed to a label in Atlanta. Why did you choose to go independent?
Without going into it too much, it really came down to me not feeling valued. I wanted to have some type of autonomy over myself and my music and I simply was not being respected. I do wish them the best, but I could no longer work in that type of environment. I remember watching an interview Steve Stoute did with The Breakfast Club where he pretty much exposed many of the major labels. The more I learn about labels the more I realize most of them are not set up in favor of the artist. Most seem to care less about the music/ culture and more about the numbers. Not saying I wouldn’t sign to a label in the future, but if I did, it would have to be a damn good contract that was actually in my favor. And I would want to make sure the team behind me had my best interest at heart and understood my vision.
You’re based in Atlanta. What’s the music scene like in Atlanta?
The music scene is great. There are so many talented artists here that I love keeping up with!
You recently released “Mystic Woman.” What was the inspiration for the song?
I had two concepts in mind when writing this:
I’m bisexual. I grew up in a conservative Christian upbringing and I remember being taught from a very young age that it was not okay to like the same sex. It took me a long time to feel comfortable and confident in my sexuality. So this is really my first song where I outwardly talk about my first romantic relationship with a woman.
The song is also meant to be a self-empowerment type of track. I wanted this to also be a fun track you can dance around and feel like a bad ass too.
What is your song-writing process? Lyrics first, or music first?
Usually it’s me humming melodies with my piano until I get some type of structure. Then I track the piano and rough vocals and start to build a track around it. But sometimes it can start with an instrumental I or my bandmates produce, and then we build from there.
Most artists like to believe their music is evolving. Is yours? If so, is it moving more toward hip-hop, R&B, electronic, or pop?
I definitely believe my music is evolving. This is really the first time in a while where I have had full creative control over my sound. I’m fortunate enough to have my two bandmates/ writing partners who encourage me to write and produce what I want. It’s definitely going more of an Alt-Pop route with Hip-Hop and R&B vibes. I’m not really sure how to describe it, but basically my biggest producer inspiration has always been from Pharrell and M.I.A. I dig the fact that they really are able to create a dope collage of sounds in their tracks.
Where was “Mystic Woman” recorded?
Are you pleased with how it turned out?
Who produced “Mystic Woman?”
I produced the bulk of it and my bandmates helped bring it home! So ultimately it was the three of us!
What’s next for you musically?
I started my own production company that we release all of our music and music videos through. My goal is to stay independent musically and be my own boss. I would love to build it to a point where I can be in partnership with some heavy weights in the industry.
We also have more songs and music videos that will be coming out in the next month and are working on some merchandise to put up on the website!
Any plans to tour?
1,000% yes! After we release a few more songs, we will begin prepping for some shows.