October 28, 2019
We caught up with one our favorite local artists this week as we celebrated the release of her album, Calico, and her incredible gift...
Bed|Stü: Introduce yourself, who is Brooke White?
I am a singer songwriter, born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. I'm the oldest of 4 kids raised in a music loving family; quiet dreamer turned performer. I'm Artsy (not fartsy) and cut my own hair in the bathroom. A major over-analyzer and deep feeler but also pretty silly. I live to thrift, love all things style, and shoes! My family and faith are everything and music makes me so happy. I just want to share and connect.
At 20 I packed up my jeep and left my desert home and made my way out to the coast on the 4th of July back in 2003 in hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter. After a handful of years spent chasing the dream, writing songs, playing small gigs, cutting hair in my bathroom and nannying twins, I landed a big lucky break when I was granted a golden ticket on American Idol season 7. Being on the show definitely changed everything for me. It was a pressure cooker for personal growth and was one of the hardest and best things I've ever done. Dealing with insecurities in front of millions of people week after week and developing the confidence I didn't think I was capable of was a priceless gift. It brought me so many opportunities I'm so thankful for, I got to go on a nation wide arena tour, started my own label, wrote music for and acted in made for TV movies, hosted red carpets, went on the Ellen Show, started a web series (the girls with glasses) and an indie folk band (jack and white)
Since then, I have had two children, a crafting tornado 7 year old daughter named London and a brightest little 3 year old son named Sonny. Raising these two little birds while still making music is a circus that I call living the dream. Both incredibly demanding and rewarding.
I just released "CALICO", which is my first country record that I have been trying to make for a decade and the timing was finally right. It takes what it takes. I thought I would go to Nashville where all the country gold is made, but after trying to make it happen, realized my roots were here, my family, and everything I needed to make this album was right here in the wild Wild West. I love California and all the magic it has to offer. I couldn't have made this music any sooner, and in any other place, and I couldn't be happier with how things worked out.
Bed|Stü: When did you start playing music/fall in love with music (how did you get into music)?
Growing up, music was the glue of our family. We loved any excuse to listen to music... we went on family drives in the Aerostar van through the Superstition Mountains and listened to my parents old tapes, like James Taylor, Carol King, Linda Ronstadt and George Strait. We had an old jukebox of my uncles in the backyard full of 45's from the 60's that we listened to while jumping on the trampoline. These were the happy times that got us through the tough times. We got my great grandmas piano when I was 7, the keys were like magnets to my fingers. I couldn't stay away from it, the first song I figured out was "right here waiting for you" by Richard Marx. I took a few lessons but ultimately quit and never learned to read music but continued to play by ear. My parents were really supportive of this organic self-driven approach to playing and fostered so much love for music in our home which was so effective for me.
I didn't start singing till I was about 16 years old after I was pushed by my uncle to try out for our high school musical "meet me in St. Louis" and I got the lead role of "Esther". This changed my life and was also really scary as I was very reluctant and didn't consider myself to be a singer, and had never aspired to be out front performing. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone and on the path to music. I started playing the guitar a year later, and also had a few friends teach me along the way, but mostly playing by ear. But I didn't start writing music and playing and singing simultaneously till I was 20 when I moved out to LA to go to the Musicians Institute. It's been a long road learning and growing musically and finding my confidence, but my love for music from my childhood is what has sustained me through it all!
Bed|Stü: Work/life (music/family) balance?
Lol, does Balance really exist? For me I've had to set my aim for just doing my best instead of chasing after the elusive mirage of balance. I think I might meet a mermaid or a take flight on a unicorn before I achieve balance, a lot of days I am dropping a lot of balls, some days I'm snuggling a sick toddler and taking him back and forth to the doctor but not checking my emails for days. And then I am scrambling to create a music video and doing conference calls but forgetting it was picture day and getting London to school after the late bell rings 4 out of 5 days. I am trying to accept that I can't do all the things right at the same time. I definitely feel discouraged by it some days, but try to focus on what's going right and find grace. Also, we can't do it alone, my husband is hands on deck and super supportive. I have friends, a babysitter, teachers, neighbors, a manager and a community that have helped me pick up the slack and give me the encouragement I needed. Couldn't have done it with out them, I am so grateful.
Bed|Stü: Tell us about your style inspo & thrifting?
Man, I just could thrift all day everyday. Thrifting itself just offers me so much inspiration, I mostly don't go looking for anything specific. Part of the joy is in the surprise of what I might find. I am open to whatever is trying to find me, lol! I am a treasure hunter, a seeker and a gatherer. I grew up on thrifting, and just never stopped. I love great deals, and finding something super unique and special. I find that thrifting and mixing the vintage and second hand with the new and modern trends, keeps my closet interesting. As well I love that it is good for the earth, and feels better than fast fashion. I do love the 70's and so I often am attracted to those pieces, and all things vintage in general. Since making a country record, it has been fun to create a vibe that feels like California country, it actually has been one of my favorite parts of making Calico. I love lots of hats, boots, fringe, denim, florals, prints, texture and color!
Bed|Stü: Favorite collaboration or project?
I love collaboration, especially when it comes to creating. I have been so lucky to be able to be able to work with such amazing people. There is a magic to what comes when you bring people and their individual talents together to create something bigger than we could have made alone. Making this record was such a collaborative effort. I wrote and recorded every song with my friends, Chris Qualls and Eric Straube, together we crafted this sound and these stories. I love how they pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me evolve musically and as a songwriter.
Bed|Stü: Favorite place you’ve performed?
Wow, because of Idol, I have had a chance to perform all over the country, coming up through the stage on a grand piano night after night. That was pretty cool. But there is also something really special about playing in small intimate spaces, like a living room, or cozy club. Our recent show at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood will be one of my favorite shows to date, so much energy! Really its more about the people in the room and the connection we are having that makes it my favorite.