Ireland is set to pick their Eurovision 2022 artist and song this coming Friday through the Late Late Show: Eurovision Special, and we were lucky enough to meet with Brooke ahead of the show. Learn more about her as an artist, her time on The Voice UK, and her hopes to represent Ireland in Turin!
Hello Brooke – thank you so much for meeting with us today! For those who are meeting you for the first time, why don’t you give our readers a brief introduction as to who you are?
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, for those who don’t know me I was lucky enough to get the final of The Voice UK 2020 and from there I have been writing songs for the most part of a year and one of those songs has now been released and selected to be a finalist in the Eurosong special 2022 where I will fight to represent Ireland in Turin, Italy.
Wonderful thank you for that introduction – and we will certainly get to The Voice UK here in a bit. But of course, you were recently revealed as a participant for the Late Late Show: Eurovision Special – what has life been like since the reveal?
The response has been absolutely amazing they actually liked my song before it came out. A Eurovision fan account found out that my song was being released in New Zealand first so they leaked it 12 hours before it was meant to come out in GMT. I had actually deleted Twitter because I was scared of the reaction but seeing everyone being positive and supporting me from countries all over the world has restored my faith in music and give me the confidence to release more music.
Now as you mentioned, you were just recently a finalist on the Voice UK in 2020. What did you learn about yourself as an artist during the show?
During The Voice I got professional help from vocal coaches, choreographers, and my coach MEGHAN TRAINOR! I learned how to sing properly but I didn’t really learn about myself as an artist because I was always singing other peoples songs, the Eurovision will be the first time that I will be the creative director of my own performance and I’m really excited to be singing my own song.
For those who might not know, your season was stopped mid-production due to the pandemic, and when you returned you had to work with your mentor Meghan Trainor remotely due to travel restrictions. Did that change the mentoring process for you at all?
Yes it changed the mentoring process as Megan wasn’t there and when Megan was there she commanded the attention of the room immediately. I learned very quickly to think on my feet and to stand up for myself when people were trying to steer me in a direction that I didn’t want to go in. I had to take control and stand up for myself and the music that I wanted to sing I am grateful for this experience although it would have been easier if she was there.
Now we’ll see you hit the stage on February 4th with your song “That’s Rich”. What made you decide to submit an entry for the national final this year?
I feel like this year has been so up and down with regards to securing gigs and getting them cancelled, because of this uncertainty I didn’t want to release my song for it to live and die during a pandemic. I believe in that’s rich so much and I didn’t want to do it an injustice by not giving it the worldwide platform that it deserves. This is the first time in seven years that Ireland has let the public decide and have a say in who goes forward in representing their country, I feel like this will change a lot for Ireland because the people that vote will feel a greater responsibility for the act that they vote for and will follow them the whole way to the final.
And I think it’s definitely gotten a lot of attention since the release day for sure. I also wanted to ask, you’re also one of the song writers for “That’s Rich” alongside Karl Zine who’s worked on your other singles, and Izzy Warner as well. What did the songwriting process look like for this song?
So as it was peak lockdown we obviously wrote the song over zoom, this did not hinder my experience at all as the song flowed so organically. I asked Karl to reference Blondie and 80s music and when we got the chords to work off the words just flew out of my mouth I feel like we had struck a really sweet chord balancing the old 80s elements with the contemporary elements of the modern music world. The really cool thing about writing with Izzy and Karl is that they actually wrote the song in the Eurovision movie with Will Ferrell for the 21st century Viking.
I didn’t know they wrote one of the songs for the Eurovision movie, that’s awesome! So you write the song together and submit it, and then you got the message that your song has been selected for the national final. What was your first reaction? Did you expect that you’d be part of the line-up?
As I said earlier I had nothing to look forward to for a whole year so when I got the news that I had been selected as a finalist I was absolutely over the moon and wanted to scream it at everyone I seen but I had to keep it a secret until RTÉ announced it themselves. When we submitted this song we nearly forgot about it because we didn’t hear back for a few months, and as a musician you are used to rejection. What I did not expect was the love that my song received from other countries, people were so quick to support this song even though they have their own national selection in their own countries.
You’re also from Derry, the same city that the first Irish winner Dana is from. Does that add any pressure to your participation in the selection process?
I don’t necessarily think that being from Derry the same as Dana adds pressure I think it adds excitement as it could mean that luck is in my corner. I would love to meet Dana but don’t want to get ahead of myself before the final on the 4th of February, if I am successful after this date I will make a point of going to her door and knocking at myself LOL.
Well speaking of luck maybe she’ll come to your door when you least expect it – ha! Now if your song is successful in the national selection, you’ll be going off to Eurovision this coming May. Are you a big fan of the contest?
I grew up watching the Eurovision, my earliest memory was from when I was seven years old and Finland won in Athens Greece but the act that one we’re all dressed as monsters and it terrified me to the point where I was watching them with my singers over my eyes! apart from Finland memorable performances in my eyes were euphoria by Loreen and fairytale by Alexander Rybak.I followed the competition my whole life and I feel like a lot of Irish people feel a lot of pride because of how proud we are of our history in the competition. I feel like I can restore peoples faith in Ireland and make us proud this year.
For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?
My music is all over YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and now since my new Twitter reappearance you can find me there as well!!
Alright, one final question for you – is there any message you’d like to share with our readers?
I just want to thank everyone for getting behind me and putting their faith in me to represent our country.
Well Brooke, I want to thank you again for taking some time to speak with me, and we wish you the best of luck in the Irish national final!