Music

“I don’t need words when silence speaks louder.” Our Exclusive Interview with Country Phenom Brooke Eden

Smart, sassy and taking country music by storm.

When eighteen year old Brooke Eden appeared on American Idol in 2008, every fan of the most infamous show in the United States watched mystified. “I kissed a pig.” the girl giggled. “Then, I milked a cow and got kicked by her.” This young lady had beach-blonde hair, an incredible figure, and a lil’ valley-girl lilt. If that wasn’t already enough for viewers to pass judgement, obnoxiously cliché parade music began to play. Although the infamous show’s “judge-a-book-by-its-cover” formula sure brought the ratings, (twenty-eight million viewers that night alone), it did a despicable job at accurately portraying the real woman that is Brooke Eden.

There are two types of people in this world: those who roll up their sleeves, and those who turn up their noses.

A rising star with talent, intelligence, and unmatchable work ethic, Brooke Eden has proven to be much, much more than the inaccurate stereotype depicted on Idol, and is most certainly not, “the most annoying person I’ve ever met” as stated by the ever-snarky Mr. Simon Cowell. Brooke Eden is a woman who knows how to rock a plaid shirt, swagger ripped shorts, and adorn mermaid-like blonde hair. She knows how to play the guitar, write hit songs, and belt out signature, country-twanged slides like there’s no tomorrow.

Most importantly however, Brooke Eden’s got major smarts, (both book and street), and she’s currently using them to prosper in the world of country music. Brooke grew up in a modest home with a Dad who played the drums in his own country band. “By the time I was six, I was singing in the honky tonks,” Brooke laughs.

When discussing how far she’s come since her younger years, Brooke is still in awe. “I go on FaceBook, and the FaceBook memory thing pops up, and I’m like, ‘Look! There I am on this small stage having written like twelve songs, and now I’m performing *fill in the blank*!’”

And Brooke has no reason not to be totally awestruck. Just weeks ago, she attended the ACM’s and adorned rhinestone-encrusted pants on the celebrity red carpet; a feat that wouldn’t have even been on her bucket list a few years ago. “It’s just amazing to look back at where I came from versus where I am now.” Brooke says modestly. “I’m so grateful.”

brooke eden

During her high school years, Brooke began to formulate a plan as to what she would do during her college years. “In high school, I was involved with everything . I was in chorus, I was the president of my class,” Brooke reminisces. “And my high school was so cliquey, but I was like this little butterfly just floating around from group to group.” Yup. Brooke Eden, the girl with what Billboard says has “a dash of attitude”, was the little butterfly.

Once college came into the picture, Brooke made the quick decision to attend the University of Florida. “I had done a lot of classical training [in music] in high school, and knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, I decided to study in another industry.” Brooke ended up majoring in business, and cites this as an extremely relevant subject for artists in Nashville. “I think people can see from the beginning who can be messed with.” Brooke says frankly. “And I was like, ‘that’s not happening to me’.”

After her years of university life, Brooke began following the advice of one of her biggest hit-singles and “workin’ to the bone, to the bone, to the bone…” Performing five nights a week in Florida and then flying to Nashville every two weeks to write songs, Brooke relentlessly pushed herself like this for two and a half years, until finally gaining recognition by none other than Red Bow Records, a record company owned by BBR Music Group, (Jason Aldean, Craig Campbell). “They saw me performing onstage with Sugarland, and asked me to come in and play for the president of the company. Two weeks later, they’d signed me.”

Although this might sound like the Cinderella story, Brooke is realistic when discussing the so-called endgame of getting signed. “The record deal is the easy part. You get to that step, you’re excited for a day, and then you’re like okaaaaaaay …” Luckily for Brooke, that okaaaaaaay ended up like a Matthew McConaughey worthy alriiight alriiight alriiight.

With over sixteen million listens on Spotify alone, Brooke is dominating in the digital world of country music, and will now be totally rocking the spring/summer 2017 festival season with concerts everywhere from New York to California. She might not be having a lot of those weekend nights out with her girls like depicted in her original song, “Diamonds”, but she is definitely “American Dreamin’”, so perhaps it balances out.

Now, I know you wanna hear about Brooke’s most recent single, so here’s the synopsis. “Act Like You Don’t” is beautiful, touching, and vulnerable. It delicately depicts the tragedy that comes with two people loving one another, but being incompatible. “The song came from a text message,” Brooke says. “ I sent it to my [ex]boyfriend saying, ‘If you ever loved me and still do, I need you to act like you don’t.’” Now, with over ten million listens on Spotify alone, “Act Like You Don’t” has become Brooke’s biggest hit.

When I probe Brooke about the guy she wrote the song about, and his reaction to the song’s success, Brooke laughs. “The beauty of living in Nashville is that everyone knows you’re a songwriter,” she says. “If someone is in a relationship with you, they know they’re gonna be in a song,”

If someone is in a relationship with you, they know they’re gonna be in a song

Recording and touring aside, Brooke Eden may be business savvy, but lives a pretty normal life. She’s got a city apartment, hangs with her friends, and is in a committed relationship. Actually, no, Brooke has definitely reached the ultimate in relationships and has found a soul mate. Step aside boys, ‘cause Brooke Eden is in love with the most precious pup in the world, Dolly (namesake Dolly Parton, naturally) and is dedicated to sharing their fun stories with the world.

“I name all my dogs after country singers.” Brooke says matter-of-factly. “It all started with my first dog who I named Shania.” A social media star herself, her adorably furry doggy has now amassed thousands of likes on Instagram. “I met Dolly Parton [the country singer] about two years ago,” Brooke explains, “and she was so sweet, but like such a bad-ass. And then I met Dolly,” she stops to clarify. “I’m talking about my dog Dolly.” Brooke says this to avoid some potential confusion. “And then she chose me. Like, my dog literally chose me. She was so sassy and so sweet, and I fell in love with her. That’s when I knew she was a Dolly.”

As our fascinating interview draws to a close, I rapidly ask Brooke about the future, (she has a scheduled meet-and-greet, and I can hear the crowds starting to form). Brooke however doesn’t mind taking a little more time to dish. “Well, we just recorded the official music video for “Act Like You Don’t” two days ago, so that is on the way!” she says excitedly. After this thrilling reveal, Brooke is forced to sign off, but the moment she’s gone, I think about how much this little conversation will stick with me.

I am still in complete awe of how a woman who was publicly mocked on one of America’s most infamous shows, is now on her way to becoming a superstar. Talk about making lemonade with some real sour lemons. Brooke not only used her unfortunate scenario to fuel her passion and talents in music, but also earned a degree in Business, keeping ripoffs from ever screwing her over again.

Quite frankly, Brooke is a role model for women, (and men), of all ages, and what I hope you Metiza girls take away from Brooke’s inspiring story is that a lil’ public humiliation can sometimes strengthen a person’s resolve, rather than destroying their foundation. In Brooke’s own wise words, “I can cry all night, lose sleep, feeling sorry for myself…but I don’t need words when silence speaks louder.”

Hannah Richardson is a sixteen-year-old, Pennsylvanian...