Meet the Ohio-based singer-songwriter, Gina Brooklyn! Her musical style combines a multitude of influences that transcend through genres. She began her career at 15 when she co-wrote and recorded a song that led her to becoming a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2017. A year later she was nominated for “Best Pop Song” in the Roundglass Music Awards. Then in 2019, under Ingrooves Music Group, Gina released her single, “Butterfly.”
Throughout Brooklyn’s career, she has performed at multiple prominent venues across the U.S. from The Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, The Hotel Cafe in LA, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and some of the world’s largest music festivals.
Gina’s newest track, “No More Hiding” is the follow-up to her song, “Who Are You Fighting For?” Both of them were co-written and recorded with Dan Epand (formerly of Nico Vega) and mixed by Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons and The Killers).
Connect With Gina Brooklyn Online Here: WEBSITE
Thank you for your time. Given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for you? How have you adjusted to these times? What has changed about your life?
Thank you so much for having me! These times have been very strange, but it’s enabled me to learn a lot more about production and mixing and writing in the best ways possible! Each day is different, it just depends on what I have to do. I’ve been recording and writing a LOT! Like a LOT a lot, LOL! It’s been fun!!
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? Is your city starting to open up more now? What has that been like for you watching that unfold?
Probably not being able to see friends, travel, perform, or thrift. In those ways it’s been rough, but I honestly have no reason to complain- I’ve been with my family, I have a home and food- there are so many reasons to be grateful! It’s been quite an odd year. Things here are opening up slowly with businesses and public places taking the very necessary precautions! It’s been so odd seeing everything like this. “New normal” was a funny and horrifying term in the beginning of this year, but the fact that barely anything has changed is just terrifying. I wish we could go back to normal! I have to remind myself that patience is a virtue, haha!
How have you been able to use social media during these unprecedented times? Are you finding that you use it even more now to stay connected to fans and other musicians? Have you changed the way that you utilize it these days?
It’s been nice being able to connect with people I love- friends, family and fans! I honestly think I’ve used it less just because of how deep into music-making I’ve gotten. I tried out tiktok but wasted so much time aimlessly scrolling. I had to delete it! I was getting nothing done!!!
What has it been like having to reschedule all your shows this year? Are there shows getting scheduled for 2021 that you already looking forward to or you waiting to start making future tour plans?
A bummer! Live performance is my favorite part of being an artist. It’s when I feel like I can love others most- that’s what drives me to do what I do. So far things are kind of at a stand still-however, I have accepted a tentative invite to play at Summerfest in 2021! I’m hoping the event won’t be cancelled in 2021.
Since we are all really missing live music, can you recall a favorite show of yours from the past? What do you think ultimately makes for a great show for you? What has been a favorite show of yours by another artist?
Oooh good question! Probably seeing Greta Van Fleet in Michigan for my 17th birthday. They are just INCREDIBLE. I’m a huge fan of their music- they’re so talented in every single way.
For me, a great show needs a GOOD singer who can sing on key, along with good music behind them- oozing with passion. It can be a good singer with just an acoustic instrument and nothing else but drive and passion, and that would beat out a crappy band with flashy nonsense in a HEARTBEAT! One time after I performed in NYC, there was an unknown artist who was performing in the other part of the building I was playing at. He was wearing a plain outfit, sitting on a VERY small stool, just him and a guitar- and he was one of the most passionate, talented human beings I’ve ever seen in my life. Freestyle blues guitar playing with an incredible voice. I stood in awe and wanted to stay there FOREVER. We had to leave early, but I remember every detail. Passion, talent, and purpose.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since becoming a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2017?
Oh my gosh, so much! I’m constantly changing- growing, learning new things every day- life is just constant change and growth. My music has slowly become everything I’ve wanted it to be! I used to be afraid of putting my voice out there- expressing my wants in production, etc. That’s when I decided to try and make music on my own. I’ve learned SO much. It’s become a fun process: write a song, record it, produce it, mix it, release it, market it, let it do its own thing. My only goal is that when someone listens to a song of mine, they leave it either feeling loved, feeling peaceful/comforted, or in a state of thought and reflection. That’s all I want my music to do!
Let’s talk about your newest single “No More Hiding.” What was the inspiration for this track? How would you say that it compares to your previous song “Who Are You Fighting For” and anything else you have put out before?
“No More Hiding” was inspired by self-reflection and the visual, cinematic aspect of the tv show Breaking Bad. It’s quite different from my other songs, but in a good way! It’s probably the most driving song I have in my catalogue. Many styles of music inspire me, so being able to release a lot songs that sound so different from each other is very fun for me.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full collection of new songs?
I’m releasing a new song on October 9th called “Just Be.” It was written and created during this pandemic in hopes of bringing peace and comfort to everyone who hears it! In terms of collections and EPs and albums, I still have to figure out how to do that in a very cohesive way. I want to release an album at some point- I haven’t actually done that yet! Only EPs and a bunch of different singles. We’ll see what happens next year!
How do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible and absolutely necessary Black Lives Matter movement that the US has been going through? How exactly is it inspiring you and your music?
When music touches hearts and makes people think, my gosh it’s so important. That’s why I genuinely believe we as artists have a RESPONSIBILITY doing what we do, to bring necessary attention to matters of justice and peace! This time has been one of important reflection, taking the time to listen to others who are struggling and hurting due to acts of hate. That’s what we NEED to do- listen to others and love them and be with them as much as we can.
If you could get into the studio with any artist today and collaborate on a new song for you, who would it be and why?
So many! In a recent interview I talked about wanting to work with Finneas, and I stand by that answer! He’s so creative and talented. I would love to pick his brain. So many artists have influenced me and continue to inspire me! Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Mumford and Sons, Adele, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Jewel, Simon and Garfunkel, Dolly Parton– I could go ON and on. Music is such a gift!!
What would your dream music video look like right now?
Oh my, I love this question! I really love the idea of a visual album/EP- visuals add a whole new dimension to music. I think it’d be cool to film something eerie and beautiful at the same time! I’d love to film a music video in California in the mountains or woods or fields. OR in the desert! That’d be super cool.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger musician self something about this industry or how your career was going to progress, what would you say?
I’d tell her not to worry about what other people think so much. I would let her know that this job is much more than a way to get affirmation or compliments. I used to do this for the wrong reasons, and as I’ve gotten older, my mindset has COMPLETELY changed. God has put me here to love others and let them know they are seen and heard and important. I don’t take this responsibility lightly. If I told my younger self that, I’d probably laugh at myself. Thank goodness for growth and change! My identity doesn’t rest in this career like it used to- it only rests in Him, and that’s what enabled my change of heart and mind. Art is truly the greatest gift we’ve been given. I’m so grateful to be in this industry. Art touches people in ways that most things can’t- that’s why it’s so important, as an artist, to use creative expression for GOOD!
Thanks so much for having me! I’ve enjoyed this interview so much. xoxo.