When you hear the phrases 19-year-old and aspiring pop star in the same sentence, the immediate impression is – “studio creation.” Yet while London’s Daniela Brooker has spent her share of time in the studio perfecting her craft and preparing for the release of her first album later this year, she has gotten to this point in her young career with an old school mentality of getting out of her comfort zone and onto the stage.
“I think there’s so much more to being an artist than just being in the studio, and the best way to learn and find what my sound is is to get out there,” said Brooker, whose road treks included a spot on the Hard Rock Café’s 2011’s Pinktober tour, helping introduce herself to United States fans. “And as well as me playing, it’s incredible to see other artists, and the way I’m most inspired is by watching other people and learning from them and being out there, living life, and doing things. It’s definitely more inspiring than being locked up in a studio, for sure.”
The studio work has been impressive so far though, with singles “Breathe,” “Chasing The Waves,” and “Heartbreaker” all revealing Brooker’s potential to make noise in the crowded female pop artist space thanks to not just the teen’s mature beyond her years voice, but a rock edge that sets her apart from her peers. As the daughter of a Venezuelan mother and British father, she also has a unique worldview that’s reflected in her songwriting.
“Growing up and listening to different Latin artists as well as music in English, it influenced me in the way I was brought up and the way I write lyrics,” she said. “I was brought up with a Latin mother, so I definitely have a particular way of viewing life, and I think that comes across in my lyrics, and I can be a bit feisty at times. (Laughs) My music isn’t actually Latin-inspired with the rhythms and stuff like that. It’s more that I write lyrics in Spanish and I like to have very English music, and then putting the Spanish lyrics on top.”
Fluent in Spanish, Brooker clearly has crossover potential as well, something evident during a trip to New York late last year when she met the press between songwriting sessions.
“It’s been very hectic,” she said in the midst of the tour. “It’s been quite an intense few days so far, but I love it.”
She loved it so much that she recently returned to the Big Apple to continue preparing for the release of her album, something she’s taking the time to perfect.
“It’s one of those things where I think your first album that you put out there, you want to get it right,” she said. “I want to make sure the lyrics I’m writing about are perfect and the music and the sound are being pieced all together, so it’s definitely quite daunting, but I’m definitely looking forward to it being finally done.”
Then it will be back on the road for Brooker, who, despite her age, has been at this a while, writing her first song at the age of 12.
“It never really was a decision for me,” she said. “I knew that was always what I wanted to do and I never had to think about it. I know that’s a really blunt answer, but that’s the truth. (Laughs) I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Being at school I had to juggle doing music and that at the same time, but it’s all worked out well so far.”
And her parents are behind her every step of the way, even if, like most parents, they had their reservations early on.
“I’m so lucky that I have a supportive family,” said Brooker. “At the beginning, of course, they thought it was a bit of a hobby, but I was quite an intense and persistent child. (Laughs) I said ‘I’m gonna be a singer no matter what happens,’ so they knew that I was quite determined to do it. They love it, I think they really enjoy the process, and both my parents help in different aspects of the music industry, and it’s helpful to have people around you to guide me and ground me. It all helps.”
All that’s left now is unleashing her album on the world, yet with what may be the biggest year of her life underway, she’s not looking too far ahead.
“I take every day as it comes and I try not to think about too many things,” she said. “I’m getting prepared, rehearsing, and getting into the studio as much as possible so that I’m as ready as can be, and then I’m just enjoying it.”