If you’re looking for infectious melodies and clever lyrics that combine to form bops sure to get stuck in your head, Brooke Williams’ music is for you. Self-described as “dancey nostalgia,” her music makes you want to get up and dance while reminiscing on all your feelings from your first time falling in love. For all my ladies and gents getting stir crazy during quarantine, throw on one of Williams’ songs (I recommend “Down Easy” or “Art of Pretending”) and dance around your house - you’ll feel better afterward, I guarantee it.
You may have heard Williams’ music before as she’s been featured on popular TV shows, including USA’s Burn Notice, MTV’s Teen Mom, and TV Land’s Younger. Her vocals were also featured on the tracks “Trezzure Me” and “The Knife” in the ‘My Valentine” episode of the Blumhouse and Hulu Original series Into the Dark.
Williams is signed with Arista Records and recently released her first single under the label, “Art of Pretending”. The song was co-written by Willams, Carl Falk, and Albin Nedler, and produced by Falk and Nedler, who have written and produced household names like 5 Seconds of Summer, One Direction, and Demi Lovato. A beautifully produced pop ballad, “Art of Pretending” highlights Williams’ witty lyrics and showcases her vocals. It's a vibe and I’m low-key obsessed with it.
Williams takes inspiration from pop icons like Dolly Parton, Tove Lo, and Sia, and her music reveals the influence of each in subtle ways. Her writing style, nods to the clever lyrics crafted by Sia and Tove Lo, while her vocal phrasing is reminiscent of Dolly Parton. She’s definitely one to watch in the pop genre.
I recently connected with Brooke and talked inspiration behind "Art of Pretending", dream collaborations, and guilty pleasures. Check it out below.
YMM: Your song “Art of Pretending” talks about people faking their way through a relationship that is basically over, what brought this song to life?
BW: Yes! Well, I was going through some new adjustments in my life and getting into a semi-new relationship. I felt like I was going along with certain things that I wasn’t sure about and pretending like I was okay with it. I woke up with all these anxious thoughts around 4 am one night and wrote a poem about those feelings - I titled it “Art of Pretending”. Shortly after, I went to Stockholm to work with some incredible producers and wrote this song with them.
YMM: Where do you draw inspiration from for your music? Is it inspired by life experience, observation, or does it change from day-to-day?
BW: It’s definitely inspired by life experience. Like with “Art of Pretending”, “Adrenaline” and “Nightmare”, they’re all about specific people and experiences I was having at the times I started writing them. Sometimes I’ll let certain feelings, thoughts, or emotions marinate for a while until they just feel ready to flood out.
A lot of times, also, a really random thought will inspire a song. Like if I’m just walking or driving and I’m being dramatic lol and I think “ugh when can I cry?” (Or something like that), I’ll be like... “hm, that could be a cool title”...and I’ll usually sing a melody with those lyrics into my phone or take it to a writing session and flesh it out with some friends.
YMM: A lot of songwriters and performers have rituals before they start a writing session or take the stage. Do you have any, if so, what are they?
BW: My ritual before a show is feeling super nervous and forgetting to eat most of the day before I play haha Once I’m on stage though, those nerves are my BFF and I just feel super excited. For sessions, I’d say it’s always an ongoing preparation because I’m always writing throughout almost every day, little titles or line ideas or melodies. I’ll usually pick two or three of those concepts on my drive to a session so I’ve got something to throw out there if need be when we start.
YMM: If you could choose three people to write with, who would they be and why?
BW: Sia, Labrinth, Dolly Parton, or Tove Lo! I’d choose those songwriters/artists/creators because they’re so incredibly talented and I know I’d learn so much from each of them if I ever had the opportunity to be in a room with any of them. I just think that they’re each so intelligent and creative in their own way and I just feel such a connection to them. I’d also say Lana Del Rey for the same reasons. She’s such a great lyricist!
YMM: If you could collaborate with any band/artist/songwriter who would it be and why?
BW: Omg there’s so many haha! Eminem would be a dream come true, Sia, Emmy Lou Harris, Swae Lee, Miranda Lambert! I love Miranda so so much, Charlie Puth. There are so many things I love about each of these artists and to be a part of any collaboration with them would be insane.
YMM: Who have you been listening to lately? Any new artists we should check out?
BW: I’ve been loving Ingrid Andress. Her songs are so well written and I feel like she really gets me when I listen to them. I’ve also been listening to a lot of older music like No Doubt, Aqua, OG Dolly (of course), I also love Noah Cyrus so I jam her music often as well.
YMM: Do you have any guilty pleasure songs or bands that give you a bit of shuffle shame?
BW: I’d say Aqua definitely falls under one of my guilty pleasure bands. Their songs are just so fun and there’s such intelligent humor written into them. Maybe I should do a cover soon now that I think of it haha they’re so awesome. I also love their visuals.
YMM: How has your music been impacted by COVID? Has anything changed for you?
BW: As a musical creative, I feel really lucky because being in quarantine has pushed me to learn how to do things I’ve been meaning to do for a while like Final Cut, more production on Logic, and writing more on my own again. I’ve been making more YouTube videos and going live on Instagram, which I always had a tinge of fear of doing. My mom is also really happy because I’ve quit spending half my money on Uber Eats so I’ve been learning actual recipes, haha. When I was going to writing sessions almost every day, I never took the time to do that much before.
YMM: What’s next for you? Do you have anything in the pipeline that you can tell us about?
BW: I do! I have a feature coming out with Tritonal soon which I’m so so excited about. I wrote that song with a couple of friends and I really love it. I also have a single (hopefully a bunch) coming soon but the song choice is still a bit up in the air. Fingers crossed I get to announce that soon!
Fans of Tove Lo, Maty Noyes, Bea Miller, and MØ, Brooke Williams is the next artist you should be adding to your playlists. Check out her new music video for "Art of Pretending" below and follow her on Instagram for the latest updates. Sending good vibes out to you all, keep on dancin'. x