british singer-songwriter Joe brooks is having a splash with his latest eP,
British singer-songwriter Joe Brooks is an independent artiste in every sense of the word. From teaching himself how to play the guitar to building a solid online reputation as a thriving force of music, the budding 24-year-old has wrought every step on his path towards fame.
his venture into music began after he heard Australian singer Derrin Nauendorf perform at his hometown (southampton) in 2003. it left such an impression on him that he went home, determined to master the guitar. Before long, the aspiring young musician was making waves on Myspace with his tender self-composed numbers.
true to his mellow but optimistic nature, much of Brooks’ music reverberates with deep, hopeful longing. his pensive single, Superman, on which he reveals his boyish fantasies of wanting to be the hero to win the girl of his dreams proves to be one of his most popular hits to date. Superman was so popular on Myspace it generated one million plays in just eight days of its release last year.
the young musician, who has since played sold-out venues across Britain and the United states, has been called the next John Mayer. indeed, with his soothing, buttery vocals and laidback charisma, it isn’t hard to see why.
he hasn’t let the attention get to his head, though. in contrast with Mayer’s flirty, ostentatious nature, Brooks sounded positively calm and congenial throughout a recent phone interview from Los Angeles, his new home.
“Even at 16, i knew it was going to be difficult but i didn’t quite anticipate just how hard i would have to work. And i worked my socks off,” the singer recounts his musical journey.
that said, he has got to be one of the tersest people i have spoken to. though charming, Brooks is careful and direly concise, offering only staccato replies that end as suddenly as they begin. Clearly, he reserves his poetic license solely for his music. he keeps it tothe-point even as he shares his crazy experiences while on tour.
“i travelled across 35 states in America in a tiny sedan with three grown men and a drum-kit. it was so packed, we literally could not fit another CD in the car while we’re in it and i was sitting right at the back!” he recalls his two-month trip with a laugh.
“But i also had some of the most incredible nights of my life when i performed and i would do it all over again in two seconds.”
he hints he could be making an imminent visit to our shores. he has had a taste of the Asian festival crowd with a show at the incheon Pentaport rock 2011 Festival in south Korea in August.
“i could be performing in Malaysia at the end of the year. Chances are looking really good, so far…,” he reveals.
For now, he is having a splash with his latest EP, A Reason To Swim. he describes the six-songs record as a mish-mash of different elements.
“it has lots of different sounds – from ballads to light-hearted acoustic numbers to crazy, psychedelic beats,” he says. “i like the variety because i don’t want to be pinned down to any one genre.”
he finds his muses in legendary musicians Cat stevens and ray Charles. But he says his biggest influence is none other than his dad. “he is a huge inspiration. he’s also my best friend,” Brooks proclaims.
A chance meeting with a stranger also yielded a serendipitous moment for the wideeyed singer.
“i met a homeless guy at the back of a restaurant one night and he was telling me his life’s story. it struck me there and then that, ‘hey man, everybody has a reason to swim.’ that’s how the title of my EP came about.”
Holes Inside, the first single off the album is already on a steady rotation on local airwaves.
“it sends a message about staying strong, even as your dreams and faith collide,” the singer says. n Joe Brook’s AReasontoSwim is distributed by Sony Music Malaysia.