This September I attended a small festival in the woods near Lewes, only 200 people, it was friendly, intimate and packed with quality music. One of the highlights for me was listening to Brooke Sharkey sing her own songs, with a voice that just drew you in, warm, sensuous and amazing. Her band were excellent too, the guitar player, who told me afterwards that this was only the second gig they'd done together was very gifted, his lines really supported Brooke's voice and lyrics (sorry I can't remember your name!). Don't just take my word for it, listen to Brooke here (http://brookesharkey.co.uk/).
In was so impressed I bought her ep on the spot. Brooke Sharkey is a serious talent and a gifted performer. I had to ask her for an interview and she graciously accepted. Grace is a good word to describe Brooke, recently the Observer wrote: Brooke Sharkey has an incredible voice, control and grace. (http://brookesharkey.co.uk/)
Brooke is from London but spent her teenage years in France. Her father, when she returned, suggested she go out and busk, and she did. You can hear what a skilled guitar player she is on the videos below, she has as they say in jazz parlance: chops. I am impressed with the ease she moves from Chanson to acoustic folk to swirling gypsy jazz, and it works as a whole.
How did you get started?
I moved back to England when I was 16 and my dad bought me a guitar. I was already into songwriting at that point, the Guitar was a great tool. I was playing pub gigs with him around Norfolk and Busking at lunch breaks for some pocket money. When I finished 6th form, everyone seems to be going to some uni or other, and I nearly got roped into it all. My dad suggested I carry on busking and so I did. Activity breeds more activity and I've been rolling on ever since. writing, singing, playing
What inspires you?
.A good song. A good person. Hard work. A nice place.
Who are your influences?
Llasa de Sela, John Prine, Joanna Newsom, Edith Piaf, The Moulettes, Adam Beattie and the Consultants, Louisa Jones, Feist, Billie Holiday , Madeleine Peyroux, Nick Mulvey, Tom Waits, Dirty three, and a good few more..
Which comes first lyric or tune?
Melody most of all. Sometimes the other way round but not so often.
What advice would you give to someone starting off?
Be true to yourself. Keep focused but don't forget to enjoy yourself. Be disappointed but use it to strengthen you. Entrust people but don't entirely rely on them. Its obvious this one but I wished people reminded me of it all the time ' things come in waves, good and bad, inspiration, failures, happiness..'
What would you have done differently?
Absolutely nothing :)
Whats in the pipeline?
More gigs, more music and maybe an EP but shhhhh..
If you were a colour what colour would you be and why?