13.5 Brooke Singer: She Does Music / by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

Brooke Singer is the songwriter, vocalist and pianist of French for Rabbits, a New Zealand based dream-folk band, along with guitarist, John Fitzgerald. Brooke says songwriting is a life-long passion. She started writing songs as a child; sitting at the piano and coming up with her own tunes. She was six years old when she wrote her first song. It was a ditty about her cat who died. French for Rabbits may be best known for their songs about the sea. Brooke said their home country, New Zealand, influences their work greatly. In addition to be inspired by nature, Brooke also is inspired by real events in her life. French for Rabbits is working on their new EP now. Special thanks to Lefse Records for connecting us with Brooke.


How does being from New Zealand Influence your work? I didn't realize it until I left, but New Zealand is quite isolated. It's not until you get on a plane and you're on that plane for 24 hours to get somewhere else that you realize how far it away it is from Europe and America. Where we're living is a small settlement in a harbor. There are still big forests here and it's just alot more wild than other countries. I think nature is a big aspect to our music. I have always lived by the sea so it tends to creep into my lyrics even if I try to avoid it. 

Where do you go to spark creativity? For me, creativity comes from a few different sources. It could be reading a book, or just going out in nature, or watching people and experiencing things. I do like mining. I like taking a situation that has happened to me and turning it into a song. I do that quite a lot. I like bad things to happen occasionally so I can write a really good song. 

What advice would you have for aspiring musicians? You have to have confidence in your ideas and go with it. You don't know what will come out of an idea before you follow it through. You have to have a passion for music. It doesn't have to be a career, it can be something that you do in your bedroom or play tiny shows to your friends. You have to take it where you want to take it, and that's all. 

What would you say to someone who is "waiting for the right moment" to make their first album? In New Zealand, people just kind of 'do it.' They just make it happen, regardless of the gear that you have. I think limitations are a good thing. It changes your process in a way that could make it better. I don't have every piece of equipment that I would like to have, but that's probably a good thing. I can't go too wild. I think people should just start and see what happens.


LISTEN: Bandcamp

PURCHASE: French For Rabbits Website

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