Season 7 Idol Brooke White has been busy! Between recording a song with Randy Jackson for The Jensen Project, (a made for TV movie that aired on NBC a few weeks ago) performing at various charity gigs, and working on her web project, The Girls With Glasses Show, she barely has time to stop!
But she took a break for me, on Friday, for an exclusive interview. Check out my exclusive interview with her, plus a trailer for the movie The Jensen Project, after the jump.
The Jensen Project CD and DVD are now available in a bundle exclusively at Walmart stores.
- Listen to “Take It Away” HERE.
How did ‘Take it Away’ become part of The Jensen Project? “Randy Jackson got involved with “Return to Family Movie Night” with NBC, Walmart and Procter & Gamble. He became the music supervisor for these movies. He called me one day and said, ‘Hey, there’s this song that I remember you playing for me’—I sat down at the piano and played this song called “Change” and he said ‘I want to record that for the soundtrack for these TV movies that I’m doing.’ We did that, and they decided to make it a single [for the first movie, “Secrets of the Mountain”]. I didn’t write the song ever thinking it would be a single. It’s a very personal song to me. When it came time for The Jensen Project, I got another call from Randy, and he said ‘Hey, I’m doing another soundtrack, I was thinking maybe “Take it Away” would fit perfectly with the vibe.’ We went in the studio and recorded it, and now it’s on the soundtrack.”
About “Take it Away”, “Take it Away” is on My iTunes acoustic EP. It’s raw—piano guitar. It was actually in the writing session [when] we recorded it and I ended up putting it on my EP. The version that we recorded [for The Jensen Project] is an entirely new arrangement, and a much bigger, fuller production–completely different vibe, but the same tune.”
Has she seen The Jensen Project? “Right before it came out, I had seen clips of it, but the actual day, I was not in town. I just got myself a copy of it, and I’m planning to watch it. I just gave my family a copy–they’re really excited. I’ve been to eight different places since July 4, so I’ve hardly been home this summer.”
What’s she been up to this summer? “I’ve been up to so many different things. Between promoting the singles, I’ve been doing radio shows, and press. I’ve been to New York twice within a week and a half– In the middle of the big heat wave back east. It was insane! I did some shooting for my little internet web project called “Girls with Glasses” which has been really cool. And I’m working on new material. I’ve been writing every single day this week and getting ready to make another record.”
When will her next record be released? “I couldn’t tell you right now as as far as a date is concerned. But it’s my focus at the moment to start getting the songs together. That’s really such an important part—crafting great songs. It’s all about the songs. I’ve written 4 this week, and I have a whole ‘nother week ahead of going in and doing some co-writing, which is always an interesting experience. “
Who is she co-writing with? “I’m co-writing with a lot of different people. It’s somebody different every single day–most being people I haven’t written with. But in a way, it’s kind of like a blind musical date where you don’t know the person, or what their style is. You go in, and it’s “Tell me your life story”—because you need to know something about the person and they need to know something about you. Sometimes I’ll come in with an idea that’s half-way there and sometimes I’ll come in with just a completely open mind and we start from scratch, sometimes they’ll have an incredible idea…that I’m like ‘wow that really strikes a chord with me’ and we move forward with that idea. I really do enjoy co-writing. Collaborating is great. I think it’s made me a better writer.”
She was mostly writing on her own before Idol, “I think I had a huge fear of writing with other people. It was scary for me. I had done some of it. But it was more like finishing touches. I think there’s a fear of sharing your ideas, your thoughts. Is it stupid? Is it good? And for that very reason, I think co-writing is good, because sometimes you get so stuck in your head—at least I do. I overanalyze myself. Sometimes you miss out on great ideas that otherwise somebody could have said ‘Hey, that’s a great idea, you need to go with that.’ Or, ‘I think you should move forward with something else.’ I think it’s really helped me in that aspect. Post-Idol has been where I’ve actually opened to co-writing and I think I actually prefer it now. Although writing by myself—if I get a great, great idea—I’ll do that as well.”
Is she taking her music in a different direction on the new album? Will it have a different sound than the first album? “That’s a great question! I would like to think that I’m not going to follow it up with a Ke$ha kind of a record. Obviously I’m not going in some crazy direction. I think what you hope as an artist is that you’re constantly growing and progressing. That you’re getting better, that you learn a little bit more and maybe you add or you take away. I feel like it’s gonna be a natural progression of what I’ve done so far. Is it going to be exactly the same? I’m not sure. I can anticipate that it might be slightly different, but it won’t be like ‘Who is this?’ It won’t leave people scratching their heads. ‘That doesn’t sound like Brooke at all’. I can’t imagine doing that.”
Will she be touring? “Not anytime soon. The truth is, I’m always doing gigs. I’m doing them all over the place, all the time. But I’m not on “a tour”. Because I’m now focusing on a new record–but I’m always doing random gigs. That’s another thing that I’ve spent a lot of time doing—just tons of charity gigs. It’s tough, because there are so many that you want to be a part of, and you just can’t do all of them. So, unfortunately, you have to turn down some of them, but I try to do as much as I can.”
On Brooke’s “The Girls With Glasses Show” project, “It’s been a really fun project– a really organic process. Summer my friend–she’s an editor for Eliza magazine. We came up with this idea one day. We [met for] breakfast and we were both wearing glasses (laughs). We wear glasses half the time—and we decided that it would be kind of fun to do this project. We were both so busy with our own occupations, that it’s been kind of tricky trying to find time to put things together. But, it’s been so fun and we’ve been working with such creative, great people. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.”
On The Girls With Glasses interview with songwriter Jason Reeves, “I wish more people knew who he was. He needs more exposure because he’s incredible. He’s Colbie Caillat’s full time co-writer. They write everything together from “Bubbly” to that entire record and songs off her new record. He’s just all over the place. I really admire—just who he is as a person and his incredible knack for writing.”
On what it was like to sing “If I Can Dream” with Justin Gaston on American Idol, “It was a crazy experience because when [Idol] called me, it was one of those things where you’re given a set of conditions—OK, you’re going to sing with this guy, you’re going to sing this Elvis tune, and you need to turn it into a great duet. It’s not like going up there and singing something that you wrote. It’s that cover situation where you’ve got to make that cover really work and you’ve got to make it work as a duet. I think we both went in there a little nervous—like how are we going to do this? And then it was a great experience. But, it’s hard to feel pretty standing next to him (laughs). He’s a really humble, nice guy. Any opportunity to go back on Idol is really amazing. I’ve been so fortunate. They’ve let me comeback two years in a row after being on the show. It’s a really huge opportunity and it’s always wonderful to go back because it’s like a family reunion. The people that work on the show—I love them.”
On being part of the Idol reunion/Simon tribute, “Simon was in a particularly good mood that night. He isn’t always (laughs). It was really good to see him, and I was also hosting the TV Guide Idol finale with Justin Guarini. We ended up co-hosting on the Red Carpet, and that was really fun. We got to interview Simon, Randy and Kara—we didn’t get to see Ellen. [Simon] seemed like he was happy to celebrate one last night with Idol and happy to be moving forward. To be on stage doing that last big number—it was really great to be a part of.”
On hanging with the Idols backstage and intra-season friendships, “People love it! And even if we come off of different seasons, there is a camaraderie that is so instant when we get together. I think because we’ve all been through that experience and we understand how crazy it is. I think there’s this instant connection that we all have. There’s always a bittersweet feeling to go back to Idol, because there was so much anxiety involved with being on the show. But at the same time, you’re amongst friends and you make great relationships with people. I think there’s that mixture of like ‘ooh’. You get this little bit of anxiety or rush, but then you see people and it’s comforting.”
Where to find The Jensen Project, “‘Take it Away’ for The Jensen Project and ‘Change’ for Secrets of the Mountain can both be found on the soundtracks that are sold exclusively at Walmart. And you get a bundle-the movie and the CD.
Last thoughts, I always want to thank people for sticking by me, for listening to my music, for supporting me as an artist. It’s not easy to go out there and make it happen. But because I have great fans, it just keeps me going. I just want to say thanks to the fans and let them know that I sincerely love their guts!”
Jensen Project Trailer