Brooke Waggoner began playing piano at the age of 4. She began experimenting with song structures and melodies at the age of 9 and wrote her first original song at 10. Now, at the age of 23, Brooke has a college degree in Music Composition & Orchestration and recently released her own EP entitled "Fresh Pair of Eyes". Her musical journey is as interesting as her future is bright.
With no conscious thought or decision made to ever go into the "music business," Brooke, a Louisiana native, entered Louisiana State University in 2002 to pursue a higher level of music education. There was never any question as she notes, "Music was just going to be my future. The question everyone has of 'What am I going to do in life?' never really crossed my mind. I always knew music was it." Her intent was to study orchestration and hopefully one day have a career in scoring films, soundtracks and musicals. However, it was in college where her musical interests broadened immensely.
Brooke's exposure to live performances while in school opened up a whole new world for her. She notes, "I was sheltered musically growing up. Seeing different styles of music live was like two worlds coming together for me. After going to my first punk rock show, it clicked. That was the moment where I realized I did want to perform and have an emotional connection with an audience." Brooke forced herself to attend more live shows to gain the confidence to perform her own music live. "I had stage fright and I made myself go to shows to see bands, whether I liked the music or not, to help me gain the confidence in being able to do it myself," she describes. Her decision to soak up as much live music as she could left her poised to go and do it on her own.
After graduating in May of 2006, Brooke left for Nashville. Stylistically, she was the farthest thing from the stereotypical "import" into the home of country music. "Why go, you're not country?" many asked. Humbly, yet with an acutely aware perspective, Brooke answers that question with "So what?" She goes on, "Nashville felt like a great next step. It's such a musical city, and there's so much great live music all around that it just made sense to me."
Brooke takes the same natural and logical approach to letting her music stand on its own and not forcing anything to be different for the sake of being different. "Let it be, and let it become whatever it can potentially be," is Brooke's opinion on creating music, as well as performing. To see her performance at the piano and witness her string arrangements come to life on stage often leaves audiences silent in amazement.
The girl-at-the-piano has been seen and done. This isn't Brooke. Less than twenty seconds into "Hush If You Must", the first track on her EP "Fresh Pair of Eyes", it is clear that Brooke is miles beyond just being a girl at a piano. She wrote and orchestrated all of the string arrangements found on her EP. One doesn't need to look any further than "Wonder-Dummied" and "My Legionnaire" to hear the scope of Brooke's talents in orchestration and songwriting. "I am Mine" exhibits her diverse and simplistic, yet powerful capabilities and an incredible sense of melody.
Brooke's musical influences can be found throughout her music and arrangements. Citing Chopin as her most influential classical composer, she also includes Simon & Garfunkel, ELO, as well as Roger & Hammerstein musicals, as strong influences. "Chopin is incredibly influential. His melodies can be really soft, but he delivers them in such a powerful way. I love his stuff, but at the same time an ELO song could have just as much of an impact on me in the way they utilize orchestral elements and combine them with catchy, rock melodies," she notes.
With these powerful capabilities and talents as a musician, writer and composer, comes a humbled and genuine person of character. Brooke's personality is one of sincerity. It's this sincerity, emotion and character that comes together and spills over into her music.
Press about Brooke:
" My Legionnaire - Its bridges are braggadocios and classy. Its sultriness is becoming. In the quick ascent of piano and violin the song climaxes with a grand pop sound that limits itself to what the band can play together. It is the musicianship here that gleams; the production and craft in its shadow. Were I to see and hear Waggoner coo live I might swoon..."
- Stereo Subversion
"Brooke Waggoner unleashes a farrago of Southern gothic charm with Cat Power-meets-Rachmaninov explosions of power on her piano. Songs such as 'My Legionnaire' are laced-collar tales of sweaty-fingered impropriety in tool sheds that have got a lot more to do with Mrs. Dalloway than Dolly Parton."
- NME Magazine
"...Waggoner's melodies uplift and carry you away with a youthful strength tendered by lush vocals and delicate instrumentation."
- American Songwriter Magazine
"Combining swooping strings and awe-inspiring piano runs, Waggoner conjures old-school artistry while creating her own sound."
- BMI Press
"...She has become most known locally for her "how'd-she-do-that?" one-woman show, where, with symphony level skill and technical innovation, she summons a stunning world of sound and song from her keyboard."
- Nashville Scene
"...it may be her chops that propel this six-song EP and provide it with many of its ear-catching moments -- ornate, swooping strings (arranged by Waggoner) and meticulous piano runs -- but what's really impressive about Waggoner's work is its untrained beauty, which is often lacking in many other classically trained singer-songwriters..."
- Nashville Rage