At just 15 years old, Gina Brooklyn wrote and sang a song that led her to being one of the finalists at The John Lennon song-writing competition in 2017. Three years later, she did it again at the Djooky Music Awards. Apart from this time, she won, beating off competition from 55 different countries with her song No More Hiding. Along with her distinctive and mesmerizing vocals, Gina has the ability to write songs that hypnotise the listener, sending them into a world surrounded by embracing melodies and powerful lyrics. We caught up with this summer’s Djooky Music Award’s winner to talk about what the whole experience has been like for her.
How would you summarise yourself in one sentence?
A passionate singer/songwriter on a mission to bring true love and peace to all who listen to my music.
Tell us about your music?
Most of the songs I’ve released so far were actually created on my own in my basement studio, except for “Who Are You Fighting For?” and “No More Hiding”! I really enjoy the freedom that comes with doing things on my own, but I also love collaborating! There’s joy in both aspects of creation.
You are from the US. What is life looking like there right now?
To be quite honest, it’s a little scary! Due to everything going on with Covid-19, it’s been very strange. I rarely go out with anyone & my family and I have been on lockdown for the past few months! Thankfully, this time has allowed me to write more songs, work on my production & mixing skills, fiddle around with my instruments, etc. Overall, we’ve managed to make 2020 quite alright!
You’ve just recently won the Djooky Music Award! A massive well done to you! What will this mean for your career?
Thank you so much! It’s an incredible honour and I’m so excited for what’s to come. The whole Djooky team is so wonderful and I’m excited to be working with them! They have given me the opportunity to work with and meet successful people in this industry. I’m filled with immense gratitude!
How did you get involved in the competition?
I actually found out about the competition through a Billboard article and signed up immediately!
What was it like competing against people from all over the world?
I think it’s so wonderful that this was a global competition- there are so many wonderful artists outside of the US that joined and I’m so grateful to have competed alongside them.
What do you think it was about your track No More Hiding that stood out?
It’s a very cinematic piece, full of passion and heart. I think the production is quite powerful and unique- my producer & co-writer Dan did such a wonderful job! The message is very close to my heart and I think the fans & judges could feel that throughout the whole song.
What is the track about?
In a sense, it’s about redemption. Recognizing your biggest faults, holding yourself accountable, and doing your best to be better and move on. That’s the message I tried to portray through this song.
Who has influenced you in your sound?
So many incredible artists! My mom & dad being one of them- they were both in a band together and I grew up listening to their music. I also grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, multiple hard rock bands. [Also,] Johnny Cash, Mumford and Sons, Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, Adele, Lorde and so many more. I love all genres of music and try to implement sounds from all styles in all of my songs.
You started your music career at 15. What was it like being in a world like that at such a young age?
When I was younger, I genuinely believed I was meant to do this. It sounds corny haha, but it’s true! I didn’t take it as seriously as I do now- I was quite naive. In a lot of ways, I only cared about compliments, success, and affirmation from others. I looked at this as my only identity. In a sense I do believe this career is my calling, but for so many different reasons than I used to. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve looked at this career as more of a gift and a HUGE responsibility. Kind of like, I see myself as a pencil in the hand of God, here on this Earth to make music for his greater glory, to show his love and goodness and beauty to every person who listens to my music. That’s why I do what I do.
So many people feel alone and lost, hopeless and sad. I do this so they can feel heard, seen, and loved. That is my greatest desire- to show as much love and truth through my music as I possibly can.
You have a really unique and amazing voice and style of singing. Is this something that just came naturally to you? Or did you make a conscious decision to go your own way?
Funny you asked this! I actually had to teach myself how to sing. I was NOT gifted in that department. When I was 5, I told my Mom I wanted to be a singer, so I sang a song for her, and after I was done she told me I was TERRIBLE- which was TRUE! Thankfully, my parents aren’t the kind to beat around the bush. They are bold and truthful in the best of ways. It was this “hard-to-hear” comment that motivated me to be better, so I practiced singing
ALL day long, every day, for YEARS. I had a fiery passion for it, and here I am today! Somehow through the mess of it all, it came to be.
What advice can you give to aspiring artists?
Enjoy every step you take in your career. It’s such a gift to hope and to dream, and I think so many artists get easily discouraged (I’ve been there!). Enjoy every moment. Be as present as you possibly can- practice gratitude! And most of all, NEVER GIVE UP! CONTINUOUSLY DREAM BIG AND WORK HARD! :)
What can we expect from you in the future?
I actually have a new song coming out on October 9th, called “Just Be”! It was created in the beginning of quarantine as a friendly reminder to be present, to be grateful, and to know that everything’s gonna be okay.
I love all of you so much! Thanks, Guestlist, for having me!
Check out the artist's Twitter and Website
The Djooky Music Awards (DMA),the first global online song contest, is now accepting applications from Artists and Songwriters all over the world for the autumn season. The deadline for entries is until Nov 23rd, 23:59:59 GMT. Full details on how to enter are available via djookyawards.com.