Brooke Annibale

11th Annual Adult Contemporary Album
Vox Pop Winner

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Record Label: Self-Released

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Home Base: Pittsburgh, PA / Nashville, TN

Genre: Acoustic Pop-Folk

Category Entered: Adult Contemporary Album

Work Submitted: Silence Worth Breaking

Artists Featured: Brooke Annibale

Label: Self-Released

Who are your influences? That list could go on and on for me but to name just a few: The Swell Season, Coldplay, The Beatles, and singer-songwriters like Brandi Carlile, Elliott Smith, etc.

Describe your nominated work. The album consists of 10 original songs, all written by myself, and recorded in Nashville, TN at The Smoakstack with producer Paul Moak.

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? Everything went so smoothly recording this album, especially considering we recorded it within 3 weeks (5 days a week). However, there were a lot of surprises along the way. For instance, Paul (the producer) wanted to recreate the sound of the demo of the song “Tryin” which had been recorded using my internal microphone on my computer and Garageband. All the band members went into the tracking room, including Paul, and they were all assigned instruments that they had not yet played on the record. It was the last song we recorded for the record and we recorded it entirely live, no click track, and using a vibraphone, organ, tubular bells and upright piano. A few interesting sounds were recorded as overdubs later by the cellist and violinist. I think the tubular bells where the most unusual thing on the record. They can be heard on “Bullseye” and “Tryin.” The “ganjo” or “banjitar” (a banjo with the neck of a guitar) was also a fun addition that I didn’t expect to use.

How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses? I ran a Kickstarter campaign about two months before I started recording and was able to raise enough to start recording the project. That plus some savings I had helped me finish it. It was really exciting to see people’s responses and support of the record before it was even recorded. It’s almost been a full year since it’s release, and I believe it will probably be a little while longer before I’ve fully recouped.

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 11th IMAs? I found the opportunity to submit in time and wanted to give it a shot. I had no idea if I really had a chance or what I’d be up against, but I’m so thrilled and honored to be included amongst the nominees.

What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it? I think you experience little pieces of success at a time and as you grow as an artist you set more goals for yourself and what achieving success means. For me, every time someone that hears my music gets excited about it or relates to it in some way, that’s definitely a big success for me. Isn’t that the purpose of creating music in the first place? There are obviously other goals I have: more touring, playing at great venues, getting songs on TV and in films, but I’ll always have little things along the way that will feel like huge successes and keep me going, and keep me creating more music.

How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals? I definitely think this is a great opportunity for more exposure in the independent music scene, not just on a local or regional level but on an international level. I’m excited for the exposure that just being nominated will produce.

Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique? Well, I think the unique thing about my audience is how I can’t seem to really define them as one type of person or even age group. I meet new people that really enjoy my music and they could be anywhere from or in between a teenager and parents of teenagers. A lot of people ask, “well, what’s your target audience?” and I’m not really sure, because I find more and more often that my audience varies in so many ways.

What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour? Haha, I think my only “guilty pleasure” would be wanting to book hotels that cost more than I’m making that night. Once I was on tour with 3 other singer-songwriters and we got pulled over after a show in Philadelphia, because the driver sort of went through a red light. We had literally only made $4 that night, which was then split between the 4 of us. Fortunately we at least had a free place to stay that night!

Who are your musical heroes & influences? I am personally always inspired by my grandfather, who was a guitarist and was in several bands in his lifetime. He passed away a few years before I took up guitar, but I always remember him during the little milestones of my music career and hope that he would be proud.

I’m influenced in someway by all the music I listen to…whatever stands out to me. I listed a few artists above, but I’m not overwhelmingly influenced by one artist or band. I do listen to a lot of specifically singer-songwriter types, and am always learning something from other writer’s crafts.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why? Oh, there are many but none that immediately come to mind. I think Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” is innovative in so many ways. That’s probably the most recent one.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? Haha, I love this question but I’m not sure there’s anything that’s too surprising. I’ve got a few Lana Del Ray songs on a mix in my car. Besides that there’s nothing very shocking. Bon Iver, The Swell Season, Ingrid Michaelson, Gemma Hayes, Snow Patrol, Lucy Schwartz – any of those surprising?

How do you discover new music? I browse through the iTunes store a lot. I hear about new music from friends, blogs or social networks. I check out NPR’s music section every once in a while to catch up on what they’ve been playing.

Do you buy music or are you content with streaming? I’m really never content with streaming only. Maybe that will happen one day, but if I really like something, I’ve got to own it.

How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free? I’m not sure. I know there will always be real fans of the art that want to support it. It will definitely be difficult but we’ll just have to keep searching for new streams of revenue.

What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today? On a broad scale, I’m not sure audiences know how much time or money goes into making and promoting music. People in my own audience that I talk to are always mentioning things that would be great for my career or wish that I would do, but don’t understand that that may not be within my capacity to accomplish on my own.

Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future? I think there’s a place for all of these forms of releases. I definitely like the idea of doing EPs or singles in between album releases to keep people interested in the music and plan on doing more of this myself.

Finish this sentence: The music industry is…ever-changing.

What do you have in the works for the upcoming year? I’ve been writing a lot and am hoping to get back into the studio sometime soon. We’ll see!

Where fans can find you and your music: