MEET THE BAND: Gina Brooklyn (vocals, piano, guitar, ukulele, and cajon)
AN EARLY BLOOMER: Brooklyn, who grew up in Wadsworth, a town she says is more oriented toward sports than music, started singing when she was only 5 years old. Her parents played in a local band and regularly exposed her to new music. "I grew up with music," she says. "Once I heard my mom sing, I wanted to be a singer too. My whole family is musical." She started writing her own songs when she was 13. By the time she was 15, Brooklyn had recorded at well-known studios such as Studio City Studios in Los Angeles, 515 Studios in Nashville and Lava Room Recording Studios here in Cleveland. She plays a bit of everything — piano, guitar, ukulele and cajon. When multi-platinum producer and artist developer Kevin DeClue heard some of her demos, he signed her to a development deal and started to find opportunities for her to write with other artists. So far, she has co-written a song with songwriting legends Mike Shimshack and Stephanie Lewis who have sold over 40 million albums combined. "It was fun to work with them," says Brooklyn. "I had never co-written with anyone before so I went to Grammy camp a few weeks before I went to Nashville to work them. After that, it was easier."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HER: ginabrooklyn.com
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HER: Her husky vocals on tunes such as the Alessia Cara-like "Faceless" and the gentle piano ballad "Supposed to Be" make her sound much older than she is.
"People tell me I sound older than I am because my voice is much deeper than what you'd expect," she says. "The way I sing is much different than other 16-year-olds." The EP features both new and old tunes. "Some of the songs have been around for a while," she says, adding that she wrote "Beauty All Around" when she was in seventh grade. "I recorded some of them in studios and some in my house. I enjoyed the process. It was fun to do." Brooklyn says her goal is to get a publishing deal and then get signed to a label, but at the moment, she just wants to perform as much as she can.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HER: Gina Brooklyn performs at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at Brothers Lounge.