Many people have aspirations to break into show business and see their careers take off. For Gina Brooklyn, her years of hard work are paying off.
In 2020, the 20-year-old pop singer-songwriter submitted her single “No More Hiding” to a global, online music contest called Djooky Music Awards. Brooklyn won the first annual contest of Djooky, which was co-founded by Brian Malouf, who has produced music for renowned talent such as Michael Jackson, Madonna and Queen.
As the Djooky winner, Brooklyn received a one-week trip to Los Angeles to write and record with Malouf. The trip was delayed for the Ohio native due to COVID-19, but Brooklyn finally flew out to the city to create her demo last month. She co-wrote two songs with her arranger, Kim Bullard, who has produced for many acts including Elton John. Brooklyn also wrote songs with Jesse Munsat, mentee of producers John Ryan and Julian Bunetta. Both have produced and written for One Direction, John Legend, Maroon 5 and Charlie Puth.
“Selfish Air,” Brooklyn’s latest single, defines her overall dark and avant-pop sound, though her earlier tracks are eclectic in style. Her vocals are reminiscent of Lorde and Lana Del Rey.
“I’m inspired by all kinds of music, and I love all genres of music,” Brooklyn said. “It’s hard to put myself in a category I think. I’m inspired by a lot of things stylistically, and it probably shows in my own music.”
Brooklyn’s interest in music came from her musical and Catholic upbringing. She believes it was God’s desire for her to be in the music industry.
“I want to be that vessel of love and peace,” Brooklyn said. “My calling is to do it through music. I do music because I care about people and want them to come to know the Creator. Living to serve is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing in general.”
Brooklyn initially set out to be an actress, as well as a musical artist. She took the California High School Proficiency Examination, a test for actors to work on sets without having a teacher and passed the test to finish school early. From there, she began entering many music competitions without much success.
Brooklyn released her self-titled extended play (EP) in 2016, which included her American Tracks Music Awards-winning song “Faceless.” “Beauty All Around,” another track off the EP, was nominated for “Best Pop Song” at the 2018 RoundGlass Music Awards in New York City.
The following year, Brooklyn landed a two-year publishing and global distribution deal with Ingrooves Music Group. The label was later acquired by Universal Music Group.
Most of the music has since been taken down from streaming platforms since she “didn’t really think it fit who I am now.”
In March 2019, Brooklyn uploaded her first self-produced track, “Butterfly,” to YouTube. Since then, she has amassed 7,000 subscribers on the platform.
“It’s so funny to be able to look back at where I was musically compared to now,” Brooklyn said. “And I think it’s probably fun for people who have been following me since then, too. We’re constantly growing and changing each day, and I look back at yesterday and I can see the things I learned that whole day and apply it now. Being able to witness that from an outside perspective must be really cool.”
Brooklyn said she also notices her own growth and evolution.
“For me personally, I think I have become more comfortable with myself and more confident in what I am doing,” Brooklyn said. “Because of that, I am not as worried or afraid to express myself in the way that I wish to. I think a lot of people hold back due to respectability or fear, and it’s not always the best thing to do artistically.”
She said she doesn’t know where she’ll be in the next year or even the next few months because “not a lot of things are set in stone.”
Her initial plan was to release a five-song EP, but since working on music in Los Angeles, many new opportunities have come her way.
Brooklyn said she would like to be offered a contract for her demo but doesn’t know anything for sure.
In the future, Brooklyn would like to tour, build her fanbase and write and produce for other people.
According to the singer, her faith helps her wait to see what the future holds. She said she trusts that God will put her where she needs to be. And for that reason, she doesn’t like setting goals.
Brooklyn said she will allow God to guide the next steps of her career.
Gina’s latest single “Selfish Air” is streaming now on her Youtube Channel. A trailer of her trip will be released Wednesday at 8 a.m. CST.