Urban Popp had the pleasure of speaking with the lovely and talented, Broadway rocker, Brooke Moriber. Brooke, known for her acting and vocal chops, is a New York native who puts her heart and soul into her career. The singer-songwriter is currently working on her EP, and took some time out of her busy schedule to give us a peek into her life, and talk about her new projects.
Urban Popp: What originally drew you into music and acting?
BM: “I am very lucky to be a native New Yorker. I grew up in Greenwich Village, which is known for its artistic community and I was always surrounded by music. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to sing. My parents were into the arts as well, and they would often share a new album with me that they liked. I thought it was the coolest thing to have music captured forever on a recording; I always wanted to be on one. One night they brought home the soundtrack to Les Miserables, and when I heard the little girl on the recording singing Castle On A Cloud, I begged my parents to let me audition and that ended up being my first role on Broadway!”
Urban Popp: What was it like working with Cyndi Lauper, Alan Cumming and Ana Gasteyer in The Threepenny Opera?
BM: “I could barely talk when I first met Cyndi! She was such an idol of mine growing up. She is incredibly humble and sweet. It’s always a treat to meet someone who is an idol of yours and then to be treated by them as an equal. Cyndi especially loved my grandma-we were incredibly close and I took her to all of the parties. Cyndi would always say “That’s some Gramma you’ve got!” Alan is awesome. He is such a brilliant actor. It just comes so easily to him. I actually saw him a few weeks before Cabaret closed at “Club Cumming”—a party he throws in his dressing room every night after the show (he’s sponsored by Compari so he has a bar in his dressing room not to mention a disco ball). He has so much energy and he is as generous of a person as he is as an actor. Ana is incredibly supportive of the actor’s around her. She is focused, funny, and a fierce performer. She takes her work very seriously and I think that is why she is such a genius comedienne. We all had a lot of fun on and off stage together.”
Urban Popp: Is there an artist you’d love to share the stage with in the future?
BM: “Eddie Vedder. Though, my own “pop” music is far from 90’s grunge, I am a huge Pearl Jam fan and I think he is incredibly talented. The way he completely throws himself in to his music is inspiring. I even do a cover of Yellow Ledbetter with my band every now and then.”
Urban Popp: What is your dream role?
BM: “I always wanted to play Eponine in Les Mis. I ended up getting the role for the national tour but, at the same time, I booked a role in a show called the Education Of Randy Newman. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with the legendary composer this show was about. Randy has written countless hits including “When She Loved Me” (from A Toy’s Story) and “Rain Today”. I had the honor of singing both in the show.”
Urban Popp: Do you have a warm-up routine before shows?
BM: “I try to vocalize every morning when I get up and then I am warmed up for the rest of the day. I also do yoga breathing to calm my nerves right before I go on stage.”
Urban Popp: Do you prefer the intimacy of a studio or the adrenaline rush of the theater when it comes to singing?
BM: “It’s difficult to say I enjoy one more than the other. I love the endorphin rush you get from performing live and the feeling of love and support you get from the fans. Then again, I feel like it’s Christmas morning when I get up to go to the studio and start working on a new song. The creative process in the studio is so much fun. Especially getting to hear your own songs start to come to life when you are working with gifted producers.”
Urban Popp: Where do you find your inspiration to write songs?
BM: “One of the great things about writing is that you can always take a bad situation and turn it in to a good thing by writing a song about it! Then you become thankful that so and so broke up with you, or that such and such happened to you, because you wouldn’t have found the inspiration for your new song without it! Not to say that happy things don’t inspire me as well, but most music tends to come from a sense of struggle from the writer’s point of view. I have definitely found myself crying over my keyboard after a horrible day waiting for something to turn in to a song. Sleep, unfortunately, inspires me as well. I often wake up in the middle of the night with a song idea in my head and force myself awake so I can record it before I forget it in the morning. I value my sleep A LOT so this can be very annoying, but I ended up coming up with the chorus for the first song I recorded for my EP, “Dangerous Love,” in a dream so I’m glad I forced myself awake!”
Urban Popp: Any specific musical influences that helped you record?
BM: “Sia, Sara Bareilles, and Katy Perry have been inspirational to me as women in the pop music world. They are all extremely talented and handle themselves beautifully. In the past, I tended to write a little more rock than pop but, when I first met with my producers, they asked me what I wanted from this EP and I told them ‘I want to get my music on top 40 radio.’ So, I have been listening to Today’s Hits on Pandora every day since I started writing for the EP! My favorite singer of all time is Linda Ronstadt. My mom played me her music when I was a kid and I have been in awe of her voice ever since. Her voice is exquisitely beautiful and she is an inspiration to me no matter what style of music I am singing.”
Urban Poppt: What can we see from you in 2016?
BM: “A Grammy?…haha…just putting that out there! I will be in the studio recording for the rest of the album; gigging a lot with my awesome band members Mason Ingram, Patrick Firth, Tony Novarro, and Ethan Rosenblatt. I’ll also be shooting a video for “Fire”and releasing the EP. Fans should sign up to the mailing list on my website for updates (some cool free downloads and stuff coming up soon).”
Urban Popp: If you could dine with any two actors or musical artists-dead or alive-who would they be and why?
BM: “Eddie Vedder and Linda Ronstadt: my two idols. Linda, especially, because I know she is bravely battling through Parkinsons disease nowadays. I just want to hug her and thank her for being one of the reasons why I love to sing.”
Urban Popp: Is there any advice you’d like to share with aspiring actors and/or singers?
BM: “Love what you do and share what you love. It is not a competition. We are all individuals with gifts to share that are uniquely ours. You can’t put a value on that. There will be a lot of doors slamming in your face in this business, but if you are confident in your ability and love what you do, just keep on doing it no matter what!”
For more information and Brooke’s upcoming events you can visit www.brookemoriber.com.