EXCLUSIVE STARAFRICA : Brooke Fraser
Interview with Brooke Fraser
Brooke Gabrielle Fraser Ligertwood, better known as Brooke Fraser (born 15 December 1983) is a New Zealand award-winning folk-pop and Christian music artist. Her third studio album Flags has become the most successful album of her career, with the single “Something in the Water” reaching number one on the RIANZ singles chart in 2010
Your third album is “Flags” which includes the song “something in the water”. Can you describe it for us?
“Something in the water” is a happy song but it’s not necessarily indicative of the rest of the album. There are sort of undulations, this album has some dark and light moments, and so I’m very proud of the result
What is your favorite song of the album?
I have two. I think my favorite two songs are completely opposite one from the other. One is “Something in the water” because I have so much fun on stage, and this song has opened so many doors to me around the world. The second one is “crows and locusts”. It’s a very epic song; it’s a journey with these crows and locusts which refer to the incisions and evolutions in life.
You are having a lot of success in Europe. Did you expect this?
When we launched the album last year, and as far as we knew it would come out in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and US; I didn’t even have in my mind that I would have the opportunity to be here (Europe). It seems to be going really well, it’s kind of crazy and unexpected.
I make music because I love it, I love telling stories and I love to make music which I hope brings something good into people’s life. Music is a way to give hope and happiness either you are in NZ or Europe. On a personal level, I think it’s pretty fun to meet new people and to tell my stories
We know that you write and produce your own music. Can you tell us about the creative process? Inspirations?
The creative process is incredibly frustrating and rewarding. I am sure everybody knows what I talk about. There are some days when you feel you grind on a way and try to break through something and at times ideas seem to come so easily. I think this is what makes this process so much fun, because of the variety, I feel like living on the edge. Writing and producing is a journey with a lot of challenging and incredible moments that come together.
You worked with great artists such as David Bowie and John Mayer. Can you tell us more about how was it like to work with them?
Honestly, it is something I would like to do more often; I’ve been an artist for almost ten years now. John Mayer has done highline tours and he is great, but it’s something really special supporting other artists and learning from other people, and come to see what others do. Those experiences in my life have been very limited. David Bowie and John Mayer are the only supports that I’ve ever done. But if you have to do any, those are the ones to do definitely. I was a really young artist when both things happened but it was such an incredible experience and I learnt a lot from them
How can you describe the music you make? Is it pop? Rock? Christian?
I think my music is something between pop and folk but it’s not strictly one of those. It’s not defined in a couple of words
You’ve been compared to Norah Jones, Sarah Bareilles. How do you feel about it?
They are amazing artists but I just sing the songs that I write….
What do you mean with “something in the water?
It’s like an expression, it’s when someone is acting in a weird way. When you’re drinking and acting crazy, you may say “there must be something in the water”.
And the title of the album “flags”?
“Flags” is for me a metaphor, the title describes how I felt during the writing of the album. I was away from the cities and rolled into agricultural paths in America. While passing by abandoned houses and farms, I was trying to figure out people’s life who lived or worked there, what happened to them and why they are not there anymore. Trying to get an idea of each one’s experience on earth, I decided to use the term “flags” to represent every country and culture.
I saw you performing live at la Marroquinerie and you’re great. Are you planning to go on tour soon?
I just finished a huge tour, so please let me not go again (laughs). I’ve been touring for two years. But I’ll be doing more shows next year.
What is the next single of the album?
It will be “Betty”. You can check the video on YouTube, I love this song, but I let you guys enjoy it and tell me what you think (laughs)
Charity work is a big part of your life. You’ve been to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Cambodia to help disadvantaged children. Can you talk to us about the project?
It’s pretty fresh for me because I just came back from Ethiopia three days ago, so I was drawing a picture of the situation. To me this is very important and I think it is one of the reasons why I do this. When I go to Africa I remember why, I love music because it gives me a lot of joy but it gives me also a platform and influence to be able to do something about world wide problems. We can not save the world; I’m not trying to, but at least trying to raise awarness if I have the opportunity. Actually this is a passion for me and I would do it even if I weren’t a musician.
When I launched the album last year in New Zealand and Australia, America and Canada, I asked my audience to give some money on my birthday and we raised 50.000 dollars to build wells in remote places in Africa. Last week, I went back to Africa to see how many wells they have built with the money the audience raised. A final word…
Thanks to all my fans and thanks to Orange’s portal StarAfrica for the support and love. Check Brooke Fraser music on YouTube, Itunes.
Special thanks to Ema Soriano from NY Ent and to Erwan Khatib