Brooke Henzell’s Musical Evolution in an International Journey

The epitome of art would be a world in which the artist is allowed to create and speak from their perspective without the public or the industry attempting to impose a label on that artist. Caloundra, Queensland, Australia native Brooke Henzell is contributing greatly to the advancement of this without purposefully taking up this flag. She’s a modern artist who openly seeks out deviation from any formulaic approach to her music; it’s this course which continues to bring new fans to Henzell’s work. From appearances in her home country on major events such as Chanel 7’s Televised Christmas Carols (which averages nearly ¼ of the television viewership in Australia), as the lead singer of the band M Factor, or her performances in New York, Brooke’s enchanting vocals and songs have made her an international sensation while also confirming that she is a deep writer.

Photo: Julie Henzell

NYC based music producer, composer, engineer, and media artist Luc Bokor-Smith worked with Brooke on her most recent offering “Abbey Park” and the upcoming full release. Their collaboration announces Henzell’s determination to discover new aspects of her music and her talent. From David Bowie to Madonna, Beyoncé to Dylan, the tenacity to challenge one’s own artistic style and evolve is what fuels the most enduring and impactful musical artists. Working with Bokor-Smith as a producer has steered Brooke into new areas for her as Henzell remarks, “I was aware of Luc’s media art, so I knew beforehand how much attention he pays to detail. I think that’s where I can lose focus and become impatient. Because of this, it was very healthy to collaborate with someone who could zoom in on the frame like that. He’s also a very creative problem solver.” Streaming on all global major streaming platforms alongside internet and terrestrial radio, “Abbey Park” has been overwhelmingly embraced as confirmed by its achieving #14 on the Triple J Unearthed indie charts as well as breaking into the top 10 on ReverbNation’s main chart. Producer Luc Bokor-Smith attests to the magnitude of this Australian talent referring to Henzell as “a super talented songwriter. Brooke is a dream collaborator.”

Photo: Lizzie Dingle

Fans of Brooke’s previous hit release Stained Glass Heart will note the marked difference between this record and “Abbey Park” but will find that her endearing voice is the unifying thread which lures them in. While Stained Glass Heart announced Henzell’s prominent talent by utilizing the bareness of only vocals and piano, “Abbey Park” provides more instrumentation as well as evidence that a few years of international exposure has provided growth material lyrically and sonically. Australia’s Triple J radio, an offshoot of ABC, hosted Brooke’s work in their online catalogue. Along with Henzell’s music, Triple J has featured that of artists like Childish Gambino (multiple Grammy Award Winner), the Deftones (Grammy Award Winner), The Weekend (Grammy, Juno, AMA Award Winner), Tame Impala (NME, ARIA, and Brit Award Winner), and a variety of the most eclectic and talented artists. It’s noteworthy that all of these artist, while exceptionally talented, are also male. We find ourselves in an era in which women seem to be receiving some long overdue accolades. For example, Billie Eilish became the first woman to take all four major categories in one night (album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best new artist) at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. Conceding that she is garnering a lot of attention these days for her music, Henzell affirms, “Women have always been just as creative or inspired as men. We see more women finding broader critical acclaim and/or financial success as musicians now because those before us fought against the systematic oppression of women in general and those discriminatory practices particular to the music industry. There is hope to be found in progress made. But I am quite young and yet already I have, numerous times, been denied opportunities on the basis of my gender. So if I were to be an optimist, I would say this is not the height of it for women. We can do better for the next generation. Hopefully I can be a part of that.”

Photo: Lizzie Dingle

Written by Patrick Wilson

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