Post-'Idol,' Brooke White's Got 'High Hopes'
American Idol finalist Brooke White is more than humbled and pleased by the warm reception to her first post-'Idol' album High Hopes & Heartbreak. Though she co-wrote nearly all of the July 21 album's twelve tracks, White says it took plenty of help to bring it to fruition.
"I have this record with my name on it, and it's incredibly personal," White explains. "But it takes a team to make this happen." Producer Dave Cobb, who has worked with Shooter Jennings and Chris Cornell, co-wrote half of the album while Idol judge Randy Jackson chose White to be his first 'Idol' contestant collaboration.
How do you think your experience on season seven of 'American Idol' helped prepare you for a music career?
It's funny because a lot of people that worked on the show had always referred to it as "Star Boot Camp." It was the perfect training grounds for what it's going to be like when you actually go back out into the real world and really try to make your own career out of it. I think the pressure that I went through on 'Idol' and the grueling schedule and expectations all really prepared me for this type of experience. We also did a lot of press and talking with people all the time, and that was a great experience to have because that's what you're really going to do when you get out there. Everything you can imagine about 'Idol' was perfect preparation for what I'm doing now.
What did making the top five on 'Idol' mean to you?
Quite honestly, I never thought that I was a good fit for 'Idol'. I didn't think I was a good enough singer for one, but thankfully they allowed us to incorporate instruments just in my season, and it couldn't have worked out better. I would have never dreamed I would have gone that far. I try to have very low expectations going into something. I just go and try to do my very best, and the fact that I did get to the top five was quite amazing. I feel super grateful that I even got to take the ride. It opened a lot of doors.What was your experience working with Randy Jackson like?
Randy is the most personable guy. During the show, I would have never anticipated that this would [happen] because we don't interact with the judges, but shortly after the show, I ran into Randy at the Guitar Center while I was looking for a keyboard. It's kind of funny how things work out. He spent an hour-and-a-half talking with me, and he was very encouraging about me taking the direction of the singer/songwriter. Months later, at the end of my tour, he and [one of my managers] proposed the idea of working together. I don't know exactly why he did decide to work with me. I can just say that I'm glad that he did.
Are you happy with how your new album turned out?
Yes! When I actually held that hard copy in my hands, and I looked through the book, it had taken me so much time, and I'd wondered while I was doing it, "Is this even worth it? Are people gonna care about this?" This, for me, was a big deal, and I really, truly hope that fans like it and they connect with it. I really wanted to include something very personal, so there you have it.
Do you still see yourself involved with music five or ten years from now?
Music will be a part of my life forever, whatever role that it plays. I sure hope that I'm making music five or ten years from now. Regardless of what happens, I know I will always remain a songwriter. Performing would be great and making records would be amazing. That's definitely my mindset right now. Ultimately, I'd also like to be a mom as well, so music and motherhood somehow combined would be awesome.