Most teenage girls can only dream of hearing one of their own songs played on the radio. But 18-year-old Daniela Brooker is living the dream, after a self-penned track, ‘Turn It Up’ was picked up by the Chris Evans Breakfast Show.
Not only that, she’s supporting The Saturdays on their UK Arena tour in December and completed a promo tour of the US this Summer where she was interviewed by Cosmogirl, Out Magazine and Latina. Daniela also performed at a special showcase for breaking artists at the NY Chapter of The GRAMMY Foundation at the invitation of the executive team and was also interviewed live on CNN Espanol.
The hugely talented singer has successfully managed to juggle studying for her A-levels with a relentless schedule of song writing, recording and performing live. Now her hard work has paid off, with Daniela building a solid fan base as well as attracting rave reviews… not bad going for someone who’s just left school.
Working with acclaimed producer Louis Read (Mary J Blige and The Noisettes), plus Paul Garred from The Kooks and Rob Harris from Jamiroquai, she has put together an enviable collection of killer pop songs perfectly showcasing her incredible versatility. From the rock-influenced ‘Heart Locked’, to perfect summer pop tune ‘Turn It Up’, via country inspired ‘Superwoman’, Daniela is clearly blessed with a rich, mesmerising voice capable of both restraint and heart-stopping intensity, and has already been favourably compared to Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas.
While most little girls want to be princesses when they grow up, Daniela has only ever wanted to become a successful recording artist. Born in the summer of 1993 to her British father and Venezuelan mother, music has always been a part of family life, from the Rat Pack to Queen and Beyonce to The Beatles. Her earliest memory is of performing on stage (albeit while dressed as a giant strawberry) and she soon progressed to every local amateur show and production going. “I used to go singing, dancing and acting every night until 11pm, with my mum constantly telling me I needed to focus on school,” Daniela says. “Even then, though, I went to a school specialising in sport and I’m really not sporty, so I’d spend every PE class hiding and performing with my friends.”
At the age of 12, obsessed with Christina Aguilera and the Spice Girls (“I used to think I was Ginger Spice… I just loved everything glossy and a bit camp”) Daniela had her first taste of the pop star lifestyle when she was lucky enough to find herself in a local studio, recording three cover songs. “We’d been on a family holiday and I couldn’t stop crying about a boy I’d met and left behind. The only thing my dad could think of to cheer me up was treating me to one of those experiences where you make your own CD,” she explains. “Of course, I not only forgot about my holiday boyfriend immediately, but I also knew I was right about wanting to be a recording artist.”
But it wasn’t until a chance conversation which led to Daniela being introduced to ex-Warner Music A&R man, Ed Lewis. Once he’d heard her sing, he was hooked, and Daniela started preparing to take her career to the next level, with Lewis as her manager.
In just a few short years since then, she has focused on developing her sound, with the help of some unlikely influences. “I’m a big rock ‘n’ roll fan and went to see AC/DC last year, but I also love old singers like Etta James, as well as pop icons like Beyonce. My dream, though, would be to duet with Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler. I totally love him.”
Clearly more aware than most teens that success and longevity rarely come handed on a gilded platter, Daniela has also been working like crazy to get essential experience and exposure. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far in life is that practice makes perfect,” she explains. “Some people get quite lazy in writing and performing, but I think you’re only has good as your last show.” Consequently, she’s put together an awesome live set full of Latin fire, and seeing her perform has been described as like, “Watching either Christina Aguilera or even Shakira.” Daniela admits, “I put so much effort into it that my bones literally ache by the end of a show. I give everything and just hope people have a good time.”
But even the thrill of performing couldn’t be matched by the feeling she experienced on hearing her new single, ‘Turn It Up’, played on the UK’s most popular radio show. “Mum was listening to Radio 2 and came running up the stairs to my bedroom to tell me it was on the Chris Evans show,” she grins. “I couldn’t believe it, it was just amazing and unreal to realise that was me.”
‘Turn It Up’, released in May, is a perfect, mid-tempo pop track; 100 percent feel good, with ‘hot summer hit’ written all over it…. an ideal showcase for Daniela’s playful yet deep, husky tones. “I kept writing songs about boys, but then I thought, This is so clichéd to keep on about this stuff, and I don’t want to preach to people cos I’m only 17, so I decided to write this instead,” she says. “It’s about being in your car with the roof down, forgetting your worries, enjoying yourself and not taking life too seriously.” If kids in every corner of the country don’t find themselves singing along with huge, dopey grins on their faces, then they’ve clearly got cheese stuffed in their ears.
With school out for summer and, in fact, over for good (“I’ve gone a bit rebellious but I’m just trying to hold it together for the last couple of months”), Daniela is looking forward to much greater things than revision schedules and exams. “I love writing music, and I really want to get my album released. But the biggest thing for me would be to go on tour as performing live is what I enjoy most. I’ve been playing all around London with my band, but taking it to the next level as a support act would be a dream.” And, thankfully for Daniela, it seems dreams can and do come true.
POP SENSATION DANIELA BROOKER TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE
Title: ‘Forget About Yesterday’
Artist: Daniela Brooker
Remix by: Curts.
Release date: Monday 13th Feb 2012.
Hot off the back of her current UK Arena tour supporting The Saturdays, up and coming pop sensation Daniela Brooker is set to release her self-penned single ‘Forget about Yesterday’ on Feb 13th 2012.
2011 has been an incredible year for the 18 year old school girl, who was fresh out of Sixth Form College only this summer. She has already received rave reviews in both the teen and music press and has played gigs across the length and breadth of the UK and most major cities in the US. Daniela embarked on a Hard Rock Cafe tour this summer in the US, playing to audiences in their thousands and winning over more fans with her catchy and irrepressible pop sensibility.
We expect 2012 to be an even bigger year for her with more singles and her debut album to follow.
WHAT THE PRESS HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT DANIELA:
“One to watch” – Digital Spy
“A young woman not afraid to bare her soul” – Music Week
“If you’ve had enough of cheesy pop and hearing acts sing about kittens and bubblegum them we reckon you’ll love Daniela Brooker.” – Sugarscape
“The essence and vocal of Joss Stone but with the polished styling of Girls Aloud” – Liverpool-Live
“With a voice like that, what’s not to like?” Chris Evans Breakfast Show
“A young woman not afraid to bare her soul” Music Week
“Definitely one to watch” Hit Sheet
“Charismatic, talented, powerful” The London Insider
“You’ll love Daniela Brooker” sugarscape.com
“Pop’s most exciting new face” Top Of The Pops Magazine