With her distinct raspy, throaty, warm tones, and lyrics culled from the depths of love, loss, and lessons learned, when Brooke Hatala takes the stage, she doesn't just sing a song; she leaves a mark.
From North Carolina to Nashville and countless stages in between, the 19-year-old, hailed as "one to watch" by WRAL TV and WQDR 94.7, has rubbed shoulders with musical legends while carving out a niche that is all her own. Likened to Sheryl Crowe, Stevie Nicks, with a splash of Bonnie Raitt, Brooke has opened for Willie Nelson, played at Rascal Flatts meet and greet, and on a VIP stage for Keith Urban. Brooke has also played at the legendary Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville. At just 15, she was one of the youngest contestants to make it to the blind auditions on The Voice and has sung the National Anthem at major events like the Women's College World Series Championship games for a crowd of over 13,000 and a Duke Men's basketball game for over 9,000 in the famous Cameron indoor stadium.
But it was a showcase in Nashville when things took off. After the showcase, she connected with Grammy nominated producer Billy Smiley. She soon began writing and recording at iconic studios like The Sound Kitchen, the famous Dark Horse Recording Studio, and The Grip Studio. And then things took a left turn. What seemed to be a promising collaboration with another writer/producer crashed and burned, leaving Brooke adrift, questioning her future, searching for a meaning behind this heart-wrenching dead-end. Soon enough, she found it.
"My mom has always said that setbacks are just set-ups for something greater," says Brooke. Suffice it to say, Mom was right. During those internal wrestling matches with her soul and calling, she unearthed a previously-untapped depth of emotion and grit that captivating art requires.
"It was disappointing at the moment, but that disappointment turned into drive," she says. "I get a no, and I want to prove someone wrong." Mission accomplished. Her EP, Feeling My Way, confirmed that she was no longer just singing songs. She was delivering pieces of her soul, leaving behind an indelible wake of vulnerability and authenticity — the kind that invites the listener not to merely be entertained but to identify their own struggles within the music — to create a community of kindred spirits moving in concert to the soundtrack she meticulously penned while in the shadows of loss. The lyrics she wrote, the vocals she delivered were the offerings she learned to share with others...and even with herself.
"During all of the turmoil, I learned what I deserve and who I need to trust," she says. "It's easy to be naive and not question what I should or shouldn't believe. But I've learned to keep people close to me I trust, not to rush music, not rush anything. I'm learning to go with the flow."
Her hard-won wisdom takes center stage in her most recent single, "The Dash.” Penned by Natalie Hemby, the song embraces the notion that nothing is wasted; life is precious, every step is worth taking, and every heartbreak adds dimension to this canvas we call life.
Lucky for the rest of us, we get to sit back, listen in, and find ourselves within these images of hope her emotive songs and textured, nuanced voice leave behind.
Billy Smiley – (Production / Co-Manager) /
The Sound Kitchen – Studio D
112 Seaboard Lane – Franklin, TN 37067
Larry Pareigis - (Radio / Marketing / Co-Manager)
44 Music Square East, Suite 120 – Nashville, TN 37203
Shawn McSpadden - Red Light Management 1101 McGavock Street, Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37203