After a hugely successful 2021, which saw her pick up the Breakthrough Female prize at the Scottish Music Awards, 21-year-old Brooke Combe has had an impressive 2022 so far. She released her latest single, "Miss Me Now", back in March, has just finished up a tour with Miles Kane and has several festival performances lined up across the summer.
XS Noize caught up with her to talk about artistic influences, the one performer she'd love to share a stage with and what the rest of the year has in store for her.
How would you describe your sound and songwriting style in a few words?
I would say there is a constant thread of soul throughout my music. However, it's something I'm working on all the time, and I'm always trying to develop the tunes to something I'm 100% satisfied with.
Which one band or artist would you say most inspired or encouraged you to make music a career?
An artist that had a big influence on me growing up was Amy Winehouse. I loved that she was a young girl at the time, just following her dreams and writing music, as well as the fact I love her voice.
Last year was a huge year for you, notably because you won the award for Breakthrough Female at the Scottish Music Awards. Did you ever expect to pick up such an accolade?
I didn't expect to win the award at all. It was a massive shock because, like I always say, I'm just getting started. I feel like I'm just beginning my journey, so to pick up an accolade like that this early was a really proud moment for me.
Tell me a little about "Miss Me Now." Where'd the idea and inspiration for it come from?
I wrote "Miss Me Now" last summer after going home with my ex and waking up thinking ", bad idea". I felt like as much as I wanted it to work out, it was bad for me. So that's kind of what it is about. However, it sparked a good song, so you have to just ride the wave and roll with the punches.
What made you think it was the right choice for a single release?
I just felt like I wanted to experiment and release something a little different. It had more of a pop vibe to it, and I wanted to see how people would receive it.
You've just wrapped up a tour as support for Miles Kane. What was that like, and how did you come to find yourself on the road with him?
I've loved every minute of the tour. It was my first one. 16 dates. I was slightly apprehensive about it just given the fact I'd be away from home so much and whatnot, but it's been a great laugh with my band and crew, and I've gained loads of great experiences through it. I'm definitely feeling a lot more confident heading into the summer and into the festival season.
Any favourite memories from the shows?
There was a lot of good memories, but for me, getting up and doing "Nutbush City Limits" with Miles and his band has been unreal. Just a lot of fun, and the guys are all such a laugh to be around. I'm a big fan of Tina Turner, so being able to get up and do a tune like that and hopefully doing it some justice has been great.
Has being able to perform for live audiences again after so long made you want to hit the road on your own? Might we see you announce some headline dates in the near future, and are you on the line-ups for any festivals this summer?
Being on the road this past month as definitely made me want to hit the road on my own. Hopefully, there will be some headline dates by the end of the year. For now, though, I've got some festivals lined up. Glastonbury, TRNSMT, Reading and Leeds. They're all amazing festivals, and I can't wait to be a part of them.
What can fans expect from one of your sets for anyone who hasn't seen you live before?
I think fans can expect some soulful vocals. I really give it my all on stage and try to leave all my emotions out there for people to feel. Fans will also see great musicianship on stage. My band are always on it.
In the past, you've also toured with The Courteeners and The Snuts, but if you could share a stage or a tour with one other band or artist, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
I'd quite like to share a stage with Leon Bridges and do a tune with him. I've always been into his work and the style of his tunes.
Finally, we're fast approaching the halfway point of the year. How has 2022 been for you, personally and professionally, and what do the remaining new months have in store? Are you achieving all you set out to this year, and what's left for you to tick off the 'to-do' list?
2022 has been a good year. I've never felt better, to be honest. I've been away from home quite a lot, so I'm looking forward to spending time with my family. I've been in the studio a fair bit this year, so hopefully, we'll hear another single towards the end of the year and a headline tour.