Sleeper Artist: Holly Brook

6 08 2007

by maddness

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The idea that a contemporary female vocalist’s career would get the boost it needed from an appearance on a Top 40 Hip Hop track is a bit awkward.

Do not look further than Dido, for proof that this happens once in a while. Dido, already a big star in the UK, did not receive recognition in the United States until appearing with Eminem on the track “Stan”, which featured a sample from her track “Thank You”. Immediately following the ride on Eminem’s tailwind of success, Dido’s albums climbed to the top and virtually every radio station feature the original version of “Thank You”. Fast forward a few years later, when Mike Shonoda of Linkin Park fame decided to attack a solo hip-hop project, the rap duo Fort Minor. Produced by Jay-Z, the album boasted success, led by it’s second single, “Where’d You Go?”. You guessed it; the track featured the smooth, soft pipes of Holly Brook on the chorus.

Brook did not receive the instant pub Dido got, but her appearance on the Fort Minor album at least creates a link to mainstream America. Shonoda claims to be a big fan of Holly’s solo work too, going as far to include probably her best track “Wanted” on his Celebrity Playlist. “Wanted” can be soothing and motivating at the same time, something that separates Brook from the American Idol type of female vocalists. The listener can easily tell there is substance and meaning to her music, and it can go with pretty much anything.

“Curious” is another track off her self titled release Holly Brook, that may not grab your attention right away. The lead in is Brook alone, with one beat in the background. A fan of heavier music might be inclined to turn to the next song, but give it a minute and guaranteed you will be singing “I’m Soooo Damn Curious”. This is an artist that you will hear once and add to your “Chill” mixes as soon as possible.

Holly Brook definitely has the look of a star as well, and it is just a matter of time before we see a spread in Maxim. The missing link that would propell her into stardom is a mystery, as most people could still not tell you who Brook is. Maybe that missing link is time, and a few months down the road we will hear a full sample of the “Where’d You Go” track that will force even hip hop fans to go buy the album. It can happen…just look at an Eminem fan’s music collection. Chances are you will find a Dido CD in between the Marshall Mathers LP and The Slim Shady LP. Holly Brook should be in there too.

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