Brooklyn Sheppard, also known as Indie Christian artist BLKGRYWHT, just released her first EP 'Spectrum', and Louder Than The Music chatted with her to find out what inspires her music.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
It’s crazy how I got involved in music. I can definitely say I felt it was a calling from God. I’ve always loved the arts, but I was so shy and self-conscious, I never imagined pursuing performing onstage as a kid. I didn’t even admit I even liked singing until I was 16.
When I was 19, in college, developing a taste for rock, and still finding myself, I heard a friend of mine perform a song he wrote himself. Inspired by him, I developed a knack for lyric writing as an emotional outlet. Having grown up as a kid with poor self-esteem, I decided I wanted to use music to relate to people struggling mentally and emotionally what I felt God was speaking to me. To this day, I feel like the most growth, both mentally and in my walk with Christ came partially through music.
Tell us about your new EP 'Spectrum' and what the inspiration behind it was?
Art has always been a big part of my life, so I wanted to incorporate symbolism using color, not just in my stage name, but in my album names, too. Kind of like a rainbow, I wanted my first album to be a little bit of everything that I stand for, to give audience an idea of what to expect from future releases.
Which is your favorite track on the EP and why?
My favorite is definitely “Irreplaceable”. It’s one of the first songs I wrote that I felt amazing about after I finished it. In a sense, I feel like it encompasses all the things that God, my friends, and my loved ones have taught me about my worth. I think it’s a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I really hope it lifts them up.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
You’ll probably hear many times from me that I struggle with confidence. I won’t try to hide it. But there is strength in being vulnerable, especially with God. Because when you do, if you let him, he can fill the broken spaces in your life in ways you can never imagine.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I’m all about the alternative/hard rock sound. I love the rush that comes with distorted power chords, and a moving story behind the lyrics. And whenever I can, I try to incorporate at least a touch of emo or punk into songs where appropriate.
I think Linkin Park and Weezer were bands I was a fan of even before I knew I loved rock music. As I got older, I got into bands like TwentyonePilots, Foo Fighters, Red, and Skillet. Today, for a bit of inspiration for songwriting, I like listening to some of Tenth Avenue North and Relient K’s throwback albums.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I’d go with Matthew West. He’s the artist that got me into songwriting in the first place, and to this day, I still think he’s an amazing writer. I’d be cool to get behind the mind of someone who sings about his struggles, like I do.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
If I have the chance to lift up just one person struggling emotionally with my music, I’d be happy to serve in any way I can.
What is your favorite album of all time?
I’m always looking for something new to listen to, so I’m not sure I can pick a favorite! But…I guess one album I listen to over and over is Tenth Avenue North, Light Meets the Dark
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Matthew West, Strong Enough. The one that started it all.
What does the next year hold for you?
I’ve already gotten started on the next album. The next will be my first full-length with lots of songs I think you’ll love, so I’m excited about it! But don’t forget the second volume coming out late 2023.