By MIKE CHAIKEN
Before country singer Brooke Eden was even in kindergarten, her future seemed to be written in stone.
Brooke, who is coming to the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on March 3, said she went to see a live performance of the musical “Annie” when she was 4 years old.
When she came home, Brooke said she began singing all of the songs.
Her father, who was a musician, took immediate notice, said Brooke in a phone call interview from Nashville. Not only was he amazed at her singing, but he told her mom, “She’s singing on key.”
She got serious about it shortly there after. Her grandfather, who she adored, said he would come to visit if she learned two karaoke songs for him.
“My poppie was my heart,” said Brooke. So she took the offer seriously.
“I remember when the cassette came,” said Brooke. “I went in my room for three hours.”
When she was finished, Brooke said she called her grandfather and sang for him. He was amazed, and he kept his promise. He came to visit.
She kept learning songs from that point. At age 5, she said her dad started to get sick of her singing around the house. So, Brooke said, her father asked her if she wanted to sing with his band. And she did.
There was no turning back from there.
Now, years later, Brooke has a new EP, “Welcome to the Weekend,” is headlining at the Wolf Den, and has opened for the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Sugarland, and Alan Jackson.
Starting at such a young age, said Brooke, helped her overcome any fear she could possibly have on stage.
“I never get nervous. Singing is like breathing,” said Brooke. “It’s second nature.”
“I did it before I was afraid of anything,” said Brooke.
Starting at a young age also mean Brooke learned how to be an entertainer as well as a singer.
“If the crowd isn’t excited,” said Brooke, “I will fight to get them excited.”
Brooke started singing country from the get-go with her dad’s band. And she said she was never tempted to veer from that genre.
“I grew up in Florida,” said Brooke. “People don’t think of it as a country place but everyone listens to country music.”
“I didn’t know what pop music was until I was 14, 15 because I loved country so much,” said Brooke.
Country music also was a better fit for Brooke musically.
Brooke is a singer.
When she was younger, Brooke explained most of the pop singers weren’t really singers. They were dancers who could sing somewhat.
“I fell in love with Shania Twain,” said Brooke. “Shania was in-between with her pop influenced country music. It was fun to listen to it and sing.”
Currently, Brooke is touring behind an EP that provides an introduction of who she is as an artist. “There’s a little rock, a little R&B, and a lot of country.”
Brooke is especially proud of the second single off the effort, “Act Like You Don’t.” She said the song works as an anthem of empowerment for women and men. (She said her songs are not gender specific.)
“Act Like You Don’t” also carries personal significance for Brooke. She said prior to the song’s creation, she had just gone through a break-up with someone and it looked as if it would finally be the last time they broke up.
Brooke said she and this person had an on-and-off-and-on-again relationship. She said it was one of those relationships where you know it’s not going to go anywhere, but you still love one another. And you’re so used to sharing the good news and bad news with that person, it hurts because now you’re not supposed to talk to them.
“Everyone’s been there,” said Brooke and all of her co-writers on the song had been there.
The song tries to tell the listeners, they’re not alone in going through this, said Brooke.
“It helped me get through my breakup,” said Brooke of the song, “I hope it helps others.”
For this tour, Brooke will be headlining rather than warming up for someone else. “It’s exciting and a bit nerve-racking,” said Brooke of the opportunity.
As she steps onto stage, Brooke said she won’t know if has anybody has heard of her before.
But, she said, she is hopeful.
Spotify has been supportive of her, with 6 million streams so far, said Brooke. Also, terrestrial radio stations have been adding “Act Like You Don’t” to their playlists as well. This should set the stage for a receptive audience when she arrives at the Wolf Den.
As for plans for a full-length follow-up to the EP, Brooke said she has recorded 14 songs thus far. But she said she’s finding that “my music is going in a cool new direction.” So, she’s still writing songs to see where it takes her. She said she’s not sure when the full-length will come.
“When the songs are in place,” said Brooke. “That’s when I’ll really focus on getting an album out.”
Brooke Eden performs at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den in Uncasville on Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. For more information, go to MoheganSun.com and BrookeEden.com