As she begins her music career, Brooke Hogan has multiple options of which she wishes to be known as: the daughter of Hulk Hogan? A worse singer than Paris Hilton? Faker looking than Ashlee Simpson?
It looks to be a tough road ahead. Before setting off on it, however, Brooke sat down with IGN Music to see whether or not this Hogan actually knows best …
IGN Music: Now what about the other guests on the album? It’s a rather eclectic list featuring Nelly Furtado, Beenie Man, Cam’ron.
Brooke Hogan: Yeah, we have some crazy people on there. It’s really amazing ’cause Nelly Furtado wrote one of the songs. Beenie Man’s on there. Paul Wall, of course. Then I have some SoBe artists, the company that I’m signed to. I have some of their artist on there, Stax and Knox. So I have a pretty crazy album. It’s awesome.
IGN Music: I’ve heard the single, “About Us.” Compared to the last song you released, “Everything To Me,” there’s a huge difference.
Brooke Hogan: Yeah, there is.
IGN Music: Specifically in terms of style and what not. What can we expect on the album? Is the overall vibe more like “About Us”, you know with a decidedly more urban flair?
Brooke Hogan: Stuff is gonna be more like “About Us.” “Everything To Me” was a song that I did with the first record label I was with and you know, it was good for me when I was young but now that I’m 18, I love a different style of music now, you know? So I’ve kind of changed paths.
IGN Music: Now if we can go back to that time before you were 18 -and I’m talkin’ way back – it’s my understanding that you started playing piano around the age of five…
Brooke Hogan: Yeah, I started playing piano around the age of five and, you know, I fell in love with music.
IGN Music: Did your mom and dad force you into taking piano lessons?
Brooke Hogan: When I was younger, yes. Because even though I didn’t know I was gonna be into music they were like ‘You need to have a musical background. Our whole family pays piano, so Brooke you need to.’ My grandpa and my grandma play it, it just goes way back in our family.
IGN Music: If you can remember back this far, what was the first song you learned to play on the piano?
Brooke Hogan: It would probably be either “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” or probably … I’m trying to remember what it was called, but it was this Indian drum beat song thing [laughs]. I don’t know!
IGN Music: Did your parents ever make you dress up in fancy clothes and play the piano for house guests?
Brooke Hogan: All the time! And I’d have piano recitals and stuff and every single time I had a recital I’d mess up [laughs]. I’d end up going off and crying. It was good for me, though, ’cause that nervousness I’d have was so addicting. That’s why I love it now.
IGN Music: At what point in time did you yourself realize ‘This is what I want to do for a living’? I know you’ve done a little modeling and a little acting and I can only assume that growing up with Hulk Hogan as your father that there was a little pressure to get in the ring…
Brooke Hogan: There actually wasn’t pressure to get in the ring. I think it would have been totally cool and I could’ve taken everybody in the business, but I just love music and I had to stick with my heart.
IGN Music: So what was the turning point where you said ‘This is what I want to do for a career’?
Brooke Hogan: Well I had been taking piano lessons and singing lessons for so long and I started falling in love with the music. Then I saw other people doing it and making it and I said ‘That’s exactly what I want to do. Oh my God! I have to do this.’ So I slammed the phone book down in front of my parents [laughs] and I said ‘Call somebody, I don’t even care. Call the local modeling agencies or somebody.’ So that’s what we did.
IGN Music: What would you say it is about you that will separate you from the rest of your contemporaries like Lindsay Lohan, Rihanna, Christina Milian, or Hilary Duff?
Brooke Hogan: All of those girls have the good sides to them and they’ve all been very successful in this business. I can only hope for half the success that they have. But I think what’s going to separate me and what’s gonna give me longevity is gonna be that I stay true to my heart and I don’t stray right into the Hollywood thing.
I’m strong headed, I believe in what I believe in. I’m not gonna be the one to be all bulimic and skinny just because people want me to be skinny. And I’m not gonna sing a certain kind of music because people want me to. I’m gonna stay true to me and hope that it works.
IGN Music: Miami has a definite musical vibe. How much of that has rubbed off on you?
Brooke Hogan: Well, I’ve only lived here for about six weeks [laughs], but already I’m falling in love with the city. The influences, the Spanish influences that are here and just the whole mix of life and the energy that’s here is just so addicting and so beautiful and so wonderful. It’s really helped me with my music. It’s given me life. It makes me want to stay up late in the studio and work hard. I just love it here.
IGN Music: How different is it from Tampa?
Brooke Hogan: Tampa was a great place to grow up in, but now that I’m 18, I wanted some life. I didn’t’ want to sit and watch the grass grow my whole life. So I moved to Miami.
IGN Music: I understand that you spent about four months in the studio with Scott Storch working on the album.
Brooke Hogan: Right.
IGN Music: Was that four months of 20 hour days or did you just pop into the studio when you felt inspired?
Brooke Hogan: It was four months of 20 hour days [laughs]. Once I signed with SoBe Music and Scott Storch there was a deadline to get the album out. So we started working and working hard. We just got in there and busted it out.
IGN Music: Some people bang out an album in a week, others take a year or two. Still four months of solid recording is a long time to be locked down in the studio.
Brooke Hogan: It is, but you know in-between I had to film the show and I had to go places and appear, so it wasn’t four months straight, but any break I would have I would go into the studio. So it did turn into 20 hour days because I was filming the TV show and then I’d be in the studio at night. It got real crazy, but I loved it.
IGN Music: Obviously with the Paul Wall collaboration both of you were in the studio together. Were you also in the studio with Nelly Furtado, Beenie Man and Cam’ron or was some of that done over remotely over the phone and the Internet?
Brooke Hogan: Nelly Furtado had written a song and never used it. Scott and I called her up and we were like ‘Listen, Nelly, can we use this song that you wrote? It’s amazing and we love it.’ And she was like ‘Oh yeah, sure. I’m going in a different direction anyway. You can go ahead and take it.’ So we took it [laughs]. Cam’ron, I was in the studio with him. With Beenie Man, I was in the studio with him, too. So most of the duets and working with people happened in the studio together.
IGN Music: Was all of this in Miami or did you float around to other studios in other cities?
Brooke Hogan: It was mostly all at the Hit Factory in Miami. For the last two songs on the album – because Scott Storch did 10 tracks – for the last two I went to New York.
IGN Music: How was it working in New York as versus working in Miami?
Brooke Hogan: I love Miami because it’s my home. Florida’s my home and I’ve grown up in Florida for so long. But going to New York was cool, too, because it was a different vibe.
IGN Music: Will you be going out on the road, you know touring and performing live in support of the album?
Brooke Hogan: Yes, I am gonna tour. Right now I’m hitting all the radio stations in America. Whenever I get a call from them I’ll go and perform for them or get on their station and have them play the song. Touring is gonna happen after the album is released. That’s when the big stage tour [will happen].
IGN Music: Then you’re working on putting together a band and a stage show, eh?
Brooke Hogan: Yeah, we’re already trying to find band members and stuff. It’s getting’ pretty crazy, but I love it!