It’s 10 a.m. on Tuesday and I finally have Brooke Hogan on the phone. Last time I called, she was elbow deep in a can of paint, trying to finish up the walls of her client’s Airbnb before her deadline. The times before that she was in a meeting, on an airplane and dropping a single. Suffice it to say, Ms. Hogan is a busy woman.
With her last name being a heavyweight in the entertainment industry, many assume Brooke has it all and wants for nothing. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In an industry where respect is everything, it’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re viewed as a permanent teenager. And if anyone knows that best, it’s Brooke.
“Just coming from the Hogan family and being on reality shows … I don’t know what path my parents laid before me or what impressions were made,” confides Brooke. “I’ve never actually been able to just soar and do my music. I’ve always had to have a backup job.”
“You have to have a real job when the entertainment business doesn’t work out,” she explains to me.
But Brooke doesn’t have just one job, she has several. Singer, songwriter, dancer, interior designer – she’s even creating her own line of leggings. As varied as it may be, all of her work has one common theme: creation.
“I think for creative people there always needs to be that outlet,” she muses. “I think when you’re creative, you like creating.”
She certainly must, as this woman is positively bursting with creative energy; it’s coming out in every way possible.
An artist is always an artist, no matter who they are or what they’re doing. Brooke is no different. Though we are thousands of miles away, I can feel her passion for creating flow through her as she breathlessly describes the motivation quarantine has inspired.
“I released a song, I’m doing a workout legging line and … well I don’t really tell anybody, but I have an interior design business out of Nashville,” confesses Brooke. “So I’ve just been working on growing that, making things bigger and better there too.”
After being quarantined in Florida, Brooke headed to Nashville to complete work on her interior design project before the tightest of deadlines hit: a hurricane that would leave her without power for days. As I said, it’s pretty hard to get her on the phone.
“I’ve been busy as hell,” she agrees.
While she has many irons in the fire, everything is rooted in music for Brooke. At the end of the day, singing and writing are her true loves – where her passions and ambitions lie.
“I’m 32, I’m trying to find what I really want to focus my energy on. I’m trying to strike a balance where I do the job that makes the money, and I also do the stuff that feeds my soul,” she explains.
Hopefully, she can do both. With her new single Move having dropped just last month, Brooke is working her way toward a full album. An album that showcases her evolution as a woman and a singer. An album that vibes.
She loves how Move turned out. A cover of Milo Greene, the single was produced by Bill Reynolds, a veteran of the industry. He helped Brooke to uncover the sounds she’s been looking for, and she wants more.
“I’ll probably always be considered pop,” Brooke says. “But I love that 80s vibe, the vibe I made in the studio with Bill. I want to work with him on a whole album, because I really dig that sound. I think it’s sexy and mature – it’s a good transition from everything I’ve done.”
Almost like adult contemporary, Brooke’s single gives us something we need: pop, but for grown ups. Something that doesn’t require much thinking, but instead gives you a feeling. A whole mood you can vibe with. A mood that fits our age.
“Music you can drink wine to and chill out to,” Brooke agrees.
If there’s anything we all need right now, it’s music to drink and chill out to. With summer looming uncertain before us, music that inspires nostalgia of better days past and freedoms to come is exactly what Brooke wants to give us.
Despite her famous name and early start, Brooke has never had a solid team behind her. A series of unfortunate events, every time she seems to gain traction, something happens and progress comes to a stop.
Never linked to a major label, Brooke wonders what her career could be if she had a manager to fight for her. While doing it on her own is admirable, it feels like a losing battle, no matter how great her songs are.
“I would be curious to see what my music could do if I had the proper representation,” she says.
With family drama dominating her reputation in the early days, she often wonders if things would have been different if she had never done reality T.V.
“There was just so much convolution with my family, the T.V. show, my parents divorce … all the things that were going on behind the scenes during the time that I felt I didn’t stand a chance,” Brooke says. “Even if I worked as hard as I possibly could, the forces around me were working against me.”
But now, Brooke is older. The dust has settled. What captivated audiences in the early 2000s is much different than what hits the tabloids today. Brooke sees her chance, and she’s taking it. With rumors of an appearance on Dancing With The Stars, and fans curious if she will ever enter a WWE ring for a dream match against, say, Charlotte Flair, this year is all about getting her groove back and feeling the music.
“I’m really interested in what could happen with the right people. I’m ready to make an album,” she confides.
While she works, we’ll wait. If her full album is anything like her last two drops, it’ll be worth it.