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Brooke Eden: ‘Daddy’s Money’ Really Is My Life

Brooke Eden interview 2016
Photo by Joseph Llanes, courtesy of BBR Music Group

Brooke Eden wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. The Florida native makes that point loud and clear in her new single, “Daddy’s Money,” written by Kallie North and Jessy Wilson about Eden’s rags-to-almost-riches story.

“They’re in the Muddy Magnolias, and they wrote “Daddy’s Money” about my life,” Eden tells The Boot. I guess they thought my life was a little crazy. Kallie lived with me, so she knows everything about my life, where I come from and how I got here. My dad is a carpenter by day and a drummer in a country band by night. I literally grew up in country bars, singing with my dad’s band, and she always thought it was so funny.”

When she first moved to Nashville, Eden returned to her hometown in Florida two weeks out of each month to perform five nights a week, four hours each night, which was a shock to North.

“I remember, I was getting ready to leave to go back to Florida, and Kallie and I were driving around Nashville, and she was like, ‘I hate when you leave! Why do you always have to go to Florida and visit your family?’” Eden recalls. “I said, ‘Girl, I gotta go home and make that dough.’ She was so shocked.

“She said, ‘You make money when you go down there? … Oh my gosh, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I just always thought you came from money and your parents put money in your bank account, and that’s how you lived,'” Eden continues. “I said, ‘Girl, I ain’t ever had daddy’s money.’ Two days later, I got a voice memo from her that said, ‘Jesse and I just wrote this song about your life, and we think you should record it.'”

Eden prides herself on writing most of her songs, but it was love at first listen when she heard “Daddy’s Money.”

“I heard it, and I was like, ‘That really is my life,'” Eden shares. “My dad worked so hard when I was growing up. I always asked him, ‘Daddy, can we please move to Nashville? I want to be a singer.’ He said, ‘Honey, we don’t have the money to move, but I promise you that I’ll give you all the tools so that when you’re ready to move, you’ll be able to do it on your own.’ And he did.

“It’s been really cool to have the support and [be] doing it,” she adds, “but also having the knowledge and him saying, ‘You need to work. You need to support yourself, and being a woman, you need to build your own career, and don’t rely on anybody else to do it for you.’”

Now that “Daddy’s Money” is out, Eden is putting the finishing touches on her debut record on Red Bow Records, which she hopes to release later this year.

“It’s going really, really well,” Eden says. “… I wrote 100 songs for it. We have dwindled it down to 19 that we’re going to record, so we’re not exactly sure how many are going to go onto the album.”

The singer-songwriter owes her record deal at least in part to the hit duo Sugarland: Eden won a contest that allowed her to sing “Baby Girl” with them, which led to her being discovered by the Broken Bow Records label group and signed to its Red Bow Records imprint.

“I’ve never been so nervous in my entire life,” Eden recounts. “I’m such a superfan of Sugarland that it was a really big moment for me. I had never met them until when I got onstage. I was supposed to sing a verse and a chorus, and at the end of the first chorus, Jennifer Nettles looks at me and goes, ‘You get it, girl,’ and just let me sing the rest of the song. It was such a surreal experience. It went up on YouTube and kind of went viral a little bit.”

But Eden may have never even had the courage to pursue a singing career if not for one brave boss, who saw something in her that was far greater than her job as a bartender.

“I really did get fired,” Eden reveals. “The head of all the bartenders, my manager, Tony, he came out and fired me because I was bartending. I was supposed to be bartending, and I was singing instead. Everybody at the bar was taken care of, but [he] was like, ‘You’re fired.’ I was like, ‘Why? Everybody has their drinks.’

“He goes, ‘It’s not because you’re a bad bartender. It’s because you’re a better singer. Stop bartending. Don’t waste your life on this. You need to get out and sing. You’re going to thank me one day,'” she adds. “So [last time] I went there, on the microphone, I said, ‘Tony, I want to thank you for firing me.’”

“Daddy’s Money” is available for download on iTunes.

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