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Interview with Jazz Vocalist Sylvia Brooks

Sylvia Brooks is a vivacious jazz singer who captures her audience with her soothing lyrics.  Her love for music radiates from her soul as her angelic melodies are gently placed within the hearts of her fans. Born into a family of musical geniuses, Sylvia is holding strong to her families’ legacy and taking the world by storm with her latest project, The Arrangement.

Come along as I journey through the world of jazz vocalist Sylvia Brooks.


Renisha Marie: Who is Sylvia Brooks?


Sylvia Brooks: It’s my belief that we are all here for a reason. I’ve spent my life being an artist and I’ve always been creative. It’s here, where I feel I have the power to make a difference in the world.


Renisha Marie: What projects are you currently working on?


Sylvia Brooks: My new CD, The Arrangement.


Renisha Marie: What inspired your third CD, The Arrangement?


Sylvia Brooks: I wanted to explore different musical styles. I didn’t want to be confined to one point of view. And I wanted to work with certain musicians, who’s work spoke to me. I wanted to make something I was proud of.


Renisha Marie: Describe your creative process.


Sylvia Brooks: It’s not something that is conscious. It reveals itself to you. When I started thinking about this project, I had conversations with a number of musicians that I respect. I wasn’t sure what type of album I wanted to make. I wanted to make a Brazilian Jazz album, I wanted to do a Big Band Swing album, I wanted to put some modern pop influences into the mix, and I loved Cuban-African rhythms. Then it dawned on me…I didn’t have to do one thing. Why not do it all. And that’s how Arrangement was born.


Renisha Marie: When did you realize music was your passion?


Sylvia Brooks: The day I was born. Probably even before that, because my parents were both very much musicians in their own rights.


Renisha Marie: Your father, Don Ippolito was an iconic pianist/arranger and your mother was a conservatory-trained opera singer; what was it like growing up in a household with musical geniuses?


Sylvia Brooks: Well, it was interesting. They are clearly two totally different art forms. I think over the last few years, classic influences have become more integrated into Jazz. But, when I was growing up, they were very different concepts. I struggle with the good and bad of both. I really felt more of a connection with Jazz. My father raised me listening to Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck. He traveled with Buddy Rich, and Stan Kenton. Musicians aren’t rich…It was a hard life.


Renisha Marie: What obstacles if any, did you have to overcome along your journey?


Sylvia Brooks: Trusting and knowing that what I understand is enough, and having the courage to believe in myself.


Renisha Marie: What motivates you?


Sylvia Brooks: Truth, passion, and feeling in my soul that this is what I am meant to be doing.


Renisha Marie: What advice if any, do you have for up-and-coming vocalist?


Sylvia Brooks: Stay true to yourself, and never give up. Have courage, and keep fighting. And always remember, it isn’t about the end of the game, it’s about the process, and how that changes you as a human being. If you don’t put yourself on the line, then you don’t have to deal with failure…in other words, don’t play it safe.


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