Actress/singer/songwriter Brooke Josephson is set to release her infectious new EP, Sexy N’ Domesticated in April. It's a female-empowered, five-song album that showcases the beautiful songstress’ knack for combing catchy grooves with hook-laden melodies and introspective storytelling.
Fueled by the release of the first single, “Mr. Fix It,” Josephson takes the listener on a journey of brazen independence. Filling her songs with sultry vocals and tongue in cheek takes on topics that include relationships, marriage and motherhood.
Produced by Tony Berg (Edie Brickell, Aimee Mann) and mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, John Legend), Josephson has tastefully succeeded with Sexy N’ Domesticated. Writing songs that legitimize her own personal and professional experiences while at the same time offering the same validation to women everywhere.
AXS recently spoke with Josephson about her new EP and more in this exclusive interview.
AXS: How would you describe Sexy N’ Domesticated in terms of its sound?
Brooke Josephson: For me, it's a sonic snapshot of how my life has been going these last few years. It’s a blend of all the different worlds and musical influences that have inspired me. Not just from my experience in musical theater, but also in pop and rock. I took a path very similar to Beck's Odelay album where I wasn't going to settle and just pick one lane or genre. I wanted to use whatever style worked for what I had to say.
AXS: What’s your songwriting process like?
BJ: Most of the time, I start off with writing lyrics, like I did with the song, “Crazy Called Normal”. That song came about when I picked up my daughter at school one day. She had asked me how my day went, and it was just one of those days where so much was happening all at once. I was caught up in the moment and was trying to hold it together in front of her, and just started a mantra as I was driving home. Then after everyone was in bed, I went into my studio and started writing lyrics. The next day, I went back and came up with a fast-paced sequence on my OP-1 to be the spine of the song. It's a story about how crazy life can be.
AXS: Let’s talk about a few more tracks from the EP, beginning with “Mr. Fix It”.
BJ: My brother was over one night and the two of us were talking about things that were going on. As women, we always like to flesh our thoughts out by talking about them. We all have things we need solved, but we’ll find a way to get there. But I remember my brother seemed to have an answer for everything, and then my husband came home and started chiming in. It was an avalanche [laughs]. I like to write in a notebook and started jotting down about Mr. Fix It and about how guys are wired a certain way. The song is really about embracing the differences of the sexes. Celebrating them while at the same time getting my point across and having fun with it. It’s not about dissing guys but more about, “Hey, I like the advice, but right now I don't need it.”
AXS: “Sexy N’ Domesticated”.
BJ: I've always been a Chrissie Hynde fan, and when she was doing press for her first solo album, I read an article where she told the story about a punk band that had sent her their record. They wanted to get her feedback, but in between the time they sent it to her she had taken time off from touring to become a mother. When she finally got around to reviewing it, she realized how great the band was and wrote to tell them. They wrote her back and said, "Yeah, your music was cool until you became domesticated." I was so fired up about it that I decided to write a song. Just because you become “domesticated” by getting married or becoming a mom, it doesn’t mean that you suddenly become irrelevant or drop off the planet.
BJ: That was actually the first song I wrote for the EP. I was on a committee at my daughter’s preschool when a parent decided to flesh out their issues via an email to a large group of people. It was the first time I’d ever experienced cyberbullying. Worse, the woman wrote about how horrified she was about a color of napkin I had chosen [laughs]. It was a very strong word to use for something so insignificant. This is my anti-bullying anthem.
AXS: “Champagne Problems”.
BJ: I grew up in the Midwest and have also seen the extremes of living in New York, Harlem and Los Angeles. My husband is a TV/film producer and I’ve been to a lot of red carpet events with him and have taken everything in. I decided to create a charter to remind myself about keeping things in perspective, and how some of the things people complain about are nothing more than champagne problems. I wanted it to be a storytelling song. I wouldn’t call it rapping, though. It’s more like poetry in motion.
AXS: What was it like working with Tony Berg on this EP?
BJ: It was amazing. Just going into his studio you feel like you’re in Disneyland with all of the instruments and guitars. Tony’s worked with so many people and is an encyclopedia when it comes to music. The thing I loved most was that he didn’t try to force me to stick within the boundaries of one genre. He embraced the fact that I was willing to experience all the genres that have influenced me along the way.
AXS: What are you looking forward to about the release of Sexy N’ Domesticated?
BJ: I’m looking forward to validating the women that are out there. I’m all about positive change and this EP is a fun, empowering way to go about it. There’s a shift that’s happening and a real sense of satisfaction when you get the chance to speak your own truth and story.