GLAAD is celebrating the release of Brooke Eden’s Choosing You, a 5-track EP released late last month. One of the most visible LGBTQ musicians in the country scene, Eden sat down with GLAAD’s VP of Communications and Talent Anthony Allen Ramos to talk the inspiration behind her new music, the politics of country radio, and more.
“It feels like I’m showing my babies to the world,” says Eden. Choosing You explores love, both mutual and unrequited; hard truths, “I’m not the person you go to if you want sugar coated advice,” jokes Eden; and self-discovery.
On “Heartless” (a fav track of Ramos’), Eden shares: “This is the oldest song, it’s like 6 years old. I wrote it when I first fell in love for the first time, and I was like ‘Wow, my entire life I thought something was broken inside of me.’ I was watching all of my friends fall in love and have these great relationships, and I was just so excited for the relationship to end. … I thought maybe I’m just cold and heartless, and I just don’t have that bone in my body to really feel that love back for somebody. And then, falling in love, it changed everything and made me realize, ‘Wow, nothing’s wrong with me, I just wasn’t with the right person.”
Speaking of love, Eden also discusses her upcoming wedding to fiancee Hillary Hoover, “it’s this October, we’re so excited! We’ve been together for six and a half years, and I seriously still feel like we’re in that honeymoon phase.”
Ramos and Eden also discuss the impact of Eden’s artistry as an out queer woman in the country music scene, including appearing at the Grand Ole Opry with Trisha Yearwood. Yearwood even changed the lyrics to her iconic song “She’s In Love with the Boy” to “She’s in Love with the Girl,” to better reflect Eden’s truth. On this milestone, and progress being made, Eden says “The gatekeepers in country music are really opening up the gates for people to really start seeing themselves in country music, and not just white straight people.”
Eden and Ramos concur that it’s time for more visibility, despite the reticence of the powers that be in radio. “Country radio programmers, they have to be careful. … They have to be worried about their ratings at all times. [But] I think it’s only a matter of time until the fans are going to start asking for new artists. For new LGBTQ artists, and Black artists, and Latino artists. … Country music can’t be left behind. More and more visibility and representation will create more demand for us to be played on country radio.”
Finally, there’s the question of Eden’s dream collabs. For country, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, and Old Domion. For pop, “we have to talk about Bruno Mars!” she suggests.
Choosing You is available to listen wherever you stream music.