Born to a jazz musician (father) and a trained opera singer (mother), Sylvia Brooks opened her eyes with the talent of music surrounding her. Her voice takes us back to the 1940s and 1950s, reminding us of the great Jazz vocalists and Big Band vocalist’s era. With her debut album, ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, her dark and smoky voice is clearly visible as she sings the Great American Songbook and the Jazz Standard’s Songbook, and has proven her to be one of the best jazz vocalists of today’s time.
Now, with her second album, ‘Restless’, she is prepared to take the world by storm.
To know more about Sylvia Brooks, and her music, read on…
Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business.
I am dedicated to the musical enrichment of individuals, by bringing a new form of Jazz, which is an American art form, to the International Community.
Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Because of my parents, and my upbringing, I would say that creativity and classic musicianship are in my blood. Being drawn to the stage for the first time, I studied classical theater at The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Later followed a series of national tours; but as I began to develop as an artist and define my need for artistic fulfillment, I began to understand my need for a different kind of personal expression and joy, and music brought me back into the musical fold.
Speaking about my love for Jazz, I have always tried to give this form a new direction. With my second album, ‘Restless’, my team and I have created what I believe to be a new genre I call ‘Jazz Noir’.
Q: What ignited the spark in you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: When I began to think about the new album, and what I wanted to say as an artist, I began to realize that there were new questions that needed to be asked. This need ignited the spark in me to go forward and create this new album.
Q: How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: In music, everything is a true collaboration. Not just from a musical stand point, but from an emotional one as well.
Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
Ans: I would say, ‘Be true to who you are, and listen to your inner voice’.
Q: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: I would have begun singing this kind of music earlier.
Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: The most important thing is to love what you do. Then, as I mentioned earlier stay true to who you are and don’t give up no matter how difficult it gets.
Q: How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: I don’t give up on things I believe in. If it is an untrue idea, then it lends itself to change.
Q: How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: There are no working hours as such in the music industry. Especially when you are an artist. So, I work 24/7.
Q: What motivates you?
Ans: My passion for Music.
Q: How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: If you are passionate about something, ideas come to you. And I am very passionate about music.
Q: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: By going into it.
Q: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: I would again say the same, ‘By being true to who you are, and not giving up’.
Q: Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: It is too early to answer this question as we are still working on that.
Q: How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: By understanding your demographic and reaching them.
Q: Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: No. I really do not think that any formula can bring success to you. Mostly, formulas create a lack of success.
Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: My parents.
Q: What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favorite book?)
Ans: A good Raymond Chandler novel.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: That it is my voice, and not someone else’s that gets to be heard.
Q: To what do you most attribute your success? What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Ans: Create something worth buying. Finding out who your key audience is. Figure out how to reach them. Believe in yourself, and what you are on this planet to do. Don’t give up.
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: My new album, Restless.
Q: What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Our craziness.
Q: What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: Collaborative. You are only as good as the people you keep around you.
Q: In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Ans: Wonderful and Crazy. That’s 2 words, isn’t it?
Q: How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: By creating a fabulous product.
Q: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: Listen to as much new music as possible.
Q: What makes you happy?
Ans: My new album…”Restless”.
Q: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Q: Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Ans: Performing what I call “Jazz Noir” from my album “Restless”, all over the planet.
Q: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Ans: Did you enjoy this interview? And where can I buy Sylvia Brooks’ album “Restless”? On iTunes? Yes, you can.