Actress, comedian and singer Aria Brooks doesn’t quit. Whether she’s working on videos for her YouTube channel (like her recent “Positions” Ariana Grande parody), being 3D printed as a character on Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy show All That, or working on her own original music, she is always creating.
We caught up with Aria to talk about her most recent project, a Black Lives Matter-inspired single called “Am I Next?” and what she’s looking forward to in 2021 (including her debut album!).
SMO: What inspires your music?
Aria: All of my music is based on personal experiences. Songwriting is therapeutic for me, so my music is pretty much always talking about a specific time in my life.
Showstopper Magazine Online: What was your process for creating “Am I Next?” and its accompanying music video?
Aria Brooks: “Am I Next?” was a song I wrote in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. I don’t remember exactly which incident triggered it, but one day I felt extremely frustrated with what was happening to Black people. It made me step back and realize that I could be next. I played a few chords on the piano and started writing to it. Later, we worked with a producer, Devin Barkley, who had the perfect track for it.
When coming up with the music video concept, I wanted to make people feel what I was feeling. I wanted it to be simple but powerful. The whole process was long with a lot of setbacks, but the song and video came out great.
SMO: What inspired you to be an entertainer?
My parents are both performing arts teachers, so I’ve always been surrounded by the arts. It was my passion, and I always wanted to pursue it. Growing up, I’d watch movies and shows, and I didn’t see girls like me. I felt like I needed to be a role model for young girls who felt the way I did. Those two passions of mine are what keeps me going.
SMO: Did different things draw you to the various aspects of your career (comedy, acting, music, etc.)?
Before getting any actual comedic training, I would always watch comedy shows. I picked up a lot of their mannerisms and sayings. So whenever I’m doing comedy, it’s like I am watching those shows from when I was younger. That drew me to comedy work. Music has been in my life since day one. Like I mentioned, I grew up around it. It was inevitable that I would grow to love it.
Can you tell me a bit about your role on Nickelodeon’s All That?
All That is a sketch show. This means I get to play several different characters. Some of my favorites are Lorraine (a grandma), Eureka (a psychic), and Rihanna. Each sketch brings something completely different but still hilarious.
SMO: How do you balance music and your comedy work on All That?
Aria: I went full-fledge with my music once production on All That was shut down due to COVID-19. Honestly, I haven’t had to balance it yet.
SMO: What can your fans look forward to with your upcoming 2021 album?
Aria: My upcoming album will show my fans authenticity. It will allow them to get to know me better and show how much I’ve grown. One of my main goals is to show people that you can be successful without changing yourself to fit the industry’s mold.
SMO: What plans and goals are you setting for 2021?
Aria: One of my goals is for the success of my album. I hope that it reaches and touches plenty of people. I have also been into the law of attraction, manifestation, and healing crystals. I would like to improve my lifestyle by connecting with my higher self.
SMO: Are there any other exciting projects in 2021 that you’re looking forward to?
Aria: I don’t have any additional projects in place right now. Once I finish my album, I would love to focus more on screenwriting whether that’s producing my writing or pitching it to networks.