The Performance of a Lifetime

Brooke Greenberg, whose stage name is Brooke Alexx, was among the lineup of 170 bands at this year’s Lollapalooza.

This past summer, Elon music alumna Brooke Alexx ‘17 felt like everything she had been working toward was coming together. She was in Chicago at her first music festival, Lollapalooza, but she wasn’t just there to watch. She was performing. Alexx had her own backstage trailer, her name was on the back of the festival’s T-shirts and fans were asking her for photos. “Every part of it was everything I’ve ever dreamed of,” Alexx says.

She received the opportunity through Empowered by Bumble, a music program created by the dating app Bumble with a mission to close the gender disparity gap and grow the pool of women musicians in popular music, starting with male-dominated festival lineups. Upon selection, Alexx was invited to perform at Lollapalooza, one of the largest and most iconic music festivals in the world. When Alexx found out she was part of the lineup, she created a series of TikTok videos detailing her journey. She practiced with her guitarist, decided on outfits and worked on her stamina. A couple days before her performance, she posted one of herself getting ready — getting her hair cut, her eyebrows waxed and her nails done. It went viral with 8.9 million views, gaining her thousands of new fans. “The essence of the video was to showcase how a ‘regular girl’ gets ready for such an extraordinary opportunity,” Alexx says. “I think the video resonated because people could easily relate to my no-frills approach.”

The singer-songwriter found an interest in music at an early age. “When I was 7 years old, I apparently went up to my mom and said I wanted to be a singer,” she says. Her family lived outside of New York City, so Alexx began auditioning for musicals as a way to sing. At 13 years old she discovered Taylor Swift, who is still one of her biggest inspirations today. “It just clicked. I was like, oh, I can do pop music, I can write my own songs,” she says. “So I started guitar lessons and songwriting and that led me to major in music at Elon.”

While at Elon, Alexx honed her craft as part of Sweet Signatures, Elon’s oldest all-female a cappella group, and the Techtronica and Elon Electric Ensemble music groups. “Those were the first times I got to hear my songs with full instrumentation, not just me and my guitar in my bedroom, and that really inspired me to continue because it just felt right,” Alexx says. “It felt like where I was meant to be and what I was meant to do when I was hearing my music fully fleshed out in that way.” She credits Senior Lecturer in Music Clay Stevenson and Associate Professor of Music Todd Coleman for helping guide her down this path.

After graduating, Alexx moved to Nashville and was hired as a content creator with Big Machine Label Group, Swift’s previous record company. Alexx initially thought she might be satisfied with a life working on the industry side of music. However, she still felt a strong pull toward singing and songwriting. “I couldn’t drop my love for it, so I decided to go all in. With some time and hard work, I’ve been able to sharpen my songwriting, grow my online presence, and rise up in the Nashville pop scene,” she said. Currently, Alexx is releasing singles off her forthcoming third EP, which is slated for spring 2022 and will feature six songs focused on her family and her roots.