With over 30,000 hits a day when he first released his single Superman on Myspace in April 2005, Joe Brooks is definitely a superhero when it comes to making music sound ever so sweet. With an album and 3 Extended Plays (EP) on hand, this 24 year-old is on his way to making music for his loyal friends.

He’d rather be independent

Moving from one label to another, the journey of being a music artiste has been quite a rollercoaster ride for Brooks.

Starting off with South Star Music and Jesse McCartney’s mother, the young lad released his first 2 EPs – Maybe Tomorrow and Acoustic Sessions. Following that, he produced his first album, Constellation Me, under Universal Republic and Lava Records. After going through so many people to make his music for his fans, he’d rather be independent.

In order to make music, Brooks made the bold decision to quit college in 2006. In an interview with Malaysia radio Fly FM, the self-taught guitarist says he first started because of his “passion for music and writing lyrics”. With that drive, he garnered most of his fans through his MySpace page and sold his EPs to them. Even though he wasn’t represented by any record label, it didn’t stop him from reaching out to all the Brook-lovers out there.

This has pretty much explained the level of independence he has sought with the help of his fans. His latest EP – A Reason to Swim, released in July 2011, was funded by fan donations. Brooks revealed in an interview that the album has “lots of different sounds – from ballads to light-hearted acoustic numbers to crazy, psychedelic beats.” Attracting fans across Asia, the independent release is now being distributed by Sony Malaysia and Sony Korea.

You’ll feel his music running through your veins

Without any excessive packaging, adorned with only his guitar and his sweet voice, Joe Brooks definitely knows his music. He hits the notes with perfection and writes his music with honesty and from life experiences. He shares the reason for the title of his new album, “I met a homeless guy at the back of a restaurant one night and he was telling me his life’s story. It struck me there and then that, ‘Hey man, everybody has a reason to swim.’ That’s how the title of my album came about.”

Based in Los Angeles, the ever-inspired Brooks recently had an intimate acoustic session at the Esplanade recital studio with limited seats of 250. During the concert, he invited the audience to sing with him, only to get a punny reply of “Yes, we can, we’re SING-apore!” Having heard that, he sang the rest of his songs with a whole lot of passion and heart.

More than just writing songs

Being brought up as a Christian, charity has been one of the qualities that the immaculate singer was involved in since he was 19. At that tender age, he went to Africa with Habitat For Humanity to lend a helping hand to the kids.

Photos courtesy of Shane Fabila, Joe Brooks & Noel Teo.

Moved by the lives he has touched and the people he helped at Africa, the charitable Brooks decided to help out at the orphanages in China together with the organisation Bring Me Hope. In an interview with Evan Amos, a Wikipedia user, he shared, “When there’s children involved, there’s just an innocence that really touches you.” However, his love for helping others did not stop there. In a video where he asked for pledges for A Reason to Swim, he offered to donate 10% of any proceeds over the targeted amount to Bring Me Hope.

And that’s the amazing thing about Joe Brooks, you might have heard of him only recently, but once you hear his songs and stories, you’ll come to realize that he paves his own journey as a musician.