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Fort Myers local plays at Island Hopper Festival

September 21, 2016
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Local country sensation, Sheena Brook, credits her mother for exposing her to music.

After seeing her play in the church's choir, Brook decided to join as well. In high school, she joined a hip hop band with her friends.

"My friend wrote my first rap for me then I just started writing," Brook said.

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Sheena Brook


But once she began writing on her own instead of with her friends, whatever came was more country than she ever thought possible.

This is Brook's second year playing at the Island Hopper Festival. Last year, she opened for Sugarland's Kristian Bush.

"It's become a prestigious event even though it's three years going. The fact that they let me play is pretty awesome," Brook said.

Brook credits the event for molding her into who she is now.

"It makes me a better songwriter because I sit next to amazing songwriters, she said. Just the event alone has helped me garner different fans, push my own music and built my support locally."

One of her favorite aspects about the festival is the songwriters sharing what's behind the song and the fact that the audience is willing to listen.

"People are actually interested in the song, and what you're talking about and what you wrote about. It's like bringing a piece of Nashville to Fort Myers," Brook said.

In an effort to make a name for herself, Brook joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International nearly a year ago, she recently began pitching songs bigger artists. But when it comes down to it, she says that she writes songs for herself.

"For the most part, I write best when I'm writing for me," Brook said. "I don't know how to not put my personality into a song."

It's a learning process she said.

Brook says that it is difficult to get people to show up to any kind of music event in Fort Myers unless it happens to be a big name. But, she finds that the music scene around here is growing; slowly but surely.

"I attribute it to events like the Island Hopper. In a town that's not known for music, it's definitely a risk I think," Brook said.

Brook's Islander Hopper Festival schedule:

Sept. 30: Nervous Nellie's, Fort Myers Beach, 7 p.m.

Sept. 30: Sunset Beach Tropical Grill & Playmore Tiki Bar Fort Myers Beach, 9:30 p.m.

Oct. 1: Sunset Beach Tropical Grill & Playmore Tiki Bar, Fort Myers Beach 2:15 p.m.

Oct. 2: Cabana's Beach Bar & Grill, Fort Myers Beach 1 p.m.



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