Rising star: Brooklyn Cenatiempo creates self-titled first album
Finding the right combination of words and musical notes is always a complicated science.
However, Trumbull High School sophomore Brooklyn Cenatiempo makes songwriting and harmonizing look easy on her first self-titled album “Brooklyn,” which features three songs that the 16-year-old Trumbull native wrote with vocal coach and Tashua Elementary School music teacher Tyler Cohen.
Finding inspiration through singers like Shawn Mendes, Brooklyn wrote her first song, “Everything to Me,” last year.
“I’ve always been singing and, when the choir started in second grade, I loved it,” said Brooklyn, who attended Frenchtown Elementary School before going to Hillcrest Middle School.
Since meeting Cohen at Trumbull Day four years ago, the young artist has been working toward this moment. In addition to “Everything to Me,” the duo has collaborated to write two other songs — “Summer Lover” and “Say Goodbye.”
“I thought of a main idea and just tried to write about it to make it into a song,” Brooklyn said.
Cohen, who works with Brooklyn privately once a week and was recently named Teacher of the Year at Tashua, plays in a local band called Forget Paris.
The Western Connecticut State University graduate said that “Brooklyn,” which can be now bought on iTunes, has been in the works for a couple of years now.
The duo had already trained for two years when they decided to put some music together.
"I would give her homework assignments between lessons,” recalled Cohen, who graduated from West Conn with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in music education. “So when we decided we were going to write a song, the homework was ‘go home and write.’”
Over time, the process proved to be less of a challenge for his pupil. Words and melody changed week after week, until one day, they began to fit together.
“Writing was very difficult,” Brooklyn admitted. “But with practice, it became easier.”
While Brooklyn sings, Tyler plays all the instruments that produce the background sound in the three songs.
In fact, when he was in college — in order to get a music education degree — he had to take at least one workshop in every family of instrument.
“I can play more instruments than I can remember,” he said.
“When you graduate as a music educator, you are not graduating as a course teacher or general music teacher,” he added. “So if I get a job as a band teacher, I better know how to play all the band instruments; if I get a job as a strings teacher, I better know how to play stringed instruments.”
Singing with support
The Trumbull High School student received a feature in the yearbook where she talked about her recording experience and how singing influence her life.
The support from family and friends played an important role throughout all this years, she said. “One day I was running,” she recalled. “And my friends drove by and they were playing my album, it was funny.”
That’s when she knew she arrived.
“I really wanted to write three songs so I did everything in my control to make that happen,” she said.
The young Trumbull singer intentionally wrote three songs that belonged to different genres. And now, with her debut album release, she’s looking for feedback to understand which category she should write for next.
“The fact that she can rock three different genres like that and still sound amazing in all three is testing her vocal ability,” Tyler said.
Brooklyn is very focused on her passion but she’s also found time to play two varsity sports — lacrosse and field hockey, while maintaining time to volunteer at Stern Village.
She told The Times she visits the elderly and volunteers at Hungry Kidzz, a charity that helps to feed and support kids in need.
Looking ahead to this summer, the student and teacher are planning to make a music video for the song “Summer Lover,” which they hope to shoot at a local Fairfield County beach.
Watch more of Brooklyn here: