Spotlight of the Week: Alumnus Brett Koolik

Singer, Songwriter, Music Producer


Courtesy of Brett Koolik

Brett can always be found making new music that he can share with others.

This week, Type One had the chance to interview Pine Crest alumnus and musician Brett Koolik. A member of the Class of 2017, Koolik was known for his musical talents at Pine Crest. From playing in the PC jazz band to performing at Playing for Change concerts, he always took advantage of every opportunity he had to play music and share his passion with others. Brett Koolik currently attends Vanderbilt University, where he is pursuing his musical career as a pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer.

T1: When did you discover your passion for music?

Koolik: I discovered my passion for music when I first started playing piano. When I was in third grade, I was at a friend’s house, and they had a beautiful grand piano. I sat down and started playing with it. I was so interested in how the piano works and the sounds that it can make. After that, I started taking piano lessons.


T1: How did you get involved in songwriting?

Koolik: When I got a computer, I learned about a software called GarageBand. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. That’s when I bridged both the piano and computer together to create my own music. Creating my own music has allowed me to do everything. I can rap or I can put in a piano ballad. I have my own sound, and I draw on a lot of inspirations.


T1: Who inspires you?

Koolik: Jon Bellion because of his versatility. He produced and sings music in his own style. Ed Sheeran is a songwriting genius. I also admire Russ for his motivation and everything he puts into his music. Lastly, my parents. They taught me to work hard.


T1: What do you hope to achieve with your music?

Koolik: I want to share my music with everyone. I hope that my music can help people get through difficult situations. The more people I can connect with, the better.


T1: What are some of your goals?

Koolik: I aim to build a following and a fan base on social media. Long term, I would love to tour. I also want to perform at Madison Square Garden in New York.


T1: How has your transition to Vanderbilt been so far in terms of your musical career?

Koolik: It has been amazing. I have met so many friends that share the same interest in music as I do. I am able to collaborate with so many people with different musical talents. It is pretty cool.


T1: What are some of your accomplishments at Vanderbilt so far?

Koolik: I have released two really fun pop songs: “Hope You’re Not Hoping” and “Systematic.” They are both out on social media, and there is a music video for “Hope You’re Not Hoping.” Also, I have four new songs coming out before Thanksgiving that I am excited about. Three are piano ballads, and one is a pop song.

Brett Koolik

T1: How has this experience been? Do you have any advice for someone who would like to pursue music?

Koolik: To be honest, it has been very hard but also very fun. In order to do it right, you have to put in time and effort. It is pretty rewarding once you figure it out. It may seem like the music industry is all about luck. But, like any venture, I believe it is the people that work the hardest that succeed. If you want it, you have to work for it.


Koolik has clearly accomplished a lot in the few months since he graduated from Pine Crest. If you would like to hear his incredible musical talents for yourself, check out his Spotify (@brettkoolik), Instagram (@brettkoolik), and Youtube channel (Brett Koolik). Be on the lookout for his next release later this month; we can’t wait to see what he creates next.