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Leo Brooks Returns to Miami for the Country Bay Music Festival

Leo Brooks Returns to Miami
Leo Brooks Returns to Miami

Brooks, known as half of the country duo Neon Union, is excited to perform in his hometown after keeping his love for country music a secret during his youth.

Growing up in Miami during the ’80s and ’90s, Brooks had a unique musical background. While he listened to rap, hip-hop, and alternative rock with his friends, he secretly enjoyed country music at home, influenced by his father and grandfather’s love for classic country artists like George Jones, Hank Williams, and Willie Nelson. This passion for country music was a part of his family’s heritage, as they hailed from Roatán, a small island off the coast of Honduras, where reggae and classic country music were dominant genres.

Brooks’ journey into country music wasn’t immediate. After graduating from high school, he landed a gig as Lauryn Hill’s bass player, followed by a decade with the rapper and singer Pitbull, another Miami native. During his time with Pitbull, Brooks shared some of his country songs with the artist, hoping to connect with established country acts. However, Pitbull encouraged him to pursue a country music career himself.

With Pitbull’s support, Brooks ventured into the country music scene, eventually partnering with North Carolina native Andrew Millsaps to form Neon Union. They released their debut single, “Bout Damn Time,” in November 2022.

Brooks’ upbringing in Miami, known for its Latin, hip-hop, and electronic music scene, adds a unique flavor to Neon Union’s country sound. Miami’s cultural diversity and status as an entertainment hub have contributed to the growing community of country music fans in the area.

The Country Bay Music Festival, featuring headliners such as Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt, Chris Young, Lee Brice, and Lainey Wilson, aims to become a destination festival, drawing fans from Miami and beyond. Organized by Loud and Live, the festival is expected to host up to 20,000 people and offers a range of country-themed activities and entertainment.

Miami Marine Stadium, located on Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay, is the chosen venue for the festival, highlighting the city’s skyline and providing a picturesque setting for the event. The festival not only celebrates country music but also supports the restoration and preservation efforts of the historic Miami Marine Stadium.

Nelson Albareda, the CEO of Loud and Live, expressed the company’s commitment to making Country Bay an annual event, solidifying Miami’s place on the country music map.

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