Meet Brooke Latka
A native of Casper, Brooke Latka is the only female member of Chancy Williams and the Younger Brother Band. They travel all over the Western United States playing their boot-stomping Wyoming country music and have a strong following throughout the West. As the fiddle player and vocalist, Brooke brings the perfect balance to the Younger Brother Band. Plus, she may be one of the sweetest people to ever come out of Wyoming.
What has influenced you the most when it comes to how you approach your work as a musician?
The other people in the band and the fans that come out to see us more than anything. We all have high expectations of each another and it keeps us at our best when we go out there every night. We respect each other and don’t want to let the others down, so we give it our best all the time. In many respects, being in a band is like being on a sports team. All the band and crew have to work together to make each show a success. The fans have lots of choices on which acts to follow and where to spend their hard-earned money. We never take them for granted. If they don’t come, we have nothing, so we want to give them our best every time we step on stage.
What personality trait do you attribute your success to?
Determination. Chancey always says, “We don’t have any quit in us” and I guess that’s right. We believe in ourselves, but we know it takes work to get there. Wishing and hoping doesn’t take us to the next level…hard work does.
What’s it like being the only female in the band?
It can be challenging at times, but for the most part it is fun and not really an issue. The guys give me my space when I need it, but that isn’t often. I’m just another member of the team and that is how they all treat me.
How do you see women in business, in politics and more, especially in Wyoming?
I see strong, wonderful women wherever I go and in all walks of life. Here in Wyoming we are all proud of our western heritage and “cowboy” lifestyle, but it would be a real misunderstanding of our state to think females aren’t succeeding here just as fast as anywhere in the country. I mean, Wyoming was the first state to elect a woman governor. Plus, our state only has one U.S. Representative, and she is a woman!
Where do you hope to see women in the next few years?
I look forward to a time when it isn’t even a discussion because it will just be assumed that women will be equally involved in every aspect of business and politics. And I don’t think it is far off.
From your modern-day perspective, what does it mean to you that the Wyoming Territorial Legislature passed a law 150 years ago giving women the right to vote?
I’m really proud of it, just like I am proud about many things in Wyoming. Some people may think we are “backward” out here in the West, but the facts sure say otherwise.
Any words of advice for women out there?
I’m not sure I’m in the advice business, especially as every set of circumstance is different. I think it is important to believe in yourself without getting caught up in yourself. And you have to have big and small goals and focus on them. That’s not advice for women, that’s just self-evident for all of us, isn’t it?