Traveling with VV Brown


Alternative Pop Artist VV Brown is lighting up radio airwaves with the song “Sharks in the Water” off her recently released album Traveling Like the Light. Her unique sound provides her with an edge over the generic brands that have bombarded the music industry. The singer/songwriter was born in England and has released two albums overseas. When asked if she feels like a celebrity VV proclaims “I don’t believe in celebrity. I believe in human beings and I believe we all shit, vomit, sleep, wake, live and die. I’m a very real person and I will never be a celebrity.”

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Parlé met up with VV Brown at EMI to discuss her music, family, her upcoming comic book and celebrity crush.

Where are you from?
VV Brown: London I’m actually form North Hampton, a very small town but my cottage is on London

Parlé: How long have you been a musician?
VV Brown: Since I was a child I think I was born a musician

Parlé: Are any of your family members musicians?
VV Brown: No, they are business professionals. They own a private school. My mom is a teacher and head mistress, my dad is an accountant, but they are very artistic people.

Parlé: Were you excited for the album release?
VV Brown: I was excited, slightly nervous, but patient in development . I believe in letting things grow. I’m not one of those artists who thinks it will go to number one straight away. It was interesting because it was my third release. I had an album out in the UK and a #1 album in France, so it didn’t feel as exciting because it’s not my very first release.

Parlé: How were you discovered?
VV Brown: Well I was discovered by playing in a bar on a one string guitar which I wrote the whole album on. The A & R who signed Amy Winehouse saw me playing and he signed me and then I was signed to Island Records in Europe and I was going to sign with Diddy in America but I decided not to go with him then I got an offer from Capitol and I thought that would be the best place for me.

Parlé: Are you a singer and songwriter?
VV Brown: Yes, actually I produced the whole record. When I made the album I didn’t have any money so I made the record in my bedroom a lot of it and 70% of the record we took to the studio and finished it. So, the record is very much my baby.

Parlé: Who would you relate your style of music to?
VV Brown: It is difficult to compare who I’m like. I relate to women like Kelis, Santigold, Janelle Monae, and Erykah Budu. Before them there wasn’t any one like them. They are strong creative women in their own right and I think I am very much a part of that movement. I am an alternative pop artist so when you do alternative music it’s not generic like everything else.

Parlé: How hard was it to bring your style of music to a large music company?
VV Brown: That’s the question I will never know because I never went into this expecting all of this to happen but the one thing that is on my side is being a classically trained pianist. I’ve always been passionate about melody. Melody is king and so I think as much as my music is alternative I’ve always resorted back to a pop melody on top of those interesting sounds so that is what helped me become more mainstream than maybe other artists that have found difficulties because I really make sure the song has a pop melody to it. I also think people are thirsty for fresh things and they are tired of the same things.

Parlé: Was there ever a power struggle between you and your record company because they wanted you so sound more mainstream?
VV Brown: The thing is I set the precedent from the beginning when I went into the office with my A & R. I said to him look I need to make this album my album. I was signed when I was 18 and they tried to turn me into a R & B diva and I’m not like that. I’m from England and I was brought up on a farm. My parents own a private school–it’s not real. If that’s not where you are coming from it doesn’t make sense to make music that isn’t real to your reality. People can smell BS. So I said I want this album to be honest and I refuse to compromise. This is what you’re going to get you either sign me or you don’t. I’m not willing to fight with you to change up my identity all in the name of selling units.