British singer-songwriter, V.V. Brown is on the verge of becoming one of the big acts of 2009. With her mix of 1960’s pop and contemporary soul, Brown has the music scene abuzz about her upcoming debut album. Not only does the girl have a great voice, but her lyrical content takes the listener on a musico-emotional adventure. V.V. can currently be seen in the pages of Vogue magazine and her fans in the United Kingdom can grab her album Traveling Like The Light when it hit stores in June. I was lucky enough to snag an interview with V.V. in which she talks about her music, new fame, and being compared to other artists.
TR: How old were you when you first started performing, and what were your earliest musical influences?
V V: I became prepossessed with my parents’ piano and creating. My earliest memories were me mesmerized that a brown wooden box 10 times as big as me actually gave life to a sound.
TR: I’ve read that you were accepted at some top universities in the UK , but chose to pursue music first. Was that a difficult decision? Do you think you’ll eventually return to school?
V V: There are always online degrees, which I would love to do if I have time, otherwise no regrets. You have to do what you love and that was music for me.
TR: You’ve written tunes for some other musical acts. How did that come about?
V V: Being in the right place at the right time and being open minded to opportunity. Just by being open, it can take you places you never thought.
TR: How would you describe your style/sound?
V V: I find it hard to define as I don’t want to attach myself to a particular sound cause there is more in me than one “type” but I have been saying 50’s synth madness… so I guess that’s a small snippet but the record has evolved a little and there is more to come…
TR: What differences have you noticed between contemporary American and British music scenes?
V V: I feel Europe is more of an open minded melting pot creating lots of different fusions, whereas America seems a little genre specific associating each music very much to a specific culture. Which is still amazing, but in Europe you seem to get more innovative, alternatives styles of music as mainstream, because we naturally have a culture that isn’t so segregated.
TR: You’re set to appear in the pages of Vogue in a short time. What was it like doing that piece?
V V: Stressful but exciting. I am so happy to be a part of the Vogue history book! It’s hardly a 10 page spread but for me its such an honour that I’ve even been asked. I take fashion and music very seriously and Vogue is a magazine I have always read. I also am excited as a black women to be in Vogue as the fashion industry can sometimes be quite culturally biased.
TR: In the press, a newer artist is inevitably going to be compared to others already on the scene. What is your response when you’re compared to other performers? How do you differentiate yourself?
V V: At first it seems like a compliment, especially if you’re compared to someone good, but then after a while its gets absolutely annoying, especially when you are compared to another artist in a way where they feel you’re copying or “you sound the same.” I believe all artists are different because there is only one of them and each artist’s journey is very different and complex. It sometimes is like “lazy journalism” or lack of understanding but I understand the psychological nature of comparison and association to put things in boxes, but boxes are boring and make me sick so bo ho to that. What makes me different… ? I would say I’m different because I am me and that’s all I can be.
TR: Can you tell me about the creative process behind writing “Traveling Like The Light”?
V V: Very spontaneous. I didn’t think about it too much and tried to write a record almost as if it would never get released–almost like it was just for me to hide in a secret closet and think and remember of an album I did once. That thought process helped me to have fun and find myself, truly. It was just me and my one string guitar and a pad and pen and then it evolved into sleeping under the mixing desk, long hours staring at stems on pro tools, and then so on and so on.
TR: What are your current plans in terms of coming to the U.S. to perform. Will you be touring?
V V: I’d love to release, tour, which is really a huge deal to me, do a live performance and do some modeling and continue my comic book…. I dream big, but all you can do is leave it in the hands of the universe, work hard, be positive, and what will be will be.
TR: What do you hope your audience takes away from your music on first listen? What’s the abiding impression you want to make?
V V: Honesty, fun and true emotions. I just want you to get to me better–like a friend.
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