Warner Brothers Jason Derulo has released the first single from his upcoming…
- Posted on Feb 18th 2010 3:40PM by Alexandra Richmond
The lovely VV Brown is a multi-instrumentalist, one-woman show who wants nothing more than for you to get up and shake it to her checkerboard mix of indie pop and R&B. As a student in the UK, VV was accepted to Oxford, but skipped higher education to be a songwriter (and model). She still calls herself a "nerd" for indulging her bookish tendencies, and writes under the pen name "geeki." But VV is not a shrinking violet; she earned her nickname slaying her pals in lyrical hip hop battles. Someone wisely talked her into changing her role as songwriter and stepping into the spotlight, and the result was 2009's 'Travelling Like the Light.' Along with her solo career -- and writing for other artists whom she'd rather not mention by name -- she is developing a serial graphic novel based on her debut EP, and creates instrumental tracks in hopes of composing for films one day. In 2010 she will make her first American festival appearance and play several shows at SXSW.
Describe your sound in your own words.
Alternative pop music. Embracing pop and enjoying popular culture but always with an interesting twist. I'm looking forward to the journey of growing as an artist and flipping sounds with unique fusions.
Why do you call your sound "mashed potatoes"? You mean the dance, not the food?
No, not the dance move; I really do mean the food. Mashed potatoes were once a fused solid that have been broken down into many different particles.
How did you start as an artist?
As a solo artist it has been an evolving year of failures and rejection. You just have to keep going. I've played in horrible bars and clubs and got through it by believing in the power of quantum physics.
What are your musical influences?
Everything that is good.
How did you come up with your stage name?
It was a nickname. I use to spit lyrics in the playground with friends. We were really into hip hop at the time and VV was my battle name. I used the "Brown," as it's my last name, and it became "VV Brown." Everyone just calls me "VV" or "V" now.
What's your biggest vice, and why do you call yourself a nerd?
I guess a nerd is someone interested in intellectual things. I guess it's a category for someone that takes interest in the meanings behind things in a neurotic way. I guess that's me. I'm far from a diva, and I know people have referred to me as a "soul diva," but I'm quite the opposite. I hate that comparison in the press. You have to meet me and come to a show to know.
What's in your festival survival kit?
I've never been to an American festival so I'm open minded. In the UK everything is based around surviving the rain and the mud. I suppose it would be to bring my Polaroid camera to make sure I capture some awesome memories.
Who or what is your musical guilty pleasure?
I don't feel any guilt in anything musical. I hate pretentiousness and you can find good in everything, so there isn't really a guilty pleasure for me.
Beatles, or Stones?
'Hang Fire' or 'Monster Mash'?
Lulu. She is amazing and I'm sure she influenced Amy so I have to give my respects to the older generation that was doing it. When you honour your elders you are blessed.
Easy one. Lily Allen. She is dope and very smart.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
Michael Jackson's death. We were stepping on to the tour bus from rehearsals and we saw it on the news. That was a sad and surreal night. The bus was silent the whole six hours to our destination which is unusual for us, as we are usually drunk and loud and having fun.
If you were to headline a festival today, which artists would you book to share the stage with you, living or dead?
Gorillaz. I'd love to incorporate my comic book with their animation. They are one of my favourite bands. Little Dragon -- another amazing band that I'm obsessed with, and who we are going on tour with in April 2010! I would love to share the stage with J Dilla if he was alive; God bless his soul. The film composer Ryachi Sakamoto, Bjork, Portishead, Massive Attack, Pixhel 8, Jay Electronica, Lily Allen, my fave rappers Common and Mos Def, Mick Jagger and Grace Jones. That would be an amazing, ace line up! I reckon we would all get on as well.
What are you currently doing in South Africa?
I currently landed a huge campaign with the British company Marks and Spencer and will be representing the brand as the "face of." It is the longest-running and biggest company in the UK, practically an institution, and I am honoured to be a part of it.
In Austin, when you order tacos, you might be asked if you prefer "flour" or "corn" tortillas. What's your choice?
I'd say corn, although I'm more of a burrito girl myself: extra sour cream, shrimp and guacamole. Yummy!
Alexandra Richmond is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.