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This article was written on 09 Nov 2011, and is filled under Inspiration.

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V V Brown: Geek Chic, Graphic Novels & Vivienne Westwood

I think V V Brown is AMAZING! I found out about her via the wonderful Afro Punk community. I’m sure when her new record drops early next year a whole lot more people are going to know just how amazing VV Brown is! “Doo Wop Indie From Outer Space” are the words the English singer-songwriter-model-producer uses to describe her music. Her journey so far has been quite the adventure—in her own words:

Completely broke, broken hearted, and a plane ride home from sunny LA, roller skates and boobs, to red buses and skinny jeans, it was great and weird to be b[ac]k home in London . My music felt like it was going into a quagmire of self-doubt and complete hell. I was lost in a flood of tears and blinding love and felt like a complete piece of nothing. Got a cheap guitar and started to write in my room …I was renting. Was starting to listen to a lot of old rock n roll music, especially Ruth Brown, after working with a few producers who were sweet but a little imposing, and began this journey. The first song I ever played that I was like ‘cool’ – from coming home from LA to London – was written on the one string of a guitar and I used my nail varnish to show the fingering, as the piano was my main instrument, but I didn’t have a piano as I sold it to get a ticket b[ac]k to London from LA. Writing was all on the guitar. Then I started to record and trust my instincts… producing was a trusting yourself thing. Do I like it? That’s all I based it on, pushing out the thoughts of what could be right for everyone else, which was the slavery I had experienced before. Just write humble songs. Found a piano and wrote more. Then the trust took me on this wonderful journey, hot water came from cold, and Universal opened up a shiny door. Nick, Darcus and Angus. Started making the album and am in the process of finishing. I call it do wop indie from outer space. Hope you like. Follow our journey, I don’t know where it’s going but it’s all about trying to make good music… that’s it.

What do you wear on stage?
It varies. I have changed a lot since the first album and I’m really liking structure—clothing that look like buildings.

How important is your stage outfit to you?
Very important it’s all part of the performance.

Make-up-wise what’s your onstage must?
I love wearing a blue strip from the eyelid to the hairline. It’s quite Amazonian!

What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
Cleansers and face creams, it’s always good to try and look after the skin and then Victoria Secrets.

What are your offstage outfits like?
I guess Geek chic. Very different from stage.

Who are your biggest style icons and what is it about them that you love?
Vivienne Westwood and Dorothy Dandridge. Vivienne because she is daring and punk even at 70 and Dorothy because she was graceful and elegant but still defied the fact that she was a black women being put down and still prevailed through her beauty.

What do you do creatively when you’re not creating/playing music?
I like making small videos/short films.

What makes your musical style different?
We are all different, I guess I just try and be myself.

Have you ever encountered sexism within the music community?
Not really. It’s pretty feminist at the moment. The woman is strong!

How do you deal with the haters?
Don’t believe your own hype and take the good with the bad. There are worst things out there, it’s silly to worry too much about people who have an opinion on your art.

Tell me about your latest projects.
[My] graphic novel, City Of Abacus. It feels like it is taking ages to get off the ground but we will get there slowly.

VV’s Crying Blood:

VV on her style:

VV live:

For more VV Brown.

Super-love,

Photo credits: 1 – Loni Schick / 2 / 3 – G

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