If VV Brown were a rapper, people would say she is “grinding.” The U.K. songstress is busy creating an online vintage shop, prepping for her sophomore album due out in February and performing around the world.
A divine multi-tasker, she took time to chat with us while cooking some spaghetti. Here’s what she had to say:
CMJ: After being offered several record deals before, what made you finally decide to sign with Capitol?
VV Brown: I thought they were really iconic. I like the artists on their roster, and I just had a really good feel about them and enjoyed working with the people. The timing also had a lot to do with it. I was already signed to Europe with Travelling Like The Light, and we were exploring other offers in America. Capitol Records came in with an offer, and it was just perfect.
You got the American record deal, and then you hit American television. Your first appearance was on the Rachael Ray Show. What was that first experience like for you?
It was amazing. I was really nervous. I never performed on American TV before, and the stigma with performing in America is just huge especially because I’m from England and it’s such a small country. She made us feel really welcomed and fed us delicious brownies.
About a month ago CMJ got the chance to see you at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. You weren’t wearing any shoes—is that pretty standard for you?
I never wear shoes when I perform. I like to feel really free. I like to have less distractions from the music. Laughs
During that performance you announced that it was your first time performing any songs from your new album, Lollipops And Politics. What made you choose New York as the first place to preview it?
I think New York is the hardest crowd in America; one, because they seem real and, two, because they seem quite European in the sense that their decision making about creative stuff is quite harsh. I also love New York and the vibe. It always feels like home. Brooklyn also has a really great creative environment. It was a great way to start and test the tour. Why not start in New York where they are going to keep it real?
At that same show, you mentioned that “Like Fire” was the first song you produced.
On the album I played all the instruments on it. It meant so much to me and still does. It’s kind of a window into a really deep part of me and where I am as an artist.
Is it the same beat from Usher’s“There Goes My Baby”? Did you produce that song as well?
I did hear about this about the melody being similar. Hums “There Goes My Baby.” It’s difficult, but, no, I didn’t intend to do it. Maybe my subconscious did. I hope he doesn’t sue me.
Do you maintain your own Twitter?
I do. I don’t tweet as much as I should, but I do have a Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I tend to be quite emotional, so if something upsets me I take it to Twitter, which is really quite dangerous. Social media is a great way to promote your music, but it is creating a weird thing where people are being really, really open about everything. I find it a bit weird.
Lollipops And Politics drops early February. Is your excitement level through the roof?
I’m just cool. It will be what it will be. I think I will be more excited when we go back on tour. But I am excited that people will be able to hear it all. But I’m cool. I’m just going to watch. I’m going to sit in the middle and just be cool.
Final question. Can you tell us a bit about the vintage store you are opening?
VV Vintage is launching online at the end of January. I’m very excited about this project. We are selling vintage clothing, and we want people to know that it just isn’t another vintage shop. We work with young designers that come straight out of art school, and we take vintage clothing and turn it into these amazing pieces. It’s in the price range of like an Asos. I would love for people to look out for it in January.