Singer / Songwriter V.V. Brown talks touring with Maroon 5, her upcoming album, and why she misses London
By Liz Newman
So things have really been taking off for you lately, and there was a time you were considering just chucking it all and head back to London – what has made you stick with it and adjust to the hurtles?
I think the success of how things were going in Europe gave me the confidence to believe in myself again – so coming to America was a lot different the second time around. I was a lot older too, so I knew who I was. Also, this time around I had a different record company who I think was a better fit. And generally, it just worked out.
This is your biggest tour to date, correct?
Yes, this is the biggest tour I have done in America; I’ve done tours like this in the UK. But America is definitely different because America is massive. And it is really hot because we are touring in the summer. A lot of the places we go to it is 100 degrees – it is definitely, whoa.
How has it been touring with Maroon 5 – were you nervous at all?
No, I’m not nervous – I am quite relaxed, actually. They’ve treated us really well, and they’re lovely guys. I think it is more a small apprehension because we are still a new band here; I am still a new artist, so not everyone knows the songs so we always have our fingers crossed hoping that there will be some sort of connection with the crowd. But we are here to spread the word, get it out there – so I am grateful to just be on this tour.
I know your music has been featured on popular T.V. shows like “The City” and “Cougar Town” – but is there anything else you have done up to this point that has been a big turning point for you career-wise?
For me, David Letterman was massively big thing; I have always wanted o go on that show. And I think the Degrassi connection – where the songs played on the show – that has been a massive help to people finding out about the songs, so I am really grateful to Nickelodeon for that.
Now that you are getting more and more recognition, have you had any issues adjusting to limelight?
No, I don’t really go to all the clubs and bars where there this paparazzi…I am a quite private person. I don’t think we are big enough yet to have them swarm us. Life has obviously changed because I am traveling a lot and sometimes it is a bit weird when people treat you like they know who you are – even though they haven’t even met me. But I take everything with a pinch of salt, it doesn’t feel too drastic because everything I’m doing is very gradual, everything is a stepping stone.
You have also become known as a fashion icon. Does that show in your music or vice versa?
I think the two are married’ they are very much connected. Both bounce off each other – the music and fashion both come from the individual so it is all coming from me and my identity. I think am moving more into a simplistic sense of fashion, I have just bought loads and loads of black clothes and I think the next album I am going to where black all the time; I really like that simplicity. The next album is gong to be a bit more serious, this one is very fun, colorful and very pop – there is quite a youthful nature to it. The second album is going to reflect where I am at now, I am a much more mature individual know and learned a lot more about life than I did before.
Any pop icons that influence you or you hope to collaborate with?
I love Daevid Allen, he is a fantastic producer and artist and think he’d be a really great collaboration. I am huge fan of Imogen Heap and I do love Lady Gaga as well. I think she is fantastic; she is a great songwriter. And Grace Jones – there’s lots of different people out there.
What about Lady Gaga’s outfit risks?
I am not a huge fan of her fashion sense, but I do respect her boldness and I love the fact she is herself completely and I think she is a true artist and she does what she wants. And she is very hands on with her projects and I think that is a very inspiring things she gives off; you have to respect her for that.
You’ve called yourself a control freak in the past – do you think that helps you maintain calmness on stage?
I am definitely a control freak, it is something that I am dealing with. I think I just really, really want to make sure everything we do is represented correctly. But we have really great team of managers, record company, my band is really fun and great too – so you don’t have to worry so much because everyone is so great at what they do and I just have to make sure that I do my bit as well and then the train moves smoothly. I think the more success we’ve had, the less I’ve felt the need to control everything because it makes me have trust in other people that they can do their job properly.
You’ve been a long way from home for a while now – what’s your favorite part about being on tour?
The traveling part is really fun because you get to see so much of America, but at the same time the traveling is the worst part because you’re not traveling and actually seeing the towns you are waiting around in your tour bus to do your sound checks. So, on he flip side, it can get a bit boring. But I love meeting new people and I love playing the songs. But I am really looking forward to going home; I have been in the states for nearly a year now. I miss London. I miss my cat, my boyfriend and my family – I need a week of normality like cups of tea. But anytime you get homesick, you always kind of remember to be grateful for where you are and what you are doing because at the end of the day, despite it being difficult, you are doing what you love.