Gig Preview And Interview: V V Brown

Picture: Zoe Zimmer

She’s back! Well, very nearly. Ahead of the release of her as yet untitled second album, V V Brown guests on All About She’s Bullet, although you’d be forgiven for not recognising her voice — she goes deep. But there’s more: after a secret gig in Shoreditch she’s going to be performing her new material at three concerts all over town, ahead of a proper UK tour later in the year. All this and a thriving vintage clothing business to boot — we’d say it was high time for a quick catch-up.

Are we right to assume you were less interested in music for a little while, and if so, do you remember the moment the light was re-ignited? Or was it always burning?
I made it through, ha ha. I was always working behind the scenes on music and other projects. I remember seeing in the Metro that I had said I was “bored of the music industry” and was “no longer interested”, and I was devastated, as I was misquoted. I was just working on the new record and making sure it was right and working on VV Vintage, my online fashion store. But I think it was re-ignited by going to see Björk in Paris and feeling so inspired by her and spending time listening to music and going to galleries and exhibitions.

What can you tell us about the new album?
It’s out in September and the title is yet to be confirmed. It’s being mixed as we speak and I’m excited with a bundle of nervousness too, as it’s a completely new direction and a new chapter. I have poured all my energy into this and have had the opportunity to work with musicians and producers I admire and look up to. I’m very grateful. I was proud of Travelling Like the Light but at times I can see how it may have felt disjointed and as if I was still searching for a voice. I think I was young and learning and I think maturity has influenced my tastes and views on the three-dimensional look at an album.

Your own new single Samson is out in July, but first we have you guesting on All About She’s Bullet. What’s the story there?
I met All About She in more of a social environment before we started working professionally. The song fell into our laps and was written with such ease. I went in the vocal booth and it was created in one take, lyrics and vocals. It was really shocking how natural it was. All About She are a really talented team and I feel honoured to be part of their project. When we listened back it felt really good and we decided to leave it as it was. It was a really fun and uninterrupted process.

You have three gigs in London coming up, but you played a secret gig before, which sounded like  a ton of fun. Why did you do that?
I wanted to do something intimate. It just started off with an idea, I guess. I hadn’t done a gig in London for a while as we had spent a lot of our time in the US and France. I thought I would put out a Twitter request and then went on to create an email account especially for fans to reply to the Twitter message. We went on to receive 2,700 emails. I was absolutely shocked, I didn’t think people would care and I would have been happy with a handful of people. We then chose 300 people with a lottery system and gave people an opportunity to come down. It was a really special night. I still wasn’t sure if anyone would come to be honest, as it’s been such a while and I was nervous about showcasing the new material as I have taken a new turn with this sound. It turned out fine and the amazing Dave Okumu, who produced the Jessie Ware album and is the lead singer of The Invisible deejayed and we partied till 2 in the morning in a warehouse in East London.

You’ve played an impressive array of venues in London before, are there any places on your wish list still?
I’ve got a lot of places I’d love to play. London is such an amazing city with lots of interesting venues. The ICA would be great, and the Tate. There are so many interesting buildings and churches and run-down car parks.

When you weren’t working on music you were never being boring, what with your work on VV Vintage. That’s an online venture, what are some of your favourite real-life shops for vintage clothes in London?
Relik, and Pelicans & Parrots in Dalston.

You moved from the east of London to the south. How’s that working out for you?
South London is beautiful and a secret gem of amazing parks and hills. I never knew this before. I have lived in all parts of London and this is my favourite area now. From eating at The Gantry in Brockley to the pubs in New Cross and sitting in the old church graveyards in Honour Oak Park and Nunhead. Walking past the allotments by Camberwell, the Peckham Plex car park with its roof bar in the summer and the amazing music and art scene because of Goldsmith University. The south is this underbelly of so many wonderful things and I’m so happy my partner and I have settled into this hub that feels like home.

VV Brown will play Birthdays on 13 May, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 26 June and Madame JoJo’s on 16 July.

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