In 2013 singer-songwriter VV Brown dropped an album that surprised everyone – fans and industry insiders alike. Samson & Delilah was VV Browns first full length studio album since 2009’s Pop/RnB oriented debut, Travelling Like The Light and in place of upbeat pop hits we were introduced to a musician who had gone through a very darkly metamorphosis. The outcome was a new goth-like and edgy pop style that draped hit singles like Samson, The Apple and Faith with flawless precision.
Two years have passed since Samson & Delilah dropped and VV is back with an impeccable new collection to follow up that 2013 masterpiece. Glitch was released at the end of September and has so far received widespread acclaim for its edgy style and boundary pushing lyrical content. The record touches on new areas of VV’s musical reinvention and explores genres like techno and drum’n’bass and the end result is a record that is sheer perfection from start to end.
We have been big fans of VV’s career so far and we were delighted to have a follow up chat with VV about her brand new record, the differences in recording Glitch and Samson & Delilah compared to her debut and where she drew inspiration from for the writing and recording process of Glitch. Here is what she had to tell us…
Brendon Veevers: How are you VV – where does our interview find you today?
VV: I am driving around doing errands in an uber. Dropping off laundry for a service wash, cutting keys and sorting out things at the bank. It’s not a very glamorous start to the day but ordinary with extraordinary things is a lovely thing sometimes.
BV: We are SO excited to have a brand new V V Brown record in our hands right now because as you know, we are HUGE fans of yours here at Renowned For Sound. Firstly, what did you do to celebrate the release of Glitch?
VV: I had a surprise party organised by my friends and family. It was so lovely. We laughed, ate cheese burgers and drank champagne in Shoreditch. I am not very good with surprises. It’s always a bit awkward. It was such a sweet gesture.
BV: Your previous Samson & Delilah release took everyone by complete surprise as it was a departure from your former pop oriented style and we got to hear a much darker, goth like VV Brown emerge after a lengthy absence from the music scene. Do you feel that this artistic metamorphosis has been well received by fans and the industry?
VV: I hope so, I think so. You never really know when your looking out of the window from your own house. Your perception of things is always different in your own head. Going by social media we seem to be getting there slowly. From a creative point of view we are creative superstars because we are doing what we want to do and are fulfilling our own versions of what those dreams mean to us.
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BV: Can you talk us through the new record – where was the album recorded, how long did it take for you to put the LP together and who did you work with on Glitch to make it the record as impeccable as it has turned out?
VV: We recorded the record in 8 months in our studio on Hackney Road. I worked with an incredible producer called Nearly Native who is the most incredible producer I have ever worked with. I adore working with him and our musical chemistry is electric. It was a very instinctive records and happened very easily.
BV: What inspired you the most during the writing and recording process of Glitch?
VV: I was asking a lot of questions about things. Life, love, sex, relationships, politics, people… The record is quite macro. I am looking down at the world and asking questions about what is all stands for. Lazarus is about white privilege, Money Sex Power is about capitalism, SHIFT is about changing perceptions, Fractured is about narcism, Flatline is about death… Its all about the way the world effects us and the people we are coming. The person I am becoming.
BV: Shift has been helping build momentum for Glitch as its lead single and the song has a very different structure to any previous V V single. Can you tell us a bit about the song and the story behind the song?
VV: It’s all about SHIFTING peoples perceptions. People can be so judgemental and stuck in there own narrow ways of thinking. It’s so easy to stand in a corner and think you know everything about a person’s life or a persons way of being by all the pre conceived ideas projected on them. This happens in the world whether your black, gay, a women or just a human being.
As human beings we love to judge. Its so annoying when you sit in a room of “past time hipsters” and you can here there gnarly judgements about a person. It frustrates me when you hear someone being stereotypical about a group of people based on some ignorant stance. The song was originally written about human rights. It was written about judgemental thoughts. It’s all about SHIFTING all those closed minded versions of judgemental, self entitled arrogant thinkers and SHIFTING all those perceptions. This is what were fighting for.
BV: Glitch carries similarities to Samson & Delilah in terms of it’s dark edge and that amazing new vocal style that you applied to that release but it comes across a little more musically experimental. Was there a preconceived direction that you set out on for Glitch or was this end result a purely spontaneous development as you were putting each of the tracks together?
VV: It was very spontaneous. We started writing an EP called Temple and it was centrered around Buddism but somehow we managed to get where we are today. It was very much a take it by day project. We didn’t know what to expect the moment we went in the studio. We wrote a song a day and moved on and went back to them weeks later with fresh ears to see which one worked. We then went into edit mode, post production and the rest is history. We didn’t want to be too precious about it. We chose what we loved, what made us feel excited and that was our main driving factor.
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BV: The videos you have released for both Shift and the latest single from the record, Lazarus, are as equally captivating and artistic as the tracks themselves. How much involvement or input do you have in the visual side of VV Brown? Do you let your team take the reins or are you much more hands on with the final say being yours?
VV: I am massively involved in the video production. To involved to be honest. I have worked with Daniel Price @ DDAANN studios for a very long time now and I think he is a genius. He wouldn’t want me to throw that word around so lightly but I really feel he is a hidden gem to the world, undiscovered. Daniel Price directed Lazarus. Daniel Gold is also someone I have known for a long time, from school day! He was 10 when I left school so it’s weird seeing him as a director in his own right.
It’s important the videos get the message across in the exact way I want as an artist. I mean, you have to let people to what they do best, I am not a film maker the way they are, but every step of the way is looked at and made sure to be fitting to the ultimate focus which is the music.
BV: Let’s go back for a moment to your early years, to your big breakthrough single, Shark In The Water and your debut album, Travelling Like The Light. Shark In The Water put you on the musical map around the world however you recently tweeted “There was so much of me that wasn’t coming out with shark in the water. I felt limited. Now your hearing the real me.” Can you tell us about the experience of putting your first album together and how this experience perhaps made you feel this way?
VV: It was a different time. I am what they call a late bloomer. I think people often think when I say things like that it means I don’t like the song and I am not grateful. I do like Shark as a pop song but somehow I managed to chase the song and success over the music. Not all songs I like are songs that represent me as a person. I made a song that I am grateful for every single day. I am still living off that album to this day so I can only be grateful for it. It is the reason I am able to do what I am doing now.
However, when I look back I don’t know who that is anymore. People like to stare at the same photographs I want to move on. I think I limited myself because I thought that was what I had to do to be successful. That’s what was getting me a deal, tour, money. The train started and if I got off I was going to hurt myself. I was pitching the right project on the wrong person. I would go on stage and sing Shark In The Water and go home and listen to Knife. It soon became obvious that I was my own contradiction.
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BV: What are the key differences in how you approach a new album these days compared to when you wrote, recorded, released and promoted Travelling Like The Light?
VV: I think I have always been an instinctive writer so that has stayed the same. I do love writing to a beat these days and I’m inspired by loops where as TLTL was more about playing around a one string guitar. I also use a lot of visuals to help me write too. I use to obsess about radio and hit records, the main focus was we ned to write a single or a hit! Now I just make music I like. They will play it if they think its right and if its not then that’s fine.
BV: Going back to the new album; do you have a favourite song on Glitch? Are there any tracks that stand out for you personally within the record?
VV: I love Flatline.
BV: You are very present on social media, regularly retweeting and chatting with your fans who are very dedicated VV followers. What message do you want to give to your fans who are clearly loving Glitch?
VV: I love you so much and appreciate all the love and support. I wish I could get every single person on twitter and facebook and we all party in a room together. I genuinely feel like they are my friends. Xx
BV: Who do you think is doing amazing things in music at the moment and may not necessarily be getting the attention they deserve? Anyone up there on your radar that you can recommend?
VV: Kate Boy. They need more love xx
BV: After the release of Samson & Delilah you went out to tour the new songs from that record. Can we expect news of a Glitch tour sometime in the near future?
VV: Absolutely. We have a unique tour idea we are working on. I cant wait to reveal!!!
VV’s brand new album Glitch is out now.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.