The 25-year-old Brown, born in Northampton, England and based in London, wrote her first melody on the piano at age 5, with training in church, weekend jazz and classical piano lessons, and, of course, in her parents' record collection, which included Ruth Brown, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Queen and Elvis Presley. By her own admission, the early pursuit of a music career left her alone and thoroughly off-course. The teachers' daughter skipped university, and signed to a major label at the age of 19 in Los Angeles, gathering pseudononymous co-writer and background vocal credits on the albums of platinum artists. But after three years in the mill, she felt profoundly bereft of purpose, not to mention devastated by a bad break-up. "I lost myself completely," she remembers. "I lost my identity. My voice. Everything."
Fortunately, she woke up and found her voice, in every respect. Now, signed to Universal's Island Records in the United Kingdom and to EMI's Capitol Records in the United States, VV Brown is a dynamo self-starter: a songwriter and producer; an absolute trouper through two European music festival seasons; a fashion maven with a retail website devoted to her personal eye for retro style in the 21st century, and even a model, first signed through a chance in-flight meeting, and now represented by Next Models. VV'S endeavors are all deeply integrated under her creative ownership, not the scattered branding efforts of a newbie with a "360" deal. "It's honest - it's not about being festooned with 10-million-pound diamonds or having perfect hair. It's about letting out all these ideas I've had locked up in my mind," VV states.
Influenced by the likes of Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse while still maintaining a unique style of her own, VV signed to write and produce her own album in 2008 which was released in the UK in July 2009, called Travelling Like the Light. Track by track, the insanely singable, danceable and memorable songs of the album claim VV's personal and artistic turf among the most gifted of today's singer-songwriters, and even suggest the career peaks of the young Bette Midler and comeback-era Tina Turner. As the songwriter and co-producer of her own music, it's impossible to miss VV's deep appreciation of pop, soul and rock music's breadth, stretching from the very foundation grooves of rock-and-roll, to the kinds of video-game and analog synth sounds that turned up in 80s hip-hop and the post-2K crunk.
This summer, Brown has performed at a prestigious slate of festivals, in every gig living up to the impressed oohs and aahs of the press, and opening up for the like of The Ting Tings, Ladyhawke and Antony & the Johnsons. Next, this musical sensation is ready to take over the world with her upcoming 2010 US release of Travelling Like the Light.