Monday, February 8, 2010

Private Interview with DJ Havana Brown....

I have often wondered what it takes to achieve success and become known for the very thing you love to do…We all read about the worlds most famous celebrities, models, actresses, DJ’s and wonder how they got to where they are…Is there really a little secret or is it much simpler than what we think…At times it seems like the road to the pot of gold is full of challenges and thank you DJ Havana Brown who let me into her private world to be interviewed and to share what it takes to overcome them. As I continue to read one biography after another I see that it takes belief in who you are and what you do as well as making sacrifices to make your dreams come true.
I’ll now let Miss Havana Brown take the stage…a place where she truly shines…

Where were you born/grow up?
Melbourne, Australia

Date of birth?
Valentines Day!!!

Current city?

I am currently in Los Angeles but am always traveling to different cities throughout world each week. Next is Toronto, Canada, then Dubai and back to Melbourne Australia.

Favourite fashion brand?Why?
I’m loving Balmain at the moment because of their sharp, structured look. Australian labels GRIPP and Bettina Liano have some great styles with that look also.

Favourite designer? Why?
Karl Lagerfeld! As well as simultaneously designing for Chanel, Fendi and his signature line, he has designed a H&M line and photographed all of the Chanel advertising campaigns for the last nineteen years!

How do these fashion brands/designers empower you as a woman?
I find that feeling good about my appearance helps me to be confident DJing in front of a crowd.

Favourite charity?
Greening Australia

Favourite song?
As a DJ it’s hard to put it down to just one favourite song as it changes often. Currently the track I love is “Feel It” (by Three 6 Mafia feat Tiesto, Sean Kingston& Flo Rida), no matter when or where I play this songs it always sets the dance floor on fire.

Favourite holiday spot – why?
New York. Everybody in the city seems to be poised and ready, waiting on the edge for something amazing to happen – it gives a wonderful feeling of anticipation and a great atmosphere that inspires me to give my best.

Favourite resort/place to stay?
I would have to sayRodriguez which is a little Island off Mauritius. Not too many people know about it yet and it’s absolutely beautiful. This is also where my parents are originally from.

Things you love and can’t live without?
I love my MacBook Pro and Blackberry, love Inglot makeup and super high heels, and can’t live without my family, friends, and music.

How did you start out?
I grew up with a steady love and involvement in music and eventually moved to London to pursue my singing career, joining the group Fishbowl. Unfortunately the band fell apart before the release of our first album but I was still pretty determined I wanted a career in the industry. While at a club one night in London I was inspired by the DJ’s ability to create an atmosphere and a performance with the music and eventually I decided that was it. I got a respected DJ friend to teach me the basics and I took it from there, working hard to get a set at some of the top clubs.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love being on stage; I’m a born performer! I also love being in the studio, writing and recording, and discovering new tracks to play. Of course, getting to travel to some amazing places is an incredible bonus!

What do you feel is your calling and how do you achieve it through your art and work as a DJ?
I think my broader calling in life is to be a good daughter, a good partner, a good sister and a good friend. Music makes me happy and fulfilled and so I’m sure it translates.

Professionally, working in the entertainment industry feels right to me and my work as a DJ is part of that. I plan to broaden my horizon in music and have no boundaries about the possibilities of what that could hold in the future.

What other professions have you tried and when and how did you know that this was your calling?
I knew from a young age that I had a love for music and performing, through experiences I had on TV shows and on stage. I always loved music.
I have worked in other areas along the way; as a singer in the band Fishbowl, a part time job at a clothing store whilst studying - I didn’t ever think of it as my profession though, but rather a way to support myself financially during school.

What inspired you to become a DJ?
Did you always know what you wanted to do? I had been working in the music industry in London when our band fell apart prior to the release of our album. After a lot of hard work, everything stalled and I started to look for something that gave me the opportunity to work with music and to perform, but where I didn’t have to rely on others so much. There are some amazing DJ’s in London and I just loved the way they could rock the dance floor!

How did you go about achieving such a level of success at such a young age?
Hard work and a lot of support from family, who always encourage and believe in me.

What do you believe is the reason you are where you are today?
Having drive, focusing on the bigger picture and the complete support of my family also allowed me to get to where I am in my career today.
I have worked really hard at my profession, but music and performance is also something that comes fairly naturally to me. I have been practicing music for years and years without any accolades, but I never gave up believing I could make a career of it.

I’ve also made sacrifices to get where I am, like moving away from my family for a period of time to live in London and work on my music, and passing up weekends away with the girls when I have a gig.

What is success to you?
Success is very subjective. To me success is being happy, fulfilled and content with who you are, where you are and what you’re doing. That could be being a great Mother or being a great President.

What has your success enabled you to do? What other goals and dreams has it allowed you to pursue?
Being a DJ has opened many doors for me, including producing my own music which has always been a dream of mine. I’m currently working on my own tracks and am very excited to be going to the US to work with some great producers soon.

After a lot of hard work I signed to a major record label (the only female DJ to do so in Australia) which has given me the opportunities to release 3 Crave compilation albums that have gone to the top of the ARIA charts. I’ve also been able to work in radio with a weekly Friday segment on the Austereo Network and the Party People FOXFM Saturday night mix.

Of course, it’s also allowed me to travel to some amazing places and take my friends to some amazing events, all in the name of work!

Was success a choice or something that just happened? What conscious decision did you make to get to where you are today?
I think success follows if you are very passionate and work hard at what you are doing, regardless of what that is. However, I also believe you have to make a conscious goal to work towards. If you are passionate and work hard at that goal it will ultimately lead to decisions that put your future goal ahead of the little things that give instant gratification.

What do you believe contributed mostly to you achieving success and becoming the No.1 DJ as well as being invited to perform with some of the world’s greatest artists?
I do believe that I am unique, have my own style and have something a little different to offer. I enjoy myself so much that I think everyone in the room can feel it. I have a strong belief in myself and always do me. I do what I believe is right and I am fortunate that people seem to like it.

As a DJ I am not afraid to take risks and mix different music genres together. I’ll play some Lenny Kravitz and mix it with harder R’n’B or house tracks. I don’t like to pigeon-hole tracks to a particular genre.

Once again without the hard work I can guarantee that this would not have been possible.

Who are your role models and what inspires you about them?
My mum and dad are my role models. They have taught me so much about life. They came to Australia with practically nothing and have worked extremely hard to be where they are now with their success business. They are so loving and caring and have given my brother and myself an amazing life.

A DJ that really inspired me was DJAM. He really crossed genres and styles in his mixes and blurred the boundaries of what it meant to be classified by a genre as a DJ, and he did it so well. It’s such a shame his life was cut tragically short.

What do you attribute to your success and having reached being No.1 R&B DJ?
Hard work, passion and not giving up.

Have you had a mentor along the way and who inspires you most and why?
My manager Vince Deltito has been an amazing support and mentor throughout my journey in the music business.

Who would you most like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Barak Obama. He really gives me hope that our generation may be heading towards a brighter future!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Know who you are, take constructive criticism on board and don’t take yourself too seriously. A lot of things in life are fickle but family and friends love you unconditionally.

What difficulties and challenges have you faced to get to where you are and how did you turn them around?
I don’t look like your typical DJ – for a start I’m female and the DJ profession is predominantly male – and so that’s a challenge because you have to work harder to earn respect. Once people really take note of my music it’s an easy challenge to overcome.

If you could say one thing to women out there to inspire them on their journey to success what would it be?
You don’t need to rely on anyone but yourself, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to fail. It’s all part of the learning process.

Do you have a favourite quote you would like to share with us?
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill
Rock on glamour girl...

4 comments:

  1. Wow like this post very much related to DJ's. I want to get some information about india's first female dj. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love DJ HB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. She is really inspiring, but I really want to know more about her childhood!!! ILY HB! ex,oh,ex,oh

    ReplyDelete

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