By: Kyra Williams, BmoreFab! Correspondent
It’s almost impossible to turn on the radio in Baltimore without hearing her voice blaring through your speakers and rightfully so! Brave Williams is back on the scene with her popular song “Oooh Luv Ya.” She’s also promoting her upcoming EP, “Fearless.”
We sat down with the rising star to get her thoughts on being on her own without her former group Rich Girl, her thoughts on reality television, and what it’s like being Brave after overcoming many obstacles. After getting to know her you will instantly become a Brave heart!
Who is Brave?
Brave is a girl from Baltimore. Who started out doing spoken word, a lyricist and constantly writing. She took all of that and turned it into singing.
Do you prefer working on your own or as a group?
I prefer working on my own. The group was a lot of fun but being by yourself you’re given a lot more freedom to do whatever you want to do. When you’re in a group situation you have to ask and get permission to see if this person likes this or if it’s cool to say something but now I’m in complete control.
How have you developed from Rich Girl to now as the solo artist Brave?
I’ve developed by constantly working on it. By “it” I mean my craft, writing, staying in the studio, being around other writers and vocalists. I’m always in rehearsals working with choreographers getting the show right. You’re constantly evolving, you just have to make sure you’re in a place where you’re allowed to grow and being around creative people all the time does that.
What artists inspire you?
I absolutely love Slum Village. I love a lot of different rappers like Tupac and Biggie. Singers from Stevie Wonder to Patrice Rushen inspire me. I listen to a lot of old school artist and I listen to them and study the melody choices they choose to use during a particular time. My iPod consists of a wide range of old school music and rap.
With the hit summer single “Oooh (Luv ya)” and your forthcoming EP in the works, what sounds are you going for? And how did you come up with the title Fearless for the EP?
The EP will drop during the end of summer (There’s no official date yet). The sounds on the EP will consist of hip-hop infused sounds, classic sounds, and also ballads which will be more emotional on subjects of breakups or trying to overcome a breakup. It’s going to be a wide range of sounds. I came up with the title alone just through my journey from everything I’ve experienced from after the group to this point. The one thing that I’ve learned is fear has never ever told me the truth-like in life. I’ve just learned that to really pursue something wholeheartedly and to go after your dream you have to be fearless. You have to let go of all of your doubts or anything you think that will hinder you from reaching your mark or win. One must have a fearless type of mind frame because it’s hard and that was really important to me and I really had to learn that. With that being said I was like you know what — that’s going to be the name of the EP Fearless.
So by you being a native of Baltimore do you feel you receive enough love from your hometown?
Honestly I’m completely blown away by the love that I am receiving from Baltimore — from the DJ’s to radio stations to people that are hearing the song. I’m taking back by it but most importantly appreciative and happy because you never know how this thing can go. I know when I was in the group they played the song (“Swagger Right”) a few times. I think the tour pushed us and now being by myself and seeing them play the song as often as they are. Baltimore is really showing up for Brave.
In 2009 you opened up for Beyonce during her I Am…Tour. What was the experience like? Did you ever receive any advice from her?
The whole tour was amazing. I was just excited and happy to be in front of that many people. She was very sweet and gracious that we were opening up the show for her. She did give us some advice and secrets when it came to performing live. One of them was some mic tricks, which I thought was really cool because she really did not have to do that. She also taught us some of the ins and outs of performing. So she was really helpful just from one artist to another.
You are friends with Kaleena Harper, who is formerly apart of the group Dirty Money. She is currently starring on Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta. Could you see yourself doing reality television?
I would never say never but reality TV is kind of tricky. It would just have to make sense on what type of show it was. It could be a spinoff of my life just cooling with my family and my people and play around with the idea of how to make the show exciting. That kind of thing I would be open to that. It would just have to make sense (Laughs).
You played in the TLC movie Crazy, Sexy Cool. Could you see yourself acting again in the future?
On the casting paper my character had no name and it basically said lead singer from a group. People thought I was trying to hide it or play a game but that is what I was casted for. I don’t know if it happened or if it was something they wanted to add into the movie. I felt like they were trying to paint a picture of some of the comments they received from other artists. On acting in the future: absolutely! I love acting. Acting is fun. I have these characters that I do and they’re really kooky and crazy. So acting is on the horizon.
2011 was a hard year for you. Your dad passed away and your former manager Maynard Virgil passed away. During that time period did you ever lose your passion for music?
Yes, 2011 was really a rough year and it was the same year the group disbanded. It definitely caused me to go into a dark place. Honestly, I was lost for a minute trying to figure out if I still wanted to music or if I had it in me. I really felt that I was by myself and everything I’ve known or was in a long period of my life was now gone. No more record deal, no more group, no more manger, and no dad. It hit hard. That was when I had to rise up to my name. It took me a second because I was really like a little girl in the corner for a long time like what am I going to do? But I had to rise to the occasion and say to myself you really need to get yourself together and figure this thing out! This situation bought me back to my hometown Baltimore where I found my manager and everything has been uphill.
On Instagram you post “Braveisms,” which are little inspirations messages or quotes from you. What braveism would you give out for a girl that wants to start or is currently new in the music industry?
PATIENCE! Patience is a complete virtue because if you shoot the gun too fast and you are not ready or if you are too anxious to get yourself out there, you can make a lot more mistakes and hurt yourself more. As opposed to you waiting and really figuring out what your gift was, your message, and who you are. So patience would be my word of the day.
Be sure to look out for Brave’s upcoming EP Fearless and also check her out June 21 on the main stage at the African American Festival (Afram), located at the Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore, Md.