VV Brown scrapped her last album Lollipops and Politics just weeks before release, abandoned a music deal with Island Records and thought she was going mad. Now, under her own record label, VV (or Vanessa or Ness to her friends) has released a new album called Samson and Delilah and finally, she says, feels free. Here the 29-year-old musician, model and designer reveals why she’s a sucker for risk, how Breaking Bad could ruin her and why Nicole Scherzinger may be Peckham bound…
You canned your album and went it alone. Why?
I thought I was going crazy, jeopardising my career and financial security but listening back to Lollipops and Politics it felt different from the person I was. It was probably the scariest, boldest thing I have ever done, because the first time when I got signed when I was 19, I got, I guess in quotes ‘dropped’ by the label. The second time round it was my decision to no longer be in a major label position. I could have released ‘Lollipops and Politics’ and I could still have remained in an environment or position that a lot of artists work so hard to get. It was really difficult, but a massive rebirth, and the risk was really empowering.
When else has a risk paid off?
The second date with my boyfriend in Morocco! I had a gig over there but he came over and I thought: ‘This is going to break it or make it. We’ve been together nearly four years.
So what’s his name and what does he do?
I won’t say his name, but he’s an art director, is an incredible person and has really balanced me.
You live together in Peckham, south London. Er, that’s not very showbiz!
I am a down to earth girl. I like going to the pub and driving my Land Rover around Peckham. [Fame] be such a plastic environment and such a hierarchy. When it turns in to a form of worship, like [the hysteria of fans] over One Direction in GQ, that is slightly scary. I could not handle that.
Not really, if I see her then I will say hello.
Apparently she’s lonely in London while filming the X Factor, you so should get in touch!
I will. But Peckham might be a bit too rough for her!
Tell us about your new ethical Mary Benson VV Vintage Range in Topshop…
Mary is an incredible designer. Rita Ora’s been wearing her designs and Topshop approached us because we stock her. We want to make a name for ethical fashion that is a bit more trendy. With a space in Topshop we can spread the word.
What’s your idea of perfect downtime?
I love Breaking Bad. When the new series started we basically dressed up like chemistry teacher turned drug dealers to watch it. Netflix could be the cause of my career failing!
You suffered depression when living in LA, do you worry it could return?
It’s totally done and dusted. I’ve found happiness in life. My brother having his first daughter blew my mind. There’s more to life than how many twitter followers I have. You have to put things in to perspective.
Are you going to be a mum any time soon?
I am 100% ready to have kids and we are talking about it. I know what I want – to control my business, a family, to live in Peckham, make great music and be a good person. It’s the most peaceful and beautiful place I have ever been.
VV Brown’s album Samson and Delilah is out now.
By Gemma Calvert
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