DJ Havana Brown Discusses Music, Career
Since first hitting the scene in 2011 with her monster hit “We Run The Night”, DJ Havana Brown has been taking the world by storm. The Australian born beauty has built an impressive following; not only for her abilities as a DJ, but also for her hook-laden singles and catchy melodies. Her impressive resume includes stints as the supporting act for such artists as Lady Gaga, The Pussycat Dolls and Rihanna.
So it should come as no surprise that Brown’s latest single, “Warrior” combined with her already infectious charisma and string of #1’s will only add fuel to the fire in her pursuit of pop domination.
I spoke with Brown about her latest album, “Flashing Lights”, her career and the origin of two of her biggest songs.
How would you describe the “Flashing Lights” album?
I’d describe it as adventurous, club-pop. It’s edgy, but definitely influenced by the clubs. It’s pop because of the tempo, melodies and the catchy lyrics.
What’s your writing process like?
I always begin with the production and like it to be at a certain point to where I start getting a vibe from it. Once I get the vibe, it helps with building the concept and mood of the song. The production is just as important as the melody and the lyrics.
Let’s discuss the origin of a few of your songs: We Run The Night.
I was in Australia working with different writers and producers and had this idea in my mind. I wanted a pop record, but I wanted there to be Dutch breakdown after the chorus. I wanted a certain kind of sound and I could hear it in my head. Some people were telling me it was too “pop” or that it was too “club”. Fortunately, I was able to work with a duo here who totally got both worlds. They wrote and produced the song. It was the inspiration for what I was after, and “We Run The Night” was born.
When R3hab first played me that beat, I knew the song couldn’t be about something typical. It had to be about something quirky. It was actually inspired by the song “Short Dick Man”, taking it and having a little bit of fun with it.
Have you noticed any differences between American audiences and those from Australia?
Not really. A few years ago, the States were a bit more into hip hop and RnB. But now, the music world has become a much smaller place and everyone has access to the same kinds of music.
Tell me how your career began?
I was part of a group when I first left high school. We were doing a mixture of dance, RnB and reggae and eventually moved to the U.K where we were signed to a record label. It was a cool sound we created, but our album unfortunately never saw the light of day.
After the group fell apart, it became a very difficult time for me. We had signed a deal and I thought this was my time and that I was going to be able to do what I love for the rest of my life. After it had collapsed, I remember being in limbo and not sure of what I wanted to do.
The London party scene was incredible and I started going out partying nearly every single night. For a solid six months I would just go out and dance my sorrows away [laughs]. One night, I remember looking up at the DJ and thinking “Now THAT is the best job!” You didn’t have to worry about the politics of the music industry or getting a record deal and you could create a major success on your own. I liked the idea of being able to perform and entertain a crowd. That would be an amazing job.
Literally, the next morning I was messaging the guy who was part of the group (DJ Panos) and telling him what I wanted to do. Back then, I didn’t know any females who were in the industry, so I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be. But he told me he thought it was a brilliant idea and offered to teach me a few things. Those were the words I needed to hear. Once I started DJ’ing, everything fell into place and it was such a smooth transition. I felt like I was on the right path and I knew this was where I was meant to be.