Havana Brown has always done things on her terms. From carving out a career on the club circuit to signing a major record deal and touring the world, she’s been able to turn her insatiable passion for music into an incredible and enduring career.
With more than 294 million streams of her tunes, 3.2 million singles sold and nearly a million passionate Facebook fans, Brown is one of Australia’s greatest musical exports. The Melbourne-born, LA-based artist has toured with the pop world’s biggest – including Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyonce and the Pussycat Dolls – and scored big hits with her original tunes “We Run The Night” (triple platinum), which sold over a million in the US, “Warrior” (double platinum) and “Big Banana” (platinum).
Following on from her four consecutive Billboard dance hits, Brown presents her boldest move yet, with the hip-hop/RnB single “Glimpse”. Sexy, sassy and instantly infectious, the tune is a seductive anthem that celebrates living your best life.
“It’s still club music. It’s always had a pop element to it and I always want to be able to play my music in the club,” she explains. “It’s sexy, it’s got that darkness to it, it’s thumping. I had a vision of having something a lot sexier than I’ve done in the past, which is exciting and liberating.”
Featuring one of the rap world’s hottest young guns and Kendrick Lamar collaborator, Atlanta-based Rich The Kid, “Glimpse” is the first taste of an exciting new phase for Brown. With its spacious production, minimalism and incredible vocal performance, it finds the artist at her most confident and assured.
“When I’m in the studio I like listening to music I’m inspired by, and one of the tracks I was playing when we started writing was Rich The Kid’s ‘Plug Walk’,” she explains. “When we’d gotten a lot of the song down, the producer I was working with sent it to Rich The Kid – and he was like, ‘This is hot, I want to do this.’ So he jumped on the track. It was amazing.”
And while Brown is immensely proud of her back catalogue – from the Crave Mix compilation series to her debut solo album, 2013’s ARIA Top 10 hit Flashing Lights – she’s never been more excited to have fans see just what she can do. And “Glimpse” is just the beginning, with the artist set to pack dance floors with her new set presented as two EPs.
“The music I’ve been making is everything I’ve wanted to do for the last couple of years,” she explains. “When I first started DJing, I was playing in the RNB clubs, because you had to choose in Australia – dance clubs played only dance and RNB clubs played only RNB. So I was playing in RNB clubs but I was trying to play dance music throughout my sets as well. I’ve grown up with hip-hop; my Crave series, it started off completely urban. People who would have known me back then would have known me as an urban DJ. And as soon as I finished my last album, I was like, ‘I need to do urban music.’”
Despite the darker, broodier production on “Glimpse”, it’s an anthemic, uplifting call to arms that feels as suited for listening at home on headphones as it is for the dance floor.
“For me, it’s just capturing the feeling you have when you’re dressed up, with your girlfriends, ready to go out and you’re feeling really good,” she says of the track. “I set up the song with the idea that my ex is messed up and he’s going to regret it, because look at me now. And you know when you’re with your best friends and you feel like you can conquer the world? You go out, you feel good. That’s amazing.”
It’s a huge sign of things to come from Brown, who’s putting the finishing touches on an album that’s set to push her sound in ways that’ll thrill her fans and earn her many more. And while it sees her embrace her urban roots in exciting new ways, at the heart of it she captures what makes music so powerful.
“When I listen to music, I want it to make me feel like I can dream. It’s not all materialistic; it’s just that one day you want to feel that good. It’s the feeling of being in the moment with the artist,” she says.