15 March 2011

Grazia Daily spends 5 minutes with VV Brown!

Another wicked performer and fashion icon involved with the WOW Women of the World festival was VV Brown. In a mini chat backstage, we talked feminism, female popstars and fashion with the outspoken performer.

Grazia Daily: Hello VV! How are you? How did you get involved with WOW?

VVBrown: I just got a call from the EQUALS coalition of charities and I jumped at the chance. I think International Women’s Day is very important and it’s really empowering. My own experience of feminism goes straight back to my family, where I was raised by some very strong women. My mum, for example, was the first ever black woman to win “Businesswoman of the Year” in 1999 – and my Grandma went to University to study law aged 70! So I had those as an example to me.

GD: You’ve always been a singer and a performer, but your success didn’t come instantly. Have you experienced sexism coming up through the music industry?

VVB: And now! I’m still coming up now! No, I wouldn’t say the industry is harder for girls – after all, look at all the brilliant female popstars around at the moment; Florence, Lady Gaga – female singers are all over the place at the moment, and dare I say it, there are more successful female singers than there are male at the moment!

What I think is the problem is when there is so much pressure on people to look a certain way, or when all the emphasis is on the way they look, rather than their work. I mean, Florence is a great example of someone who has a fantastic image – looks absolutely great, but as an artist, she has a lot more to offer than just her looks. She writes her own songs, she’s amazing.

 

GD: In terms of women's rights, if you could achieve change in just one area, what would it be?

VVB: Well, it’s so hard to say one thing. There’s a real split between our society and then the developing world. For example, in countries like Iran or countries in Africa, women have what seem like barely any rights at all – the statistics about an issue like rape for example, are shocking. Then over here, in legal terms we have much more equality but on the other hand sexism is much more subtle. Magazines, for example push just one very narrow idea of what women should be like and we need to break away from that.

GD: Are you going to be doing any more modeling, VV?

VVB: Yes, I am going to work with M&S again. I took the job with them as I feel a responsibility to all the little black girls out there watching telly, so they will see me and get to see a black girl modeling the clothes. Also – it is a really fun job. The people who work for M&S and the crew of those ads are like the nicest people in the world and I get to travel to cool locations like Miami to film them!

 

GD: What else are you up to this year?

VVB: I’ve made a new album which will be out in the summer and I’ve also written a book. It’s a graphic novel and we’re going to go to a sci-fi comic festival in May to promote it!

GD: One of those big conventions where everyone dresses up as their favourite comic-book character?

VVB: Yep that’s right.

GD: We weren’t expecting you to say that – that’s very cool indeed! Thank you so much for talking to us VV, and good luck with all your projects!    

- Naomi Attwood


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