Monday, April 13, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Brave Williams from R&B Divas

By Lenell King

Brave Williams has come along way since  working under the guidance of P Diddy during  her "Making the Band" audition.   She successfully started a girl group, and found herself opening up for the "Queen B" herself, Beyonce.   She is now an official "Diva in Training" taking on accomplished Divas in the world of reality TV where most would run and  hide, she is truly holding her own and showing just how "Brave " she really is.  Ladies and gentleman today's special guest for Brave  Williams. 

Lenell: How did you get your name?  Was it given at birth or did you come up with that as an artistic creation:
Brave:   I had the name for a long time since the age of 13 or 14.   It started from when I was doing spoken word at an open mic in Baltimore, MD.  I was doing a piece at such a young age that the audience was like, "WOW, you are so brave for that." Every time I went back they would call me brave. From there the name kind of stuck.

Lenell:  While growing up in Baltimore, what were some of your influences and how did you get involved on the music scene?
Brave:  I started writing,  which is my first love... poetry.   I fell in love with the art of words.   It wasn't until I actually heard TuPac while driving in my car. From that point,  that's when the whole love of rap ignited in me.  When I was 16, I started to pay attention to Mary J's, "What's the 411", that's when I realized that I could sing. I started to turn rap into a song and then it became a marriage of hip hop and R&B.

Lenell:  Typically during an interview we here the musical influences normally come from a parent; was that true with your family? If not, were they supportive of your career?
Brave:   I was very young, when I realized that I wanted to take this seriously.  At first my parents were a little skeptical as most parents would be if their child says I 'm leaving home to pursue a career in music.  When I traveled, they were very protective. However, as time went on it got easier and they became more supportive.   I was 17, when I wanted to go audition for "Making the Band" in New York.  I was still in high school and they let me go.  They took me up and we stayed together in a small hotel room.  My entire family came, but now that I look back on it , it was really a beautiful moment.  It got easier as the journey went on.

Lenell: Tell us about your experience on "Making the Band".
Brave:  It was overwhelming; that was my first encounter with cameras and being around vocalists. I didn't know that I could sing until 16; by the time I was 17 I was in New York around other vocalists.  For me it was just a growing process.  I know a type of situation like that has helped expedite my learning and development as a vocalist. Overall it was an overwhelming experience yet an awesome one. I was able to learn a lot from that. 

Lenell:  A few months ago, we interviewed Sara Stokes from Making the Band....
Brave:  Really, we were on the same season.  How is she?

Lenell:  Fantastic. She is currently in the studio working on new material as well.
Brave: Awesome.

Lenell:   One thing Sara took from the show is seeing Diddy in action and his ambition. She stated how motivating he is. Did you witness those same characteristics?
Brave:  Absolutely. No one can be as ambitious about your career than you.  One thing he is very strong about when you first meet him is his ambition and his drive.  That type of energy if you allow it, will rub off on you in a good way.  I can definitely take that from him. How he speaks, what he expects of you, his level of expectations from each artist... he exudes greatness.

Lenell: You left the show because of an illness in the family, correct?
Brave: Yes.
Lenell:  I know that you lost your father to prostate cancer, my condolences. I too lost my father to the same illness, so I definitely understand what you went through.    After "Making the Band", you started a group called "Rich Girl" and you had an amazing run as far as touring.  You opened up for Beyonce.  What was that like?
 Brave:  That was an amazing experience. That was surreal; it was a highlight of my music career so far.  You go from performing in front of 100 people to 60,000 literally overnight.  One day we're in DC performing in lounges next we're in Madison Square Garden. It was a very surreal and exciting time.

 Lenell:  How did you land the opportunity with the Queen B?
 Brave:  From "Making the Band" I knew that I wanted to be around vocalists.   From that, I started a girl group . I sought after the girls, I had auditions, and everything fell into place.  I decided to name the group "Rich Girl" and represent that .   That meant we are rich in spirit, rich in our faith, rich in our talent.
From there we landed a deal with Jive.  They helped to push two singles, one of which went international.    They were playing our videos and singles internationally. Beyonce was on an international tour at the time.   She thought we were a European group.  She had no idea that we were from the US.  She saw the video in Europe and was looking for us over there, but later had her Father (Matthew Knowles) reach out to our label once the tour was over.   That's how it all got started.
Lenell:  The stars are lining up for you. So, it's 2015, the world is reintroduced to you on the set of R&B Divas LA, how did you land that opportunity .
Brave:  After the group disbanded, I took some time with the money I was able to make inside of the group and invest it back into myself.   I created my label "Brave New World".  I was also able to assemble together a great management team , Bishop and Mike Mark. From there we were able to put together our street team, promo team, and producers.  We know that we wanted to independently attack the music scene again.
I went to radio with my song "Ooh Luv Ya". It started to get legs on its own. It caught the attention of producers over at TV One who came to us and asked if I wanted to be apart of this amazing cast to showcase my music to a broad audience and I thought it was an awesome opportunity . So  I jumped on it.
Lenell: You are surrounded by powerhouse vocalists, and you really hold your own. Did they embrace you, and give you advice. How were you received?

Brave:  I was very humbled being around artists like that who are accomplished like that, I was just humbled to be in that arena.  My resume  isn't nearly as extensive as theirs.   I was just excited, and just want to let them know that hey I'm here. I'm here to learn, I'm here doing the same thing that you are, trying to develop my brand and further my career. I'm like a diva in training.  When they say that, my rapping and singing , they gave me advice and the dynamic really changed.  They were like , "Oh Brave, she really is something."

Lenell:  Is there one Diva in particular that really took you under their wing like a big sister?
Brave:   I have a very special relationship with each Diva. It's very unique and so different.  Each one to me represents something different. I would have to say Leela, Chrisette, and Michelle have been very instrumental in sharing advice.  Chrisette is working on her own label, so when I was looking for distribution for my single, she was very helpful in sharing what she had to go through in terms of partnering with the label versus a bigger machine.  I was able to implement some things that I learned from her.

Lenell: Would you say that you enjoy rapping more than doing R&B or is it a combination of both?
Brave:  I can't have one without the other. For me it starts and stops with the love of words. Being able to tell a story.  I would have to say poetry first because I would say I can't rap or have a song without raps.  In terms of delivery whether its hip hop or R&B, that's a tough draw.

Lenell:  My hats off to you. When I first heard you, it was refreshing.   You have a rawness that we haven't seen in a while.  I see really good things coming for you in the future.
Brave:  Thank  you.  I really appreciate that.  You go into this situation and you just really never know how things can be edited.  You can only pray and give it up  to God.  I stay true to my purpose . I just hope to that people will see that to


Lenell:   What's next, we've seen the show. Are you anticipating a second season?  
Brave:  I'm getting ready to release my EP, "Fearless".  Right now, we're putting on the finishing touches with the launch of our website "It's a Brave New World".  I'm working on a tour, we're getting ready to hit the stage in different cities. Getting on a tour bus to start pushing "Fearless" and pushing my other single "Road Trippin", which I also just released a video too.
I also just did  a partnership with Music Choice. They are an amazing network that has been showcasing my music on their channels.  They have me doing the  "Take Back The Music" campaign which I am honored to be apart of. "Take back the music" is a campaign that recognizes talent that they think are really taking responsibility of their careers so artists like Jason Derulo, Asap Rocky, Robin Thicke, Estelle, were all "Take Back Your Music" faces.  Now, I am their new artist.  There's definitely some things that we have going on in the works that we will continue pushing out and giving to the fans.

Lenell:  Tell us about your team, who are you working with?
Brave:   I have some amazing writers. One is named Candy Shields. She is out of Arizona. There is another writer named "Typewriter". She has done some work for Danity Kane. She is out of Philly.  We have some producers out of Atlanta. We also have J Phoenix, Fusion, a lot of people from Philly that have come together and are working with me strong to kind of finish this album and get this EP together.
Lenell:  Thanks again for taking the time out for Tell us how your fans can reach you!

Brave: Thanks for having me.   I can be reached at

Visit her website

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