– Finish this sentence: My name is Divine Brown and I am…
My name is Divine Brown and I am an independent R&B, Soul, Pop, Dance artist from Toronto, Canada.
– Was music something you always wanted to pursue?
Yes! For as long as I can remember I have had aspirations to become an artist. There is nothing that I love more than sharing my gift with ever growing fan base.
– Who were some of your vocal influences growing up?
My vocal influences were Chaka Khan, Minnie Ripperton, Aretha Franklin, Deniece Williams… The list is too long! Lol
– You’ve been in musical plays such as Rent, Ain’t Miss Behavin’, Life, Death and the Blues, and Father Comes Home From The Wars 1, 2 and 3. How did these opportunities come about?
Those opportunities came to me from hearing about auditions through word of mouth, my talent agent, or playwrights who reached for a production they were working on with me in mind. I have been performing in professional theatre since the age of 12. Theatre has always played a role in my career as a result. It’s a challenge that I love to take on because it is a huge part of the storytelling process for me as an artist and songwriter, which in turn plays an integral role in my growth as an artist.
-Do you see yourself writing and producing any musical plays?
I have been asked that question quite often recently, and I have entertained the thought a few times. That is one of those challenges that scares the heck out me, which in turn might be a good thing. I love to challenge myself in different ways to promote self-growth. Having said that… It just may happen at some point in my career.
-Your single “Sunglasses” reached top 15 on the U.S Billboard Dance Chart. Can you give a little background on the song that had everyone on their feet?
That song is was a such a special jewel of inspiration that just happened. It was whole heartedly inspired by “Sunglasses At Night”, a song written and performed by fellow Canadian Corey Hart and was a big hit in the 80’s. At the time I was training pretty hard in a Brazilian martial art called ‘Capoeira” (created by African slaves brought to Brazil over 400 years ago that involves instruments played by the capoeiristas, music sung in Portuguese, martial arts acrobatics and dance) and I had a lot of Portuguese words floating around in my head as a result. The phrase “oculos escuros” (literal english translation from portuguese – “dark glasses”) was in my head for weeks and I could hear a little robot saying it. (That makes me sound slightly insane, that how it was!) I finally called up Nelly Furtado and explained how this idea was plaguing me and asked her if she would help me write it. I was ecstatic when she said yes! My dear friend Slakah The Beatchild produced it and called Cajjmere Wray do a remix for me. It’s the remix that went to number 14 on the Billboard U.S Dance Charts with the help of The Brad LeBeau Company, Pro Motion which in an independent dance music promo entity. Brad heard the song and fell in love with it. Pro Motion played an instrumental role in helping that song get to that position. I will be reaching out to him very soon to work with him again.
-Let’s talk about your EP “Crazy Love Amplified.” What’s the concept behind the title and your favorite track?
I had digitally released an EP last year called “Crazy Love” on iTunes and digital portals around the world, but decided to pull it because I released it without any marketing push at all. I decided to revamp the project by adding some new tracks and including some remixes, thus “Crazy Love Amplified” was born. My favourite track is Crazy Love for a few reasons. One, this song talks about the ups and downs of when you are ferociously in love with a person and can bring you up, down, back, forth… front ways, sideways and everything else in between! Yet when you find common ground in the midst of that chaos it can be the most fulfilling and rewarding feeling. The second reason is I have one of my absolute favourite electric bass players playing on this track and he MURDERED IT!!! I feel like I only listen to the song for the bass lol.
– If you could pick one RnB song to describe your love life, what would it be and why?
Love Without A Limit by Mary J Blige. I have a really big heart so I identify with the concept of limitless love. I think that is the ultimate way to see love. It’s infinite and unconditional. When I love, I love with everything I have.
-What are your thoughts on today’s RnB music?
RnB music has morphed in so many ways. Music is constantly evolving which is a natural process. I really like to search online now to find great RnB music from all over the world. It’s eye-opening to see how much music is out there. That realization makes me feel so proud to be an independent artist now. I feel that the younger generation is inquisitive and tend to rely on searching for music that speaks to them. This is a part of the reason that the scope of music and it’s accessibility has changed the kind of power that independent artists have now.
– Since we’re on the topic of “love.” What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?
I think communication and trust are key to a successful relationship.
– What do you want listeners to gain from your music?
I hope that listeners are inspired, uplifted, and moved in a soulful way when they hear my music.
– What’s next?
Well, I will continue to market and release this singles from this project into next year, and I will be working on some musical theatre projects as well. This coming winter I will be doing a musical called “Passing Strange” which is a comedy-drama rock musical about a young African American man’s journey of self-discovery in Europe artistically. Spike Lee took a keen interest in this project when in was on Broadway several years ago and filmed it! It’s an impressive piece of work from the script to the music.
-How can fans get a hold of you?
My Twitter handle is @divinamarrom , IG @divine_brown_music and @divinebrown on Facebook. Like my musician page Facebook as well. And look out for the official release of my singles by checking my Facebook page and website. I will have updates on my social media regularly.
Interviewed By: Simone Grant