Interview: DJ Havana Brown

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Australia’s leading female DJ, Havana Brown has been handpicked as the support act for ‘The Circus Starring Britney Spears’ European tour, which started in Paris on 4 July.

DJ Havana Brown was personally approved by pop superstar Britney Spears to support her for 11 shows across Europe including Paris, Belgium, Russia and Germany. Havana Brown will perform her energetic dance sets for each show pumping up the crowd before the princess of pop hits the stage.

It has been a great year for Universal Music artist, DJ Havana Brown, who has toured with the Pussycat Dolls and Lady GaGa in May and has just returned from Hong Kong and Taipei after performing at the prestigious Hennessy parties.

DJ Havana Brown

B&L: What made you decide to be a DJ?

DJ Havana: After singing with a group called Fishbowl for a period of time in London, I discovered the DJ scene and was amazed at the DJ’s ability to draw a crowd to the dance floor.

Despite having never previously considered the decks as a means of expression, I was sold on the idea of becoming a DJ that night. With early mentoring from a DJ friend I began learning the basics and saved every penny to buy my first set of CDJs.

I started off playing at smaller venues around Melbourne and gradually started to build up a strong fan base and regular work with promoters around the country.

I am now signed with Universal Music Australia and have been blessed with the opportunity to release two compilation albums titled Crave.

Some days I truly believe that I have the best job in the world. I get flown all over the world and play in some of the most beautiful clubs and venues. I feel like I’m getting paid to have fun. I love music, it’s my absolute passion and I get to live and breathe it every day. 

B&L: Was it difficult getting into the industry?

DJ Havana: It is a long road to success but as any music artist will tell you, if you are passionate about what you do you are going to give it 110% and work really hard to get where you want to achieve results.

And once you are where you want to be, it’s worth every second.  I still think it’s crazy that I get to do what I do every day, I can’t believe I get to play cool music in so many amazing places and get to call it work!!

B&L: Tell us about the different countries you have worked in…

DJ Havana: I get to travel a lot for my work, which is amazing. I regularly travel to parts of Asia including Indonesia, Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore to perform at the Hennessy parties. It’s great to experience the different cultures across Asia and meet with the local fans.
B&L: You were the DJ support act for the Pussycat Dolls, how did you feel?

DJ Havana: It was amazing!  I have supported the Pussycat Dolls twice now, first when they came out here in 2008 for the Xbox Ford live Tour and that’s where they personally invited me to do their ‘Doll Domination’ Tour in May with Lady GaGa.

To travel around Australia and tour with the Dolls and Lady GaGa was such a great experience!   They are all such friendly, cool girls and I loved spending time with them.

B&L: How would you compare the Australian club scene to international venues?

DJ Havana: At the end of the day they are all the same. Music is what connects us. Whether I am playing in a club in Australia, London or Taipei, the fans are there for the music, to dance and have fun.  It’s amazing.

B&L: Which music artists do you love right now?

DJ Havana: I love M.I.A, her music is so unique and brave and an artist called The Dream who is a really talented writer and artist. As well as his original music he has produced and written hits for some of the biggest artist in the industry today such as Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Beyonce, Ciara and so many more. I also love everything about Lady Gaga. Her sound, her image and music clips; she is a star!

B&L: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

DJ Havana: I have had so many great achievements in my career so far including signing with Universal Music Australia, which has allowed me to release my Crave compilation album series.

DJ Havana Brown

Touring with incredible artists such as The Pussycat Dolls, Lady GaGa, Rihanna and Wyclef Jean has been such an incredible experience and I hope to continue working with artists of this caliber throughout my career.

B&L: What’s one thing we would be surprised to know about DJ Havana Brown?

DJ Havana: That I am a morning person! Being a DJ you would probably assume that I sleep all day and come out at night but even though I have late nights regularly I still tend to wake up at 6.30am. I love the mornings and I actually work best early in the day.

B&L: What do you think it is that makes you such a successful DJ?

DJ Havana: It is still rare to see women being successful in the club and DJ scene; it’s still a very male dominated industry.

I think that people like the freshness and attitude that I bring to the stage and I really make sure that I put on a great show every time I perform. I am always prepared and confident in the sort of DJ that I want to be. I like to see myself as an entertainer not just a DJ.

B&L: Do you have any advice for young women wanting a career in the music industry?

DJ Havana: Find something that makes you unique from everyone else.  Being a woman in the urban scene already makes you unique from the outset but having something that sets you apart from other performers in the business gets you noticed and remembered. Be confident in your music and DJ style and believe in yourself. Sound so cheesy but it is so true.

B&L: How do you like to spend your free time?

DJ Havana: Because I’m traveling so much, in my free time I just love to chill at home with my family and catch up with friends back in Melbourne. Otherwise I am always working on music in some way or another. I love it, so it’s never work for me.

B&L: What’s next for DJ Havana Brown?

DJ Havana: I’ve just released my second compilation album Crave Vol.2 that debuted at #4 in the ARIA charts, so I will be spending the next few months promoting my new album at a series of club dates around Australia.

I am also in the process of recording some of my own solo music. I have been working with some great writers and producers from the UK, the USA and of course here in Australia. I am extremely excited to release my first single.

Lastly I have some very exciting tour opportunities coming up this year so check out my website (www.djhavanabrown.com.au) for details as they are confirmed.

B&L: What does being a woman mean to you?

DJ Havana: Being a woman to me means being strong and sexy, but at the same time maintaining your individuality and who you are. I am so proud to be female and believe we can be anything that we want to be. I would not have it any other way.

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Lace (aka Anna), is the chickadee behind Beauty and Lace. A self confessed beauty addict and lover of pretty things, the online magazine is her baby and passion.

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