Girl Beats with Havana Brown
Grooving to her own beat, Australian-born Havana Brown has followed the music to London and around the world touring with Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and the Pussycat Dolls and she has worked with Rihanna, Chris Brown, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull us to name a few.
Her first breakout celebrity gig was spinning for a private party for Kanye West, she says. The 27-year old DJ was fresh on the London private club scene elbowing her way into the boys club nightlife after her first record deal went south.
Havanna hasn’t let dancing with the stars go to her head. She knows that she’s been “pretty fortunate,” she says, about her gamble to aim high that has been paying off after a few bumps in her path to stardom.
Now she’s aiming even higher. Spinning other peoples music was never her goal, but it is how she’s gotten to create her own dance beats with hits, such as “We Own The Night ft Pitbull.”
Havana has been in the music studio this winter creating a new album, but she’s hitting the road this spring making a stop at the Dinah in Palm Springs to perform at the White Party at Hotel Zoso on April 5.
Performing for the first time at the Dinah, Havana is excited.
“I’m really excited about it,” says Havana, whose main fan-base is women. She’s honored to perform at the Dinah, she says.
“I love performing for girls. I’m really looking forward to being there and being around these girls,” she continues. “I love seeing girls in a crowd. That makes me happy. I love seeing girls so sexy dancing and having fun, there’s nothing better than that the energy from girls that are just letting loose and enjoying themselves.”
Havana will sing her hit song, “We Run the Night,” among other new songs, such as her new chart topper, “Big Banana.”
“I’m not sure lesbians will appreciate the song,” says Havana about the song that she describes as “cheeky and humorous fun” with a “great bass” that ran up Billboard Chart’s to be 2013’s first #1 hit.
Living and working in a boy’s world, the thing Havana is mostly looking forward to at the Dinah is partying with the girls she says when Girls That Roam asks.
“Partying with a whole bunch of girls,” she says laughing. “Girls are so much more fun and sexy and up for everything. They will dance and go crazy and so sexy. I love it when I see girls enjoying themselves, especially when I’m playing.”
Give me a beat
In love with music from the first note she ever heard, Havana loves the beats that get people moving and feeling happy.
“From the very beginning I’ve been attracted to … music that made me want to dance and made me feel happy and positive and excited me,” she says talking excitedly about loving big choreographed performances and dance music.
“I love the big performances. I love things that just take you away, take you away into this place where everything is happy, everything is fun, everything is OK,” she continues.
Music helps her appreciate “every moment” even when things aren’t going her way.
“You just got to take it lightheartedly and enjoy yourself when you can,” says Havana, “and appreciate every moment.”
She knows, when things weren’t going quite her way in London, Havanna nursed her blue notes from her sour record deal woes on London’s club scene, when she discovered DJing.
“I was out partying every single night,” says Havanna, who found solace in the UK’s music and club scene. “The UK music scene and club scene is incredible. So, it was a great way for me to release and just enjoy myself, even though I was going through a quite a hard time.”
Listening to the boys she thought, “I could do a better job. Why don’t I do this?”
A DJ friend taught her a few things and she took it creating her own style.
“I loved it straight away,” she says about the spiritual connection the moment she stepped behind the DJ booth. “It started to click and make sense. It was kind of like the universe telling me I was on the right path. I was having so much fun doing it and I still do. I just wouldn’t have it any other way.”
DJing has also has shaped Havana’s music career focusing her own music style as she begins to make her own music, which has always been a dream of hers, she says.
“DJing has really helped me out with that as well as kind of helped me out in the sense of knowing what sort of artist I want to be,” she says.
She knows just what she wants to play and what people want to hear.
“As soon as I hear a record I know whether it’s going to work or not on the dance floor and get people moving,” says Havana.
“I’m completely inspired by the music that I play in the clubs and it has inspired my music,” says Havana about creating her own album.
“I want to make music for the clubs. I want to make music that makes people happy. I want to make people dance,” says Havana about her musical goals. “Ultimately, I want to make people feel energized, to make them laugh and make them smile.”
“That’s who I am. That’s the type of person that I am. That’s what I’ve always been into.”
Havana (whose given name is Angelique Meunier) grew up in Melbourne, Australia’s creative center. Her parents moved there from Rodrigues, a tiny island that is a part of the Republic of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, to give her older brother and her a better life.
“From a very young age that’s what I was passionate about,” says Havana about music being her way of life since she was a little girl.
She’s never a sullen forlorn mod girl, or a love sick girl into heartbreaking love songs, or folksy type of girl singing about social justice. The only music that she’s ever been into is the type that puts a smile on people’s faces and gets them up and moving, she says.
“I’ve never been the type of person into slow jams or anything too heartbreaking,” says Havana. “I just want it to make me happy. I just love hearing positive music.”
Her parents were “very supportive about it and very open minded,” she says. “My parents believed in me, even though they weren’t in the industry and didn’t know anything about the industry.”
“They knew I was passionate about it. They let me go and let me do what I wanted to do. They knew it made me happy,” she continues.
Hey Ms. DJ
Cute and spunky as Havana is breaking into DJing wasn’t easy. Nightlife is a man’s world. As a girl approaching male club promoters, Havana was often given the brush off, she says.
“They couldn’t grasp the idea of a female DJ,” she says. Annoyed, she elbowed her way into spinning for free for five minute stints at exclusive London clubs.
Then she had to face her fear when she looked out from the DJ booth and saw the people. It was her responsibility to get the people excited about pulling themselves off the barstool and away from their drinks to get up and dance.
“The pressure on you to make the people dance, it’s really scary. You are controlling that entire room and the energy,” says Havana about the first time she stepped into the DJ booth.
She did it. The five minutes turned into a full hour set and then into paying gigs and touring with big name performers.
She continued to shape her style experimenting with DJing and stepping out from behind the DJ booth to dance with hired dancers.
Music has taken Havana all over the world.
She calls Los Angeles home now, but she loves performing and touring.
“I love how every city is like a totally different country,” says Havana talking about the vast distinction between New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, but her heart was left in Paris, France.
“I have great memories from playing in France,” says Havana whose first performance in the City of Lights was with Britney. “The energy is always great. They love music.”
Her wanderlust isn’t satiated yet. There is just too much more to see and do.
“I just love visiting new cities and experiencing the culture,” says Havana, who enjoys tasting the best of what each place she visits gastronomic offerings. “My favorite is finding the best restaurant in the city and trying it out and trying new things.”
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