Being brave isn’t simply a motto; it’s a way of life for one fourth of the former group Rich Girl. Brave Williams is doing just that by being brave and embarking on a different path and taking on a solo career.
Brave recently released the single “Break Me Down,” which she says was inspired by some events in her life at the time. “I was inspired to do the song when my manager passed away, then my dad passed away and the group Rich Girl broke up.” Brave isn’t letting the turmoil outweigh the triumph in her life; she’s back in the studio working on new music to be released this year.
Soultrain.com caught up with the multi-talented artist to discuss bravery and life after Rich Girl.
Soul Train: On your website abravenewworld.org there is a quote on there that says “I am brave enough to be me.” With that being said, who is Brave? How do you describe yourself?
Brave: Brave is someone who is not scared to show exactly who they are. In order to be brave, you have to face whatever is placed in front of you; you have to have tough skin. I always say when I speak to young girls, that you just have to accept who you are, how you are, and even though you might be a little different, it’s okay, you just have to love who you are and that’s being brave.
Soul Train: How did you get the name Brave?
Brave: I was actually a spoken word artist and I was doing pieces that I had no business talking about at 9 years old (laughs). I went to an open mic and that’s where I met Rich Harrison and he saw one of my pieces and said, “Wow you are brave, so I’m going to call you Brave.”
Soul Train: How did you come up with the concept for the video “Break Me Down?”
Brave: I was inspired to do the song when my manager passed away, then my dad passed away and the group Rich Girl broke up, so I was kind of in a weird place. I needed to pull from a place for inspiration so that’s how the record came about. So when I wrote it, I was thinking visually it’s much broader than my own personal situation; it could relate to anything such as religion, people’s sexual orientation and so on. I just wanted to touch on as much as I could in 4 minutes with that particular concept.
Soul Train: What’s been the reaction so far from people that have heard the song and/or seen the video?
Brave: So far, it’s been shocking. I was very scared to release it, but the reaction has been very positive. It just premiered on 106 & Park, it’s doing well. It’s been nothing but love.
Soul Train: Some of the comments floating around are that Nicki Minaj may have some competition, so how do you react to being compared to her?
Brave: I think it’s expected since I’m a girl and I rap. I think that we as music lovers have to identify people to help us accept them, so I feel that those types of comments just show that people need to identify Brave with someone to help make it more digestible, so it doesn’t shock me at all.
Soul Train: The song “Crazy in Love” was originally intended for you and then they gave it to Beyoncé. Do you think you’ll ever do a remake of it?
Brave: Oh wow, I’ve never thought about it. I am putting together my mixtape Brave New World so maybe we’ll see. It could be a cool idea, thank you for inspiring that idea! (laughs)
Soul Train: You’re welcome! Now get in the studio! Speaking of your new mixtape, what can fans expect to hear?
Brave: Fans can expect the singing, the rapping, and big epic sounding records. I am a huge fan of Kanye and his productions and the people that I am working on the project with; a lot of them have scored some movies, so I’ll take the listeners on a journey from beginning to end. Conceptually some of the records are talking about love, the hate after the love, some are inspirational, and it’s a hybrid of a few things.
Soul Train: When will the mixtape be released?
Brave: We’re putting it together now so we’re looking at the end of this year for the release date. They will be able to find it on iTunes and my website.
Soul Train: What’s the difference between the Brave sound and the Rich Girl sound?
Brave: Well Rich Girl had a lot of the big drums and that type of sound, and the difference is we didn’t rap in the group, and the times we did, I rapped very seldom. The majority of this album is rapping and the sound is darker. A lot of our records were more pop like and kind of fun, but I tend to go towards dark, big sounding records.
Soul Train: What did you learn from being in a group that you are applying to your solo career?
Brave: You should never ever ever ever take the word “NO” seriously. That’s the one thing that I have learned from the group. You can’t tell me no and really expect me to say ‘oh man they said no’ and just give up. No to me is more of a pause, like let me think about how to get a “yes” so then I go after the “yes.” That’s definitely the number one thing that I learned. It takes a particular type of personality to be willing to go through the backdoor while everyone else is trying the front door.
Soul Train: Will Rich Girl get back together or is the group pretty much done?
Brave: No, we aren’t getting back together. We’ve toyed with the idea, but Rich Girl probably isn’t going to happen.
Follow Brave on Twitter @BMoreBrave and check out her website at www.abravenewworld.org.
Shameika Rene’ is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and writing for various websites such as Charlotte Vibe, Creative Loafing, or her own site, www.themofochronicles.com. She’s also a special guest contributor on The Social Hour on Urban Soul Radio. Follow her on Twitter @mofochronicles.