Sound Check: Brave Williams—Brave & Fearless

Bravery is a badge of honor, and singer/songwriter Brave Williams is wearing it well. After many years of roadblocks thrown in her way, from the dismantling of the group Rich Girl to some losses in her personal life, Brave has bounced back and proven time and time again that she is truly brave and fearless while creating her own path to solo stardom. The newest diva on TV One’s R&B Divas LA showed the world her story of fighting to carve out a niche all her own in the music industry while remaining humble. After releasing a few singles including “Oooh (Luv Ya)” and “Road Trippin,” the reality star has released her solo debut project an EP titled Fearless, available to download for free.  It’s an album that is the mouthpiece for the Fearless woman, the woman who can embrace who she is and love herself. The album is Brave.

SoulTrain.com spoke with Brave about unleashing her full potential to become truly fearless in her music, and how reality television changed her personally and professionally.

SoulTrain.com: Talk about your new EP Fearless. What can listeners expect to hear?

Brave: Fearless is my baby, it’s my first body of work. When I was in the group Rich Girl, even when I was signed to another situation at Columbia Records and even in Making the Band, I’ve never been able to release an album. It’s my first gift, my first bravewilliamsfearlessbirth of a project so I’m super excited. I’m a poet, I rap, and I sing, so it’s really just combining all of those into this body of work. It’s hip-hop, its R&B, it’s fun, it’s sexy, and there’s something on there for everybody.

SoulTrain.com: Let’s talk about some of the songs on Fearless. You have a third single you are about to release off the EP.

Brave: Absolutely, it’s called “OMT” and it’s produced by Chris N Teeb and written by Brittany Barber. It’s very up-tempo, good energy, and I’m really excited about this record.

SoulTrain.com: How about the single “Day & Night?”

Brave: That song really exemplifies some of the things that we go through as women. We try to keep it cool and try not to blow up our boo’s phone when we are thinking about him…you know when you are thinking about him day and night. It’s a simple concept but we just go through that sometimes and we hope that when we aren’t with him, he’s thinking about us as much as we’re thinking about him. So it’s one of my favorites.

SoulTrain.com: Talk about the song “Lesson in Love.”

Brave: “Lesson in Love” is more like a club single, it’s the one the DJs are going crazy over. They love the 808s and the feel of it—it’s just open and hits hard. It’s just me being sexy and fun.

SoulTrain.com: Speaking of hot, talk about the song and the concept for the video “Road Trippin’.”

Brave: The first time I heard the track by Fusion and Ghost and Ivan Barias, I already knew the story I wanted to tell on it. [The song is] just me showing my vulnerable side and it’s probably the sexiest thing I’ve ever written. For the video I also knew I wanted to go to a place that I had never gone before and be vulnerable. I feel like I was able to achieve that. Lil Chris Robinson shot the video and did a great job showing that.

SoulTrain.com: How about the song “Long Way Down?”

Brave: I recorded “Long Way Down” about six years ago and this record means a lot to me. When I first met with the producers of this record, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with music. It was one of the first songs that we recorded. So six years later, I had every opportunity to go in and re-record it since I have grown a lot as a vocalist since then, but I decided to leave it in that state because it kind of chronicles how much I have grown as an artist. I just love the feel of that record; to me it’s the marriage of hip-hop and R&B.

SoulTrain.com: The song “Original” seems as if it’s more personal. Can you talk a bit about that single?

Brave: The song “Original” hit home. I had to make sure that I had something on there that was my own story. It comes from the realm of what I see today. A lot of women have a tendency to see things on social media and we flood our brains with this idea that we are supposed to look a certain way to be considered beautiful or sexy. It makes me very sad; sometimes we get fixated on that. So “Original” is like pump the brakes, you are beautiful the way you are, don’t become a carbon copy of someone else and create a false identity. It’s about taking back your love and that it’s okay to be who you are as you are. You are strong, you are beautiful, and it’s about self-acceptance and being original.

SoulTrain.com: You brought a bit of a different vibe to R&B Divas LA, almost like the voice of reason. What made you decide to venture into reality television at this time in your career?

Brave: Honestly, I had released a single called “Oooh (Luv Ya),” and that’s what got the attention of the producers at TV One. Initially I was flattered that they thought enough of my story and my artistry to put me on a platform with such accomplished women because I know that I’m still trying to break in, so to speak. I thought it was a good opportunity to expose my music to a broader audience and I felt that I was equipped to shed a different perception on the stereotypes of reality television. Prior to the show, I had my own opinions about how it made women look and I just despised it. I felt like I was strong enough to offer another perspective of a real working woman that isn’t the typical stereotype and I just thought Brave, let’s just do it.

SoulTrain.com: How has being on the show changed you as a person? Has it helped or hurt your career?

Brave: It has helped my career 100%. Being on the show I was able to learn, and not just about myself but being on a platform with these women like when we were in the studio, just learning from them the things that they do to prepare before they start to sing. I left the situation stronger than when I came in. I learned that you can never assume how your blessings are going to be wrapped. I never would have thought in a million years that I would be on a reality show, and it’s been a huge blessing for me.

SoulTrain.com: On the show, super producer Warryn Campbell took an interest in your talent, so were you two able to work together on this project or a future project?

Brave: Yes, we did! He is amazing. When I go back out to L.A. and we’re going to continue that process. I’m re-releasing Fearless straight to iTunes in a couple of weeks. This first release I didn’t want to charge anyone; I just wanted people to receive me and my art and learn who I am. So now, when we re-release Fearless, there may be a collaboration that I include on the second go around.

SoulTrain.com: You chatted with SoulTrain.com in 2012. Fast forward to 2015, who is Brave now?

Brave: Brave is just a woman who goes above and beyond. It’s almost like my inner spirit, like I feel unstoppable, and it’s not because of music, it’s because of my faith. I feel like I can do something that’s big. Brave is a hip-hop and R&B artist. I love hip-hop music and I love to be able to rap, so it is really just merging the two to create a hybrid. It’s the perfect marriage, taking a real nostalgic old school beat and putting a beautiful melody on top of it. Brave is a poet, and an artist—I love to paint. I am about to release the murals that I did for each song for Fearless. Brave is an ambitious woman.

For more information on Fearless check out Brave’s website.

—Shameika Rene’

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, Carolina Style Magazine, Uptown Magazine, WEtv.com, or her own websites, www.themofochronicles.com and www.conversationswithmeik.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @mofochronicles.

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