Living Up To Her Name: Brave Williams Gets Candid On New 'Fearless' Album, Regrets And 'R&B Divas LA'
As resilient as her name, Brave Williams lives up to her stage name. Donning a platinum blonde mane, topped with a sugary sweet personality and a genuine pureness unmatched, Williams is an undeniable rising force. The dismantling of her all-girl girl quartet Rich Girl wasn't enough to stop Brave, born Christina Williams, bouncing back like a boomerang.
Resiliency in tact and a fearless focus unmoved, Brave blazed her own path to solo stardom. As the newest diva on TV One's R&B Divas LA series, the reality star showcased her struggles of redemption and finding her own. Her character and extreme humbleness makes Brave more than just an entertainer, but a mouth piece for the fearless woman in all of us. It's no wonder why fans are rooting for the spoken word poet to win.
Vixen caught up with the Baltimore native as she dishes on Herbert first solo project Fearless, regrets and what happened to her girl group, Rich Girl, with Sevyn Streeter.
VIXEN: What can fans expect from your first solo project, Fearless?
Brave Williams: Fearless for me is the perfect marriage of hip hop and R&B. I loved rapping growing up and poetry so it's all of these different things embodied in one piece of art.
I painted murals, too, and we're going to incorporate my paintings with the download. You'll be able to see my paintings for each song. It's an honest version of Brave on so many levels.
How did you get your name?
Brave started when I was doing spoken word. I started really young and falling in love with performing. I was at an open mic spot in Baltimore and I did a piece that was very socially conscious at 13 years old. The response from the crowd was overwhelming and they started calling me Brave and from there it just stook.
What separates you from other female solo artists?
I would probably say the fact that I sing, rap and do spoken word. And just my love of writing. I'm constantly in the studio writing and collaborating with different writers and producers.
Many people know you from Rich Girl, but the group broke up. What happened?
Rich Girl was my baby. I came up with the group concept. I knew I wanted to surround myself with other talented vocalists so I sought out the members. But I really feel like everything has a season. And for that, that season just ended- there wasn't any turmoil between me and my girls. We still talk and support each other. I just did an event with Sevyn in D.C. a few weeks ago and me and the other two are actually working together on some music. So it just had its season. And I was able to learn everything I needed to at that time. It just gracefully ended.
What are some of the pros and cons of being in a girl group?
For me, I'm all about sisterhood. I loved being in a group because it was fun. We were all kindred spirits, a lot of jokes and a lot of laughs. We were able to pick up when another fell short. So that was definitely a pro.
I wouldn't say there was a con, but whenever you collaborate with other people you have to be open to everyones ideas. Trying to find a balance where everyone can get to an end result where everyone's happy can be challenging at times.
What was it like on R&B Divas LA?
Reality tv is a lot harder than it looks! *laughs*
But I loved the fact that I did come from a group and working with a group of women with strong opinions definitely helped me catapult into this type of arena. We're all fighting for the same goal- to keep R&B music alive.
Overall the experience was fun. I was just honored that TV One thought enough of my story to put me on a platform with these women that's so accomplished. It was a sincere honor and blessing.
Will you return next season?
If there's a next season I think I would.
Looking back, do you have any regrets?
Truthfully I would say no, because even the most tumultuous times when I was down, such as the year my group disbanded, I lost my father and I lost my manager from a heart attack, I realized I needed to experience those type of blows so I can be honest in my music. My name is Brave so I feel like there has to be a reason I can stand confident in that name.
What was the best piece of advice you received and actually followed?
How much time do we have? *laughs*
It may sound so simple, but to not give up. That's why I call my EP Fearless because I learned in those times when I wanted to give up, I knew that fear was not telling me the truth. And through the experiences I learned to have a fearless mentality to continue music. And it required me to not give up. I think a lot of us will throw in the towel before our dream manifest and it can be relatively tricky, but don't give up, it's there for the taking.
What are your thoughts on what's going on in your home town, Baltimore?
I'm actually out here in the community with the people. That Tuesday after the rioting happened I was out there cleaning up and what I saw was a lot of love and a lot of unity. It was no longer a black or white thing or police brutality, it was about everyone coming together to begin restoring what seemingly looked broken. But to me it made me even that more prouder to say I'm from here because we are a resilient city.