I am a UK born and raised creative, professional dancer, trained athlete and now embarking on a new musical journey – singer/songwriter. A past ambassador in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games, a UK dance champion with dance company Unity UK and noted dancer for sporting giant Adidas in and around London/Europe.
Love is my faith and I am truly humbled and blessed that I have the platform to express such in my chosen creative forms. I am a strong believer in faith, love and unity and aim to communicate this to the masses in my most desired way in order to enhance growth (self and universal) of our nation and people. So far so blessed.
Gav Pauze: When did you first start singing?
Marla Brown: Singing was a prime element within my home so ever since I were a tyke. However, becoming a professional recording artist, this journey began in 2014 where I debut my singing career at London’s famous Jazz Cafe as “MARLA BROWN,” being the opening act for “Grooving With The Legends,” a Bunny “Striker” Lee event.
Music has always been a natural love of mine. Growing up with my parents (Dennis Brown and Yvonne Brown (Yvonne’s Special to the reggae world) and siblings, it was a true outlet of love and happiness for us and now as I grow, a true healer and core communicator of life experiences and expressions.
I spent a lot of time shadowing my dad in our home, shows, studio etc so was exposed to various musical genres which again led me to love singing.
Gav Pauze: Did your family encourage you?
Marla Brown: My family definitely encourage and inspire my love of music, as this was ever evident in my life. However, it was my Dad’s passing and legacy which encouraged me to continue on the works of his and to give the world a little bit more of myself while doing so. Also, by fulfilling so much within the dance world, I wanted to accomplish more for myself and did a lot more soul searching which bought me to where I am today.
I pride myself in caring for others. I do a lot of charity work especially with an organisation I work with called Agape Kitchen and people’s life and circumstances through an exchange in conversation just makes me want to help and contribute in any way I can to help another soul.
Being the child of someone so influential has enabled me to voice my loves, needs and concerns of this world on a beautiful platform. Music is such a powerful tool to engage with people and I am so blessed to have the ability to utilise it in it’s fullest to restore and enhance the minds of other’s.
I’ve always had a natural love for music though. I studied music in school and would write songs in my spare time, in the studio with Dad and my siblings.
I also took piano lessons in school but I never thought I was going to use it to further my career. I went straight into sports, becoming a district runner, netball and football teams, badminton and tennis classes. Music was just something I had known and enjoyed from young. I guess at the time it was all about what made me happy and that was what I continued to do.
When I was going through the transition from dance to music, I began to focus solely on who I was and what I wanted to represent.
As proud as I am of my Dad, I wanted to continue to celebrate his great works and the best way to express that is through music. Everything I do and have done has been a blessing and nothing is more blessed than the family I belong to. Unity is the foundation of survival as my Dad and I always sing, so I definitely felt I had to communicate this to the masses.
My dance company is also called Unity so it kind of put my life into perspective and made my vision clear for where I wanted to go and become. Maintaining my Dad’s legacy and name was my purpose and calling. In case some are not aware, my first name is indeed Deborah – Marla being my middle name – So I am D Brown also (Deborah if we are to be technical!) so it was important for me to explore ways to celebrate this name and the history within it.
Moving to Jamaica to represent Dad during reggae month of 2014 allowed me to see and interact with the many people Dad had blessed and bought love to through his music and presence which then had a ripple effect for me to witness the global love and attention he has gained over the course of his life. This too, has encouraged me greatly to pursue music.
All that I had learned and experienced growing up has bought me to this very moment – this new experience and way of life of performing in stage shows and interacting on a global scale naturally propelled me to become Marla Brown the Artist.
Gav Pauze: Who else in your family sings?
Marla Brown: The Brown’s are all musically gifted. My siblings and I all sing but it is myself and my older brother Daniel who have taken it to the next step of travelling and sharing the music with others. My brother Jason (Dennis Brown Jnr) is also embarking on his musical journey and has some great works coming out soon – super excited for that. Being who my Dad is, it is only natural for the children to be creative in music in someway. But everyone’s timing of showcasing their work differs.
We all have different strengths within music, whether it be vocal arrangement, production, musicianship, songwriting etc my family are my version of The Jackson five – just the Brown version! And everyone is self taught but clearly a blessing from the Most High and inspired greatly by my Dad.
Gav Pauze: Who are your musical inspirations?
Marla Brown: The Most High, my family and love will forever be my sole influences in life generally. Worldly issues also inspire me to voice my concerns and wishes for a united world and to delve into action to encourage empowerment and upliftment.
Without the words of The Most High, I honestly do not know how my life could continue. Somedays, when something amazing has happened or I receive good news, I just look up and smile and say God, I know you did that. When days don’t go accordingly, I just give it to God in prayer and leave it be as I know everything happens for a reason, one we may not overstand for days/years to come, but I will forever know God has a perfect plan for me so I take what comes and use it as fuel to continue my days at my best.
Dad has this song called Things in Life, which I resonate with wholeheartedly and truly keeps me humbled for days on end. He basically tells us that no two days are the same, we have good days and bad days, but just have a little faith in all we do, knowing that life itself will work out. God doesn’t give us anything we cannot handle, but it is important for us to acknowledge that what we are presented with in life is for our own good and purpose and for us to continue learning from each experience and to overall TRUST in the Lord that things will work out in our favour, as God wants it to.
My family are my everything. My heart’s strings, my foundation. They keep me grounded, correct me in my errors and love unconditionally. Our bond is something that I truly treasure. I learn a lot from each of my brothers and sisters and my parents also.
My motto in life is “Live in Love.” I think that is the main influence in my life overall. I love other’s as God loves us. So my love continually goes out. Through love we can achieve great things. It is the healer of the nation. Even though we may speak different languages and dialects across the world, a (genuine) and caring smile can go a long way, and received well by many.
Ryan Leslie and Fabolous are artists who inspire me also. They both have amazing showmanship and are undeniably unique within their fields. Ryan is truly innovative and never fails in challenging his own ideas and talents. He will always go that extra mile to be great and that for me, is truly admirable.
Fabolous never fails to surprise me with his consistent word play. His lyrical content is top quality and has a confidence to match. They are my dynamic duo who have definitely played a key role in my own work.
Gav Pauze: What kind of music do you listen to today?
Marla Brown: I love neo soul, house rap and jazz music alongside roots reggae. Currently I am listening to KRS One and J Dilla, who have always been a love of mine. KRS has always been somewhat of an underdog in my eyes, a rebel with a cause and I feel his undisputed purpose is his teachings of the truth.
He is the definition of knowledge.
I will forever be listening to Reggae as again, it is a way of life and through this genre, great word, sound and power will infiltrate through our airwaves until the end of time.
Gav Pauze: Do you release music on vinyl?
Marla Brown: I will be releasing music on vinyl in due course. I’ve recently just released my first official debut E.P. “Deliverance” which has had an amazing embrace worldwide digitally and socially. The next step is to indeed press on Vinyl once i spread the sounds of Marla Brown from the E.P. For now we are distributing digitally and on CD’s when at events.
Gav Pauze: Where would you most like to perform?
Marla Brown: The world is our stage! Wherever God blesses my feet to walk and stand tall is where I will be happy to perform.
We debut Deliverance in New Mexico, in a town called Taos, which was new territory for me. God has a great plan to where my music will be reached so I am excited to follow suit. But in all honesty, anywhere where there is a keen listening ear and a smiling face, I’d be happy to perform right in the middle of it!
Gav Pauze: Who would you most like to work with?
Marla Brown: My wish would have been to work with my Dad. I always remember being excited to show him a song I had just written and waiting my turn to record whilst we were in the studio. Looking back now it would have been amazing to do an actual recorded duet with Dad smiling as we sang. Smiling is our thing.
I would love to work with Ryan Leslie. He is a true inspiration to me. he is extremely innovative, a real talented humble soul and I could gain so much knowledge and overspending of not only the business but my craft also.
Gav Pauze: What do you think about whilst performing?
Marla Brown: I don’t think when I perform if I’m honest. You find yourself in such a zone with the emotion and vibration of the atmosphere that you don’t think, you just feel.
Music and dance are such a beautiful form of expression, when you come off of stage and your heart is racing, that’s when you actually have time to think about the connection you just made with the audience.
Gav Pauze: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Marla Brown: I’d still be dancing full-time. Right now I am back in training as I never want to leave the dance world. Plus music and dance go hand in hand so it’s only right I do both.
I am a passionate soul so I definitely feel as though my purpose is one of expression and activity. I studied Sports Psychology and Physiology in Uni as I wanted to be a P.E. teacher first but than dance took off so I steered right. So I’m confident to know I would’ve been in an active field.
Gav Pauze: Do you play any instruments?
Marla Brown: I learned the piano whilst in school so have gone back to playing and learning and am currently learning the guitar also. My big brother Daniel is teaching me. Does the recorder count? I can play that too!
Gav Pauze: If you could/do dabble in another genre of music, what would it be/is it?
Marla Brown: Music to me is one real authentic sound so all genres merge into one.
I think my E.P. showcases other elements and styles of my musical influences in terms of my delivery and sound i.e. Neo -Soul, Jazz RnB and the content is very much reggae inspired as to me, reggae is a way of life and that is what I write about (life and love).
Gav Pauze: What genre of music can’t you stand to listen to?
Marla Brown: I love music generally so that wouldn’t be an issue. I am a dancer so any beat I shimmer to. I am an eclectic soul.
Gav Pauze: What hidden talents do you have?
Marla Brown: I can recite the whole movie of Dancehall Queen, scene for scene, line for line! My sister’s Dinah and Deneice and sometimes my mum always find ourselves dropping a line or ten in our daily convo’s.
Gav Pauze: What can we expect from you in 2016 and beyond?
Marla Brown: More love, more vibes and visuals to enhance the message of my music, with a great touch of optimism within it. The words I sing come from the heart and the topics I draw on are one’s that I feel are important to draw attention too.
I have some amazing material in the pipeline patiently waiting for the world to hear. I am blessed to be working with some of the most influential and respected artists and producers to date. As I am new to the industry, it is a joy to create, be guided and directed by so many people, only greatness can be expected from the Marla Brown Team, as this journey is not just for myself but for us all.
Deliverance will be going on the road for 2016 so am excited to share my first project with the world face to face as the reception for it on radio and social media has been nothing short of a blessing.
I am all for empowerment of the mind and our people. I truly am a people’s person and just want everyone to be centred within themselves and made aware that with faith we can conquer anything in this world. My music is an expression of love. I feel that the songs I write enables other’s to see and connect with my vision for the world to evolve as one of strength, love and unity. One day at a time, it is happening. That is why I love music so much. It allows us to connect with worldly individuals and address worldly issues on such a beautiful and accessible platform. Music is such a powerful tool to engage with people and I am so blessed to have the ability to utilise it in it’s fullest to restore and enhance the minds of other’s.
Most importantly, 2016 will get to see and feel more works of my Dad and his amazing teachings. I am blessed to showcase the teachings of my Dad, as my music is not just a representation of me, but one of my Dad and our family and that was very important to my Dad also, so it’s only right I continue that representation and uphold the things we deem as important.
Hold The Vision, Keep The Faith
MP3 Download: Deliverance – Marla Brown