INTERVIEW WITH MARLA BROWN
How did you become an artist?
I have always been a creative soul.
Performing Arts has been my passion and foundation from my youth, so it is almost my natural state
to have been and am an artist in all its forms.
My family background has been artistic from my youth also. My granddad (Arthur Brown) was a
famous actor and scriptwriter and of course my Dad being the Crown Prince of Reggae alongside my Mother (who was and still is) a great song writer (Yvonne Special) has all played a role in my
appreciation for the Arts.
Who/what inspired you to become a musician?
Love and the experience of life inspired me to become a musician.
I was keen to channel my thoughts and feelings through different art forms.
Majority of my years I spent as a professional dancer and I got the opportunity to transition from dance to music once I moved to Jamaica.
I had learnt various instruments when I was younger, but never excelled in it as sports and dance
became my focus. I have always had a passion for music and had continued playing instruments
socially at home amongst family and close friends.
I adore music. Now that I am currently pushing my self-written music, it just makes sense to create
your own instrumentation during the creative process so that you can engage with your audience a
lot more, thus, learning new instruments and practising ones that you already know really helps in
building and telling your story.
Do you feel any impact of your birthplace on your music?
Yes I definitely feel an impact of my birthplace on my music. I was born and raised in London, UK and spent holidays and term time in Jamaica. Coming from such a diverse community in London, we have many different influences of culture and genres of music which has enabled me to flourish with
different sounds and styles within my own music.
My music pretty much is driven by roots, reggae, jazz, hip-hop and rnb.
Being a dancer too has influenced my music as we train to different styles of dance; ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, Jazz, Scottish, bhangra, my list is endless. Such cultured music definitely has an influence on what I like musically and offers alternative dialects and languages which I then incorporate in my music.
Additionally, being a part of the EU influences my music as I am able to travel to different countries
at my leisure, which too enables you to interact, learn and be educated of again different cultures,
people and art forms.
In contrast however, life in London to that of Jamaica is very much different and noticeable.
Living in Jamaica allowed me to realise how spoilt we are in the UK in regards to opportunity,
finances, technology etc. Everything is pretty much at our leisure and disposal, whereas, being in
Jamaica; you humbly take note of the living conditions, governmental control, nature vs nurture and
Being away from London at a long period of time; you realise how much of a system you are trapped in. That within itself can produce much dialog.
How does art manifest itself in your life?
Art is pretty much my entire being. It has manifested as I grow which enables me to consciously
decide how I fulfil my purpose in life.
Expression is desirable to me, thus, plays an important role in how I present myself to people. I
pretty much have grown up on a stage so I definitely believe Art is my world.
There are no limitations when you are a creative and each time you deliver, you develop and grow
during the process. You delve into self and begin to blossom in ways you could not do so if you were restricted to time and space.
Art allows you to be endless in all things and gives you the opportunity to explore and learn more of self.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity means the world to me as it is all I have ever known. Creativity is who you are and how
you discover your true elements of self.
I have always been into arts and crafts growing up. It allows you to experiment with ideas and
notions; unite with others, influence and be influenced by others (in a positive light of course) and
most importantly grow as an individual.
Creativity allows you to discover answer to things as you broaden your mind and open your heart to
things and people.
Individuality is really important in these times as we lose a sense of living and purpose. Our focus
shifts to obtaining validation from others instead of truly identifying our own personal
qualities/strengths (and weaknesses). Being consistent in creativity allows you to have a better
overstanding of the world and self to then being open to interpretations also.
Do you think female artists are treated differently to male artists?
I don't think females are being treated differently to male artists...not in these times anyway.
I think men around the world are now realising women can do it all, whether it be professionally,
socially, economically and environmentally and in our case, musically.
There are so many factors in which we can speak on regarding this question, however, in regards to
the music industry and where it is now, I feel women are now being recognised greatly of their
talents and are being treated fairly within the industry.
Female artists have found their voice and are unapologetic in how they choose to demand the
attention of others in order to be heard and be respected.
Women are now becoming a respected driving force of talent and let's be honest, men/the world
cannot exist without us.
In the past, women were prone to be looked at as subordinate beings, due to society's views and
expectations of them; however, I definitely feel the strength of a woman has now been made aware
of and the feminine energy is necessary to encourage balance in all things in life.
Too much of something is never enough, yet, balance is everything.
I personally have not been affected by mistreatment due to my sex within my chosen fields, but I
have been able to identify the laws of justice and injustice in regards to the battle of acceptance
between men and women in the past.
Women know their worth and are natural fighters. They are key educators in inspiring fellow women
to do and know the same. Women have a natural nurturing quality about them, thus being able to
apply emotion where necessary whilst not losing sight of their ultimate goal.
There was a time you would hardly see females take the stage or be in the music charts etc.
However, in these times you are noticing a lot of females rising up in all instances and industries.
I recently was the only female on a festival bill, opened the show and made the front page
newspaper the following day from doing so, which goes to show there are people that are
recognising us and making a joyful statement, an effective one at that.
Additionally, if we look at it from a business side of things (applying this to a reggae scenario), as a
promoter, his/her clientele are pretty much women and are more incline to spend money on tickets,
merchandise etc. whereas men are more likely to invest their money into other things to create
more revenue for themselves, or find an alternative way to show love towards an event (however,
please note, women know how to budget so can afford to treat themselves to a thing or two at their
Depending on the genre of music, a promoter has to see/plan how they can increase their revenue.
This does not necessarily indicate an artist is of poor quality and not worth investing in; it is merely
the "quickest" and easiest way for that individual to make extra money for themselves .
However, in regards to hip-hop or pop music say, there is an equal balance of men and women being invested in by businesses and corporations to ideally draw in a crowd and ultimately make everyone happy and financially comfortable.
Overall, I feel, within my short time within the industry, women are glowing and rightfully so.
Education plays a key factor also. When you learn the business and correlate this to your talent and
expertise, you are destined to make change within your situation. We know our worth, we know our
work and we are doing what is necessary to make a career out of it all.
What message do you have for girls and women who are trying to find the courage to
DON'T STOP WORKING HARD! Courage comes when you conquer your fears of failure. However,
failure does not always have to be a negative thing. The direction you were heading in may not have been that of your destiny, but merely a lesson to know what to not do and change your trail of
action. When you change the way you think, it will have an effect on how you attack your next
move. Stay consistent as this builds character. Many a time we forget to take a moment and
congratulate ourselves for our hard work, consistency and influencing another's mood/perspective
of life and self even when it's staring us in the face.
Instead, we put all our energy and time into trying to impress people and showcasing our
"showreels" of life whilst seeking validation from others.... My loves, the only validation we need is
from God, through prayer, his continual blessings and engagements where you smile and give
thanks. We are already a testimony of Greatness, thus, continue being so and live in the moment.
STRIVE TO BE HAPPY! Be proud and fall in love with YOUR achievements and successes as you alone are a Superstar in your own perfect light!
Take the time to say #WELLDONEYOU .... BE BOLD / BE ROYAL / BE YOU