DJ’s sixth sense for trends
HAVANA Brown's globally popular unique sound is ready to have the Plantation Hotel jumping on Friday night.
The 29 year-old has been making her mark on the international music scene, playing in Korea, Japan, France - and even had her image towering over New York City's Times Square last year on the largest billboard on the site.
Performing her debut single We Run The Night on America's Got Talent, Havana had already had success as a DJ before hitting the pop charts.
A Melbourne schoolgirl, Havana grew up with a mix of pop, techno and grunge, and was convinced from a young age that she wanted to be a performer.
She bypassed university to go to London and front a band called Fishbowl, which soon met its demise.
It was a low point for Havana, stuck in London with no money, but it also marked a turning point in her career as she realised that the DJ has the best job in the house - and she quickly learned she had a natural aptitude for it.
She soon got herself booked as a guest DJ, taking her decks on tour with the likes of Britney Spears, Rihanna and Lady Gaga; and events such as Singapore's F1 Grand Prix (alongside Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas), and the 2010 Grammy Awards After Party.
It was on an Australian tour with Chris Brown in 2011 that Havana started to drop some of her own songs into her DJ sets.
"It was very nerve-racking, because if people didn't like it, it would mean they didn't like me," she said. "I don't think anyone knew I was working on my original music and developing my sound for two years prior."
Fortunately for Havana, the crowds loved her. We Run The Night was released a month later and reached triple platinum in Australia, debuting on the ARIA Singles Chart at #7.
Shortly after, Havana reached out to super producer RedOne, for a newly produced version featuring rapper Pitbull. The single went on to sell over 1 million units in the US, and hit the Top 30 on iTunes in over 30 countries across the globe.
Now considering herself to be 50 per cent DJ, 50 per cent recording artist, Havana continues to be a tastemaker and trendhunter, sharing the wealth of her music knowledge.
"When you're so involved in music as a DJ every single day, you get more sensitive to what is trending and what people are reacting to," Havana said.
"As long as your mind is open, it becomes a sixth sense."