VV Brown (born Vanessa Brown) is a singer, songwriter, author, fashionista and entrepreneur.
She first rose to global fame with her debut album ‘Travelling Like the Light’ which went on to sell over a million copies and earn her a nomination for the BBC’s Sound award alongside Lady Gaga. More recent albums, whilst different in tone, have still been well received, and she continued to be named by publications including The Independent and The Los Angeles Times as their artist to watch. She has toured the world and performed with the likes of Annie Lennox, Kate Nash, N-Dubz, Paloma Faith and The Script.
Thanks to a collaboration with producer Dave Okumu, V V has DJed across the globe for fashion weeks and fashion companies including Diesel, Fashion Rocks, Cartier and Clare Accessories, as well as for companies such as Vogue and club openings across the US.
As well as her music fame, V V has expanded into writing children’s books, songwriting for the likes of The Pussycat Dolls and the Sugababes, and running her own business.
She is passionate about serious subjects including race, identity and female empowerment, and is a popular choice as an after-dinner speaker on these topics and more.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book diversity and inclusion speaker singer and songwriter VV Brown for your next event.
Aside from her musical fame, V V Brown has achieved a lot in the world of fashion and beauty. In 2008, she took part in a charity fashion show hosted by Naomi Campbell at which she walked with models including Daisy Lowe, before modelling for the fashion company Ashish at London Fashion Week the following year.
She became the first Black British woman to front an ad campaign for retailer Marks & Spencer alongside Twiggy, Lisa Snowdon and Dannii Minogue. She is also a popular choice to model for publications such as i-D, Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan. In 2012, she launched her own online clothing shop called VVVintage which ran for three years.
She has appeared on a number of major TV chat shows as a guest and singer on Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, David Letterman and Jools Holland. She has also been featured on Daily Politics and Channel 4 News, as well as on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour Discussion and shows on the Hay Festival.
See VV’s superb video ‘Shark in the Water’ below:
In 2020, V V released her debut children’s book, Lily and the Magic Comb. The book is an adventure of discovery and pride where Lily transports herself to anywhere she wants to go using the magical comb her mother gave her. It was warmly received and was noted by The Independent as one of the top ten multicultural books of 2021. She has also contributed various articles to The Guardian, Pride Magazine and The Huffington Post.
She is a popular choice to host events, including the 2012 “Just My Cup of Tea” event – an afternoon of tea, cake and fashion. In 2021, V V Brown launched her own podcast, Songs of Triumph, where she talks to extraordinary people about their unique experiences and moments of triumph, as well as picking songs that represent key moments of their life. She also appeared on Dane Baptiste’s podcast, Dane Baptiste Questions Everything, in 2022 about who she would invite to her ultimate dinner party, as well as about her own journey in the music industry.
V V’s life hasn’t all been about success and positivity, sadly. After overcoming a drug addiction to sleeping pills and surviving a suicide attempt, V V Brown is an advocate for change, a topic she discusses in connection to mental health and wellbeing. She is also a victim of rape and discusses her experience of relationship abuse and how to transform oneself through trauma and pain.
She is passionate about being a role model for young Black women, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in all industries. She has written a number of articles for The Guardian on race, including how the music industry appears to promote white female artists over black, how being black in the British countryside can make you feel like an outsider; how black models are replaced by their white counterparts, and why she’s tired of people being intimidated by her race. She is also passionate about helping women in general and has written about the fears she has that the music business exploits women.
In 2016, VV travelled to Manchester to give a TEDx talk on identity, a talk which was met with a standing ovation. She has also spoken at SXSW music tech summits, lectured at educational establishments including Goldsmiths University about how to navigate through an ever-changing industry, and is on the board of PRIS Music. She was also a speaker and judge for The Guardian’s Ethical Observer Awards between 2014-2017.
Her public status has given her the opportunity to support a number of charities such as The Teenage Cancer Trust, Oxfam and the NSPCC. She has also started up her own charity, ‘Say Something Collective’ which helps support artists from marginalised communities. Their aim is to provide workshops and life coaching to bring personal change for individuals and companies, with their first exhibition in 2022/2023.
V V Brown is a dynamic and compelling speaker who has always been passionate about what she believes in. She has always followed her convictions and is a natural activist. You can feel an electric energy whether it be on stage or in person.
Chloe Roberts, CCO of Record Company, Young Turks
Vanessa spoke at TedX UCS Farham. She was a delight to work with and her passion and enthusiasm was infectious. an inspiring talk, very well received by everyone in the room.
Jade Barnes, Producer for TedX Manchester
She was spectacular at Hays festival. She spoke to crowd of people, live on BBC Radio 4. with such character. She has an incredibly academic background, which some would often brush over due to the judgements of musicians coming from a pop music background.
Giles Edwards, BBC Radio 4 Producer
Inspiring to our students and left an incredible impact.
Marion Brown, Principal of the Overstone Park Independent School
V V was embraced well at the Observer. She was passionate and known for innovation in her delivery and writing.
Lucy Siegle, Journalist for The Guardian and CEO of The Real Circularity Coalition
V V is a confident speaker and always gives a major insight into the topics being discussed . a natural motivator. She was incredibly received at SXSW.
Ray Meadham, CEO of Multiview Media Ltd.
I have known V V for over 6 years. We met at a talk she delivered at Parliament. She continues to be a force.
Joseph Harper, Senior Editor (Diversity and Development), The Guardian
We were compelled by V V ‘s confidence and got incredible feedback from public opinion about her words and topic of conversation.
Megan Croft, Producer of Channel 4 Unapologetic