"One thing that gets lost in modern blues, in my opinion, is the grit. The imperfections are the charm" We chat with Chastity Brown
Hey Chastity, hope you’re having a great week. So, easy question first, what have you been up to today?
I love sitting in the garden in my back yard. Much of my morning was spent soaking up the sun while reading this wildly cool book of sci-fi short stories by the author N.K. Jemisin.
Tell us something about you, what’s your favourite thing to do when you’ve got time off?
Truly, I think it's a privilege to have the time to enjoy the natural world. It’s my favorite thing to do!
Right, onto the music. What can you tell us about your first memory of playing or singing music?
Not many public schools in America still have arts programming available to their students. However, when I was a child it was still considered core learning in my small town in West Tennessee. I didn’t know at the time that I was learning folks songs and story telling, but I remember being enthralled with music class and so greatly looking forward to it each day. I was quite the nerd.
Silhouette of Sirens came out a while ago but for anyone that hasn’t heard it yeat,how would you describe it in two sentences?
The record is a soulful excavation of pain. It’s about knowing what that means, to feeling what that means and then letting it go.
One of my favourite tracks is ‘Whisper’ - I really love the harmonica - what can you tell us about that song?
The day I wrote 'Whisper' I had been listening to Leon Bridges and Nina Simone. They both inspired in me a desire to write my own type of love song.
‘Lies’ has a real gritty blues kind of vibe, how did you go about deciding on the sound you wanted across the record?
One thing that gets lost in modern blues, in my opinion, is the grit. The imperfections are the charm. That thought was in my mind when we were going in to cut the track. So I asked my band to just play it off the cuff and not do too many takes.
You released a single last year, ‘Mad Love’, what’s that about?
'Mad Love' is about radical self-love. It shouldn’t have to be radical but it is with all the bigotry that surrounds us sometimes. There is power in walking outside the front door of one’s home and simply loving oneself.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I’m not just a woman. I’m a queer brown woman. So, although I share many of the same experiences of iniquity in the music business, it is...just to be plain, much harder if you are from any marginalized community.
Who, or what, inspires you?
Storytellers inspire me. Nature always blows my mind. Lately, I’ve been really into to black sci-fi writers like Octavia Butler.
Your Wikipedia page (and I know you shouldn’t always trust Wikipedia!) talks about charity work that you do. If you had to tell us about one charity we should support, which would it be and why?
WithAll - a nonprofit that works to prevent eating disorders, recover from one, and offers support throughout someone’s recovery.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
That’s not easy! Leon Bridges.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
...what’s your favorite color? Grey.
How do you take your coffee?
I take my coffee with cream and honey, please.
To find out more about what Chastity is up to you can either visit her website or check out her socials.