There aren’t many people from the ‘90s or from the music industry who haven’t heard of Angie Brown. The British born soulful singer, songwriter and D.J. from London achieved House singer star status from her influences across the breaking House/Rave music scene of the late ‘80s & ‘90s. Her 1992 hit ‘I’m Gonna Get You’ went into the National Charts, both in the U.K. and the U.S – twice. Times change and artists develop, and in recent weeks, Angie Brown has seen herself poised for more House style stardom, thanks to her recent self-penned hit – Beyond Therapy x EchoFly & Angie Brown ‘Higher’ (Champion Records). With the track going straight into Number 5 of Beatport’s Top 100, Angie Brown speaks candidly to DMC Magazine about lockdowns, lifestyle and a complete change of course…
Hi Angie, thanks for speaking with DMC! What have you been up to lately?
Hey DMC, thank you for the invitation; it’s a pleasure to chat with you! Like many other artists and entertainers, I’ve been making sure that the lockdown works for me and keeping visible online; both as a need to keep me occupied and also to make sure that all of my friends and followers are keeping safe and well entertained!
This is a pretty dark moment for us all just now, and I can tell you first hand that it has been frustrating for us all in the club land and entertainment industry – with no gigs or work, all across the board. With this in mind, I thought that I’d put my Saturday nights to good use and over the past months, I’ve learned to D.J. and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been a house artist for the past 30 years, so learning to be a D.J., for me, has been a natural progression – not to mention another string to my bow!
‘Higher’ is getting a fantastic reaction. How did the collaboration with Beyond Therapy and EchoFly come about?
Yes, ‘Higher’ is a great track and it’s been getting some serious online visibility. This is in part thanks to the club land front liners getting behind it and creating the hype (which is really important for a cross over track). The response, even after one week has been pretty euphoric and we went straight to number 5 on Beatport’s top 100.
The project with Beyond Therapy and EchoFly came together because I have always freelanced as a vocalist, for the last 30 years to be precise. For me, Rollover Studios have provided a successful hit factory for many years and I have sung are there many times for a whole range of producers.
I got a call from Phil, Ollie‘s father, who asked me to come in and collaborate with his son, on a new track. When I got there and heard the track, I was literally blown away. I wrote the song then and there, and then we recorded it on the same day. My voice was in a great place, sounding fresh and rested – so I went for it! That would have to be a year ago now, how time flies!
It’s a really uplifting track at the end of a difficult year. Is that what you had in mind when working on the lyrics?
I wrote ‘Higher’ well before the COVID pandemic and lockdown’s kicked in and I’m glad that people find my lyrics uplifting. To me, this is what House music is all about. I am a person who always tries to maintain an upbeat and positive attitude, each and every day!
House music is about bringing the joy to people and making them realise that life is for living. So, to write these kind of lyrics just come so naturally to me. It’s a part of my character and an essence of my natural persona to write like this – uplifting all the way!
Which other producers would you love to work with?
There’s a lot of admirable talent within the production, writing and DJ’ing sectors these days. Personally, I’d like to work with Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Rudimental, Ed Sheeran and Stormzy – just to mention a few!
We hear you’ve been getting behind the decks yourself. What made you decide to start DJ’ing?
I’ve been playing across all types and sizes of events and dance festivals globally, as you know, for decades now. And, I think it’s getting harder now because the younger people want stronger beats. It was a hard act for me to follow a D.J. when I was the only vocalist on the bill – surrounded by another 10 D.J.’s.
One day and out of sheer frustration (as I didn’t get the response I wanted out of the audience), I thought if you can’t beat them join them, Angie! Thanks to our digital age, D.J.’s don’t have to travel with bags of vinyl or CD’s any more. All your choonz can be carried on a USB; making it more appealing for women to become D.J.’s – especially when our ‘record box’ can fit inside our handbags! Which three tracks are you enjoying most at present? (Ideally not your own!)
Block & Crown ‘Lay Our Love’
Diplo & Paul Woolford Ft. Kareem Lomax ‘Looking For Me’
What are your plans for 2021 and beyond? Let’s hope things start to return to normal next year and clubs and venues can reopen, along with festivals.
Yes, let’s hope that everything returns to normal soon and we can go out clubbing and enjoy ourselves more in 2021. I guess I’ll spend a lot of time thinking about how this whole track came together, because it’s been embraced and is climbing so quickly. Most people know that I’ve been in the business some 30 years and it’s been a long time since I’ve had a track that’s chomping at the bit to literally cross over into the nationals! Of course I’ve had club choons out, but when you do cross over, there’s something really overwhelming about it that you cannot put it into words. I’m getting a lot of love from my fans and people in the club industry that have known me for many years. Lots of people are congratulating me and reminding me that I’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and I am getting what I deserve!
I have an artist and D.J. agency called Exactia and we look after authentic 90’s artists and make sure that they are the headliners at festivals and get the notoriety and respect that they truly deserve. We have artists like Ultranate, Crystal Waters and Robin S. So when everybody has opened up for business, look out for the Exactia tent, because it will be filled with the best live acts and D.J.’s ever!
When not in the studio or performing, how do you like to relax and unwind?
For me, Sunday is usually a day spent travelling back home after headlining somewhere the night (or nights) before! Since I’ve had no work since February, I must admit that I’ve got used to chilling on a Sunday with my family’s routine. I’m used to having a lovely home cooked Sunday lunch with my boys around the table, then making sure they’re all organised for the school week ahead. I also love lounging out with my friend Yasmin to watch an afternoon of my favourite detective – the Sergeant Colombo!
The child of the ‘70s within me will ever be dead – neither will this voice of the ‘90s as it marries into the beats of this new decade. Long live house music and all artists as we move with the times, adapt and develop.