May 25, 2009
There are not many independent artists at this moment that can say they sold 18,000 copies of their first release, digital and physical. When speaking of an artist like this, who comes to mind is R&B/Soul singer Havana. Havana has definitely blossomed in many ways. She has reached a new height in her music in such areas as verbally,mentally, and musically. I had the pleasure of speaking with the southern California bred songstress and I must say, she was as bubbly and humble as I expected. Havana discusses her feelings of the mainstream record industry, family, music, life goals, and reality. Per Havana, all of her music talks of the struggles she faced when dealing with her parents who are both trying to recover from drug addiction. While most people would still be in a state of coping and trying to find themselves during such a devastating time with a family member, Havana seemed to be fine and non-affected by the situation.
I commended her for that. It was living with her grandmother and keeping a positive mind frame which allowed her to fight against a future of turmoil and anguish. While speaking with Havana, we talked about the success of her 2005 debut release L.I.F.E. I wanted to know if there was a strategy to what she presented to the world that got the attention of so many people. According to her, there was no strategy. There were times when she did not know if she would even pursue her career in music because she was dedicated to family. Family meaning, her devoted husband and career partner Khadji and their three adorable children. However, Havana managed to find the strength and balance to complete her project. The L.I.F.E (Living In Fearless Emotion) album consisted of production by Detroit producer Waajeed (Slum Village, PPP, Tiombe Lockhart) and Nicolay (Foreign Exchange). The critically acclaimed L.I.F.E received good vibrations from many bloggers,music critics,etc. L.I.F.E also caught the attention of companies such as MTV, NBC, Scion, and Adidas which resulted in her receiving licensing deals. I wanted to know more about Havana and who inspired her to be on the musical journey she is on today. Havana mentioned names such as Mary J. Blige who you can definitely gather from her storytelling of hardships. When asked about a producer she would really like to work with, Havana‘s answer was Raphael Saadiq. She mentioned that opening up for Raphael Saadiq sparked her interest and she would love to be able to sit in the studio with him. Among other performers, Havana has opened for Dwele, Slum Village, Adriana Evans, Rebirth, and S1 from Strange Fruit Project. Now that she has spread a taste of her musical craft, Havana is about to release her sophomore album, Entervention. Entervention will be an album that is somewhat in a different light from Havana‘s debut album. This album has a new production sound that is more 80’s electronic and R&B feel with more lyrics that are very direct and to the point. Entervention features production from Brooke D’Leau (J*Davey), GB (Sound in Color), and The Honor Roll (Trackademicks/1O.A.K). I expressed my excitement for her new release and wanted to know her long time goals…this is what she had to say: ” I will be in this industry [music] for a long time”. Well, with the way things are going, there’s nothing holding her back.
Havana “It Ain’t New”
Havana “Shoulda Walked Away”