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Australia's Havana Brown Runs the Night

Perhaps Australia’s Havana Brown was ready to become a pop star. As the top female DJ in her homeland, the gorgeous blond had ample opportunity to learn from the best. She’s already toured the world with everyone from Britney Spears to Rihanna and The Pussycat Dolls.

In 2011, Brown released her debut single “We Run the Night.” It earned the multi-talented performer two ARIA nominations and landed her in the Australian Top 5. Released in the U.S. with an assist from white-hot rapper Pitbull, the single is climbing the U.S. Hot 100 and topped Billboard Dance charts.

As Havana readies a debut EP, she’s recently released the her latest two-disc DJ mix set, The Crave Club Edition. Meanwhile, immediately after performing at California’s Great America huge LGBT PRIDE Night event, the global sensation spoke with GuideToGay Celebrity Correspondent Pollo Del Mar.

How did you make the transition from DJ to recording a pop song?

You know, I’ve been working in music my whole life. When I finished high school, I went straight into working on original music, before I started DJ-ing. Then it was the timing I was having in the U.K. when I started to realize DJing could be an option for me. Back then, there weren’t many female DJs. Now there are a few more, but back then, there were none. Well, I’d never seen any. So, when I decided I wanted to start DJing, that was it! I loved it. Straight away, it clicked with me, it felt right, and I just ran with it! I loved it! I was partying so much in the U.K. I think that sort of vibe – that vibe in London – was so insane, it inspired me to be a DJ.

When you recorded “We Run the Night,” was there a decision to create you into a pop sensation – or was it just something for you to do?

Honestly, I just thought it was just a natural progression for me. I had been working on music previously, before I was DJing, so obviously I concentrated on DJing. I’d toured the world. I’d concentrated on a lot of the stuff DJs aspire to do, like compilations series and touring with these massive acts. So now, for me, it felt like the next stage for me was to step out from behind the decks and do my own music. That’s what I’ve been working on. It hasn’t been quick. You know, I’ve been working on my CD for a couple years.

Yet your debut single hit #1 here on U.S. Dance charts.

Yeah, it did, which is incredible! It’s unbelievable to see your name on the Billboard charts, let alone #1 on the dance charts. It’s pretty incredible!

How did you decide to collaborate with Pitbull on this record?

Well, let me tell you my experience with Pitbull. When I started DJing, Pitbull was my favorite person to play. Even though he wasn’t a commercial hit back then, he was a club sensation. You’d put on his music, and people would just want to dance! He’s got that vibe about him. It’s party. It’s happy. You just can’t help but move. After seeing his progression, from -- he’s worked so hard. He’s always out there. He’s always putting out music, regardless of whether the record company is supporting it or not. I love his work ethic. When I toured with him last year in Australia with Enrique Iglesias as well, he heard my song and loved it. He wanted to be part of it. I was like, “What?!” I love this guy! I’ve been playing his music since day-dot. He’s the essence of everything I want to do with my music. I want to make people move. I want to make people dance. I want to get people excited to party. I think that’s everything he does. He was definitely a big bonus to have on my track.

He’s also super hot in pop music right now!

Yes, I know. I know! It’s more than that for me. I really do admire him.

You performed tonight at Pride Night in California. Has the gay community been a significant following for you?

Oh, yes, absolutely! I think the music I play, the music I make, I think the gay community just wants to let loose and have fun. It’s such a great community to play to as well. I hope my music, I hope they relate to my music as well.

Tell me how it’s different to play at home in Australia versus around the world.

Obviously, in Australia, I’m a bit more well-known for my DJing and music, so that’s probably the only difference. My latest trip here [to the U.S.] has been pretty amazing, because people know my song. They’re singing along with it. They’re excited to see me perform it, and they’re excited to see me DJ. I actually enjoy challenges, I enjoy challenging myself and taking a risk. I think I’ve gotten to a point in Australia where it was time for me to try at least to branch out and make it internationally, to take it as far as I can. I think it’s every artist’s dream to make it internationally and be worldwide.

They’re playing your track on the radio here now. What’s it like to hear that?

It sounds completely different. Every time I hear it on the radio, it’s like I’ve never heard the song before. It’s like that first time I heard the song, after it was mastered and mixed. It’s unbelievable to hear it on the radio. I love to hear it! It sounds so fresh. I play it every night. Every night I’m playing it; every day I hear it, but when I hear it on the radio, for some reason, it just sounds different. I love that feeling!

Is there already a follow-up planned?

Oh, yes, absolutely! I’m coming out with an EP very soon. My next single is part of that EP. It’ll be like five songs.

So what can you tell us about it?

(Laughs.) Well, we know what the second single’s going to be, but we’re still finalizing the track listing for the EP. I really want to show all different aspects of what my album’s going to be. There’s some things which are “experimental” for me. I’m dabbling in drum and bass and two-step, mixing it in with house music. Some is a little more club, some is a little more pop. I just want to show the full circle of Havana Brown.

So what will the second single be about?

Well, I… I don’t know if I should mention it. (Pause.) I shouldn’t mention it, but it’ll be about love!

Really? So, are you in love?

I… I am!


With music! (Both laughing.) Yes, and that’s all I’ll say about it!

Thanks for talking to me!

No, thank you. I had heaps of fun!!

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