“People can’t exist without judgement,” was one of the things that the eclectic singer Joya Bravo said to me during our interview. The line stood out to me because it was such a powerful thing to mention. The line just added more reasons to why Joya’s is extremely unique and down to earth. She was spotted by a representative from McDonald’s who was impressed with her talent and decided to make her one of the star’s of McDonald’s Dollar Van Demos national commercial which airs now. I caught up with Joya Bravo and she had alot of interesting views and outlooks, we also discussed the commercial.
HipHopWeekly (Lathleen):Tell us about the McDonald’s commercial,how did it come about?
Joya Bravo: Well, it started with me doing a show a while back called Dollar Van Demos, and after I did it, a couple weeks later, I guess someone from the Burrell agency or McDonald’s put it together and thought it would be an intelligent idea to have the dollar menu and dollar cab kind of coincide, so they were looking at different artists and they choose me and another artist named WordSpit, who is definitely someone to look out for as well. It’s great exposure for me and I also co-produced the music that’s on the commercial as well.
HipHopWeekly (Lathleen): How does it feel doing this commercial for the first time?
Joya Bravo: It was really awesome, I mean, I don’t want to sound like I’m dismissing it, but I tend to really move quickly and so it’s like it’s done and it’s already out of my head. But, I’m very appreciative for that kind of opportunity that McDonald’s would choose me to put on TV.
HHW: Who is Joya bravo?
JB:Joya Bravo is a being, basically created by the most high to bring music back to the music industry.
HHW:Where are you from?
JB: My family is Jamaican I was born in queens, I did all of my schooling in Atlanta and all my holidays in New York, so I relate best to New York, I’d say queens is the easiest answer but I was really mostly raised in Atlanta and back and forth.
HHW:What separates you from other artists?
JB: I’d say that I’m extremely eclectic and I’m kind of fusing a lot of different types of music together, and I know a lot of people are doing that but my whole project is perfecting eclectism and also popularizing consciousness through pop music. So I think a lot of people get into the music industry for the riches and the fame and all that stuff but I feel like, I want to show people that if you have the right goal in place, you can really do anything as long as you’re working towards the greater good, or something bigger than yourself then things just kind of flow and anything is possible.
HHW:Who is your inspiration?
JB: Beyonce, Serj Tankian from System of the Down, Grace jones, and Lauryn hill.
HHW: How did your journey begin?
JB: I started dancing first at the age of 3, then I began playing the violin at the age of 9 then right around the same time I started in theater, and I always kind of had this alter ego on stage, and it would just be really big, I was not like that in everyday life but eventually when Destiny Child came out with “Bills Bills Bills” I was playing around with it in the hallway and one of my colleagues basically told me I could sing. It just kind of went from there, and I was like I can really do this I use to just come home and practice whether it was singing or playing the violin for six hours straight and I would continue watching Aaliyah, Brandy, Beyonce and they would just inspire me so much, and I always knew I had a greater goal in mind.
HHW:What advice do you have for upcoming artists?
JB: Well like Mike Myers aka Austin Powers told me personally, thank God. First is, accepting your true self and second is never ever giving up. I was actually working at a grocery store and I was a cash register. He came in there the first time and I was too nervous to say anything so the second time he came in I was like ‘do you mind if I ask you a question’ as im ringing his stuff and I said ‘what advice do you give for up and coming’ and he said be true to yourself and never ever let go or never give up.
HHW:What projects are you working on now?
JB:Right now im working on a full project called Perfecting Eclecticism and the intro is out, its called Moving Day, and it’s actual a sampler of a bunch of 08, 09 popular beats and you can actually download it at www.myspace.com/joyabravo. It’s kind of like the Lord of the Rings you have like an intro, a sequel a trilogy or really you can think of it as food it would be like an appetizer an entrée and a dessert and something else, a drink.
HHW:A lot of people dig your style, and taste of dressing, who is your favorite designer?
JB:Clothing lines, I really dig Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)
HHW:Anything else you want hiphopweekly readers to know about you?
JB:I guess its just really, I really want people to know that people can’t exist without judgment, people cant exist and really grow, and I think the biggest change has come with xenophobia which is the fear of understanding or the fear of difference. I’m just ready for an audio revolution. OH YEA! ONE MORE THING I DID NOT WRITE THE LYRICS FOR THE MCDONALD’S COMMERCIAL! [Laughs]