2011 was a rough year for lyricist/singer Christina “Brave” Williams. Her father passed away, her manager of nine of years died from a heart attack, and her group – RichGirl – disbanded. Now the Baltimore native is moving forward and focusing on her solo music career. Earlier this year, she released her new song titled “Break Me Down,” from her upcoming debut EP “A Brave New World.”
In our interview, Brave talked about how she was discovered, her motivation for creating the idea of RichGirl, opening for Beyonce, RichGirl’s break up, her new single and her forthcoming “A Brave New World” EP.
Who is Brave?
Brave is a woman who is not scared to be who she is – flaws and all. I kind of just put everything out there and wear everything on my sleeves through the storms and circumstances that may come my way.
Is Brave a different person than Christina Williams?
That is a really good question. They share a lot of similarities, but I would probably have to say yes. Brave will always show up. Christina is more shy.
Tell us how you were discovered by Rich Harrison.
Well, I’m a lyricist first. I didn’t know I could sing at all. When I first discovered I could sing, I remember I had turned one of my raps into a song. Marqius Collins, from his team, was at an open mic session where I performed. He saw the piece I did, went back to [Rich Harrison] and that’s how everything transpired.
Many people may not know this, but you got signed by Rich Harrison, got dropped, then came back three years later pitching the concept of RichGirl. What inspired you to want to create and be in a girl group?
I knew I was in a place where I had grown so much from the first time I met Rich to when I ran into him again that the perfect situation for me to continue my growth – not only as a vocalist but just as an artist, period – would be to surround myself around great vocalists. For me, it always made sense to put myself in that environment to grow.
Take us back to the first time you recorded “24’s” with RichGirl. What was your experience like recording a song with a group?
It was interesting because that was one of the first songs I had recorded when we started working together years before, as a solo artist. It was actually really great to see it come to life on a whole new level, adding all the different voice. It was a fun experience for me.
RichGirl was the opening act for Beyonce’s “I Am…Tour.” Tell us about your experience opening for Beyonce.
Oh my gosh. That was a high that probably took me a year to come down from – going from performing in front of 100 people to 30,000 people at Madison Square Garden – that was amazing. I remember the first night on stage, before the curtains opened, I was crying. I had to stop myself because I knew that it would mess up my vocal cords. It was so exciting. I remember never being nervous. It was more “open these curtains so I can show these people what I do” type of feeling. It was the best feeling. I look forward to doing it again.
Many fans were anticipating RichGirl’s debut album. There were talks that you all were recording an album, but it never happened. In 2011, it was announced that RichGirl disbanded (even though there wasn’t an official statement released). What happened?
It was never us. There was never any turmoil in the group. Those are my girls until this day. I still talk to all of them. The issue was the people that put us together, the people that was driving us to win, I feel like fell out of love with that vision. It’s almost like head your head coach of your team kind of no longer thinks his team can win – and a team can only coach themselves for so long – so, the roads started to get a little rocky with no coach. It kind of just gratefully bowed out.