Mega-popular Australian-born singer/dancer/DJ Havana Brown will host the party at Borgata’s mur.mur nightclub Saturday night, Feb. 23.
The talent-laden 28-year-old best known as DJ Havana Brown (birth name Angelique Meunier) has the ambition and the glamorous good looks to match the singing, dancing and DJ skill sets that have made her highly sought-after on nightclub circuits worldwide.
She would also be quick to tell you, in her Australian-inflected voice, that part of the reason she has charted two No. 1 Billboard Club/Dance hits, earned a 12-month DJ residency at renowned Paris Las Vegas’ Chateau nightclub, toured as the support act for Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, the Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna and others, is that she was given her parents’ blessings to pursue her passions early on.
“I honestly can’t say that I always saw myself doing what I’m doing, but leaving high school I asked myself ‘well, what am I going to be doing the rest of my life? What do I love doing?’” she tells AC Weekly. “And the thought of going to university and studying something that I didn’t really enjoy passionately, I’d think ‘is that what life is about?’ I want to enjoy myself, have fun, be passionate and live for the moment.
“I told my parents I wanted to take a year off and just pursue music, and they told me I should do it now because it’s not something you can do 10 years from now. You can go back to university at 40 years old but you can’t start your pop-star career at 40.”
Brown gravitated toward DJing following a stint as a singer in a band, eventually signing with Island Records Australia (becoming the only female DJ to sign a major-label recording deal in Australia) and started releasing a compilation-album series called Crave that featured remixes of songs from other artists. That led to her series of touring support-act roles, and in 2009 she began providing remixes for Party People, a Saturday night radio show that broadcasts across Australia.
In 2010 she did a live vocal duet with Enrique Iglesias on the X Factor (an Australian music reality TV show) and in April 2011 released her debut single “We Run the Night” that would become certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association. A remix of the song featuring American rapper Pitbull reached No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and she recently released a second song that gained No. 1 status, “Big Banana.”
“I was DJing for years before I released my first single,” she says. “I always enjoyed just DJing and always had fun and loved what I was doing, but when I got to involve an element of performance and singing, I just felt like I was connecting to the crowd a lot more — almost sharing a part of me, which is more fun but can be a bit scary at the same time. They seem to feel what I’m feeling and I feel what they’re feeling, and I can release a lot more energy toward them. So I don’t know if I could do just a DJ set anymore. For me, the standard is to be able to DJ and perform and sing and sometimes even incorporate my dances and do a full-blown performance in among the DJ set. That’s like my perfect night.”
“I think she’s incredible,” Solange Knowles (aka Beyoncé’s singing sister) says. “How can you not be a big fan?”
Atlantic City’s nightclub scene continues to thrive as a major component of the city’s catchphrase “DO AC.” Now Tilman Fertitta, owner and CEO of Landry’s Inc., is making his play for a bigger cut of the late night action, announcing a big name guest host for the opening weekend for his latest venture at the Golden Nugget, Haven Nightclub.
"I’m very rarely in the studio, only when I have tracks I feel need special attention, but usually I’m on the tour bus with a laptop and headphones. "
" I’m the baseball that kind of like crashed through the window on the side of the house and fell into the living room."
In a perfect world, if the casinos had their way, the year would always end on a Friday or Saturday. It would never end on a Monday, as it does this year.
“What we’re seeing right now [in A.C.] is Revel and Borgata going head-to-head with these big-name house DJs. They have become celebrities who get anywhere from $20,000 upwards of $200,000 per night for a couple of hours, and most of the time they’ll sell out these arenas or nightclubs. ... They’re the new celebrities.”
Providence’s latest endeavor is a special mid-week party that runs throughout the summer called Pink House, which diverts slightly from its varied dance-music format and focuses more exclusively on electronic dance music (EDM) every Wednesday from 11pm-4am.
“It’s going to be a great show. Atlantic City’s a great place because you can do so many different events, give sponsors so many different looks and feels and ways to interact with the audiences.”