V. Bozeman Goes With The Flow
For performer V. Bozeman, the course was set before she was even old enough to understand there was a course.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t think of myself as a singer,” V. says. “As young as I (can) remember, I was singing. It’s just something that’s lived inside of me since I was born.”
V.’s early love of music began on Sundays at church in South Central Los Angeles, where the gospel choir served as a platform for her musical gifts—and their influence is felt in her music still today. It was here, in the choir, where she first understood the power of music to transcend differences and create a common ground, often rooted in the most primal human emotions.
“We used to go to Europe in the summertime, and we would sing gospel songs—really down-home gospel songs—in French. They had never heard an aesthetic like this before, but it would touch them just the same as it would touch the people in the front row pews at my church,” V. says. “That’s when I knew that music has no boundaries. You can’t put music in a box; it’s an energy.”
The first time V. heard her own professionally recorded and mixed track played back to her – shocked, and realizing that’s me – that was the moment that solidified V.’s sense of certainty in her life’s mission. She heard the power of her sound and knew it could help people connect with something meaningful.
“Music chose me,” V. says. “When something chooses you, and it’s that strong inside, you just can’t run away from it. You have to kind of submit to it, and that’s kept me afloat and kept me grounded.”
That total sense of rightness in knowing that she is doing exactly what she is meant to do has allowed V. the freedom to let her exhilaration guide her craft. Call it an artist’s intuition.
“I have to feel magical when I do music. When you do music, it’s supposed to move the atmosphere. It’s a live energy,” says V. “So every time I do music, I just have to be totally connected to it—and if I’m not, I’m just not going to do it.
To tap into that live energy, V. looks to the musical greats of past, present and future, and she revels in the unease that comes with trying to make sense of a constant stream of new influences. That discomfort lets her know that she’s evolving.
“Artists should always want to evolve. I’m never comfortable, ever. That’s my first time saying that, but it’s so honest and true,” V. says. “I’m always trying to find something else—to do, to sing, to write. I’m always looking for something. When you connect with people and you see what that does, it’s so powerful, and it’s a feeling like no other.”
Music might move V. on a visceral level, but her sound is about more than just herself—it’s about what she can bring to the world on a grander scale.
“I just feel like when you submit to your gift, it’s inevitable to leave a footprint. I want to leave a legacy as far as just touching the hearts and the souls of the people,” V. says. “Black or white, brown, red—it doesn’t matter, just as long as I gave them my truth through music.”
And V.’s truth is often found through patience, and respect for the process of songwriting. This is where that sense of energetic discomfort – the impetus for creation – is converted into pure ease.
“Usually, I begin at home, where it’s quiet and I’m away from it all. Late at night, things come to me… the melody, a phrase that I may see in a magazine. I’ll hear something in my head and then I’ll be like, ‘Unh-unh-unh-unh.’ It should flow. It should be easy,” V. says. “It shouldn’t be a struggle to create magic.”
The track she previewed for us on the Revel audio system inside the Lincoln MKZ is a departure from her usual style, and V. likes it that way.
“’Go’ shows like a different side of me, that I don’t have to take myself so seriously all the time,” she says. “’Go’ is about a girl who is just saying, ‘If you want to go, you don’t have to stay here. You can leave.’”
And it’s this universality of experience, the transfer of a common human emotion, that V. is relying on when she considers how her message will impact the audience receiving it.
“I’m a very emotional singer, and I think people will always remember legends for what they made them feel like when they heard their music,” V. says. “What I want to leave is a feeling. You can’t lose feelings. You can’t lose memories of how something made you feel at a certain point in time.”
When you hear V. talking about music, you can hear passion, and the desire to help people connect to a feeling or a shared experience on a deeper level.
“Music is an emotion. It’s a way to feel, and escape, and to even help people express what they can’t express. It keeps the world going ’round,” she says. “When you have that connection with music, it can move you in a certain kind of way: emotionally, physically, psychologically. It can move your whole being.”
It’s like the feeling you get from hearing a message sung out to thousands, but which feels like it was created specifically for you. It’s that deep connection, where you know you’re not alone in an experience. It’s like that.
We met V. Bozeman while previewing her new track, “Go,” on a drive through her native Los Angeles in the Lincoln MKZ. To hear the track, visit http://now.lincoln.com/2016/05/written-atmospheric-movements/.