The 27-year-old "Race Jones" singer spoke with ESSENCE.com about her past projects, her partnership with Timbaland, and what’s coming in her bright future. Here are need-to-know facts about Hollywood’s new talent, V. Bozeman.
1. She was born and raised in South Central, California
“That’s my home,” says Bozeman. “I went to Crenshaw High. Raised in the church. I went to Long Beach State University. I’m a real LA baby.”
2. She’s wanted to be a singer since she was 5-years-old.
“I knew what to do since I was 5 years old,” Bozeman recalls. “There’s never been a Plan B. Music chose me and I just have to submit to it. I could do other things, but I know that this is my calling since I was a little girl. I never sought out trying to-it just called me. I tried college; I tried jobs here and there. But my spirit wasn’t willing.”
3. She used to have long hair
You may have noticed that Bozeman rocks a fierce shaved hairdo but that was not always the case. “I have done the weaves and all of that. But I was like, let me start over and reinvent myself,” she says. “So when I shaved my head, I was like wow, oaky this is pretty drastic! I was like, what did I do? But then I started to feel more comfortable in my skin!”
4. She was once told to change her look
“You have those times when you’re trying to fit a square into a circle. I’ve been through girl groups. I went through people saying I didn’t have it. I wasn’t special or I didn’t have the look. It really affects a person’s spirit. My manager, she told me that, ‘You are enough.’ And she also told me that it’s okay to be vulnerable. I took it and applied it to my artistry and it really helped me evolve into what you see now.”
5. "Race Jones" is a real person
“Me and Cee-lo Green wrote 'Race Jones' and I was like, there is a spirit here. 'Race Jones' is a real spirit and she just took over me,” Bozeman says of her powerful song about Black love. “Some people still may not have been ready for 'Race Jones.' She was a lot. But it doesn’t matter because she’s already released and she’s never going to go away. The more people who hear about her, the more power she gets. I didn’t try to personify her I really didn’t. She just took over.”
6. Timbaland helped V. discover her sound
“I remember when I was in the booth and we did this monstrous song and Timbaland came in and he was so underwhelmed,” Bozeman says. “He said, ‘V, it’s not about the song or the hit. It’s about how special the song is. It has to be special. Anybody could sing this song. But you have to sing something special. It has to be special. What’s unique for you?’ I figured out how to set myself apart and create my own name and really figure out what that meant."
7. She has new music coming out this year
“This year, we’re releasing Opera Noire, it’s a duet project that I did with Timbaland and my album, which is called 'Music Is My Boyfriend,'” V. Bozeman says about her upcoming projects. “Opera Noire’s first single, which is called 'Smile,' is out. You’re going to start seeing things coming from that and I’m so excited.”