Interview King Gvpsv / Mehcad Brooks: “I’m tired of men determining what behaviour is fitting for a woman”

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KING GVPSV, the stage name actor Mehcad Brooks (known for his roles in True Blood and Supergirl) took on for his career in music, recently launched a new single ‘Oceans’. On the track, he discusses the male ego and female autonomy and empowerment. He spoke to A Bit of Pop Music about the inspiration behind the song, his experiences with death that made him record his debut album May 20th and what he still wants to achieve in his already impressive career.

Your new single ‘Oceans’ is meant as empowering for women. What is the story you want to get across with this song?
“‘Oceans’ is about female empowerment and female independence, free of the opinions of men and however he may feel about how and what she uses her attributes for. I think the world that we live in right now is extremely shallow, however I ask myself: is it truly my place to judge a woman who is able to exploit that shallow culture for what she wants?”

Was there a specific event or experience that inspired you to create this song?
“I have observed men determining what behaviour is fitting for a woman my entire life and I am tired of it. I know that if I am tired of it, women must be really tired of it. I knew a girl who was off in a different country every month, paid for trips, on yachts and at all the right parties. I found myself judging her, but I feel like that was a product of my own jealousy and sexism. It is not my place to determine what behaviour constitutes the value of a woman. I can only determine the type of behaviour that I am willing to accept in my life if I want to be with that person. That is not a gender specific thing. That is you knowing yourself. However, many guys will find themselves judging women for doing things that they probably would do if the stiletto was on the other foot. And it made me think that it should not really concern a woman what a man thinks of her behaviour in the first place. We don’t have to walk through life being stared at, being harassed, having to be careful around the opposite sex in situations that should be safe and secure. Men don’t have the institutionalized societal bias that many women have to confront and overcome on a daily basis. Men’s opinions about women, while they may be valid to them and their friends, need to stay right there with them and their friends. Putting that opinion on to other women is a form of emotional, psychological and societal bullying.”

On ‘Oceans’ you take a look at the male ego and how it could threaten female autonomy. Do you feel like this is an issue in the music industry of today as well?
“Absolutely. Men dominate the music business, so it is their opinions that construct the business. It has been that way since the beginning of the music industry and until we wake up as men it is going to be that way. Female executives help but I don’t think we have enough of them yet.”

What do you think male artists like you could do to improve the situation of female colleagues?
“When it comes to being bullied, the victim always hopes their friends and colleagues that are uninitiated to the abuse, to become advocates for their cause or allies in their fight. Advocates make the victims feel better which is great, but allies, they help change it. It is time for more men in the industry and all over the world not just to be advocates for women but also allies. That does not mean we can’t write songs that speak to our particular and specific truths. It just means there has to be more of a balance and men need to consider what they are saying, how they are saying it, and who it is being heard by.”

‘Oceans’ is one of the first tracks we get to hear after your debut record. Are you currently working on a second album? If so, what can we expect in terms of sound?
“I believe that artists should always be evolving their sounds. I have this idea that the next record will contain more dark R&B, but at the same time soulful, tribal and gypsy.”

You work as a musician, actor and model all at the same time. Do you ever feel like it is all too much for you and you need to slow down or give up one of the different jobs?

“People often ask me how I find the time to do so many things, but I have long since been of the mind state that you figure out who you are and then you make time. You create time for what you love.”

On your album May 20th you refer to two near death experiences you had. In what way did your life change after those?
“May 20th 2009 I died. I passed away. I crossed over to the other side, I saw all the things that people talk about, the light, waiting through a field of thick darkness yet knowing you’re in a loving harmonious oneness with the universe. I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. I’ve tasted it, I understand what it means to disassociate yourself from who you have always thought you were and the body you thought was yours. And I guarantee you at the end of this beautiful journey you are going to ask yourself the same question that I asked myself. Did I do what I agreed to do before I was born? Or did I just somehow allow my life to happen to me? The answer to that question for me was music. May 20th 2011 I got hit by a car head on. She was going 65 miles per hour, I was stopped at a stoplight. Next thing I know I was in a coma and I had a very similar experience and after I got out of that hospital I was ready to fulfil my agreement but it took a long time to heal. May 20th 2012, I met a holy man who opened my eyes to a connection that these experiences kept reminding me of. He showed me a way to connect to that voice of oneness without having a traumatic experience invoke it. The next day I began my music career and I never looked back, so what you hear in my music is me fulfilling an agreement before I was born but with the benefit, the pain and the passion that comes with overcoming unique and traumatic experiences in life.”

What is the ultimate goal you still want to achieve in your career?
“I want to sell out stadiums. Keep an eye on me! I am someone to watch and listen to. I got a message of love from those death experiences and I am here and I was given a second and a third chance to pass along his messages.”

Would you rather win an Oscar or a Grammy and why?
“I am going to go with both, because they are both possible. I will add that a Grammy would be incredible, because I am writing, co-producing, arranging and I just have my hands in all aspects of my music. If I win a Grammy, it would be by doing it completely my way. But I’m definitely not going to stop at one of them!”

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