Graduating with honors from Harvard College, the self-taught singer-songwriter developed her passion for music in her spare time, performing at open mic nights and building up her confidence to perform at larger events and eventually headline her own shows, including a 13-month weekly residency where her audiences regularly included celebrities from Jay Z and Beyoncé to Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese.
One of Brown’s early songs, “Bumblebee,” helped launch her career when she released it on her 2012 debut EP Building Castles. The track was soon licensed for a diamond ring commercial, which Jay Leno featured in a monologue on The Tonight Show. Jaden Smith tweeted that it was his new favorite song, and it prompted Glamour to hail her “sensually soulful vocals” and DailyCandy to declare that “the hype is justified.”
In 2015, Brown released her follow-up EP The Band, with The New Yorker describing her voice as possessing “the walnut burr of Erykah Badu and the lightness of Norah Jones” and InStyle Magazine hailing her “the next big thing.”