Lianne La Havas: New Brit soul stirrer

Lianne La Havas has all the qualities you’d expect in a next-gen international star.

The British-born singer-songwriter plays multiple instruments, has a dreamy, spellbinding voice and is plain gorgeous.

Check out the audio-visuals below of her song “No Room For Doubt.” The video features American alt-folkster Willy Mason in a haunting duet. La Havas’ “It” factor couldn’t be more evident.

In fact, her performance of “Age” on Later…with Jools Holland, the UK chat show known for featuring some of music’s best talents, impressed Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon so much that he invited La Havas to slot in as the opening act for Bon Iver’s upcoming North American tour.

With a new EP titled Lost and Found ready for release on November 22 via Labor of Love Records, the curly-haired soul woman is doubly poised as another British talent to break big stateside.

But for every Corinne Bailey Rae, Adele or Amy Winehouse (RIP) who really blows up, there’s a Ms. Dynamite or V.V. Brown or Lady Sov—UK artists with loads of promise who barely realize their potential in the US.

Time will tell if La Havas can make real inroads here. Her collection of recent videos (see below) and her Live in LA EP show that she’s definitely got the pipes, the talent and the look.

She told Dazed Digital recently about what sets her apart and about that collaboration with Mason on “No Room For Doubt.”

Dazed Digital: How would you describe your music?

Lianne La Havas: Rhythmic electric guitar-based backdrops with what I hope are lyrics from the soul and melodies that compliment what the guitar is doing.

DD: How did the hook up with Willy Mason come about?

Lianne La Havas: I had always been a fan of his so when I discovered that my producer and friend, Dan Carey, would be recording with Willy, I was very keen to meet him. Our first encounter was on the Victoria Line at Brixton. I was on my way back to Hackney when Dan, his engineer Alexis and Willy just happened to be on the same train going north to see a show so I ended up tagging along and we just got talking. A few months later, I found out I was going to be in New York city for two weeks to write and so I asked Willy if he’d like to have a jam. He said yes.

DD: What was it like working together? Any memorable moments?

Lianne La Havas: He seemed very open to collaborating and we ended up having a great time sharing songs and lyrics and eventually went on to write ‘No Room For Doubt’ in the first week of writing. It was during a fantastic heatwave so in between bouts of creativity, I remember drinking many, many cold drinks with Willy, making lunch and, in turn, learning about a lot about each other. He’s a lovely soul to be around so I felt lucky and grateful to be working with him. The whole experience is one giant favourite memory.

DD: What did Willy teach you about crafting songs?

Lianne La Havas: I love the simplicity of his music. He is able to make simple chords and melodies go very far and, as a listener, this gives a lot for your ears to feast on. I’d say that writing with him changed the way I write and I found myself trying to limit myself musically so that I could work around simple ideas and develop them more naturally.

DD: The video is based around a ghost story – what scares you?

Lianne La Havas: The thought of not being able to sing. The dark. The paranormal.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Are you looking forward to her Lost and Found EP? Let us know in the comments what you think about Lianne La Havas.

WATCH: Lianne La Havas, “No Room For Doubt” feat. Willy Mason

 

WATCH: “No Room For Doubt” La Blogoteque’s Take Away Show

 

WATCH: “Don’t Wake Me Up” (Live at the Slaughterhouse Lamb)

 

WATCH: Black Cab Sessions

Lianne La Havas from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.

 

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