Lianne La Havas arrived in the early 2010s with a mostly acoustic and hushed hybrid of alternative folk and soul.
The singer, songwriter, and guitarist was born and raised in London, England, the daughter of a Jamaican mother and Greek father. She was a member of the Paris Parade with Christian Pinchbeck (a future member of Elephant
), but the act proved to be short-lived. La Havas eventually shifted to solo work and released Lost & Found, a four-track EP featuring a duet with Willy Mason
, in October 2011. Two months later -- the same month she opened for Bon Iver
during a North American tour -- it was announced that she had been nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. Is Your Love Big Enough?, La Havas' debut album for Warner Bros.
, was released in the U.K. in July 2012 and reached number five; the U.S. release through Nonesuch
followed a month later. The set was produced almost entirely by songwriting partner Matt Hales (aka Aqualung
). One major fan was Prince
, who had La Havas contribute to his 2014 album Art Official Age. Around the same time, she also appeared on recordings by Alt-J
. Her second album, the bolder and more produced Blood, followed in 2015. Informed by a trip to Jamaica but additionally inspired by her Greek heritage, the set was preceded by the tracks "Unstoppable" and "What You Won't Do" and was issued that July. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi