London-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist Lianne La Havas is ready to take the stage at Lollapalooza this week in Chicago.
The daughter of a Greek father, who taught her to play music, and a Jamaican mother, who played with Mary J. Blige and Jill Scott, La Havas credits her parents' diverse musical tastes as having the biggest influence on her own music.
Her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough?
, released on Warner Brothers, was named iTunes Album of the Year. The 23-year-old has supported Alicia Keyes and Prince on tour. Prince described La Havas as the next Joni Mitchell and critics have compared her to Adele.
Jerry Nunn talked to the up-and-coming British soul singer before her arrival in Chicago.JN:
(Jerry Nunn) Hi, Lianne. I was the one at Lincoln Hall that chatted for a bit after the show.LH:
(Lianne La Havas) Cool! How are you, sir?JN:
Great. Where in the world are you calling from?LH:
I am in Harrogate.JN:
Where is that?LH:
[laughs] I knew you would ask that. It is in London in North Yorkshire. I am playing a show here.
We just finished up soundcheck. As soon as I am on the phone with you then I will get ready for the show.JN:
We are excited about you coming back to town for Lollapalooza.LH:
I am excited as well. I have been thinking about it for ages. We are going to have a great time.JN:
I will hook you up with free stuff from the gifting suites at the Hard Rock Hotel.LH:
Amazing, I love free stuff!JN:
What music do you have planned? Will this be part of your regular music set?LH:
It depends on how long I've got. I will probably keep it simple because no doubt there will be people there that haven't heard my music before so I don't want to alienate anybody. I am very much looking forward to us spreading the word about the record even though it has been out for a little while. It is still my first album so I have yet to be discovered by some Americans.JN:
Well, I have discovered you and love your work. Let's talk about your videos for "Elusive" and "Gone" that are kind of like films. What was the inspiration behind them?LH:
It was my friend's idea. His name is Colin Solal Cardo and he is from France. He is an incredible video director and director in general. He is also a writer so he came up with the ideas for two of my videos. It was his idea to make them into a two part story. We did a six day shoot. He wrote the whole story. He wanted me to come across as a femme fatale in one and an angel in the other one. I think we achieved our goal. I think we had such an amazing shoot and time. There was never a dull moment.JN:
There were two men dancing together in one video.LH:
Yes, there was a club scene.JN:
I didn't know if it were part of a gay storyline in the video.LH:
It was not anything to do with anything. It was just to represent the sensuality of the scene. I was walking through a crowd of people to find the man I am in love with. I think it just added to the sensuality of it.
No harm was meant by it and I think in this day and age we should all be open minded. It is a part of daily life. There are people that are inclined that way and it is very natural and good.JN:
Are you working on new music?LH:
I am indeed. I have got to wait because I find it very difficult to write on the road. You are never really alone or really have any time on the road. When I am off the road I will head straight into the studio. Maybe I will have a tiny bit of time off but I see making music as a hobby. Most of my time off is spent playing guitar or shopping.JN:
What can you tell me about Prince?LH:
He is a lovely guy. He's a very nice guy with a lovely personality. He's a big fan of mine and I am very proud to say that. I am over the moon about that because I love him.JN:
Is he shy?LH:
He can be but usually around people that don't know him.JN:
He just popped into the City Winery here in Chicago.LH:
Nice! Did you see him?JN:
I didn't it was a secret show and very last minute. Lots for touring for you?LH:
After Lollapalooza I will be playing more US cities. I will be playing in New York and Baltimore. Well you better come say hi to me at Lollapalooza. I am so looking forward to it.JN:
See you soon!Look for Lianne on the Lake Shore stage August 4 at 3:00 p.m. More on her tour schedule can be found at www.liannelahavas.com.