The best new artist of 2012 made her North American début last night on The Conan O'Brien show, renowned for his introduction of new musical artists (e.g. Adele made her North American début on O'Brien's show in May 2009). An almost guaranteed lock for the Best New Artist Award at the February 2013, 55th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, if you haven't heard or seen Lianne La Havas previous to this moment, give her a listen. We think you'll be as impressed as we are.
The 23-year-old British folk and soul chanteuse — as well as first-rate songwriter and multi-instrumentalist — was born in London, England on August 23rd, 1989 to a Greek father and Jamaican mother, and began singing at age 7 as a creative response to the breakdown of her parent's marriage. Citing the influence of her father, who himself is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and taught her the basics of guitar and piano, and her mother's love of Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige, it wasn't until her début appearance on October 11th, 2011 on the BBC-2 series Later With Jools Holland that Lianne La Havas emerged as a talent to reckon with.
Reviewed in Rolling Stone as "neo-soul, part Bon Iver-style indie folk, with punchier beats than you'd expect and welcome detours into Sade's plush bedroom, there are surprises, too: jazz chords that seep into her wintry folk ballads," while Gillian Orr in Britain's The Independent writes, "Sadness is something of a speciality for the 23-year-old Londoner. With her unique blend of soul, folk and jazz, La Havas's personal tales of falling in and out of love, sung in an impressively smoky voice that goes from a purr to a roar in an instant, the rise of this talented newcomer has been seemingly effortless. Her fellow guest on 'Later', Bon Iver, was so impressed with La Havas that he invited her to join him on his North American tour."
Posted by Raymond Tomlin at November 15, 2012 2:21 PM in Music