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Lianne La Havas

UK

Angel-voiced, pigeonhole-evading singer-songwriter

“I always feel like I’m introducing myself constantly,” Lianne La Havas once announced. “I never want to assume someone knows who I am.” Indeed, Lianne is certainly keen not to be straightjacketed as just a soul singer. Certainly her velvet-smooth voice oozes soul, but this is a singer-songwriter, with vintage guitar over her shoulder, who’s open to a wide landscape of sound, including folk, indie, jazz and pop. She’s been on tour with musicians as varied as Alicia Keys and indie-folkers Bon Iver, as well as performing alongside her great friend Prince (who once played a gig in the front room of her house in Leyton). Not bad for a daughter of Croydon who didn’t pick up a guitar untilshe was 18. But, then, convention isn’t high on her agenda. “I eventually want to get rid of genre,” she explained to The Guardian. “The music is what it is.”