Lianne La Havas is an exciting new face on the music scene. With adorable style, gorgeous natural hair, a soulful voice and addictive music she caught our attention as a woman to watch. Her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough, was named ITunes Album of the Year, and her performance at the 2013 SXSW conference solidified her growing stardom. We got a chance to talk to the singer about her increasing acclaim, her signature bun and how exactly she manages her hair at photoshoots.
Your debut album “Is Your Love Big Enough” was well received all around the world and especially here in the U.S. It was based on your past relationships. How does it feel to garner such major success from your personal truths?
LLH: It feels great. I never expected so many people could hear the record and like it. It feels great like a dream come true.
Have you been contacted by any past loves since your album debuted? They can of course eat their heart out now!
LLH: Yes. But the one in particular that I always talk about is so stubborn that he didn’t contact me. He just doesn’t really care. So I don’t really speak to him anyway so it’s fine.
Who or what inspired you to sing?
LLH: My family was very musical. My earliest memories come from me singing hymnals with my great-grandmother around the age of 5. My father also played guitar which I remember singing to. My mother was a big fan of Mary J. Blige and Jill Scott and their songs really made an impression on me.
In 2011, you toured with Bon Iver and this year, you’re the headlining act! Do you see a change in touring this time around?
LLH: Well it’s definitely more work when you’re doing your own tour. It’s a lot of traveling which is great because I feel very lucky that my job allows me to travel all over the world. It’s a bit more exciting because all of those audiences are there just for you. It feels like everyone is appreciating what we’re doing and it feels great.
Let’s talk hair! Have you always rocked a head of natural curls? If not, when did you begin to embrace your natural hair?
LLH: I used to relax my hair when I was at teenager from the age of 13- 19. Then I just realized and people would tell me how bad it was for my hair. You would just hear these horror stories of girl’s hair falling out and breaking and my hair actually broke off and it was just devastating. I make it a point now to never ever chemically straighten my hair. Especially when I’m on tour, it’s easier. Sometimes I do blow-dry it and use a curler and add a few extra curls. More often than not I just keep it natural now.
Since you’re touring across the U.S. do you have any time to maintain a daily routine?
LLH: Yes, I try to make sure the hair is always moisturized because it dries really quickly. I have to put oils back into it. After washing, I like to leave a bit of conditioner in my hair and let it dry. I make sure I do that every day and wash it every couple of days.
When you first debuted, you rocked your hair in a bun most of the time. Is that your favorite style to wear?
LLH: Yes. It used to be just very convenient to do it like that because it got it out of my face and it looked kind of quirky. Recently I got a haircut and it’s not long enough to do it in a bun like. I’m still experimenting with styles. As long as it’s that element of it being to one side. I don’t like it in the center.
Do you have any go-to products that you must have on your tour with you at all times?
LLH: I’ve just gotten new stuff by Kera Care. It’s called a super reconstructing hair mask and I do that once a week. It keeps my hair really moisturized and it keeps the curls really defined. I can’t live without it.
Your hair is big and bold. Have you ever experienced any weird hair moments back home or the U.S?
LLH: Back at home, when I did my first photo shoot for a magazine, the hair dresser didn’t seem to know what to do my hair. When I look at that photo I just wish they knew what to do with it because it was hard for me to explain and I was very particular about the style it should be.
Basically, they gave me a weird side ponytail and it was really frizzy. I just really wanted to do it myself but they wouldn’t let me. Luckily now, every time I do something like that, they are briefed about my hair. It’s an issue that needs to be talked about before hand.
What artists and or songs do you currently have on repeat right now?
LLH: I still listen to a lot of Erykah Badu. Probably an unhealthy amount of Erykah Badu. I really like music from the 90s and early 2000s. So I’m listening a lot to her Mama’s Gun album which is one of my favorites. Also, I love Little Dragon. You’ll definitely find them on repeat on my ipod!