We waited three years for Lianne La Havas to follow up her iridescent debut, Is Your Love Big Enough?, and our patience has been rewarded something like a million times over. Blood is powerful in its songwriting and production, perfect in its conveyance of everything that makes Lianne La Havas a total original. The 25-year-old Brit spoke to Fuse about getting her parents to dance to Blood, why the title isn't a horror thing, her Alabama Shakes adoration and the aftermath of becoming buddies with Prince. Here's our complete conversation; you can watch video clips here and below.
Does it seem like ages between Is Your Love Big Enough? and this one?
To me, it doesn't really feel like a long time, because I've been so busy touring. But I'm aware it has been three years [laughs] since the first album came out.
A lot of times there's a pressure to get the second one out right away, and it ends up sounding like Album 1.5. But Blood feels like you were looking at the bigger picture and spending time making a completely different piece of work.
Yeah, the process was completely different with making it. Whereas with the first album, I spent a lot of time on my own and just kind of playing guitar to myself until I was ready to share it with my producer, and then we'd make songs together but it was never really more than, you know, me and him. The second album, we did a lot of...well, I did a lot of exploration, I met lots of producers, and it was very lovely to work with the ones that I did work with, because they're amazing, and I've been a fan of a lot of their work growing up. For example, Mark Batson, I worked with, and he notably did India.Arie's first album, which I loved. And I worked with Paul Epworth, you probably know loads of stuff that he's done.
And you went to Jamaica.
That was kind of a big portion of the album becoming what it was, my trip to Jamaica with my mother, who is of Jamaican descent. My father is Greek, so I went to Greece as a child. So I went with my mom to Jamaica and met a producer while we we there. I thought it would be a great opportunity to make music in Jamaica; his name's Stephen McGregor, and his dad's called Freddie McGregor, who's a reggae artist. But I was just immersed in music, and basically every experience after that, it felt like I knew what I wanted from it and how to get what I wanted and how to recognize the feeling that I wanted the music to give me when I was making it. So it turned it up to just a completely different entity.