Soundtrack Of My Life: Lianne La Havas

The south London singer-songwriter discusses the songs that have changed her life.

The song I can’t get out of my head
Thundercat – ‘Them Changes’

“Thundercat’s kind of eccentric, but he’s unashamedly himself. He plays an amazing, massive bass and sings. I love the groove on this track. It’s wonky in all the right ways.”

The song I wish I’d written
Radiohead – ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’

“I think ‘In Rainbows’ is maybe one of the best albums ever made. I’ll never forget the first time I heard it – it’s so atmospheric. I just felt completely in my own world. It came on shuffle when I was walking to Tesco from my flat and it looked like it was about to rain. The song came on and I was like, ‘What the hell!’”


The first song I remember hearing
Charles and Eddie – ‘Would I Lie To You’

“My grandfather used to put on Capital Gold FM really low and keep it on all night. I remember hearing some of the most amazing songs of my life on that station. It felt warm – and it still feels that way now that I’m an adult.”

The first song I fell in love with
B*witched – ‘Blame It On The Weatherman’

“I had this song on repeat all the time. I thought the lead singer had an amazing voice. I was getting into singing around the age of eight and it was one I could belt out and it felt amazing to sing.”

The first album I bought
Eminem – ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’

“I loved the way he rapped, I loved the way he looked, I loved knowing how controversial his lyrics were. I felt proud of the Parental Advisory sticker on the album! Because I wasn’t supposed to listen to it, I felt even more connected to it.”

The song that made me want to make music
India.Arie – ‘Video’

“If I could imagine the perfect voice, it’s somewhere between hers and Lauryn Hill’s. But I felt like India’s voice was closer to the way that I wanted to sound – it was so low and gravelly and gorgeous. I met her once and she was amazing.”

The song I can no longer listen to
Drake – ‘Hotline Bling’

“I’ve ‘Hotline Bling’-ed myself to oblivion! I sang it with The Roots at their Roots Jam during Grammy week. It was in the style of a Curtis Mayfield tune. It was a lot of fun, but since then I’ve got to give myself a ‘Hotline Bling’ break.”

The song I want played at my funeral
Paul Simon – ‘I Know What I Know’

“If I have to choose – and I don’t ever want to talk about this again ever – it would be ‘I Know What I Know’ from ‘Graceland’. I love it. It gets me hopping around – so it might have the power to revive the deceased!”


Lianne La Havas plays LeeFest in Kent, July 28-31