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Lianne La Havas

From the beginning it was merely about this : the loveliness of her face, the freshness of her smile. The charm in her voice, the childish pleasure this young woman seemed to have singing this Black Cab Session, which link had been sent with the request of A Take Away Show. We knew nothing of Lianne La Havas, we looked high and low, and what we found was scarce. We had to trust the label’s insistence, and the loveliness of her face, the freshness of her smile, and the charm in her voice. It was less a question of faith than that of rising curiosity, excited by the idea of seeing this artist hatch from her cocoon.

It was merely about this, even still, some weeks later. In the interior courtyard of a Parisian hotel, surrounded by an army of guardian angels, she was there, and she hadn’t forgotten any of her promises. Her hair bun was up high, her smile wide, her sweet demeanor, the permanent exuberance in her gaze : Lianne was there, fresh, curious, and cute. She spent an hour getting dressed, and spent another hour talking with us, searching, playing guitar, talking about her songs, summoning the buds of sadness that we could detect. She never stopped glowing, all the while telling us about the pain in this song she wanted to sing for us. We continued strumming her, talking with her. We weren’t filming, The  Take Away Show had already begun, we had taken her with us.

The rest was a matter of pushing her a little and inciting her to drift under our impulse. She had these shoes with excessive platform soles, and she didn’t think she would be able to walk while playing guitar, and even less so while singing. We brought her to Place du Tertre, with its jagged cobblestones, noisy bystanders, and clusters of people blocking the way. She walked there, she played guitar there, she sang there. Once again, they were there to carry us : this comfort, this charm, the smile hidden behind the sadness. This loveliness.

Translated by : Amanda Burris

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Lianne La Havas