On Day 6 of our 2020 Round Up, Lola caught up with the genre-defying artist, LVRA, to talk process, production and the pressures of the pandemic...
image from DIY Mag
Lola: Your music draws on an array of styles, from neo-soul to trap. Who are your main musical influences, and have you discovered any hidden gems (artists or albums) in 2020?
LVRA: 2020 has been a weird year of new music and revisiting old stuff I used to listen to. Been listening to a lot of pop like Rina Sawayama, Grimes and Lorde recently, as well as Georgia who has definitely been a fave for more dancey stuff. I also have been enjoying electronic artists like Jamie xx, Mall Grab, Howie Lee, etc. The EP I released this year was really influenced by stuff I was listening to back in 18/19, like Joji, Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish. whose stuff is slower and a bit more reflective than necessarily what I’m listening to now.
Lola: You write, produce and record yourself. Is this creative autonomy an important component of your artistry and musicianship?
LVRA: Yeah to be honest the productions and the writing go hand in hand for me, when I have an idea about a sound it’s really difficult for me to get that across with just production or lyrics alone.
Lola: Since your debut 'U Don't Have To Like Me' how do you feel your sound has evolved?
LVRA: My sound is always evolving. I have loads of demos from the last couple years and I’ve never really stuck to one kind of sound specifically, The EP I released earlier this year was a little snapshot of a specific sound I was trying to capture as like a memory of some experiences I had, but there’s definitely going to be some different stuff coming up.
Lola: Do you think lockdown has affected your creative process for the better, or for the worse? Have your creative priorities shifted at all?
LVRA: Good and bad, I’ve definitely had a lot more time to myself to produce than I anticipated. But also it’s difficult to wake up everyday and just ‘be creative’. Especially when you’re isolated from other people. I’ve definitely lost track of the days for some weeks, but I think I’ve come out of it a better and more confident producer and writer.
Lola: 2020 has also seen you collaborate with Peach Body on ‘Youth’. Are you a fan of collaborations, and is creative compromise inevitable when collaborating with other artists?
LVRA: Yeah, I love collaborations when you have a connection with the person you’re writing with. I wouldn’t say collaborating compromises the creative process, because when I make music with other people I go in knowing that i’m going to create something that I wouldn’t have created by myself, and that sound is in itself unique and valuable. There’s a lot of fun just going into it with an open mind and surprising yourself with whatever comes out of it.
Lola: What was the last gig you went to pre-lockdown? If you could see any artist (post-rona), who would you go and see first?
LVRA: At uni I didn’t actually go and see many live musicians, but I’m pretty sure the last set I went to see was DJ Stingray at The Bullingdon in Oxford which was insane. Honestly if I could right now I’d love to be back there dancing to Haai, Helena Hauff or someone else really heavy, I’d have so much energy to release.
Lola: 2020 was a big year for you, dropping your EP ‘LVCID’ as well as two singles, ‘Girl Like Me’ and ‘Wall’. Do you have any big projects and plans lined up for 2021?
LVRA: Yeah defo new music coming up in 2021, but the stuff I am writing now is really made for a live environment, so how much of it I release all hinges on how the live industry opens up this year. Lots of new stuff!
Listen to LVRA's EP here