Lava La Rue + Special Guests
Thu 29th September 2022 @ 6pm

Lava La Rue

+ Special Guests
Open to 14s and over (Under 16s to be accompanied by an Adult 18+). Photo ID required.
Lava La Rue + Special Guests
Under The Arches, Villiers Street, London, GB, WC2N 6NG

Lava La Rue – Biography
Lava La Rue is an outlier and a unifier. Growing up in Ladbroke Grove in West London, the
musician would get the bus to school in the morning surrounded by other kids, all of them
listeners of grime or radio. Lava, meanwhile, was tuned into a different frequency. “It wasn’t
normal for Jamaican kids to be into indie or Britpop,” they remember, having played in bands,
inspired by the Gorillaz and The Clash, throughout their teenage years. Little has changed in the
time that’s passed (“I can’t name five non-binary Jamaican indie producers off the top of my
head”). But that was never a deterrent, only an opportunity to help shift the cultural dynamic with
the music they knew they wanted to make.
Today, their blend of alternative indie and psychedelic rock is binding together a generation of
listeners who’ve long sought something queer and gearshifting in that space. With their new EP,
Hi Fidelity, Lava La Rue fully leans into it.
A defining talent on London’s arts scene — and a founding member of NiNE8 Collective — Lava’s
work has been co-signed by everyone from the Tate Modern to Tyler, the Creator. They first
broke out in 2018, having self released projects in the past, with LETRA: an abstract,
hip-hop-shaped EP, thematically dwelling upon the systemic racism and gentrification that had
shaped the borough they were raised in. The backdrop was similar on 2019’s Stitches too; Lava
a homebody reckoning with the hustle of being a known artist now. It propelled them to new
places — the covers of fashion magazines, festival slots, recording with renowned producers in
Los Angeles — and then the pandemic arrived. 2021’s lockdown-formed project, Butter-fly came
from it; Lava emerging from a new sonic chrysalis with music that flits between their hip-hop
roots and the psychedelic world they want to occupy.
Hi Fidelity is a record about creative transition: “I want to drop one last project that acts as the
bridge between the Lava that debuted, the one everyone knows, and the person I’m becoming,”
they say.
Sonically, it’s rooted in the shared cultures of West London and the West coast of America: a
slow-moving, laidback culture as opposed to their peers to the east. But also their shared
sociological structures. They’re both places rife with class misconceptions: “People associate
the West Coast with Beverly Hills or Hollywood Boulevard; affluent people, but the biggest
waves of homelessness I’ve ever seen in my life have been in LA and San Francisco,” Lava
observed. “People think West London is super bougie, but I live round the corner from Grenfell.”
Those attributes created a distinct instrumental tie between the two places. It started life in
downtown LA, after all, the week the pandemic closed America’s borders. During a session with
Isom Innis (Foster the People), the two brewed up the title track on a whim: a breezy, spaced
out, psychedelic R&B number about laid-back times spent with someone you’re into. Biig Piig,
Lava’s best friend, takes the chorus.