LIANNE LA HAVAS - OSCAR JEROME
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British pop-soul icon with such a smooth voice that Prince himself became a fan !
WhenSun. 3 May, 2020
A polished guitarist and an inventive songwriter who fuses soul, jazz, R. & B., and folk.
Lianne La Havas arrived in the early 2010s with a mostly acoustic and hushed hybrid of alternative folk and soul. The singer, songwriter, and guitarist was born and raised in London, England, the daughter of a Jamaican mother and Greek father. She was a member of the Paris Parade with Christian Pinchbeck (a future member of Elephant), but the act proved to be short-lived. La Havas eventually shifted to solo work and released Lost & Found, a four-track EP featuring a duet with Willy Mason, in October 2011. Two months later -- the same month she opened for Bon Iver during a North American tour -- it was announced that she had been nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll.
Is Your Love Big Enough?, La Havas' debut album for Warner Bros., was released in the U.K. in July 2012 and reached number five; the U.S. release through Nonesuch followed a month later. The set was produced almost entirely by songwriting partner Matt Hales (aka Aqualung). One major fan was Prince, who had La Havas contribute to his 2014 album Art Official Age. Around the same time, she also appeared on recordings by Alt-J and Tourist.
Her second album, the bolder and more produced Blood, followed in 2015. Informed by a trip to Jamaica but additionally inspired by her Greek heritage, the set was preceded by the tracks "Unstoppable" and "What You Won't Do" and was issued that July. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
Rising through London’s rich and kaleidoscopic musical community, Norfolk-born Oscar Jerome has continued to stand out amongst the city's colourful sonic tapestry - finding a welcome home amongst like-minded peers in Ezra Collective, Sons of Kemet, Moses Boyd, Poppy Ajudha, Catching Flies, Hidden Spheres and Jay Prince, all of which Oscar has collaborated with in some capacity through his years in the capital, be it on stage or in the studio.
Whether it's supporting Kamasi Washington around the UK, having the likes of Lianne La Havas and Joe Armon-Jones join him on stage or performing alongside IAMDDB at an Annie Mac Presents night, Oscar Jerome straddles a variety of musical lanes that reflect his broad musicality, one that pools together his virtuosic guitar playing – a product of his stint studying at the esteemed Trinity Laban Conservatoire (Fela Kuti, Moses Boyd, Tom Misch) – and influences from the world of jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop.
Through a constant stream of singles that have seen him regularly tipped by the likes of 6 Music, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, tour the USA and sell out shows everywhere from Rotterdam to Rome, as well as through his work in Kokoroko – penning the afrobeat ensemble's 30-million-YouTube-streams-and-counting 'Abusey Junction' – Oscar continues to pollenate wider musical audiences and showcase an adept musical mind who isn't afraid to mix it up.