Lianne La Havas has fans in Prince, Stevie Wonder
This Aug. 3, 2012 photo shows British singer Lianne La Havas in New York. La Havas released her debut album, "Is Your Love Big Enough?," in August and she'll join John Legend on tour in October. (AP Photo/John Carucci)
NEW YORK (AP) — An artist whose album debuts outside of the Top 100 on the Billboard charts would normally be considered a flop, but for Lianne La Havas, whose fans include Prince and Stevie Wonder, that may not be the case.
The London-born singer's debut album — "Is Your Love Big Enough?" — came in at No. 142 on Billboard's 200 albums chart this month. Despite that, Wonder was in the audience for her first headlining Los Angeles show, and she was invited to play her songs for music icon Prince.
"I mean, it's what I've always wanted," La Havas, 22, said of her career buzz. "It's amazing 'cause all I'm doing really is singing because it feels nice and writing because it feels nice."
La Havas, whose sound blends folk, pop and soul, will open for John Legend on a U.S. tour in October, giving her album more exposure in America (it debuted at No. 4 in the United Kingdom). She talked with The Associated Press recently about Prince, Wonder and the lyrical content on her album, which NPR says "is the stuff of best new artist Grammys."
AP: You wrote or co-wrote all the songs on your album. What's your songwriting process?
La Havas: All songs happen in a different way, and I don't really know where they come from, but I just have to be there to receive them, and then I have fun forming it and shaping it into something that will make me happy. All the lyrics are autobiographical in some way, some are more literal and some are metaphorical, but they're all kind of just about various situations over the last few years.
AP: The first song I heard of yours was "Lost & Found," and the hook is pretty dark ("You broke me, and taught me to truly hate myself"). Why did you write that?
La Havas: I was about 19 when I wrote it. ... As you can probably hear, I was particularly unhappy at the time and my vocab wanted me to just kind of say it in almost layman's terms, you know. But I don't know, I'm happy with how the song's come out overall.
FILE - This undated CD cover image released by Warner Bros. Records shows "Is Your Love Big Enough?" by UK singer Lianne La Havas. La Havas released her debut album, "Is Your Love Big Enough?," in August 2012.. Her fans include Prince and Stevie Wonder, and she'll join John Legend on tour in October. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Records, File)
AP: Has the guy you are referring to heard the song?