Photography Nine8

this west london rapper is your new 90s dream girl

We’re premiering Lava La Rue's new track, Widdit, today.

by Georgie Wright
22 May 2018, 12:39pm

Photography Nine8

Lava La Rue made her Soundcloud debut two years ago with a track aptly titled (intro). Since then, she’s been pumping out jazz-inflected hip-hop that makes you want to crack open a cold Red Stripe on a hot porch. She describes it as experimental hip-hop and R&B infused with an underground UK vibe; her London accent rapping over lazy beats and singing like a happily stoned Lily Allen, circa 2006.

An anagram of her real name, Ava Laurel, Lava La Rue got into music through growing up a raver. “Early on, I felt that music was the most effective way for me to express anything.” When she turned 16, she immersed herself in the world of hip-hop heads and beatmakers, who’d go on to form NiNE8 -- the London collective made up of musicians, artists, rappers and other creatives. (They also have some really great merch, sold via a well-curated Depop account. Subscribe and follow.)

Lava has clearly cottoned on to the idea that the best work is often a product of collaboration. Her new single, Widdit -- the first from her forthcoming LETRA EP -- was made when Lava moved to Japan after a producer from the Tokyo Vitamin collective found her online. TV’s founder Kento then shot her on VHS around the city and made a little video from it. Then another internet friendship blossomed -- founder of New York-based platform for women of colour, Dis Trick, came on board and shot her girls listening to the track, just “chilling and being cute,” as Lava says. So, naturally, Lava and her friends then combined footage of some New Yorkers listening to her song with footage of the Londoner in Tokyo. We’re premiering the result today.

It’s a 90s-imbued cacophony of lo-fi glitches, more so than intended. “Some of the files got corrupted and water damaged so the visuals that were left ended up very glitchy,” Lava explains. “But that made it even cooler and gave the whole video this accidentally retro-as-fuck vibe, which unintentionally works really well with the track!” They do say the best inventions happen by accident. See for yourself here:

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Lava La Rue
tokyo vitamin
Dis Trick